November 27, 2016
What if Jesus returned today? We’ve heard that question hundreds of times. But what if it really happened? If we knew it was coming, what would we do differently? The apostles lived their lives as if Jesus was returning at any moment. If we truly live that way, we would probably do a lot of things differently. Are you ready? What would you do differently?
Most of us want to go to Heaven, but we want to also live life the way we want in the meantime. Why can’t we live life loving Jesus so much that we make the decision to live, honoring and glorifying Him over anything else. That’s certainly where I want to be.
If Jesus showed up today, are you living like you need to be living? Are we loving Christ, honoring Him and expecting His return? Do we act differently at work than we act at church on Sunday? At all times, we need to live in a way that pleases God. Of course, none of us is perfect. But anything is possible with God. The main thing is that we need to be constantly straining forward to know God more, serve Him better and live in a way that pleases Him.
Why can’t we let go of the things that keep us from pleasing God? It’s because we love those things more than we love Christ. There are things we all want to do in this world. Some things are great, and will bring us great joy and pleasure. But nothing can compare to what Christ has for us. My marriage is awesome and I love my wife. But if I had to choose between my wife and Jesus, I would choose Jesus, and she would do the same. What He has is greater. And He’s coming one day.
In the meantime, as believers, God has given us a new way of living, which others see, and which acknowledges evidence of God to others who don’t know Him yet. So there needs to be a sense of urgency in how we live. When I preach to a group of people, I am always realizing that this may be the last time I ever get to speak to this particular group of people. And I have to realize that my words and actions go into the hearts of some people who are seeking and following God.
Where will you be on the day Christ returns? What will you be doing? He will probably show up suddenly when we don’t expect it. A relationship with Christ is not just about getting into Heaven one day. Heaven is the result. But the main point of following Christ is the never-ceasing love relationship we enter into with Him that will last for eternity and which will end all pain and all hurt.
How can we begin to live like this? According to the Bible, God created you with a purpose. In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus told the story about different servants entrusted with their master’s money while he was away. The servant who just sat on the money, did nothing with it and kept it safe was punished. But the servants who took action and risk with their portion of the money to grow it, were rewarded. God wants us to take action and risk and do well with the time and resources He has given us. We have all been gifted in different areas of our lives. When Jesus returns again, don’t you want to be doing the things He has designed you to do?
How many of us encounter other people every day who need to know Christ, and yet we avoid them? Many Christians go to lots of conferences and learn scriptures but what do they do with it? We need to use the things God gives us to reach out to people who don’t know Him yet.
The apostles lived life with intensity because they were expecting the return of Christ at any moment. How often do you think about the return of Christ? How much are you distracted by other things? Be on your guard, stay alert and be clear-headed. Life is short. We need to quickly carry out the task of making Christ known to the world.
Many of us know Christ because someone before us shared the message of the Gospel with us. We need to be about the business of spreading it ourselves as if every day is our last. Maybe the life of someone standing next to you depends on it. When is your last day on earth? How will you make your life different starting next week?