“Yes, my little children, live in Him. If we do this, we can have confidence and now be ashamed on the Day when Christ appears.” I John 2:28 (Simple English Bible)
All she could talk about was her wedding day. It was about flowers, arrangements on the tables, her new dress, the cake and the church. She mentioned how she would look and how she would walk down the aisles. She talked about her father, flying in from England and her bridesmaid, who was her best friend. After the day wore on, I wondered if she’d ever stop! But I sat patiently listening to her because this was her special day and one that she would remember for the rest of her life. I thought to myself that I’d need a break after the wedding so my ears could cool off.
The greatest day of expectation for Christians in the return of our Lord. It will be the fulfillment of the ages; a day of rejoicing and wonder. It will mean the end of pain, suffering and death. It will be a time to rejoin our loved ones who have gone before us. It will be a glorious and fantastic Day.
But few Christians talk about their expectation. Unlike the girl who was getting married, very few Christians talk about our day of celebration and joy.
I wonder why that is…?
“Now, have I become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?” Gal 4:16 (Simple English Bible)
I think it was Oscar Wilde who once commented that if you told the truth, sooner or later, everyone would find out! In today’s world of political correctness and the embarrassing idea of confronting people, the truth seems to have taken a backseat. Even in trials were people have confessed to the crime, lawyers have made numerous excuses for the defendants. Truth has been ditched for a defensive strategy. Even within congregations where a Christian could expect the hear the truth, leaders fudge and rationalize for expediency.
Paul told the truth, no matter where it landed him. He was stoned, whipped, jailed and mistreated for the truth of Christ. John, the Immerser, also suffered the consequences for speaking the truth boldly. The New Testament holds a mirror to our faces and the truth reveals who we are. Even today, Christians in many Moslem countries are persecuted for the truth and remaining faithful to their Lord.
So, I think we could stand a little mocking, prodding and rejection. Sure, people won’t like it but the truth always prevails!
“So we should not be asleep as other are. No, we should be awake and alert.” I Thess 5:6 (Simple English Bible)
I had a Christian friend who felt that he could live as he pleased. After all, he reasoned, if he needed anything, the church always met every Sunday and he could attend when he really needed it. The attraction of the world held his attention and he regarded worship, prayer, giving and sharing Christ as a safety net, rather than a lifestyle. He was the most surprised person on the planet when he discovered that the church refused to help him when he landed in serious trouble. He hadn’t made contact for over a decade and nobody remembered him. It wasn’t a very giving and helpful attitude, he said bitterly.
I suppose many of us are similarly lulled into complacency by the world. We enjoy flat screen TVs with multi-channel programming around the clock. We are distracted by numerous media reports of disasters, scandals and conspiracies. We hear rumors of war, famines, droughts and disease. Our brains are focused upon non-essential arguments, debates and disagreements.
But Christ’s message remains the same: He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Pure and simple.
And that’s our job. To be alert, ready and willing to share the gospel. To be ready when Jesus comes again. To help those who are in need.