Someone pops up often predicting that Jesus’ second coming will be on this or that day. Last year, with the fourth blood moon in a row coinciding with Biblical festivals, many said it was time. Jesus is coming. But the days came and went and we’re still here.
But this made me think of another question. Am I really looking forward to Jesus’ return? As the Bible says: We must look forward eagerly to the day that Jesus will come again. I wonder if I’m not holding on too tightly to life as I know it. I suspect I would like Jesus to delay his second coming a bit.
These thoughts make me feel rather uncomfortable.
Paul doesn’t really help with these thoughts. No, he actually ticks me off: 21Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.
For Paul it doesn’t matter. If he lives, he can do so much more for God. He can write letters to the congregations. He can travel and bring the message of salvation to countries that have never heard of God. Many, many people can be saved from hell.
But if his head has to be carried on a tray around the palace halls, it’s also fine, because he is looking forward so much to meeting his Father and the One who had died on the cross for him.
I realize that Paul has succeeded in not focusing on himself. Others matter more to him. It’s all about people who are lost and it’s all about his Creator. He has given himself over to God completely.
And I realize I still need to do a lot of work.
At university I was very much in love with my girlfriend. She had already started a job when we started looking at rings. And then she died in a car accident on Sir Lowry’s Pass. At her funeral her favourite verses were read out: 22As long as I’m alive in this body, there is good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I hardly know which I’d choose. Hard choice! 23The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better. 24But most days, because of what you are going through, I am sure that it’s better for me to stick it out here.
On earth, she definitely lived that first part. Look, she turned the community in which she had lived and worked, on its head for the Lord. She couldn’t not do it. Everywhere she went her words and way of life showed Jesus to others. Yes, like Paul, she lived for Christ.
And while living like that, she was also looking forward eagerly to the day she could meet her Saviour. It didn’t matter to her. An example for all of us.
You and I must make sure that we live our lives the right way. We have to get our priorities right. No, even more. We must get our relationships right while on earth and use every moment to live Jesus’ Name. At the same time we must look forward to Jesus’ return. It shouldn’t matter which.
Are you afraid of the end?
Are you clinging to life?
Do you live Jesus?
Lord, I often wonder when You will come again and sometimes I feel uncomfortable because I don’t know. Please help me, Lord, to be calm about this. Please help me to work now as if You will be coming tomorrow and to look forward to it. Amen