If Jesus Is Coming Back, How Should I Live Now?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.”

Luke 17:33

When I was a teenager, the imminent return of Jesus fascinated my friends and me. Hal Lindsey had recently published his smash hit, The Late Great Planet Earth, which we studied carefully to figure out just when Jesus was going to return and what would happen when he did. If you had asked me in 1971, “If Jesus is coming back, how should I live now?” I would have told you to believe in Jesus, to tell others about Jesus, and to figure out when he’s coming back by reading The Late Great Planet Earth.

In Luke 17, Jesus answers that question “How should I live now?” in a different way. Beginning in verse 22, he points to the future time of his return as the Son of Man. He includes a line that filled me with excitement and fear when I was young, “That night [when the Son of Man comes] two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left” (17:34). Yet, right before this, Jesus says, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it” (17:33). Other translations speak of trying to preserve your life versus losing it (ESV, for example).

Jesus answers another question, too. How should I live now in light of the second coming? He urges us to stop worrying about our lives, trying to protect and preserve them. Rather, we should let go of trying to save our own lives and entrust all that we are to him. True life is to be found, not in our anxious efforts, but in reliance upon God through Jesus Christ.

Thus, as we consider the second coming of Jesus, we should not be preoccupied with our own fate. If we have trusted our souls to God, we have nothing to fear. Rather than clinging to our own lives, Jesus urges us to let go, to trust him, to serve him, to give ourselves away in his work. The more we invest lives in the kingdom of God, the more we will experience a full, complete life, both now and in the age to come.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you ever think about the second coming of Christ? If so, how does this impact you? If not, why not? What would it mean for you to let go of your life today?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank you for giving us such simple guidance for how to live in light of your return as the Son of Man. It would be so easy for us to get wrapped up in trying to make ourselves right for you, or in trying to figure out just when you will return. Yet, you urge us to stop clinging to our lives and to let go of them as we trust you.

Help me, dear Lord, to stop clinging to my life today. Help me to turn my life over to you. May I serve you in all that I do, in word and deed, in every situation. May I trust you more today than I did yesterday. May I glorify you more fully and joyously today.

All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, Son of Man. O Lord, come! Amen.