Did you ever plan for a certain event in your life that in the end didn’t turn out the way you expected? Sometimes, even after careful preparation and a detailed calculation of every possible scenario, our plans fall apart and chaos ensues. These experiences are usually great lessons and tend to better prepare us for our next important event.
The most important event ever, for each and every one of us, will be the return of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, our salvation is secure; however, we all still need to stand before Jesus and account for the choices we’ve made in our life.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NASB)
I’m confident you’re doing the best you can do with the circumstance in which you currently reside. I trust that as a follower of Jesus, you live each day with a love for God and a love for your neighbor, while at the same time doing your best to fight off the attacks of the enemy. Jesus knows what’s in your heart, and that is by far the most important aspect of who you are in his view. Nevertheless, we all will need to stand before him and make an accounting of our lives. This may happen today, next week, or next month – the precise date and time is unknown – what’s important is that we are ready. Are you ready? Are you ready to stand in the presence of Jesus and explain your life?
“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” Matthew 24:42-44 (NASB)
I want to encourage you to give this proposition some serious thought. Regardless of who you are – Jesus is coming. Are you going to be caught unprepared? Are you going to wish you had more time? Will you regret the effort you gave to following the teachings of Jesus? Or will you be confident and secure in the presence of our Lord and Savior?
If you had an absolutely confirmed message from God that Jesus is coming tomorrow, what would you do? My first thought is to get on my knees and pray for guidance. Obviously, there wouldn’t be enough time to improve how I’ve lived my life, how I’ve served God by serving others, or how I’ve worshiped God; however, there would be enough time to soften my heart and prepare to humble myself in his presence. Perhaps, my best course of action would be to stop thinking about myself and immediately help others prepare for his return by sharing the gospel with those who have yet to receive salvation.
What about if you had an absolutely confirmed message from God that Jesus is coming next week, what would you do? In this scenario we actually have some room to make changes in our life, but is that necessary? We can’t fool Jesus into believing any changes we make are more than a few days old. Again, it may be more important for us to see the gravity of the moment as an opportunity to help others see the light.
So what if you had an absolutely confirmed message from God that Jesus is coming next month, what would you do? Thirty days is actually quite a lot of time to do some honest soul searching and redirect your life in a significant way. Knowing that Jesus is on his way in the next few weeks will bolster our strength to stand against the schemes of the devil. We can stop listening to the enemy telling us we can’t, and move obstacles out of the way that allow us to serve God by serving others in a major way.
Now consider what you’d do if you had an absolutely confirmed message from God that Jesus is coming next year. There is plenty of time in the course of a year to completely change your life. Of course, if we are true followers of Jesus that shouldn’t be necessary. The primary commandments of Jesus to love God and love our neighbor, should already be at the top of our list. Typically, what might be our biggest need for change is likely our relationship with this world. When we have an absolutely confirmed message from God that Jesus is on his way, we can stop bending our values to fit in to what is essentially the enemy’s world. We may need to reevaluate how we earn money, how we worship, how we help others. I’m fairly certain that if I knew for sure I would stand face-to-face with Jesus in a year, I would dramatically change my life. I would approach the deception and distractions of the enemy in a completely different way and I would far more aggressively reach out to others in need.
I honestly don’t think we have any time at all. If changes are needed, they need to happen right now. Jesus is coming – that’s certain. As true believers we already have power to overcome the devil – that’s well-established. There is no excuse for us to give less than 100% of ourselves to Jesus. The only thing in question is how our individual lives are best integrated into God’s grand plan. Where you are at in your life and the path you are currently following may be precisely where you need to be. Only you know the true contents of your heart. Are you ready for Jesus?
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