Getting Back To The Return of Christ
“Get back to where you once belonged…”, the line from The Beatles’ song Get Back, reflects an intriguing paradox. While the album containing the single was supposed to be a return to the Beatles in their simplest and purest form, it ironically became one of their most highly produced albums. Something polluted the Beatles intention along the way.
Going back to a point in our lives that we would like to change is not possible. God, however, is able to remake the low points of our past as if all we ever did were pleasing to Him. Returning to God through Christ makes this possible when our hearts become united back to the heavenly Father. Ishmael repented and he was pronounced righteous because of his return. Our being made the righteousness of God through Christ means transformation of all our past into reasons to give glory, honor, and praise to Jesus, and to complete what God has for us to accomplish in His divine plan. Our role is to demonstrate the power of the cross and resurrection for the transformation of all things for the glory of God in preparation for Christ’s return from heaven.
We may hope to get back to some point in the past to experience something pure or maybe to revive a lost innocence, only to discover that the past as we remember it no longer exists in the way we had hoped.
While we may be sincere in trying to re-kindle something we had long ago that we wished we still had today, we should not seek to go back to the past but instead view it with a new perspective. God grants a new heart and a new spirit that completely transforms our past through the ultimate return to God through Jesus Christ. Being intimately joined to the heart of God the Father through Jesus the Son is the only way for the transformation to occur. His purifying power unites us to Himself and remakes our past, present, and future into what pleases God.
I recently read about the Jewish belief in the repentance of Abraham’s son, Ishmael. The text of Genesis 25 describes Isaac and Ishmael together burying their father. Since Isaac is mentioned first, Jewish scholars believe Ishmael “repented and let Isaac go before him” (Rashi’s commentary). This outlook began to change my perspective on Ishmael.
Abraham had earlier pronounced his blessing. Through repentance, Ishmael could experience the blessings God had always intended. The Scripture goes on to say that Ishmael expired, a description used only in reference to the righteous. God has a blessing for you and me that He had planned from all eternity. Our blessing of righteousness comes through the victory of Christ. He has conquered the past, the present, and the future. We just need to see the past as part of our conquering King’s present victory in our lives.
Ishmael was made righteous through his return and his account was recorded for his role in God’s plan. The years of his life were described in Scripture in order to trace the years of Jacob. The years of our lives are ascribed to bring glory, honor, and power to Jesus Christ, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. We have a glorious privilege. By returning our hearts to God, Jesus counts every moment of our lives toward hastening His return in the clouds of glory.
Getting back to Christ’s return means accepting the role God has ordained for our past in order for us to know His resurrection power in all of life, birthing the hope of righteousness for anyone who will hear the voice of Jesus and respond in simple faith. This is the hope for the transformation of all things in Christ and by His power alone. God wants us to reconcile our past with Himself, so we can complete with confidence the role He has given us in His divine plan. His divine power provides us an inheritance in which He, in absolute authority, has perfectly accounted for the good, bad, and ugly of our past for the transformation of it into pure gold to bring glory, honor, and praise to Jesus the Messiah upon His return.
With blind eyes opened to the truth of the well message of Jesus and His appearing from heaven without reference to sin, we are empowered to hope completely in the grace to be brought to us at His return and to live that hope to influence others to also experience Christ’s reign in life.
We need to see from a new heavenly perspective to be able to communicate to others what the return of Christ entails. We can only do that through God raising us up out of our sin and changing our past displeasing actions into life producing events, which otherwise must lead to death, the last of God’s enemies to be cast into the Lake of Fire.
John was shown the revelation of Christ because God gave it to Jesus to show His servants what of necessity must come to pass very quickly and thereby sent an angel to the apostle. God shows our past for what it really is, the environment in which God speaks His resurrection life, so we can fully enter into the work He has for us as His true servants.
Our future with Christ and our role now in His plan are intricately entwined with the goal of His reign in heaven and on earth. In returning to Christ, we not only rise from the ashes, but God brings together the dry lifeless bones of our past and breathes His life into them so we can stand before Him whole and unashamed, full of joy and hope that all who will come to Christ will experience His same resurrection power in life.
God exchanges our dirty garments for spotless white clothes. He has made the perfect way for us to become humble witnesses to His grace and power and to shine as His lights in the heavens and upon the earth to prepare the world for His return.