“Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:1-6).

One of the greatest promise of our Lord Jesus Christ is His coming again to earth to take with Him those who trusted and followed Him as their Saviour and Lord. It is almost or maybe more than 2000 years already since He made this promise to His disciples.

Maybe that’s the reason why so many scoff about this promise. The Apostle Peter wrote, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Despite the negative opinion of so many, the Lord will surely fulfill His promise. The Apostle Peter stated the reason of this delay, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:9).

The Lord is delaying His coming because He is giving us the chance to repent and settle our sin problem with God. But the coming of our Lord will happen as He had promised. He told His disciples about it as recorded in Matthew 24. Our Lord Jesus has given the answer when His disciples asked Him about the sign of His coming and the end of the world, “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

The answers of our Lord Jesus to His disciples as mentioned in Matthew 24 are being fulfilled before our eyes. Of course, no one knows about the exact time of His return but He has given us a hint that it is nearer in our time than in the past. He gave the parable of the fig tree which is actually about Israel gathering back and establishing as a nation again.

He said that this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled,” (Matthew 24:32-34).

When He told His disciples about this parable, Israel was still in their land. In 70 AD, Titus destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and Israel dispersed throughout the world and was established again as a nation in May 14, 1948. That was exactly around 1,878 years that Israel dispersed without a nation. This is the longest time that they left their land and was enslaved by other nations.

First was around 400 years in Egypt. Second was 70 years in Mesopotamia. The third and the last was the 1,878 years in Diaspora, which started in AD 70 and ended in May 14, 1948. This is the generation that the Lord is referring to, that will witness His return as He related in this parable. Israel will celebrate their 75 years as a nation this coming May 14, 2023.

The Lord did not say that they will reach a certain age and then He will return. Hewas saying that this generation will still be alive when He returns. They will be 75 years old this coming May 2023 and this generation is still alive waiting for their Messiah! One of the signs of the Lord’s return is the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

Preparations are being made by Israel in the present.

The world that we have now is in trouble. Our Lord said in Luke 21:25 to 28, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

Aside from these earthly troubles that happened as stated by our Lord Jesus in Luke 21 and Matthew 24, the Apostle Paul said that the attitude of man is getting worst. We see this happening before our very eyes. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

The world that we are living in today will not last forever. God is preparing a better world for us. Read Revelation 21 and 22. Our Lord Jesus promised us that He will prepare a place for us and one day, He will return and take us all home.

The question is, do you believe in Him? “Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ” (John 14:1-3, 6).

The best time to prepare is now. Do you believe in His promise? Jesus Christ is our only hope. He is the only way, the only truth, the only life, and your sure way to be with God forever. Accept Him by faith into your heart as your Saviour and Lord. You will surely have a Blessed Hope.

Note: If you want to learn more about the Book of Revelation and the last days, go to YouTube and search for lifewordasia/playlist. Then find the playlist: Prophecy Updates 2022.*

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Pastor Pedro Etabag is the regional director of Lifeword-Asia Pacific and senior pastor of Tangub Missionary Baptist Church in Bacolod City.