Jesus Is Coming, What Do We Do Now?

We know that Jesus will return to judge the quick and the dead for only one reason: He told us He would, and Jesus doesn’t lie.

Summer then fall, winter, spring and then summer again, morning then evening, then morning again: yesterday seems to be a lot like today. We think that tomorrow will be like today. Last year was a lot like this year, so we think that next year will be a lot like this year.

I suspect that we have to think like this, to live, to have a home, to bring up our children in the faith, to rejoice in God’s gifts of creation. The Lord is the one, after all, who gave us the sun and the moon and the stars for days and seasons.

But the day is coming when the sun will fail, the moon will turn to blood, and stars will fall from the sky. There is coming a day when there will be no “tomorrow”. Into our expected will come the unexpected, in to this normal will come the very not-normal.

Jesus says, “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:25-27)

Pow. That day will be a day of destruction, a day of undoing, the earth melting with fire, the old things passing away. That day will be a day of judgment. This is why the Lord constantly rouses us from sleep and commands us to be ready. “”But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times…” (Luke 21:34-36)

This is what Jesus is always saying when He teaches about His second coming: “Watch! Beware! Rise! Be ready! Stay Awake!” We had this same command, this same warning from Jesus in the text two week ago, the last Sunday of the church year. And, remember, being ready for the second coming is faith, trust in His word, trust in the promise that all our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus.

What Should We Do Then?

But the text before us is different. It does not just have commands for us as we wait in expectation, it also tells us what we are to do when Jesus returns. We have it in two places in the text. First, verse 28:

“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

When you see the earth falling apart, sit up straight, and lift up your head. This is simply beautiful. Jesus doesn’t say, “Fall on the earth with your face in the dirt. Cover yourself in ashes. Run for the hills.” “Chin up,” He says, because His coming, like everything else, is for you.

“Your redemption is drawing near,” Jesus says. That is the sweetest name given to the second coming of Jesus, our Redemption drawing near, and that is why we are standing with our head and eyes up. The second coming of Jesus is not our destruction drawing near, or our judgment drawing near, our punishment drawing near. No. Our Redemption drawing near, the one who gave up everything for us, the one who bled and died on the cross for us, for you, that is who is coming.

Oh do you see how the devil has worked so hard to convince you that Jesus hates you and that he is the one who loves you? The devil would scare you with the last day; Jesus would rescue you, from sin, from death, from temptation, from this deceiving devil.

The second command for us on that day is just like the first, in the last verse of the text, verse 36:

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

You will escape all of this trouble, and in the end you will stand.

Imagine a huge tornado sweeping through Aurora, miles wide, raging, and every thing in it’s path is flattened to the ground. But there is a tornado-proof house, and you live in it. After this tornado, your home is still standing.

You, dear saints, live in a judgment proof-home. The foundation is the word of God. That was also in our text, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” With your heart established in the Lord’s Word, you will stand.

You are covered with the blood of Jesus. Like the Israelites in Egypt, with nothing but the lamb’s blood on their door-post for protection against the destroying angel, we too have nothing but the blood of Jesus standing between us and hell, but this is enough. more than enough. Your judgment has already occurred, on the cross. The punishment for your sins has already taken place in the forsaken-ness of Jesus. The righteousness of God has already been put to your name. You are already adopted into the family of God. The Father already smiles upon you.

There is this myth floating around that the Christian will face judgment when they die, or on the last day. No. The unbeliever certainly will, a judgment of their works stained with unbelief. But listen to the words of Jesus, (John 5:24):

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Dear Christian, on the last day you have a command from your Jesus, you have something that you are to do. When the mountains are shaking and falling into the sea (Psalm 46:2), when the sun is turned dark and the moon is turned into blood (Joel 2:31), when the stars are falling from the sky (Mark 13:22), when the powers of heaven are being shaken (Luke 21:26), and the elements are dissolving in fire (2 Peter 3:7, 10-12), Jesus tells you to straighten up, to lift up your head, to stand.

By God’s goodness and grace you are forgiven, you are righteous and holy, you are His. By God’s grace, on the last day, by God’s grace and Christ’s blood, you will stand.

This is how things will be at the end for you. While everything else in the world is crumbling and falling and coming undone, you will “stand before the Son of Man.”
“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.