When the New Testament speaks of a Second Coming of Christ in the future, what it is doing is to apply this theme of judgment and love not just to the lives of some people but to the world as a whole.

At some time in the future, it suggests, things are going to get worse and worse — or so it will seem; and this is all part of God’s judgment on man.

But when things appear to have reached rock bottom —Christ will come. He will come, the Creeds say, to judge; but the Christ Who will judge — and Who does judge — is also the Christ Who loved us and gave Himself for us.

And although, being human, we shall inevitably ask the question, ‘When will these things be?’ — ‘Lord, how long?’ —yet we know that to this question there can be no answer except in terms of our own readiness to receive the coming of Christ.

Watch therefore.