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Come, Lord Jesus…

Yesterday, most of the country moved their clocks back one hour so we can take advantage of the early morning light, primarily for school children. That way, it will be safer for them but this change results in darkness coming an hour earlier across the land. In the spring, we once again enter Daylight Savings time, saving energy and getting an additional hour of daylight when the kids are out of school.

Most people don’t realize that the time changes occur at 2:00 a.m. in the fall and spring. But do you know why? It’s because it’s the time of the day that the fewest trains depart. In fact, in New York, no trains leave at 2:00 a.m. Tradition has stuck with the practice all these years.

So that means, in the fall, when we hit 3:00 a.m., we turn back to 2:00 a.m. and actually live that hour a second time. And in the spring, when we leap ahead, we actually instantly go from 2:00 to 3:00 a.m. and don’t live that hour at all, at least according to our timepieces.

Yesterday, our youngest grandson, Drew, and I changed all the smoke detector batteries in our home – all fourteen of them! After that job was finished, we also changed the batteries in the carbon monoxide detectors and then went around the house setting the clocks in preparation for the coming time change.

I always use these types of events to teach Drew, who is often very literal in his understanding of how things work. Since he was the one who helped me change out all the smoke detectors  two years ago, he was looking forward to the battery project.

I kept thinking about how odd it was that we changed things resulting in an abrupt difference in time – either we never lived a specific hour or we lived it twice, depending on what time of year it was. When I was a youngster, I used to try and stay up to witness the exact moment that things changed! Now, not so much… I just wake up in the morning and the new time is displayed on most of our clocks.

In the Bible, we are told that when Jesus returns, it will happen in the twinkling of an eye – a moment in time – and it will be visible across the world. Get that? In an instant! You have probably heard of the Rapture as well. One moment, we will be here – and the next, well we will be caught up in the air with Christ and will be on our way to heaven. We are even told that nobody knows the exact time that this will occur. Only God the Father…

Now this is where there has been some mis-translation with the Biblical text. Some versions of the Scripture tell us the Jesus will return “soon.” Other versions use the more correct word, “quickly.” It is thought that these two words are interchangeable but they really aren’t.

The idea of “soon” means in the near future and refers to a coming event. But the meaning of “quickly” tends to refer to the speed of the timeline once the event starts to occur. In other words, Jesus coming quickly means that when the time comes, it will be in the blink of an eye, not so unlike our time changes when we lose an hour of sleep each spring. In an instant, in a flash, it is gone… just like some of the verses of Scripture that we read about concerning the Rapture and the eventual return of Christ.

Many older versions of the Bible, more literally translated from the Greek, use “quickly” as opposed to “soon.” The King James is a great example of this. However, our NIV version changes the word to “soon.” I guess it is up to each believer to choose the text that they think the original authors wanted us to use.

Tonight’s verse, from the book of Revelation, written by the apostle John, gives us the actual words of Jesus Himself. He tells us, in Revelation 22:20, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (KJV) In fact, this is the last verse in the entire Bible.

My encouragement this evening is while we don’t know the day or the time of the return of Jesus, the Father knows and we must remain alert and diligent according the the writings of John, the apostle Paul and other New Testament authors. My prayer is that Jesus will return quickly when it happens – which is a promise of God and that maybe, just maybe, His return will be soon as well! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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