looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,Titus 2:13(NASB)
We are living as aliens in a foreign land, for our citizenship is not of this world. We have been made co-heirs of the King of Glory by faith, and our home is in heaven. We are part of the new creation in Christ and are, "looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."
The Blessed Hope in this verse is referring to the Rapture of the Church, when Jesus Christ appears in glory to take those who are members of His mystic Body, from the earth into heavenly places. We are taken into His presence in a moment - in the twinkling of an eye, before God can pour out His wrath on a godless world, during the Great Tribulation. He will remove Christ's Body, which is the Church, at His appointed time and return to working through His people Israel, when the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the world.
This Blessed Hope, when we are taken to be with Jesus, at the resurrection of the dead - the Rapture of the Church, is a right and a privilege that is given for ALL who are saved by grace through faith in Christ. And when He appears we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. Hallelujah!
The Blessed Hope of our great God and Saviour should motivate all believers to godliness and promote each child of God towards joyful anticipation of His imminent arrival. Watching and waiting excitedly for His soon return should inspire us to work the work that God has given us to do. Day by day we should look for Him and be ready to welcome Him, so that we will not be ashamed at His coming.
While there are certain Christians that consider that the Church will have to go through part or all of the Great Tribulation, the pre-millennial, pre-tribulational teaching is the only one that can honestly claim to be continuously watching and waiting expectantly, for the imminent arrival of Christ in the clouds, to take us to be with Himself.
Nowhere in Scripture are we told to look for the antichrist or identify the tribulation period. We should not be exercising "newspaper eisegesis", where we read into Scripture what we think it says. We should be undertaking true, "biblical exegeses" of Scripture, where we take to heart the truth that God's Word is teaching us - literally, historically, grammatically, and in its correct context.
Although we are to make wise preparations and make plans for the future, we are not instructed to become 'tribulation preppers' or store-up sufficient food to last us through the seven bad years of Daniel's 70th week. And although there has been persecution of the Church throughout this dispensation, the specific persecution of the Tribulation saints, about whom we read in Revelation - i.e. that multitude without number, refers to those who are saved in the midst of Daniel's 70th week.
We believe Jesus Christ is soon to return and have been instructed to look for Him eagerly, longingly, lovingly, and expectantly. We should be waiting for Him to come once again from the eternal realm, into our current dimension of time. What a day that will be! We are to be in that permanent posture of eager expectation, knowing that His return for His Bride holds fast, under the never-failing, authoritative Word of God.
We may not know the exact details of His re-entrance into this earthly sphere, for God alone knows the day and the hour of His coming. But should not the mystery that enshrouds His return, heighten our eager anticipation, as we wait for His any day return? Should not the suspense of this prophesied fact thrill our hearts with overwhelming joy? Should not knowledge of His imminent reappearance prompt each of us towards godly living and prudent preparations? This glorious appearing is called that Blessed Hope, for which we are all looking with eager expectation.
The Blessed Hope for which we look, and for which we long, is not the fatalistic, fanciful, fingers-crossed hope of the world, that leaves in its wake hollow emptiness and unfulfilled desires. Our Blessed Hope is knowledge of the truth intertwined with the 'stuff' of faith, which trusts God's Word as fact, and treats the heavenly things, (in the spiritual realm), that are invisible to our physical sight, as indisputable reality.
As we see the day of His glorious appearance advancing quickly, in both the physical world and our own walk of faith, may we be those that stand fast and watch intently for His soon return, as we look for that Blessed Hope and the any-day appearing of the glory of our great and gracious God - Who is Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
Father God, thank You for that Blessed Hope that we have in Jesus. I pray that I may be ever looking to Him in the knowledge that He has promised to come to take me to be with Himself in the heavenly realm. In Jesus' name I pray that in Your way and in Your time, He will return for His Church and that I would be ready. I pray that the hope that I have in Him would be reignited daily as I look for His soon return. Thank You, Father, and to Him be praise and glory, might, majesty, dominion and power, both now and in the ages to come. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, AMEN.