“Come Lord Jesus”?

As we continue the series on Confused Christian Clichés, “Come Lord Jesus” is a little different from the previous. The last two phrases we looked at aren’t supported biblically, but this one is (it’s found in Revelation 22:20). But, before we unpack this phrase we need to think of how we are using it when we say it.

If or when we say this phrase, are we referring to the past, the present, or the future? I don’t think anyone says this in a past tense, considering Jesus already came and that’s why we know His name. This leaves for most of us the present or future tense. Personally I have heard many songs in my life that contain this phrase (or a modified version) and I have always understood it as a present tense, much like how we discussed the Holy Spirit in the last post.

I think there can be some twisted thinking if we are thinking about the present and saying “Come Lord Jesus.” Jesus told us it was for our benefit for Him to leave, in order that the Holy Spirit to come. For this reason, we must again understand that we are not in a place of waiting on Jesus to show up, but He is waiting on us to follow Him.

You may have heard this popular worship song: “All who are thirsty, all who are weak, just come to the fountain, dip your heart in the stream of life. Let the pain and the sorrow, be washed away, in the waves of His mercy, as deep cries out to deep, we sing, come Lord Jesus come.” What I find slightly ironic is that in this song it seems more fitting to sing “Come people come.” While it might not sound as spiritual, it seems more biblical and appropriate to the words in this context.

As I mentioned earlier, this phrase is used in the New Testament, and it is used in the future tense with expectation of Jesus’ second coming. While there is nothing inherently wrong with saying this phrase in this way, we need to consider the impact of what we are saying. I think we need to hold the tension between hoping and praying for the Kingdom to be fully revealed, while at the same time being motivated to tell others the Good News now. I am not advocating for street preaching or passing out tracts as much as I am encouraging other followers of Jesus to act on the truth that He has already come.

The Good News is much better than we can go to heaven and float on some clouds all day. The Good News is Jesus is making all things new and that even in the worst times we can be truly blessed! The Good News is that He inaugurated His upside down and awesome Kingdom and He wants us to be citizens of it, as well as coworkers with Him bringing it. In this Kingdom we have been given a mission, one where we are called to live the life of love that He showed us first how to live. This is the life of following that is the call of Jesus, not to just believe some doctrine. May in the awesome beauty and fullness of the Good News of the Kingdom of God we open our ears and listen to Jesus calling us to "come".
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