Sometimes there are moments in ministry when it feels like a big light goes off. It usually happens in preparation to teach God’s Word, and sometimes it even happens in the process of teaching. This past month I had one of these moments while I was teaching about the return of Christ to our High Schoolers. The funny thing is I wasn’t even supposed to be teaching, but I got a call that morning that the teacher wasn’t going to be able to make it due to sickness. So I didn’t have the time to really internalize what I was teaching until I was going through it again with the youth.
As I was going through the section on Christ’s return it dawned on me that we don’t anticipate Christ’s return like we are supposed to. We have surrounded ourselves with so many comforts that distract us and steal our yearning to see Christ at His return. Paul gives us a great challenge in his letter to Titus:
Titus 2:11-14- “For the grace of God has appeared… training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
We should plead and yearn for the day where we can meet the Savior of our souls and kiss the pierced feet of the One who bled for us!
And it isn’t just about desiring to be in Heaven, but anticipating the appearance of Christ. Paul said in II Timothy 4:8, “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
When I was talking about the return of Christ it was like I had just said what I was going to be having for lunch. There was no reaction, and it scared me. And I realized that it isn’t just the high schoolers that were somewhat bored with the topic. It was me, too. I suddenly realized that I have let myself get too disctracted with the present. Do we truly anticipate Christ’s return like we should? Does my heart leap at thought of seeing my Savior face to face?
What would happen if the apostles had the same perspective that we do? What if Paul decided to settle down and start a tent making business and just assumed that someone else would do the work? What would the church have looked like if Paul lived for the day and lived like tomorrow was a guarantee? Imagine how different our lives would look like if we anticipated the return of Christ like the apostles did! So take a moment to ask yourself, do you really anticipate Christ’s return?