The Return of the King:
Jesus said: “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my RETURN.” (Matthew 25:13).
When The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King came out in the Christmas season 2003, it smashed the all-time 5-day box office record, earning $250 million worldwide. I can’t remember the last time I saw such hype and anticipation for a movie as I did for this one. Since the first movie had come out two years earlier, the enthusiasm and expectancy for the climax of this fantasy movie trilogy has been phenomenal. Perhaps you were one of the ones who lined up outside the theatres the evening before the midnight premiere of this movie. This will be the backdrop for our devotional.
Just like the anticipation for the movie, The Return of the King, as Christians we too are eagerly looking forward to the return of the King. The Lord Jesus taught us in a parable that, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned KING and then RETURN.” (Luke 19:12). Who was this King that promised to return? It was the Lord Jesus Himself. He is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, and before He ascended to Heaven after His resurrection, He said, “I’ll be back!” We are closer than ever before to the second coming of Jesus, so how then should we live? Here’s what the Bible says…
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14).
As we look for the second coming of Jesus Christ, we are reminded of these things. We are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control and devotion to God, looking forward to that wonderful event when the glory of Jesus will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right. What will it be like when the King returns? Jesus said:
“The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish took no oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept. At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!’ “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’ But he called back, ‘I don’t know you!’ “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.” (Matthew 25:1-13).
The last two verses of the last chapter of the Bible read, “”Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21). The Return of the King draws nearer every day. Are you ready and prepared for His coming?
Pastor Chris Jordan