Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords has promised, “Behold, I come quickly”: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Rev. 3:11. Three times in the closing chapter of Revelation those same words reappear, to which the aged apostle John responded, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. 22:20.
This promise, “behold, I come quickly,” should stir each of us to prepare immediately for the Lord’s second coming. These words should thrill the righteous with the hope of future bliss, and, at the same time sober the sinner with the horror of future punishment.
Christ will come quickly in the sense that he will come swiftly, unexpectedly, as a thief would come in the night. His coming will be unheralded and unannounced. In other words, you will not see it coming and suddenly it will be upon you.
Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord will come.” “Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man will come. Matt. 24:42, 44. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night 2 Pet. 3:10.
These and many other scriptures clearly teach that Christ will come suddenly and without warning. Hence he will come quickly as He promised. Despite popular misconceptions to the contrary, Jesus said plainly that there would be no signs of his second coming. (Matt. 24:36-51). He even said that no man, not even the angels in heaven, knows when he will return (Matt. 24:36).
Time setters have been trying to predict Jesus’ second coming in every generation. William Miller predicted that Jesus would return in 1844. Many of Miller’s disciples sold their homes, took their children out of school and sat down to wait for the Lord to come. After the promised day came and went, they were in despair. Some of them committed suicide, and many never regained faith in God or man. This tragic story has been duplicated many times and in various ways by self-appointed prophets, but alas, all have failed.
We need to be impressed with the repeated admonition to “watch” and “pray” for “you know not the hour.” The fact of Christ’s second coming is certain. “. . . I will come again . . .” (Jn 14:3). However, the exact time of His coming is to us unknown. Therefore we must be ready at all times.
Even so, we also do not know what hour the Lord will call us home. “What is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (Jam 4: 14). When this short life ends, our judgment is fixed and final. Since the sealing of our eternal destiny is just as close to us as our death, each of us can appropriate to ourselves individually the words, “Behold, we go quickly”. “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).
The brevity and uncertainty of life; the inevitability of death; the fact that we know not when Christ will come again; the awesomeness of the judgment day; the horrors of hell and the bliss of heaven should impel each of us to obey the gospel of Christ and then live in faithful service to him through the rest of our days.
Satan is saying, “Wait for tomorrow, wait for a convenient season” (Acts 24:25). Christ is calling you today, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2). What will you do? Today, the decision is in your hands. Tomorrow, the judgment will be in God’s hands.