Living while we wait… Waiting while we live

We know that Jesus will return to earth someday.  The Bible assures us of this.  There are a lot of prophecies that speak about what his return will look like and how it will come about.  The study of eschatology is fascinating, and there are many who are educated in this area.  There are also many, many more who are not and rather than focusing on how much longer we must wait – we need to be focusing on what we should be do while we’re waiting.

Jesus spoke to his disciples about his return, and a couple of things he made clear were: 

First of all, we will know when it’s him.  We should not be wooed by those that come along claiming to be him or claiming to know someone here on earth that is him.  Jesus said:  “For as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes.”  Luke 17:24 – There will be no question about it when Jesus returns!

Secondly, people will be living their lives as though they are not expecting his return.  They will be going on with their day to day lives without a whole lot of thought about the consequences.  Jesus said:  “Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”  Luke 17:30

So if we as Christians know he’s coming back.  And we know it will happen “in the blink of an eye.” (1 Corinthians 15:52) How should we be living as we await his return?  What do we want him to find us doing when his feet are standing on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4)?

Hebrews 13 provides a sort of an outline to go by.  Reminders of what the daily lives of Christians should look like.  Things we should be doing that will please God. The following list is not all conclusive, so as always – I encourage you to read Hebrews 13 for yourself.  (And of course, there are many other books in the Bible that describe godly living.)  But here’s a summary:

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.  Sadly these days, there is a lot of bickering within the Christian church – and we are not doing a great job of representing a Jesus kind of love.  We should continue to stand for the gospel and defend the faith – but always in love.  (Ephesians 4:15)

Show hospitality.  Opening your home and inviting people in offers the perfect opportunity to be “different” and to be an example of the love and kindness that Jesus extends to all who open their hearts to him.

Remember those in prison.  Praying for and/or ministering to people whose life choices have landed them in prison could make an eternal impact.  For them to know that it’s not too late to repent and turn to Jesus – the one who paid the ultimate price for all of their sins – could change their final address.

Remember those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.  There is evil in this world, and sadly it impacts many innocent people in a variety of ways.  Jesus loves them and aches for their pain.  As Christ’ representatives on earth, we should be praying for them and coming alongside them to offer help in whatever ways we can.

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another.  The devil knows that marriage was designed by God to be an example of the kind of love Jesus has for his church (Ephesians 5:31 & 32).  For this reason, Godly marriage has been under attack for a long time, and will continue to be under attack.  But despite what marriage may look like in the world, Christian marriages ought to continue to be glorifying to God.  They should be the example that God always intended them to be.

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.  If as Christians we want to be an example of faith in our God providing what we need, then we should be happy with what we have.  Some of us will have much; some of us will have little – but each of us will have enough.  Money itself is not evil, but the love of money is, and people that crave it will end up unhappy.  (1 Timothy 6:10)

Do not be attracted by strange new ideas because Jesus doesn’t change.  Ever since Jesus first ascended into heaven after his resurrection, many have come along claiming to be Jesus or some other way to salvation.  But the truth of the gospel hasn’t changed and never will.  We are all sinners and therefore we all deserve death.  There is nothing we can do to absolve ourselves.  But God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die so that everyone who believes in him will not die – but will spend eternity with him. (John 3:16)

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.  As ugly as this world will become, we have the hope of something much more glorious awaiting those of us that have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal savior.  So as we live as foreigners in this world, we should remember our true citizenship and live our lives accordingly – which will likely look much different than those who are of this world.  And we should be careful to keep away from the worldly desires that set out to destroy our souls.  (1 Peter 2:11)

I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people!  He will live with them, and they will be his people.  God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  Al these things are gone forever.”  And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”  And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”  And he also said, “It is finished!  I am the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End.  To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.  All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.” Revelations 21:3-7

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