“For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”
What if I told you that Jesus is coming back in exactly 16 days, 10 hours, 4 minutes, and 34 seconds? What would you do? How would you live? If you knew the exact moment Christ would be standing in front of you, would it matter? If it was announced by God as a fact He’s returning to finish what He said He’d finish, what would you change about your life? And why doesn’t God just go ahead and tell us when He’s coming back so everyone can get ready?
Because He wants us to be ready. Only faith in Christ as our Savior can accomplish this feat, once.
I gotta be honest with you, when God put this topic on my mind this morning, I started to balk. I even argued a little, “Nobody wants to hear about such a difficult subject, give me something uplifting and encouraging.”
He replied through the Holy Spirit, “No, they need to be prepared for my return.”
I used to just ignore God when it came to something like this–speaking about uncomfortable stuff–but now I listen to His guidance much quicker. He’s given me a gift of creative writing, so I want to use it for Him. We all have gifts, you included. There is something God has placed in you that’s very special and unique. He wants you to offer it up to Him daily by simply allowing Christ to live through you.
Jesus is coming back. We can try to live as if this isn’t true, or that it will never happen, but it is going to happen. This planet had a beginning and it will have an end. Jesus said He’ll be like lightning across the sky. We can’t compute this, just like an ant can’t compute the Theory of Relativity. Yes, our spirits are already ready–100% sanctified (see Hebrews 10:10)–but God in us is extremely active. So when we are passive and focused on the wrong things, we grieve His Spirit (see Ephesians 4:30, 1 Corinthians 3:16, Philippians 2:13, Galatians 5:22-23).
The world’s ignorance about His return was talked about by Jesus Himself. He used the example of the time of Noah. As he built the ark while preparing for the flood, the people made fun of him:
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:24-25)
“Well Matt that sounds like a cruel god to me!” someone might say.
Friend, this is all God’s stuff, this is His creation. If He says something is evil and has to go, then that’s that, no matter if we like it or not. He gives unbelievers plenty of warnings and opportunities to place their faith in Jesus, and He loves them. It’s the world who rejects Him, not the other way around.
You could also look at God flooding the earth like this: If He decides to sever off a gangrene-infected foot it’s to save the rest of the body from certain death. Noah kept warning these people that they needed to turn to God, yet they kept on rejecting Him:
“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5)
Just imagine a generation of people who hated God and everything about Him, a group who refused to acknowledge Him as God. Instead, they made themselves and “things” their own gods.
“It’s my way! So shut up! Don’t tell me what to do! Mind your own business!”
To me that sounds very familiar, rejecters of the gospel who say, “Nope! I’m handling this how I want!”
The million dollar question is, who knows when He’s coming back? I don’t know, you don’t know, nobody knows. Jesus said He didn’t even know nor do the angels but only the Father knows (see Mark 13:32). I think He knows now but not when He walked this planet.
It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be in 1,000 years—all I know for sure is each day that passes by, we get closer. Right now, this moment, we are closer to Jesus’ return than we were yesterday. What’s it going to take for us to not just accept Jesus’ spiritual perfection as our own, but also allow Him to live through us?
What’s it going to take for some to remove self-righteous religious mindsets? A church-club, members only, conditional-grace attitude that grows rotten spiritual fruit and repels the lost? When are some going to stop with the harsh judgments toward others, and making one sin worse than another? When are we going to love everyone as Christ commanded, as He has loved us? (See John 13:34-35).
And for the unbelievers, what will it take to remove the mindset of, “There is no God.”? What will it take to finally acknowledge a God who created us instead of us creating Him? More blessings? Less blessings? Or simply a return trip from the Messiah Himself?
It’s a good thing God promised to never flood the earth again no matter the behavior of its residents. Each time you see a rainbow that’s a reminder of God’s vow to Noah, which He gave after the flood (see Genesis 9:11-13).
Our Creator is reaching out to us through so many different outlets right now. His grace-filled saving words are not just being preached in the church buildings for an hour on Sundays, but also throughout social media ministries, youtube videos, major motion pictures, books, podcasts, apps, tv shows, satellite radio—you name it—God is allowing technology to soar! He’s using everything together to do as Jesus said:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
We have no more excuses! We aren’t sitting in the woods any longer, trying to make fire just so we can have a hot meal! God’s created beings, all of us, we have blossomed into something spectacular! We have quite possibly tapped into the full potential of the capacity of our brains! It’s only going to get better from here! God will use all of these platforms to bring attention to Jesus in order to amass more souls in heaven! Friend, don’t you want to be a part of that?
God has blessed this planet on such a grand scale that if we told Christians from 200 years ago what we can now do to spread the gospel they’d laugh! It would be unfathomable! The technology we have is amazing! As of the time of me writing this devotional, May 30th, 2016, I can preach the gospel to over 300,000 people on my social media pages without even leaving this big comfy chair–and if I pay for it, my message would go out to millions more!
God has made things so easy for us! Won’t you join me in helping unbelievers get ready for the return of our Jesus Christ?!
For a time, I was doing nothing. Still very immature in who I was in Christ, I was worried about the zeros in my bank account, the style of car I was driving, and how many likes I could get on Facebook. I was worried about making sure I had enough beer and shots to last the rest of the night, as well as how bad I could make my enemies pay. I wasn’t allowing Jesus to live through me. Thankfully I was saved at a very young age. Sadly, there are people in this world who reject Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness all the time.
So today, my friends, know this: If you haven’t yet, why not believe Jesus for His forgiveness? He’ll come back for you without reference to your sin! (See Hebrews 9:28). That is, if you don’t physically die first. But if you do you’ll get to see Him face to face! Oh what a day that will be!
A prayer for you: Good morning Father! Thank you for another day! And thank you for helping me realize how wonderful you really are! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who might have had fear overtake them while reading about Jesus’ return, please help them understand you don’t want them to be fearful, but instead, ready–just like Noah. You are not a God who uses fear to control us, but to warn us about coming danger. We NEED Jesus’ forgiveness. We need it! You are sovereign, good, loving, and full of grace! Thank you for the free forgiveness you’ve given us in Christ. If any of these readers want that forgiveness all they must do is receive it today through belief! How simple you’ve made it! Amen!
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!