I have to admit that I haven’t always longed for the return of Jesus. It would have been great to see Him but it seemed so far away and I had all these things that I wanted to experience here on earth first. I wanted to plan a wedding and get married. I wanted to play Susie homemaker and cook wonderful things for my husband. I even looked forward to cleaning my own home (yeah, that wore off fast). I wanted to experience pregnancy and the raising of babies. I wanted to travel and see this beautiful world that God created. In truth, the temporal things of earth seemed much more exciting than the eternal things of God. On top of that, most painting of Jesus’ return seemed a bit sentimental and cheesy and just not a part of my reality.
Well, at the end of Luke 17 Jesus is talking about his return or second coming. While we could spend many blog posts debating end times views, the more important and pressing question is are we looking forward to the coming of the kingdom of God. Jesus will return. Are we eagerly praying and living for that day?
Jesus warns us not to get too wrapped up in the things of this world. He talks about the people in the time of Noah and Lot, who were going about their business living life as if it would go on forever. They were eating and drinking and getting married. They were making business deals and going to work and gardening. (vs.27,28).
While these are not bad things, Jesus is making the point that their indifference to God is what will be their destruction.
Today it’s no different. People give themselves to menu planning and coupon clipping, to getting an education and building careers. Their lives are filled with exercising and decorating, trying out Pinterest ideas and running errands. None of these things are bad. But for many it has turned them spiritually shallow and complacent.
Jesus tells us to look at Lot’s wife. She was told not to look back as everything she owned and everyone she knew burned to death. But she looked anyway because she so longed for the life she was leaving behind. Jesus tells us that whoever tries to preserve his life will lose it (vs. 33).
The life we are called to live is a hard one. We are to be in the world but not of it (Rom. 12:2; John 15:19 ) which means we have great freedom to enjoy all the good things this world has to offer since every good gift is from God (James 1:17), but we are to also live with one eye towards heaven. Why? Because then our greatest needs will be fully met, and our purpose in life will be ultimately fulfilled. Perhaps the reason you don’t long for his return is because you don’t spend much time with him now. You may be indifferent about his second coming because he is not your greatest hope. He is coming to do away with sin once and for all, to gather up bis bride and take her to his kingdom, a place filled with lots of wonder, fun and God himself. How can we not get excited and long for that?
As the years have gone by my desire for Christ’s return has increased. He has graciously opened my eyes to the fact that this world is so broken and only a shadow of how wonderful things will be in His kingdom.
No matter what your end times views are we can all agree that Christ will return. The question is how much do we long for it ? How often do we pray for it and are we actively seeking to know Christ more deeply since we will be spending eternity with him. We have been created and redeemed for something much more grand than anything that could be found or experienced in this world.
Looking To Jesus,