Until the Appearing
“…to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Timothy 6:14
Until The Appearing – Desperately Waiting
Waiting is hard. When the New Testament authors wrote the gospel, they may have thought that Jesus would come back in their lifetime. There was an urgency to their writing, as if, at any moment, the sky would part, and Jesus would descend from the clouds to take them with Him. Considering the persecution that the new Christians faced in the first hundred years, I can understand their desperation to see His coming.
The Cost of Discipleship – Suffering
The cost of discipleship was deadly for early Christians. Consider the “voice of the one calling in the desert”. John the Baptist alerted everyone to the first coming of Christ. Just when Jesus was beginning His earthly ministry, John was imprisoned and beheaded! He wasn’t spared suffering. Of course, we know the terrible suffering of Christ Himself, following John’s beheading. Then, after Christ’s ascension, Stephen was stoned to death for sharing the gospel. James’ martyrdom by Herod Agrippa finally caused the rest of the disciples to flee Jerusalem.
The Hope of His Appearing Strengthens Saints
When Saul got saved and became Paul, he was the greatest missionary in the ancient world. He took the gospel beyond Israel to the Roman world, and the Church began to grow rapidly. But it didn’t grow without cost! Persecution came from isolated mob attacks at first. Later, state-incited persecutions happened under a mandate of imperial authority. Christians knew at any moment their lives could be taken, but because of the hope of heaven, they persisted. They held onto to the faith of Christ’s Second Coming.
Think Divinely: Many Christians in the world today live in dangerous neighborhoods. They are often at risk, and some continue to pay with their lives for the hope of His appearing.
Sean McDowell, The Fate of the Apostles, (London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2016), 56.
Lisa Quintana is a Christian Apologist and blogs at ThinkDivinely.com. She is a former broadcast reporter and left her career to stay home and raise her two children. She also homeschooled her son during his middle school years, while earning a Master’s degree in Apologetics at Biola University (Dec. 2017). She now teaches classes at her church in Madison, Wisconsin, and has been happily married for over 26 years.
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If you enjoyed this devotional by Lisa Quintana, you might enjoy reading Pray: In Your Room.