The Glory To Come
 
By Rich Carmicheal

    Although there are a variety of views among Christians regarding the timing and events associated with the Lordís return, there is mutual agreement on the most important truth: Jesus IS coming again! His Word stresses over and over the certainty of His return, and culminates in His wonderful promise, "Yes, I am coming quickly" (Rev. 22:20).

    That truth is obviously of utmost consequence and demands our fullest attention. How blessed is this ministry to be called of the Lord to "herald" His Coming in order to help readers prepare more fully for that Day. To that end, the Herald staff is blessed to share this issue with you that focuses on the Second Coming of Christ. We hope the articles encourage, inspire and challenge you to greater alertness and readiness for the things soon to come.

    Three of the articles focus especially upon Israel. We are including these for two reasons. First of all, we believe that Israel is a key piece in Godís prophetic time clock. Although many Jews do not yet see Jesus as the Messiah, the fact that the nation of Israel is reborn and many Jews are regathered, is a vital sign that our redemption is drawing near (see Luke 21:24-32). We should be wide awake!

    Secondly, we believe that the Lord would have believers do all that we can to bless His purposes and plans for the Jewish people. Tragically, there is much anti-Semitism in the world, including within the church. The Jewish people are, however, beloved of God (Rom.11:28), and He desires that we bless them, pray for them, and work toward their salvation. We should embrace the same longing as the Apostle Paulís: "Brethren, my heartís desire and my prayer to God for [Israel] is for their salvation" (Rom. 10:1). How we should long that they will be shown mercy through the mercy shown to us! (Rom. 11:31).

    Among the other articles is an encouraging and comforting one entitled "The Heavenly Rest!" This message provides a wonderful reminder that no matter how hard life may be, no matter how great the trials or how hard the labor, we have the blessed hope of the glory of the life to come. If you feel pressed to your limit (or beyond), we hope this message encourages you to persevere in the Lord, remaining faithful to Him and His calling for your life. Keep in mind that your "momentary, light affliction is producing...an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" (2 Cor. 4:17).

    This does not mean, of course, that "momentary, light affliction" is not difficult. In fact, it can seem crushing at times. But it does mean that as we walk with the Lord through affliction, as we turn from self and learn to trust more fully in Him, the affliction will work in us eternal glory that is "far beyond all comparison." Thus, the Apostle Paul could write, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:7-8).

    So press on! Fight the good fight; finish the course; keep the faith! The Day is coming when Christ "will appear a second time for salvationÖto those who eagerly await Him" (Heb. 9:28). And "we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4:17).

    And keep in mind that part of your joy then will be as a result of your ministry to others now. As Paul writes, "For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy" (1 Thes. 2:19-20). No matter how great the challenges, remain faithful to the work the Lord has entrusted to you, "knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).