You’re living during the time of the Lord Jesus….Imagine yourself back in that time, allow yourself to go there.
You’re standing in the crowd along with his disciples. The Lord Jesus declares,
“I tell you the truth. Some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom,” (Matthew 16:28) cp (Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27)
You think to yourself, “I may be alive to see the coming of the Lord Jesus and his kingdom!”
You and I are sitting with the disciples when they ask the Lord Jesus when the temple will be destroyed? What is the sign of his coming at the end of the age? The Lord Jesus proceeds to explain the events to take place, then proclaims,
“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Matthew 24:34) cp (Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32)
I’m thinking, “Jesus just said all of these events are going to happen during this living generation that I’m a part of.”
If we had a looking glass to see the future at that moment, we would then see that….indeed, less than 40 years later, a generation, the temple was destroyed, and the Lord Jesus executed his judgment on Israel in 70 AD, the end of the Old Covenant age.
Back to the our trip back to the time of Jesus….You’re listening to the High Priest, with the Chief Priest and Sanhedrin, accuse the Lord Jesus of all sorts of accusations.
The Lord Jesus responds that he is the Christ and that
“in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.” (Matthew 26:64) cp (Mark 14:62)
You’re thinking “The Lord Jesus just told the priests that some of them would witness the judgment and coming of Christ on the land of Israel.”
You then witness the Lord Jesus being put to death. His words of his coming judgment echo in your mind. You begin to think about how some will be alive in that generation, along with what Jesus said about how some of the priests would see the coming of the Lord Jesus, his judgment on Israel, destruction of the temple, and the end of the old covenant age. You think to yourself “Will I be one of them?”
Imagine now that you are a member of the churches Paul addresses in his letters and visits and that you are witness to some of the other goings-on of the time:
He speaks to the church of Corinth.
“As you eagerly await for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” (1Corinthians 1:7)
“that the time is short” (1 Corinthians 7:29)
Paul tells the Phillipian church
“…and we eagerly await a saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Phillipians 3:20)
Paul tells the Thessalonian church
“to wait for his son from Heaven, Jesus who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
“we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord…” (1 Thessalonians 4:15)
Paul tells Timothy:
“I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:14)
Paul writes to Titus
“while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and the Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
The author of Hebrews states:
“But in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son (Jesus)…” (Hebrews 1:2)
“But let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
James warns his brothers to be patient and stand firm because the Lord’s coming is near:
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.[a] Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
“The end of all things is near.” (1 Peter 4:7)
“You ought to live Holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of the Lord and speed it’s coming.” (2nd Peter 3:11)
“Dear children, this is the last hour…” (1 John 2:18)
“Continue in him (Jesus) so that when he appears, we may be confident and unashamed before Him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28)
“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life.” (Jude 21)
This is just a sampling of writings by the New Testament authors telling their audiences, members of the church, that they were to await the Lord’s coming, for it was near.
Now imagine we are sitting in one of the churches in the book of Revelation. We receive John’s letter of warming and encouragement.
“The revelation of Jesus Christ…must soon take place.” (Revelation 1:1)
“The time is near” (Revelation 1:3)
“I am coming soon” (Revelation 3:11)
“Things must soon take place” (Revelation 22:6, 7, 12)
“The time is near” (Revelation 22:10)
Those alive in the early church times within that generation in which the Lord Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, were to see the coming of the Lord. They did see it in 70AD, along with the destruction of the temple, the destruction of the nation of Israel and the end of the old covenant age.
“Yes I am coming soon” proclaimed Jesus to those early churches. “Amen come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20)