If Christ Is Coming Back, What Difference Should It Make in How We Live Today?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks.”
Recently, a Christian radio ministry in California made news by predicting that Christ would return and Judgment Day would commence on May 21, 2011, four days ago. The primary evidence of this would be a catastrophic earthquake that was so powerful it would open all the graves on earth, with dead believers being transformed into glory.
You are receiving this email four days after May 21. Presumably, therefore, you know whether Christ returned and the world was rocked by a whopping earthquake, complete with millions of resurrections. I wrote this reflection a couple of days before May 21, however. So my thoughts may take on new meaning in light of recent history.
I must admit, however, that I am not expecting Christ to return on May 21, though I’d be thrilled to welcome him whenever he shows up. I have briefly studied the reasons given by the radio ministry for their certainty that May 21 is the date, but have not been convinced. More importantly, I take seriously the statement of Jesus about the timing of his return: “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows” (Mark 13:32).
Nowhere did Jesus tell us to try and guess what “no one knows.” I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong for Christians to see how biblical prophecies of the end times fit with current events. This can be a fascinating exercise. But, according to Jesus, we are not to guess the time of his return, but rather to live in a state of consistent readiness. He said, “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks” (12:35-36). Our Master might return at any time, “but whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready” (12:38).
But what does it mean to live in readiness for the return of Christ? I’ll say more about this in tomorrow’s reflection. For now, I’d encourage you to think and pray about this and its relevance to your life today.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Does the promise of Christ’s return make any difference to you in the way you live? Why or why not? How might you live in readiness for the return of Christ? How might you live in readiness today?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I want to live in readiness for your return. I want to be there to throw open the door to you in welcome. And, frankly, the thought of being served by you astounds me.
Teach me, Lord, what it means to live in light of your return. Help me to understand how I might be ready for you, not by guessing when you’re coming back, but by living in a kind of perpetual readiness.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, because you are the coming King! Amen.