I believe that Jesus Christ will come back to Earth some day. I believe that He will visibly return with the saints and angels, annihilate the forces of evil, and eventually usher in the eternal state, with everlasting judgment for those who were slaves to their own selfish desires, but eternal reward and fellowship with God for those who repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ for salvation.
This belief should not encourage Christians to be passive, but to act boldly. It is true that we are commanded to “eagerly wait” for Christ’s second coming, but while we wait we are to make use of the spiritual gifts that God has given us:
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed (I Corinthians 1:7 NIV).
If God has given us gifts, then He no doubt wants us to use these gifts. A gift from God is no good if it is not eagerly developed. For instance, God has gifted some athletes with an ability to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds, but they cannot achieve this goal if they do not practice, regardless of how much natural talent they have. The same thing goes with singing, art, poetry, etc. All of God’s gifts, secular or spiritual, must be developed by hard work and devotion. Thus as we wait for Jesus to come back we must work hard to develop our spiritual gifts. This is done by praying, reading the Bible, doing acts of hospitality and learning to love God as we love each other more. Here is a small list of a few of the spiritual gifts that God has given to some of us:
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully (Romans 12:6-8).
Some of the gifts above do not seem to be very important. But we don’t get to choose which gifts we have, rather we must humbly accept and embrace the gifts that God has given to us. All of these gifts above must be practiced in order for them to bear fruit. For instance, God may have put you in a position to encourage others, but if you do not actually do it then your gift of encouragement is wasted. Or you might have a wonderful opportunity to show mercy if someone has recently hurt you, but you might be bitter and refuse to exercise this gift as well. It should go without saying that all God’s gifts require use in order to be used! So as you wait for Jesus to come back, don’t just sit by passively, but develop your gifts.
I want to make one final note on waiting for “our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” I believe that Paul is talking primarily about the day when Jesus will come back and be gloriously revealed to the whole Earth in the sky over Jerusalem. However, there is another aspect to Christ’s revelation as well: He is daily being revealed in everyone of us who are following God and are being transformed to be like Him. Making use of these spiritual gifts will reveal Jesus Christ in us to others, and may result in them becoming believers as well.