Christ’s death was as shocking as His birth. No doubt there was discussion among His contemporaries of the Nazarene’s “untimely demise.” Yet this event, too, had been foretold by the prophets and occurred at God’s chosen moment. Thus, Paul could write in Romans 5:6: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (ESV) God was still in control.
The Bible tells us Jesus will come in the clouds, to snatch away the Church (I Thess. 4:13-18). Later, in power and glory, He will return to earth, ascend the throne of David and commence His earthly reign (25:31). Jesus said during His ministry that “…concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only…” (Mat 24.36 ESV) Again, in Acts 1.7, He said to his apostles, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” (ESV)
The Apostle Peter predicted that in the last days it would be fashionable for scoffers to taunt believers about their hope in the return of Christ: “They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ ” (II Pet. 3:4 ESV)
Today, the theories about origins and the Flood propounded by uniformitarian evolutionists constitute the fulfillment of this astounding prophecy (vv. 5-8). But Peter’s answer, his reason for the hope that was within him (I Pet. 3:15), was, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness; but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (II Pet. 3:9 ESV)
If you had been the weary mother-to-be, you may have wished your firstborn could have held out a few more days. If you had been a faithless disciple, you may have been devastated by the death of the Master. But as one living in the last days, you need not be unprepared for Christ’s return.
Bethlehem’s inn could not accommodate Him. A friend’s borrowed tomb could not hold Him. Man’s rebellion will not delay Him. He will return. Are you ready?
If not, trust Christ now and pray sincerely, with the writer of that traditional Christmas song, “O come to my heart, Lord Jesus–there is room in my heart for Thee!”