Behold! Coming Soon

Behold! Coming Soon

Behold! Coming Soon.

There are some individual words and short phrases in Scripture that need to be highlighted as they are read, words or phrases that are significant or point to something meaningful. Some phrases might be: Fear not. Here I am. Woe to you. One another.   And maybe some words are: AmenHallelujahBlessedAbba. Come.  The word Behold! is one of those significant words, an exclamation that is intended to get our attention. Listen, people, this is something you need to hear! Behold says to the audience, Look at this and take note! You would be wise to remember these words and think about them! Careful now, don’t be deaf to what I am about to say! Stop what you’re doing and listen up! As the Eastern Orthodox Christians say before they read the Gospel in the Liturgy… Attend! The following verse begins with Behold! So the words that follow must be important.

Behold! I am coming soon! Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your victor’s crown. Yes, I am coming suddenly, quickly. Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown of victory.” (Revelation 3:11).

Soon? I am coming soon.” Jesus spoke clearly about this. He repeated Himself four different times just in Revelation… The time is near; I am coming quickly; I am coming soon. How do we take this? The early church took Him literally. They fully believed Jesus was returning in clouds of glory soon in their lifetimes, coming back to bring them all to heaven with Him. But obviously, this monumental event has not taken place yet, and this is the 21st Century. So, Jesus didn’t mean for us to take Him literally. “Soon” in God’s mind is worlds apart from “soon” in our mind. A thousand days is as one day for Him, a thousand years is like a second in time (2 Peter 3:8). Jesus is outside of time. He will return when He’s good and ready. It’s not as if His return is low priority in Jesus’ mind. His final words to believers in the Scripture are “I am coming soon.” (Rev. 22:20).  And the Epistles are filled with words like, His coming is near, He will not delay, and the Lord is near. His Second Coming is obviously at the top of His mind. Our job is to remain faithful, patiently endure whatever life throws our way, and be an overcomer, a victorious one, who receives the victor’s crown, the laurel wreath, the trophy of the winner of the race.  The crown is our reward, the crown all believers will wear after successfully running the race of faith. The victor’s crown is the heavenly symbol of achievement. Like St. Paul, we need God’s strength and stamina to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7). And “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:1-2). At some point, and it may be soon, we will wear that starry crown.

God is waiting until the fullness of time for His return. Why does He wait? What is He waiting for? He is waiting for as many people as possible to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9). He is waiting because he is full of mercy for those who do not yet believe.

While we are waiting for the return of Christ, how should we live? What manner of people should we be? “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” (2 Peter 3:11). We should be like the Philadelphians in Revelation, holding on to what little strength we have, holding fast to our faithfulness and endurance in light of the trials we are going through. And we should, “take advantage of every opportunity to do good to all people, to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of God! (Galatians 6:10).