One of the passages I’ve been mulling over recently is 1 Peter 1:3-13. It focuses very much on how we need to have faith in the second coming of Christ and the completion of our salvation when he arrives (including our being given resurrected bodies).
I am struck by how much this was a standard part of the gospel message in the early New Testament days. These days, we emphasize that saving faith is faith in Christ’s death for our sins, and in our going to heaven when we die. In those days, there was almost as much emphasis on faith in Christ’s resurrection, in his promise to come back to earth again, and in our being resurrected with him when that happens. The return of Christ was an essential part of the gospel message. Part of what it meant to be a Christian was to “wait for His son from heaven” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
I also notice how much time Christians spend these days praying for and longing for God to show the world that he’s real through revival or supernatural signs or something like that. I think it’s fine for us to want that, but we need to keep focused on the future. “Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13). The point isn’t whether God reveals himself now, it’s that he is about to reveal himself when he steps back into history as judge and king, and sets the world right.