“Jesus is coming, look busy!” I really don’t like this tacky message. Yes, Jesus’ return is imminent and should keep us on our toes, living life well for Jesus, but ‘looking busy’ won’t fool Jesus if we’re not the ‘real deal’. You might be able to pull the wool over your boss’s eyes and kid them that you’re busy, when really you’re lazy; not with the all-seeing, all-knowing, ever-present God, who sees our innermost thoughts and what we’re up to behind closed doors.
Jesus said, ”So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:44 (NIV)
What difference would it make to your life and living were you to know that today is your last day in this world? Received rightly, Jesus’ words will stir us to live every day like our last. Don’t get entangled in debate about ‘The Rapture’ or ‘when’ Jesus is coming to reign and judge the earth. Jesus told us to leave timing entirely in Father God’s hands. Jesus’ return to wind up history, judge the world and invite God’s People to share responsibility for the new heaven and new earth, is certain. All God tells us about timing is that Jesus is coming imminently!
But it’s 2,000 years since Jesus declared he’s coming back and it’s not happened yet. The growing pains of the new world’s birth (as St Paul put it) are many: famines, global warming, earthquakes, wars, rumours of wars and many Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) turning to Christ, but still ‘no show’. Also, Western Society is regularly ‘in denial about death’ pretending that it can’t touch us.
Thus Christ’s impending return is easily perceived as ‘distant’, long into the future, and nothing to be troubled or challenged by. All it takes for such complacency to be exposed and exploded is for us to be reminded of how fragile life is: e.g. ill health, loss of a loved one, uncertainty about the future, and other crises which force us to recognise our need for God’s love, help, healing and purpose.
This photo, of a wave about to crash over a man, is how pressing Jesus’ return is. A.M Hunter’s comment on history ‘turning a corner’ at Christ’s first coming (birth, life, death, resurrection & ascension) is helpful. Result is that Christ’s Return is running alongside history, continuously pressing in and hovering over each day God gifts us.
So, yes make plans for the future (as St Paul told the Thessalonians) but live each day like your last, ever ready for the universal surprise of Jesus’ arrival as King, ready to meet your maker and let Jesus’ take you home. Live your life for Jesus ‘to the max’, step out in faith and daily prove Jesus loving presence in, with and through you! Daily travel towards God’s welcome into eternal life “Well done good and faithful servant, enter my paradise!”
AC-DC’s song ‘Highway to Hell’ took on a new significance when lead singer ‘Bon Scott’ drank himself to death in 1980. “Hell ain’t a bad place to be!” he declared. Be sure life without God’s Loving Presence is ‘Hell / Hellish’. Choosing life with God here and now allows you to get up each day and live, looking forward to Jesus Christ’s return.
If I had to sum it up in 5 words it’d be, “Jesus coming, ready or not!”