“I wish I could be rid of my sinful flesh once and for all! Then everything would be perfect!”
Such thoughts are not foreign to believers. As the child of God looks about this world, he witnesses violence, drug abuse, hatred, and so many other sins. These things are not going on at a safe distance, half a world away. Often they are happening just down the street. As the believer witnesses, not only the sinfulness of others but the corruption of his own sinful flesh, he cries out to heaven with the psalmist: “But You, O Lord — how long? Return, O Lord, deliver me!” Oh, save me for Your mercies’ (Ps. 6:4)
Though our sinful flesh may wish it were otherwise, we as believers in Christ our Savior can hardly wait for His return in glroy. We strive to set our minds on things above, not on things on earth.
For example, during the season of Advent, when the rest of the world is counting the shopping days left until Christmas, believers are looking toward the time of the year set aside specifically to celebrate the birth of our Savior into the world. He came in the form of a lowly man that we might stand justified in God’s sight, declared not guilty of sin for the sake of our sinless Savior.
But our Advent attention is also focused well beyond Christ’s first advent. We further remind ourselves that our born, crucified, risen, and ascended Savior has promised His followers a second advent: “Let not you heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn. 14:1-3).
Christ IS Coming Again
It is with the knowledge that Christ will return that we are able to observe all of the sinful things going on in this world and in ourselves without slipping into despair and cynicism. As we repent of our sins, look to Christ for forgiveness, and strive after a godly life, we wish, hope, and pray that everything will one day be perfect.
And it shall be so! When Christ returns the second time it will be that we shall be with Him bodily. There we will actually be perfect, without sin, resurrected unto eternal life — sinless forever!
Sin is not our eternal ruler. Christ is. We will not carry our earthly troubles with us to our eternal home. Christ Jesus, who is ruling in our hearts, who has conquered sin, death, and the devil, has given us His holy Word. He promises that our sins have been forgiven for His sake, and that He will return to take us to be with Him bodily forever.
How long until that day? Only our heavenly Father knows. But Christ is coming.
* “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace” — peace through the goods news of the Gospel.
* “…Without spot and blameless” — perfect in Jesus Christ.
* “…And account that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation” — salvation for us, for our longsuffering God will uphold us in the faith until that Day; salvation for others, for each day our longsuffering Father in heaven allows to pass, is one more day that the Gospel is preached and sinners brought to their Savior, joining believers in eager anticipation of Christ’s return in glory.
— Pastor Joel Fleischer