Are You Waiting For Jesus...
...or just passing time?

By Jon W. Quinn
 
 
 There are many different attitudes concerning the second coming of Jesus. Many people today do not expect it at all. They believe that there will never be a time when history ends and eternity begins. There will never be a time when the voice of the archangel will herald the approach of Jesus to this world which was His home for 33 years. They dismiss the end of the old heavens and earth and the resurrection and the judgment to follow. But this is nothing new. The Bible says "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?" (2 Peter 3:3,4). Not only does this passage tell what the mockers will say, but also tells us why. They "follow after their own lusts", that is, they are so interested in preserving their lifestyles of rebellion against Godís moral teachings found in His word that they will mock any idea that challenges such behavior, no matter how noble the idea.

Then there is another group which anticipates the return of God's Son. They are so living their lives that should His coming occur this very instant they are ready. The Bible encourages us all to be in this group. "Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God...therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace, spotless and blameless..." (2 Peter 3:11-14).

They would not allow their lives to be wasted away by days of neglect!

Then there is a final group. They do not belong in the first group because they do believe that He is coming again. But neither do they belong in the second group because they really do not believe it could be today. They may be religious and somewhat good folks, relatively speaking, but the kingdom of Jesus Christ and His righteousness are not a real priority in their lives. Their discipleship, such as it is, could not be called "diligent" and neither do the terms "dedicated" or "zealous" really apply either. They are, more or less, just passing time without much sense of purpose or mission in their lives. Perhaps they have some sixth sense that assures them that Jesus may come tomorrow, but surely it will not be today. He will probably wait until I get ready, and I will, someday. But not today for I am too busy with other details of life. Now honestly, is this the way to live? And how reliable is that sixth sense? Reliable enough to jeopardize eternity? "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying 'Peace and safety!..." (1 Thessalonians 5:2,3).

Our Faith is Built on Unfading Hope
"...since we heard of your faith which is in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel..." (Colossians 1:4,5). This passage goes on to tell of the wonderful things the disciples at Colossae were accomplishing, motivated by the heavenly hope within them. They are referred to as "constantly bearing fruit" and "increasing" (vs 6). God had given them a sense of purpose and their lives had taken on new meaning. They were not content with a lethargic, mediocre Christianity that so many seem willing to settle for. They would not allow their lives to be wasted away by days of neglect. They were not here just to pass the time. They were on a mission and they would see it through as they anticipated that hour of final release which will accompany the coming of our Lord. They were willing to endure suffering and could do so with joy. Why? "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God...And not only this, but also we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodyÖĒ (Romans 8:18-25). If this does not describe your life and your faith and your hope, if you have no such sense of mission and purpose, then you are missing out on life's greatest blessing!

Eager Anticipation of the Lordís Return
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:3,4).

At the consummation of this age, great and marvelous things will happen. For those who are ready for that hour, there will be unparalleled joy.

There is something lacking in the spiritual health of one if he is so at home in this world that the eternal promises of God hold little attraction for him. The eternal blessings of Jesus Christ are alive and real. They are meant to answer the deepest needs of the human soul as it longs for all that is missing in this fallen world. But we must have faith to comprehend the answers. "...gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ...if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourself in fear during the time of your stay upon the earth;" (1 Peter 1:13,17).

If you recoil at the thought of the Lord's return happening today, then is that not an indication that something is wrong? Why would the same thought that filled the New Testament faithful with such joy bring up such uneasiness in some folks today? The difference is whether one has made himself ready!

Faith Becomes Sight
"For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees. But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it" (Romans 24,25). At the consummation of this age, great and marvelous things will happen. For those who are ready for that hour, there will be unparalleled excitement and joy.

"...and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 49-52). These bodies will be transformed into incorruptible, spiritual bodies. No more sickness, disease or pain. No more wearing out, but rather perfect and beautifully suited for eternal life in heaven. There is nothing better than heaven!
 
 
 
From The Bradley Banner 7/28/2013
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
 
 
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