READING: Matthew 24
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: The year was 1978. I had studied the return of Jesus extensively (as had most everyone else in the Christian world, it seemed). Hal Lindsey had published 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon. I was certain that Jesus was coming back before I graduated from high school in 1979. I was so certain, in fact, that I preached that message as a young preacher.
I was quite wrong. Way off. Missed it by at least decades.
So far off that I’ve not given a lot of thought to Jesus’ return lately . . . at least not until I’ve been doing the reading for the last few days. Even though I have no idea when Jesus will return (and won’t even venture a guess here), I have been strongly reminded that I must live in the light of His ever possible return:
Matt. 24:36-44 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son—except the Father only. As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
I must always be ready. I must be found working. I may not know when Jesus will return, but I do know for certain that it’s closer than it was in 1978. I must remain obediently alert.
Today could be the day.
ACTION STEPS: Live today as if it were the day of His return.
PRAYER: “God, help me to live the way I’ve just described above.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 25