When Christ Comes

(Paperback - Oct 2001)
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Would you like to discuss the end of time?

And feel better because of it?

Life with no end? Space with no bounds? And what about Armageddon, The Lake of Fire, The Mark of the Beast?

Am I supposed to feel good about all this?

If these words could be yours, you aren't alone. There is much about the end of history we don't understand. But while thoughts on the final day will stir our questions, they needn't stir our fears. Regarding that day, Jesus urged, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me" (John 14:1).

Max Lucado believes the day Christ comes will be the "beginning of the very best." Our primary task is to be prepared and peaceful while we wait.

If you have some questions about the end of time .

If you have concerns about what will happen to you .

If you like to look to the end of times as a source of comfort and not chaos .

You are holding the right book.


  • SKU: 9780849942976
  • SKU10: 0849942977
  • Title: When Christ Comes
  • Qty Remaining Online: 14
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Date Published: Oct 2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Weight lbs: 0.60
  • Dimensions: 8.90" L x 5.90" W x 0.80" H
  • Features: Price on Product, Bibliography
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical; Theometrics | Mainline; Theometrics | Catholic;
  • Category: THEOLOGY
  • Subject: Inspirational
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Chapter Excerpt

Chapter One

"You Do the Trusting;
I'll Do the Taking"

When Will He Come?

Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me
I will come back and take you to be with me.
John 14:1,3

Parenting is packed with challenges. Who among us has answers to the questions children ask?

    "Why can't I have another puppy?"

    "But you got married when you were eighteen. Why can't I?"

    "Daddy, what is Viagra?"

    Such questions would cause a sage to stammer. They pale, however, compared to one a child asks on a trip. In a comprehensive survey conducted by Lucado and Friends (I interviewed a couple of people in the hallway), I determined the most dreaded question in parentdom. What is the single query hated most by moms and dads? It's the one posed by the five-year-old on the trip, "How much farther?"

    Give us the dilemmas of geometry and sexuality, just don't make a parent answer the question, "How much farther?"

    It's an impossible question. How do you speak of time and distance to someone who doesn't understand time and distance? The novice parent assumes the facts will suffice , "Two hundred and fifty miles." But what do miles mean to a pre-K kid? Nothing! You might as well have spoken Yiddish! So the child asks, "What is two hundred and fifty miles?" At this point you're tempted to get technical and explain that one mile equals 5280 feet, so two hundred and fifty miles equals one million three hundred thousand feet. But four words into the sentence, and the child tunes you out. He sits quietly until you are quiet and then asks, "How much farther?"

    The world of a youngster is delightfully free of mile markers and alarm clocks. You can speak of minutes and kilometers, but a child has no hooks for those hats. So what do you do? Most parents get creative. When our girls were toddlers, they loved to watch The Little Mermaid. So Denalyn and I used the movie as an economy of scale. "About as long as it takes you to watch The Little Mermaid three times."

    And for a few minutes that seemed to help. But sooner or later, they ask again. And sooner or later, we say what all parents eventually say, "Just trust me. You enjoy the trip and don't worry about the details. I'll make sure we get home OK."

    And we mean it. We don't want our kids to sweat the details. So we make a deal with them, "We'll do the taking. You do the trusting."

    Sound familiar? It might. Jesus has said the same to us. Just prior to his crucifixion, he told his disciples that he would be leaving them. "Where I am going you cannot follow now, but you will follow later" (John 13:36).

    Such a statement was bound to stir some questions. Peter spoke for the others and asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now?" (v. 37).

    See if Jesus' reply doesn't reflect the tenderness of a parent to a child: "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am going" (John 14:1-3).

    Reduce the paragraph to a sentence and it might read: "You do the trusting and I'll do the taking." A healthy reminder when it comes to anticipating the return of Christ. For many, the verb trust is not easily associated with his coming.

    Our pre-K minds are ill-equipped to handle the thoughts of eternity. When it comes to a world with no boundaries of space and time, we don't have the hooks for those hats. Consequently, our Lord takes the posture of a parent, "You do the trusting and I'll do the taking." This is precisely his message in these warm words of John 14. Let's ponder them for a bit.

    All of his words can be reduced to two: Trust me. "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me" (v. 1).

    Don't be troubled by the return of Christ. Don't be anxious about things you cannot comprehend. Issues like the millennium and the Antichrist are intended to challenge and stretch us, but not overwhelm and certainly not divide us. For the Christian, the return of Christ is not a riddle to be solved or a code to be broken, but rather a day to be anticipated.

    Jesus wants us to trust him. He doesn't want us to be troubled, so he reassures us with these truths.

    I have ample space for you. "There are many rooms in my Father's house" (v. 2). Why does Jesus refer to "many rooms"? Why does our Master make a point of mentioning the size of the house? You can answer that question as you think of the many times in life you've heard the opposite. Haven't there been occasions when you've been told: "We have no room for you here"?

    Have you heard it in the workplace? "Sorry, I don't have room for you in my business."

    Have you heard it in sports? "We don't have room for you on this team."

    From someone you love? "I don't have room for you in my heart."

    From a bigot? "We don't have room for your type in here."

    Most sadly, have you heard it from a church? "You've made too many mistakes. We don't have room for you here."

    Some of the saddest words on earth are: "We don't have room for you."

    Jesus knew the sound of those words. He was still in Mary's womb when the innkeeper said, "We don't have room for you."

    When the residents of his hometown tried to stone him, were they not saying the same? "We don't have room for prophets in this town."

    When the religious leaders accused him of blasphemy, weren't they shunning him? "We don't have room for a self-proclaimed Messiah in this country."

    And when he was hung on the cross, wasn't the message one of utter rejection? "We don't have room for you in this world."

    Even today Jesus is given the same treatment. He goes from heart to heart, asking if he might enter. But more often than not, he hears the words of the Bethlehem innkeeper: "Sorry. Too crowded. I don't have room for you here."

    But every so often, he is welcomed. Someone throws open the door of his or her heart and invites him to stay. And to that person Jesus gives this great promise: "Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God. And trust in me. In my Father's house are many rooms."

    "I have ample space for you," he says. What a delightful promise he makes us! We make room for him in our hearts, and he makes room for us in his house. His house has ample space.

    His house has a second blessing:

    I have a prepared place for you. "I am going there to prepare a place for you" (v. 2). A few years back I spent a week speaking at a church in California. The members of the congregation were incredible hosts and hostesses. All my meals were lined up, each at a different house, each house with a full table and at each table wonderful conversation. But after a few meals, I noticed something strange. All we ate was salad. I like salad as much as the next guy, but I prefer it as a warmup to the main act. But everywhere I went, it was the main act. No meat. No dessert. Just salads.

    At first I thought it was a California thing. But finally I had to ask. The answer confused me. "We were told that you eat nothing but salads." Well, I quickly corrected them, and wondered how they had heard such a preposterous distortion. As we traced the trail back, we determined that a miscommunication had occurred between our office and theirs.

    The hosts meant well, but their information was bad. I'm happy to say that we corrected the problem and enjoyed some good meat. I'm even happier to say Jesus won't make the same mistake with you.

    He is doing for you what my California friends did for me. He is preparing a place. There is a difference, however. He knows exactly what you need. You needn't worry about getting bored or tired or weary with seeing the same people or singing the same songs. And you certainly needn't worry about sitting down to meal after meal of salad.

    He is preparing the perfect place for you. I love John MacArthur's definition of eternal life, "Heaven is the perfect place for people made perfect."

    Trust the promises of Christ. "I have ample space for you; I have a prepared place for you."

    And one last commitment from Jesus:

    I'm not kidding. "I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am going" (v. 3). Can you detect a slight shift of tone in the last verse? The first sentences are couched in warmth. "Don't be troubled." "Trust God." "There are many rooms." There is kindness in these words. But then the tone changes. Just slightly. The kindness continues but is now spiked with conviction. "I will come back "

    George Tulloch displayed similar determination. In 1996 he led an expedition to the spot where the Titanic sank in 1912. He and his crew recovered numerous artifacts, everything from eyeglasses to jewelry to dishware. In his search, Tulloch realized that a large piece of the hull had broken from the ship and was resting not far from the vessel. Tulloch immediately saw the opportunity at hand. Here was a chance to rescue part of the ship itself.

    The team set out to raise the twenty-ton piece of iron and place it onto the boat. They were successful in lifting it to the surface, but a storm blew in and the ropes broke and the Atlantic reclaimed her treasure. Tulloch was forced to retreat and regroup. But before he left, he did something curious. He descended into the deep and, with the robotic arm of his submarine, attached a strip of metal to a section of the hull. On the metal he'd written these words, "I will come back, George Tulloch."

    At first glance, his action is humorous. I mean, it's not like he has to worry about a lot of people stealing his piece of iron. For one thing, it's two and one-half miles below the surface of the Atlantic. For another, well, it's a piece of junk. We wonder why anyone would be so attracted to it.

    Of course one might say the same about you and me. Why would God go to such efforts to reclaim us? What good are we to him? He must have his reasons because two thousand years ago, he entered the murky waters of our world in search of his children. And on all who will allow him to do so, he lays his claim and tags his name. "I will come back," he says.

    George Tulloch did. Two years later he returned and rescued the piece of iron.

    Jesus will as well. We don't know when he will come for us. We don't know how he will come for us. And, we really don't even know why he would come for us. Oh, we have our ideas and opinions. But most of what we have is faith. Faith that he has ample space and a prepared place and, at the right time, he will come so that we can be where he is.

    He will do the taking. It's up to us to do the trusting.



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