Published June 7, 2011

Paul's Epistle...
"He's Coming" — Your Responses

Nothing I have written in these newsletters over the years has received so much response and, seemingly, generated so much excitement as my series the past five weeks regarding the Lord's soon return. Nor do I believe we have ever discussed anything more important or even urgent, especially for the reasons discussed in part five of the series last week.

I can't remember a season when the promise of the Lord's return has been called to the attention of so many all at once through so many different channels. Some of that is due to all the media hype over the failed prediction for a May 21st rapture. You could see that coming, of course. But it got people talking. And people are asking questions. Just last week, I noticed Dr. David Jeremiah, on his popular daily radio program ("Turning Point") began a series about the Lord's return and the "signs" the Lord gave us that would indicate the time is near. (Dr. Jeremiah had done an excellent chapter-by-chapter study of the entire book of Revelation on his broadcasts last year.)

Today I want to share with you a few of the comments I've received from readers. Most are merely excerpts. But they are representative of the many, many comments we received during that five-week series:

"This is a very fascinating subject...[which] is cropping up all over our region... I had a conversation Sunday with a Sunday School teacher at my church concerning this very thing. This teacher... is wanting to get teens interested in Jesus' return... She asked [me], ‘why don't these kids care?' After careful thought, I replied that I believe it is because Jesus' second coming is not discussed in their everyday life. Parents either don't care themselves or are unsure, as you stated in your letter. People seem to think if they remain ignorant to the facts that they will not be responsible..." – K. M.

"Paul, I'm so grateful for this series... I can't get over the fact that so many Christians seem oblivious to the signs around them and in the world in general. Wake up!  I have even had a minister's wife from an evangelical church say to me that we have been looking for the Lord to come for over 2,000 years, so why would we be looking for Him soon? Ever since I was a young girl, I have heard preaching on prophecy, the Rapture and the Lord's return. However, over the past 15-25 years (even longer) it was a topic that continually got sidelined in favor of emphasizing other ‘feel good' messages, programs and building attendance. I feel so grieved in my spirit because I believe if we actually told the truth about where we are in the scheme of end times events and preached this to our youth that we might see more people come to Christ. It is encouraging to hear that many preachers have been seeing things in a different light [recently] and declaring boldly that Jesus is coming soon..." – H. B.

"It seems that many churches just sing the praise songs. Songs about the Second Coming and about heaven are never sung. How sad this is. Many, even those who attend church, never think of Christ's return. They may even live not thinking that their actions will have eternal consequences." – D. B., Oklahoma City

"Your column goes right along with a message we heard while in Myrtle Beach for the Singin' In the Sun. Rev. Ralph Sexton ... said prophecy is no more than enjoying life and living in God's fullness, because we will have the assurance that whenever God sends for us, we will be ready. That is why God won't tell [when, exactly, it will happen] – He wants us to be ready at any time. We are to be working to win more for the heavenly trip during this time..." – B.

"I am convinced the Lord will return, but many evangelical preachers in pulpits today seem to feel it's a waste of time to talk about it. I also believe they are not equipped to talk about it and don't want to study it, since they are unsure of themselves and the Word itself..." — R. H.

"...I have been so blessed by what I read.... I have been a Christian for forty-four years (since I was a teenager) and a music director in church almost that long. I agree that the Rapture and our Lord's return are not sung about enough nor preached about enough. The world needs to be made aware that the time is short and I believe Christ's return is very near..." – J. D.

"Our oldest son was killed in a vehicle accident... He was 32 years old. It is a great comfort to know that we will see him again in paradise. That comfort is magnified by the fact that it could be sooner than expected...." — J. H.

Here's a special letter I received from Sally Quick of the Quicks:

"Paul, I believe we are closer than ever to the return of the Lord! Our family is passionate about gathering the harvest as quickly as possible. I enjoyed the newsletter today [part one, about the Lord's return being a ‘sure thing']. It reminded me of a song I wrote many years ago. Here is part of that song...

The sun comes up on another day, people carry on in the same old way
Thinking everything will always be the same.
But straight is the gate and narrow the way that leads to a home in heaven someday.
Where do you stand, the time is at hand. It's a sure thing.

Never gonna turn around and look at what I left behind.
I've gotta keep on gaining ground,
I know each day I'm gonna find I'm another day closer, there's no time to waste.
I'll keep pressing on until I finish the race.
I know He's coming back someday... It's a sure thing!"

Although I have been interested in prophecy regarding the Lord's return since at least my teenage years, I have never sensed such an urgency as exists today in sharing about it. I read a quote the other day that Dr. Billy Graham said there have always been signs of the kinds the Lord cited to indicate His soon return, but those signs have never before converged so much or so rapidly as they are doing today.

So... Today? Tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next year? Who knows? Literally, only God knows. But the main point (see part five of the series from last week) is to be ready!  And, as some of the writers above noted, let's be sure our loved ones are ready — and try to take along as many others as possible by winning them to Christ. Those are significant and urgent goals for today, right now — no matter when the Lord will return.

And remember, God may be waiting for that one soul He wants you to reach before calling us all home.

- Paul

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