Note: this is an excerpt from the book It Must Be Finished.
In any good story, the great climax comes near the end. The story of redemption is the same.We need to recover a sense of anticipation, expectation, and awe at the way the story of redemption ends because this the way the apostles preached the gospel. The return of Jesus was the foundation of their hopeand their motivation towards holy living.
Many of us cannot conceive of God doing something on the scale of the flood or the Exodus in our generation, but the Bible teaches all these events were prototypes of the end of the age. The flood was not the climax of history. The Exodus was not the climax of history. Something far greater is coming.
The prophet Jeremiah predicted the events surrounding Jesus’ return are so dramatic we will forget the Exodus:
“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’” (16:14 ESV)
“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’” (23:7 ESV)
The most dramatic events in history are not past. The Bible predicts they will happen in the future. For example, the apostle Paul told us we have been given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee we will receive the fulfillment of promises God has made:
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV)
Paul compared the gift of the Holy Spirit to an engagement ring—an extremely valuable expression of commitment. God has given us the Holy Spirit as a statement Jesus will return and do everything the Bible promised He would.
In the book of Revelation, John described the return of Jesus and what follows as a wedding celebration:
“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready. . . .” And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7, 9 ESV)
A wedding, and the preparation that accompanies it, is one of the best analogies for how we should approach the subject of Jesus’ return. The cross was the moment Jesus secured all God’s promises. However, the fulfillment of all God has promised has not come. To use the wedding analogy, biblically, the cross is not the wedding; it is the engagement.
Biblically, we are called to live like an engaged woman anticipating her wedding day.We tend to think of the day we were saved as the great event in our lives, but that is simply not true. The day we were saved God began His work in us to prepare us for the great day when Jesus returns to fulfill all that the Father has promised.
If you speak to an engaged woman about any topic, she quickly shifts the conversation to her wedding because she is focused on that day and that event. It dominates her thinking, drives her decisions, and stirs her emotions. Everything in her life is directed towards the wedding because that is the day she receives the fulfillment of the promise.
A Christian who is not interested in the return of Jesus is like a bride not interested in her wedding day; it is abnormal.Sadly, many Christians do not think often about Jesus’ return because the subject has been neglected or taught in an unbiblical or unbalanced way. However, when we study what the Bible says about Jesus’ return, it creates deep desire for Jesus and provokes us to engage God’s mission to prepare the earth for the return of His Son.
 See Acts 1:11; Acts 28:20; Romans 8:18–25; 1 Corinthians 15:19; Galatians 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 10:37; 1 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 3:4–14; 1 John 3:2–3.
 See 2 Peter 3:11–14, 1 Timothy 6:14–16; 2 Timothy 1:12.