OUR STANCE IN THE LIGHT OF JESUS’ COMING
Today, our Christian libraries are full of books and articles that address the second coming of Jesus. There is an acute feeling among many that the coming of Jesus is at hand. Some are convinced he could come today or tomorrow. Others plot out a thoughtful timeline that puts it within our lifetime.
Some of these narratives guide us through things like – 50 final events in world history, the full timeline of events leading to Jesus’ return; the significance of Israel in prophecy – just to mention a few.
Jesus spelled out numerous “signs” that would converge rapidly throughout the world that would flag all alert and biblically aware believers to the nearness of his coming. (See Matthew 24) But the fact is, no man knows the day nor the hour when Christ will come. Jesus said, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.” (Acts 1:7 NLT)
The driving question for all of us ought to be, “So how should we then live?” What should our stance be in the light of Jesus’ coming? How should the reality of his return impact the way we live today? Four things are paramount.
1. Stay close to Jesus. (Psalm 63:6-8) In the days leading up to the ascension, Jesus told his followers not to worry. He was going to prepare a place for them so that one day, they could come to live with him forever. (John 14:1-6) In the meantime, he promised them he would not leave them as orphans but would send the Holy Spirit to dwell in them to stabilize and comfort them and to guide them into all truth. (John 14:18) It’s essential we stay close to Jesus.
2. Avoid the temptation to overly speculate. There are many areas in the book of Revelation where God chose not to be dogmatic. He rather gives clues, and hints, and other concealed word choices. Where God is not dogmatic, nor can we be. The simple reality is – had God wanted us to know more he would have told us more.
3. Live as if Jesus was coming today. (James 4:13-15) “…Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:13-15) An old hymn says, “Faithful I’ll be today. I’ll live for today, nor anxious be, Jesus my Lord, I soon shall see. Glad day! Glad day! Is it the crowning day?”
4. Continue to live out your mission. (John 9:4) The heart of God is to save, to restore, and to redeem. He’s not willing that any should perish. (II Peter 3:9) God has put us here to be lights in the darkness. We have a job to do. “Therefore, my dear brothers (and sisters), stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (I Corinthians 15:58)
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love