For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)
The things that we hold near and dear will not last. What we take comfort in will disappear one day. We would love to hold onto them, but we won’t be able to. The world and everything in it will be destroyed at the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
For many, the thought of Jesus' return invokes fear and trepidation and for good reason. We are sinners, this is true, and for our sin against God and His holy Word we deserve God's punishment. You know you have not done what is right by God, namely, you have not kept his commandments. You have focused on yourself and sought comfort in what the world offers, turning a deaf ear to God's Word. How can the return of Christ in judgment not produce great fear in each of you? Conversely, some of you really don't care much about Christ's return for a couple of reasons. One, to think about it would sadden you and you would rather not walk around feeling that way. Two, you have your religion, which you treat as merely an insurance policy for the hereafter.
We all desire to be right with God, but how? How can we meet that Second Coming in the complete joy of the Lord? The Formula of Concord, one of our confessional writings, says, “Accordingly, we believe, teach, and confess that our righteousness before God is (this very thing], that God forgives us our sins out of pure grace, without any work, merit, or worthiness of ours preceding, present, or following, that He presents and imputes to us the righteousness of Christ’s obedience, on account of which righteousness we are received into grace by God, and regarded as righteous.”
Each and every Sunday, as you gather around the precious Word of God and our Lord's holy sacraments, the one called by God is there dispensing these very gifts of God to each of you. Your pastor serves you the very thing you need, namely, Christ's forgiveness, to prepare you for our Lord's second coming or your death, whichever comes first.
So rejoice dear Christian, our Lord is coming again. More importantly, He comes to you each and every Sunday in Word and Sacrament, assuring you that your sins are forgiven by His sacrificial death and His most glorious resurrection!
When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found, Clothed in His righteousness alone, Redeemed to stand before His throne! On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. (LSB 575:4)