One of the ways the church has changed today compared to my childhood has to do with the anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ. It was announced immediately after Jesus ascended into heaven, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11). Three times at the end of Revelation Jesus declares “I am coming soon.” He makes it clear that we will not know the time but that we are to always to be ready and not to allow it to be a surprise. I believe that for many in the church today if Jesus was to return today it would be a surprise.
The problem with the lack of anticipation is that with it comes apathy. We become apathetic to living holy lives. We become apathetic to sharing the Gospel (we have plenty of time). We get apathetic with our church attendance. It affects every area of our life. Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” (Revelation 16:15). I think all of us could use a little more anticipation in our life. Jesus is coming! Be alert!