What Does It Look Like to Live Ready for Jesus’ Return?

This week, Pastor J.D. finishes a two-part series about Jesus’ return. The second question is: “What does it look like to live ready for Jesus’ return?

Show Notes:

Let me give you four things that will change in you if you are in a state of readiness for Jesus’ return:

  • Spiritual alertness
    • How would you live differently today if you knew Jesus were coming back tonight?
      • I talked about my church growing up, and it’s a little bit funny to poke fun at now… but one thing my church had that I think we’re missing: the earnest expectation of his return…
      • What if you knew Jesus was coming back today? Wouldn’t it make you ask the question: Am I ready? Am I living today in a way that I’d be happy to see him tonight?
      • It genuinely could be today… this may be your last chance to repent; last chance to share the gospel.
  • Mission urgency
    • If you know the world has an end, and it could be soon, doesn’t that rearrange your priorities
      • Life is consumed by vacation, hobbies, possessions and bucket lists
      • Listen, I’m not a guy who believes God never wants us to have things we enjoy, or that he’s not glorified by our secular work. But I also know life is painfully short, and when the master returns I want to have invested my talents to the fullest for his kingdom… and not be found sitting on them.
      • There’s nothing wrong with a little R&R, hobbies or nice things. But many of us work just so you can go on vacation. That’s the end game. A disciple of Jesus takes occasional vacations so he can work more for Jesus kingdom.
      • Are you investing the resources of your life with the expectation of his return?
  • Hope in suffering
    • Jesus’ return promises us that pain and suffering won’t last forever; all pain is temporary.
    • There’s a Christian philosopher named Cornelius Plantinga who said, “The second coming of Jesus Christ is good news for people whose lives are filled with bad news. If you a slave in Pharaoh’s Egypt or in the United States in the early 19th century; if you are an Israelite exiled in Babylon, or a Kosovar exiled in Albania; if you are a woman living in a culture where when your husband gets mad at you he can lock you up in a closet or threaten to have his buddies come and rape you… then you don’t yawn when somebody mentions the return of Jesus Christ.”
    • I might add, if your son just died of cancer; if your marriage just dissolved; if you’re lonely; if your body is wracked with chronic pain—lift your eyes! It doesn’t last forever. It could be tonight. If your life just hasn’t turned out… “the promise of the second coming shows us the ‘good ole days’ are always ahead of us.”
  • Power to forgive
    • In Tim Keller’s book, Forgive,  he points out that Jesus gives you the power to forgive.
    • I’ve seen people who really struggle with bitterness helped by grasping Jesus’ imminent return.
    • When someone wrongs us, we want justice. So we run to the judgment seat of the world and we hop on it. We know what they deserve and we want to help them get it. “Go, God. Give it to him.” We want to be God’s adviser.
    • But listen, we weren’t meant for that throne. It’s too big for us. And it distorts us.
    • Have you ever seen how bitterness destroys someone? Someone is mad at someone else and it colors their whole disposition toward that person, where everything that person does becomes tarnished.
    • Or maybe even they begin to be prejudiced toward whole groups of people.
      • A woman who is angry at her husband thinks all men are bad; someone who suffers injustice at the hands one person in a people group thinks everyone in that people group is bad…
      • We weren’t meant for that throne. The doctrine of the second coming helps us stay off of it because we know, he’s coming back; he will bring justice!
      • And so I can endure injustice for the time being because he’ll set all things right.

One thing we have to agree on: We ought to be expecting the return of Jesus anytime and we ought to live like it is today. 

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