Our little dog can become very focused in looking out the window in anticipation for me, or my wife, to come home. He can sit on the sofa for hours waiting. The dog knows without any doubt that one of us will show up. When our car is seen in the driveway his tail starts wagging, he jumps up and down, and makes a very loud yelp! His waiting is over, and one can tell that he loves our appearing.
Life is full of waits, isn’t it. We wait at the checkout line, at the bank, the gas station, on the freeway in traffic, and many other places. These times of waiting are necessary, but there is no reward other than meeting our daily needs of buying things and going places. There is no excitement in these times of waiting, but usually just the opposite.
The Bible is full of verses that have to do with waiting on the Lord. The Greek meaning of “await” means “intense anticipation” or “excited expectation.” There is one verse I want to zero in on in this article. Second Timothy 4:8 says, “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not to me only, but to all who love his appearing.”
Those who love his appearing are the ones whose lives have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, who have been saved by grace and do not deserve salvation. They are the people whose lives were all messed up, but God accepted them as they were. It includes people who are very religious and righteous, but still fall way short of the righteousness of God. Romans 3:23-24 states, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Those who will love his appearing know that Jesus died for their sins and rose from the grave that they can have eternal life. Jesus has even declared righteous those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, not because of what we have done, but in spite of ourselves. Who wouldn’t love to see the Person who has done that for us?
How do we know for certain that Jesus is coming again? He said so! In John 14:3 Jesus said, “…I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” As Jesus was ascending back to God The Father, Acts 1:11 records, “This Jesus who was taken up to heaven, will come in the same manner as you have seen him go.”
These are promises of God!
Not all people will welcome Jesus’s return. In contrast, there are many who totally deny it. Second Peter 3:3-4 tells us that “scoffers will come in the last days…They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?’” For these people there will be judgment, and if they do realize that what the Bible says was true, and Jesus is who he claimed to be, it will be too late!
Now, what are the eternal rewards for waiting for the return of Jesus? Besides the crown of righteousness previously mentioned in II Timothy 4:8, there are these:
One, we are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” What is hope? The Greek meaning of hope is “confident expectation.” It is the “hope laid up in heaven”(Colossians 1:5). First Peter 1:3-4 adds, “…born again to a living hope…to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” A second reward is being spared from the wrath of soon-coming judgment (Romans 5:9). First Thessalonians 1:10 says, “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” Third, is the transformation of our earthly bodies. This profound truth is stated in First Corinthians 15:53. “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
All of this is well worth waiting for! Keep focused on the return of Jesus, our Savior, my fellow believers. Keep waiting with excited anticipation.