My parents came to Christ in 1980, which means I spent approximately half my childhood and initial teen years in a decade in which the tribe of Christianity we identified with at the time focused incessantly on the “end times.” There were ridiculous rapture predictions (I vividly remember my aunt reading aloud to my mom the book “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988” while we were at the swimming the pool that same summer), and there always was some preacher holding the congregation in rapt attention with his “newspaper eschatology” (does anybody remember them saying that the Soviet Union was “Gog, of the land of Magog,” from Ezekiel 38, like I do?). Those memories still elicit a strong, “Oy vey!” from my soul. I think that’s why many evangelical gen-Xers who grew up amidst this hysteria have absolutely no interest in conferences and books that continue this trend of reading Revelation in one hand and the New York Times in the other.
Yet, we have to be careful. It’s easy to “throw out the baby with the bathwater,” and fall into a doctrinal amnesia that fails to remember that the Lord Jesus Christ’s return is supposed to be a means of sanctification in our lives (Titus 2.11-14; 2 Peter 3.11-12; Jude 21). To recover this precious doctrine, pastors must first and foremost proclaim once again from their pulpits, “The King is coming! Let us prepare to receive Him with holy lives and eager hearts!” followed by robust teaching that explains from the biblical text the evidence for Christ’s return while simultaneously exhorting their people to spurn the men and ministries who make money from scintillating predictions (cf. Matthew 24.36ff.).
Second, I think we need to begin singing about Jesus’ return again. Yes, God revives old, forgotten doctrines primarily through expositional preaching. But second to this — and flowing from it, God revives His truth among His people through music that carries “holy words long preserved for our walk in this world.” I think this is why the greatest Reformer of the sixteenth century, Martin Luther, said, “Next after theology I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.”
I think a new song, Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come) — recently released by Chris Tomlin — has the potential to catalyze a new generation in imploring their Messiah to tear open the skies through His second advent. As you listen below to a goose-bumps inducing rendition by producer/songwriter Tommee Profitt and (the up-and-coming) Brooke Griffith, may your heart be recaptured by the majestic anticipation of our Sovereign Savior coming back for His bride, the Church. No matter your eschatological stripe or conviction, this song ought to make every Christian respond to Jesus’ last recorded words in sacred Scripture, “Surely I am coming soon,” as John did: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20 ESV)