Ministry Resources

60 Seconds – His Appearing

Author: Dave Arnold

When former President Eisenhower was vacationing in Denver, he was told about a six- year-old boy named Paul Haley who was dying of incurable cancer. Paul had expressed one dream – to some day personally meet the President of the United States. Hearing of this, Eisenhower told one of his aids, “Let’s go see him.”

They drove to the Haley’s house on a Sunday morning. A big limousine rolled up outside the home, and out stepped the President. Eisenhower walked up to the door and knocked. Paul’s father, Donald, answered the door, wearing blue jeans, an old shirt, and a day’s growth of beard. Behind him was his little son, Paul. “Can I help you?” the dad asked. Eisenhower responded, “Is Paul here? Tell him the President of the United States would like to meet him.” (Imagine their astonishment!)

The President knelt down, hugged Paul, and took him out to the presidential limousine. Before they said goodbye, they shook hands, then just as suddenly as he arrived, the President left. The neighbors talked about this day for years. However, one man was not entirely happy, and that was Paul’s dad: He expressed, “I’ll never forget standing in those old jeans, a dirty shirt, and a grubby beard to meet the president. If I had only known he was coming!”

In 2 Timothy 4, Paul gave Timothy various charges, based on “the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” (v.1). The word for “appearing” is epiphaneia, and was used in two special ways. First, it was used for the manifest intervention of some god. Second, it was especially used in connection with the Roman Emperor. His accession to the throne was his epiphaneia. In particular – which is the background of Paul’s thought here – it was used of his visit to any city. When the Emperor was due to visit any township, everything was put in perfect order. The city was cleaned thoroughly, so that they would be ready for epiphaneia. Paul was saying to Timothy, “You know what happens when any town is expecting epiphaneia of the Emperor. You are expecting the epiphaneia of Jesus Christ. Do your work in such a way that all things will be ready whenever He appears.”

“The hour of that event is known to God, and to God alone. It is, therefore, clear that speculation regarding the time of the Second Coming is nothing less than blasphemy, for the man who so speculates is seeking to wrest from God secrets which belong to God alone. It is not any man’s duty to speculate. It is his duty to prepare himself, and to watch” (William Barclay).
Matthew 24:44, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

Take just 60 seconds, and have something to think about all day! Stimulating articles written by Dave Arnold.

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