Were you keeping an eye on the sky recently as a satellite fell out of its orbit and re-entered the earth's atmosphere?
It would have been hard not to have known about it with all the news coverage given to this event in the days preceding its occurrence. The media warned us of the potential danger if some of these larger pieces of metal failed to burn up and actually hit our planet somewhere over a land mass. It was estimated that some 27 chunks of that satellite in various sizes might survive re-entry.
The countdown to impact was one of the top stories on many newscasts, although they couldn't pinpoint the time or even the day with much degree of accuracy. In spite of all our technology it seems that the scientists couldn't even figure out what area of earth would be the target of this potential missile from outer space.
Due to the overwhelming odds against any of that space debris hitting one particular human being, we were encouraged not to be concerned. I'm not sure what you could do anyway to avoid a ton of metal raining down on you at a high rate of speed. I'm not even sure that hiding in a basement would protect you.
I saw one woman interviewed who had been struck by a small piece of a satellite years ago. Her only advice was to look up, and if you see something coming -- run. I'm afraid that by then, it might have been too late.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is going to re-enter this world one day. Although we know it's going to happen, we don't know when. We have some signs to look for as an indication that this event is drawing near, but none of us can pinpoint the exact date or time, regardless of what some well-meaning people have predicted over the years.
Jesus clearly declared that only His Father knows the day and the hour of His return.
Jesus stated that His first visit to this earth was not for the purpose of bringing condemnation or judgment, but in order to bring salvation (John 3:17).
However, His re-entry will be a different story. There may be varying interpretations regarding the timeline of those events, but basically Jesus will be returning to gather His followers home and bring judgment on those who have rejected Him.
By the time we see Him and realize what's happening, it will be too late for any change in course. For those who aren't trusting Him as Savior, there will be no place to run and hide from the consequences of their sin and guilt.
The wise advice the Bible gives us in light of Christ's coming is to watch and be ready. Such spiritual preparedness centers around an attitude of repentance and faith -- an admission of our need, a commitment to turn away from anything in our life that isn't in keeping with God's will, and the placing of our trust in Jesus as the only One who can save us from sin.
If we're ready, the return of Jesus isn't something to be feared or dreaded, but rather an event to look forward to with a spirit of calm assurance. Jesus encouraged His followers to keep their eyes upon the sky as they saw the signs indicating that His coming was getting closer.
He said, "Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).
Apparently, that satellite fizzled out somewhere over the ocean and quickly faded from the headlines. But Jesus' re-entry is a certainty that could have a huge impact on each one of us for eternity.
Don't ignore His imminent return. Let's make sure that we're ready.
The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at RevTElder@aol.com.