Christmas is about celebrating the advent, which means “coming,” of the Son of God to earth. While we worship God for Jesus’ first advent, we also long earnestly for His second coming. To our surprise, the Bible tells us that we can actually “hasten” Christ’s return.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God. – 2 Peter 3:11-12
“Hasten” means to cause something to happen soon. Peter is telling us as Christians, that you and I can do something to cause Jesus’ final coming to occur more quickly. If that statement were not in the Bible, I would not believe it! How could we play a role in the speed of the eschaton? But since God promises that we can, let’s think about how it’s possible.
Biblically, it seems that there are two ways that we can hasten Christ’s return. First, we can pray for it. One of the most often prayed prayers for centuries has been “Maranatha! Come Lord!” (e.g., 1 Corinthians 16:22). The cry of the Spirit and the Bride is “Come!” in Revelation 22:17 in response to Jesus’ promise to return. Let us keep crying out, “Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!”
Second, we can spread the gospel. The Bible mentions certain requirements that must be met before the Lord comes again. Some of those requirements are outside of our control, but there is one that isn’t, and that is the spread of the gospel to every nation: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). This Christmas season and always, let’s support missions here and abroad, and “Go tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere,” and so hasten the return of our Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Until then, empower us by Your Spirit to witness about You without fear or reservation. Let us be cheerfully generous to ministries and missionaries working to further Your kingdom on earth. Don’t let us be slothful and lose heart as we wait for You. Keep us zealous and wide awake to serve You and the world in Your name. Amen!
With you in Christ,
Chuck Hetzler, Ph.D.
Director, Christian Union Day and Night
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