The Bible ends with the Apostle John exclaiming “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20). In a sin-soaked world full of trials and persecution, John was excitedly anxious for the Lord’s return. He was looking for the day.
John speaks for all Christians. The Apostle Paul talked about us as a people who “love (long for) Jesus’ appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). And the greater the difficulty of life, the more we feel it. The more of our loved ones and friends who pass on into eternity, the greater the pull upon us to be there.
Of course, there’s a great purpose in us being here right now; so many people are still lost without a saving knowledge of the gospel. So our days will be filled with meaning and adventurous service. But the Christian position is still that we are not of this world; it’s not our ultimate home, and so we long for the end of this time. We long for Jesus to come.
But perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you that God is looking forward to it as much as we are. I was reading these wonderful verses again just recently:
“If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands.” (Job 14:14-15)
What a thrilling revelation of the heart of God toward us: He “shall desire the work of His hands”, and in the context of what Job is saying here it surely means that He desires us to be with Him in the fullness of that fellowship – apart from the intrusion of sin – that He designed us for. For the curtain to be drawn away; for us to “know even as we are known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Another glimpse of God’s heart about this is seen at the Last Supper. As Jesus spoke to His disciples He said,
“With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16)
Jesus had been looking forward to that night with the disciples over that amazing Passover meal which so profoundly pointed to Him! And they were sharing it right on the very eve of Him laying down His life as the once-for-all sacrificial Lamb on the cross.
But notice that He links His anticipation for that Last Supper on earth with His anticipation of the next such Communion service that he will physically attend … when the Kingdom is consummated. The great “Marriage Supper of the Lamb”! (Revelation 19:9)
The Lord is looking with “fervent desire” to THAT great celebration, not just with twelve this time, but with an innumerable company of all those who He has redeemed from every nation, tribe and tongue. God “desires the work of His hands”.
So if the going is tough, know this: that God wouldn’t prolong this for no reason. Unless there was a very great purpose for our remaining here, He would have gathered us all to Himself already. He still has a great purpose for the church here on the earth for now; He still has a great purpose for YOU here on earth.
Let’s live for His glory, look to Him for His strength, and keep desiring to be with Him even as He desires it also.