When Christ Comesby Max Lucado
Thoughts of the Second Coming are unsettling. Open graves and occupied clouds. Sins revealed and evil unveiled. Yet, for Max Lucado, the coming of Christ will be "the beginning of the very best." In When Christ Comes, Lucado shares how Christians can live in hope, confident in His comfort and peaceful in our preparations for His return.
- Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.48(w) x 9.59(h) x 0.98(d)
Read an Excerpt
Satan, who tricked them [God's people], was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur with the beast and the false prophet. There they will be punished day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10
My theater career peaked when I was nine years old. I was a proud member of the Odessa Boys Choir, a collection of thirty West Texas pre-puberty kids whose primary task was to sing at ladies' lunch-eons and Lion's Club meetings. We always wore green blazers and black slacks and marched onto the risers singing, "Hey, Look Me Over." Lawrence Welk would have been proud. Our big break came during my second year in the choir. The local junior college drama department needed some youngsters to be the Munchkins in their production of The Wizard of Oz. Would we be interested? Interested was not the word. We were thrilled. So long Women's Wednesday Auxiliary. Hell-o-o-o-o-o, Broadway!
But our little Munchkin feet never touched the stage until the dress rehearsal. We rehearsed in a different time and place. We in the choir learned our part independently of the junior college cast. We never saw Dorothy. We never heard about the Scarecrow, and we certainly knew nothing about the Wizard. This was significant because I was unacquainted with the plot. You assumed that everyone knew the Yellow Brick Road story? Not me. As I was growing up, The Wizard of Oz was on television once a year, always on a Sunday night. The rest of my friends, the rest of the school-yea verily, the rest of the free world got to stay home and watch The Wizard of Oz. But did I? No, siree. Not me. No way. We had church on Sunday nights and I had to go listen to some dumb preacher....(Oops, sorry. Guess I tapped into some repressed childhood anger.)
Suffice it to say, I had heard of The Wizard of Oz but had never seen it. So I didn't know the story. On the day of the dress rehearsal, I was woefully misinformed. Since we'd practiced away from the cast, I thought we (the Odessa Boys Choir) were the cast. Oh, I'd heard the director speak of supporting characters, but I assumed that they were minor and we were major. The city of Odessa, Texas, in other words, was turning out en masse to see we Munchkins. And not just we Munchkins, but especially "me Munchkin."
You see, I'm trying to find a way to say this humbly (it is hard)-I was a special Munchkin. I was a part of the "Lullaby Guild." Some of you connoisseurs of fine movies remember there were two choruses within the larger chorus of Munchkins. There was the "Lollipop Guild" and the "Lullaby Guild." With great talent we, the other three Munchkins and myself, stepped forth at the appropriate time, presented the Kansas farm girl with a gift, and sang, "On behalf of the Lullaby Guild, we wish to welcome you to Munchkin Land."
Prior to dress rehearsal, our practice never went any further. Consequently, I knew of nothing more. I assumed that the play ended with my presentation of the gift. Many nights I fell asleep envisioning Dorothy swooning at my feet and the crowd calling for more of Max the Munchkin. Agents would call, Hollywood would beckon, Broadway would beg. My career would be launched.
Imagine, then, my chagrin when I learned the truth. Finally, we were on the real stage with the real cast. We sang our Lullaby Guild song, but rather than practice curtain calls, the director patted our heads and hurried us out of the way with, "Nice job, little Munchkins." I was stunned. "You mean there is more to the show than me?" There was, and I was about to see it.
Out of a puff of smoke came the cackle of a wicked witch. She ran from stage right to stage left, cape flying and wand waving. I went from hurt to horrified! Talk about stage fright. They didn't have to tell me to act afraid. Who said anything about a witch? ! I didn't know anything about a witch!
I would have, of course, if I had known the story.
By the way, we can make the same mistake in life that I made on stage. If we aren't acquainted with the end of the script, we can grow fearful in the play.
That's why it's wise to ponder the last act.
The presence of Satan is one reason some people fear the return of Christ. Understandably so. Terms such as "Armageddon," "lake of fire," and the "scarlet beast" are enough to unnerve the stoutest heart. And certainly those who do not know God have reason to be anxious. But those dressed in Christ? No. They need only read the manuscript's final reference to the devil. "Satan, who tricked them [God's people], was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur with the beast and the false prophet. There they will be punished day and night forever and ever" (Rev. 20:10).
God hasn't kept the ending a secret. He wants us to see the big picture. He wants us to know that he wins. And he also wants us to know that the evil we witness on the stage of life is not as mighty as we might think.
.Suppose you had been present during that dress rehearsal of The Wizard of Oz. Suppose you'd seen a wide-eyed, red-headed kid hiding from the witch. And suppose you felt sorry for him. What would you have done? How would you have made him feel better?
Simple, you would have told him the rest of the story. "Sure, Max, the witch stirs up some trouble. Yes, Dorothy and the guys have their problems. But in the end, the witch melts like wax and everyone gets home safely."
Isn't that what God has told us about Satan? Read again the words of John: "The Devil who deceived them [God's people] will be hurled into Lake Fire and Brimstone, joining the Beast and False Prophet, the three in torment around the clock for ages without end" (Rev. 20:10 MSG).
God has kept no secrets. He has told us that, while on this yellow brick road, we will experience trouble. Disease will afflict bodies. Divorce will break hearts. Death will make widows and devastation will destroy countries. We should not expect any less. But just because the devil shows up and cackles, we needn't panic. "In [this] world you will have tribulation," Jesus promises, "but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NKJV).
Our Master speaks of an accomplished deed. "I have overcome the world." It is finished. The battle is over. Be alert. But don't be alarmed. The witch has no power. The manuscript has been published. The book has been bound. Satan is loosed for a season, but the season is oh-so-brief. The devil knows this. "He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short" (Rev. 12:12 NIV). Just a few more scenes, just a few more turns in the road, and his end will come. And we Munchkins will be there to see it.
Meet the Author
More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Ive always been a little uneasy when talking about the second coming. i was more afraid of the "not knowing what to expect." after reading this book, it completely changed my mindset on everything. Now, rather than being afraid of whats to come, im excited! i cannot wait to hear Jesus call me home! this book changed everything for me and i will always recommend it to anybody and everybody.
I found this book to be very motivating in steering me back towards the right path, the path towards Heaven. This book is great in answering some general questions that I had that haven't been addressed in the typical Sunday morning sermons. Many pastors unfortunately avoid speaking of the upcoming rapture, and I feel it's imperative that we be as prepared as possible.
I am a big fan of Max Lucado's books. He does not preach , telling people what they should believe, but guides the reader through creative use of Biblical accounts and quotes and his own personal experiences. Reading his books is like sitting down for a chat with a friend. his writing style is easy to pick up and put down- great for the person who has limited time to read. I read mostly before bed, the time of day when I need to relax to sleep and the demands of the day are over. His books provide the comforting words to relax and the positive support needed to face the challenges of the days ahead. I have shared many of his books with friends and co-workers and all have agreed with my view. I consider this part of my "Max" library and have even hi-lited specific quotes and "food for thought" parts that I can re-read when I feel the need. I highly recommend not only this book, but any book written by this author.