I have spent the last couple of days talking about that we should live with a sense of urgency because Jesus could return at any moment. Today I want to explore the church’s role in all of this. I believe one of the greatest reasons that people are not living with urgency knowing that Jesus could return at any moment is because of the church. By in large, the church of Jesus Christ has lost its focus and its urgency. And if God’s people are living as though Jesus could return at any moment, why should the rest of the world? Paul wrote in Romans 13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Paul was writing to the church at Rome here and he was telling the church to wake up and realize what time it is.
Have you ever set an alarm clock the night before then when it went off in the morning you cut it off by accident instead of hitting the snooze button? Then all of the sudden you wake up and realize it is 5 minutes until you are suppose to be at work and you live 45 minutes away. Something similar happened to me a few weeks ago. I had worked much later than I planned on the night before, in fact not getting into bed until two in the morning. For Christmas Diana got me an alarm clock that I dock my iPhone with and so the alarm is one of my iTunes songs. In my fog that morning after only getting a few hours of sleep, I grabbed the remote and hit the power button to turn it off. I just thought that maybe I turned my music on by accident. I had forgotten that it was my alarm clock. I woke up at 7:45 that morning in a panic because the kids had not woken up yet and they had to be at school in 15 minutes. They weren’t dressed, fed, lunches packed, or teeth brushed. Needless to say they were late to school that day. Anyone who knows me is aware that I can not stand being late, it embarrasses me horribly. So you can imagine my horror when one of the boys teachers sent me a text message to see if they were coming to school. I wonder if we as Christians would be as panicked or embarrassed if Jesus returned and we were living in sin as we are when we oversleep (or whatever embarrasses you). I believe that is the reason Paul wrote Ephesians 5:15-16 which says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly (cautiously), not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
It is time for the church to act like and look like the bride of Christ. We cannot continue to fuss, fight, and divide our churches over meaningless things. We cannot continue to live as though Jesus is not going to return. Because when we do, we give the world a false sense of security that will ultimately lead to their eternal damnation. Can we honestly be ok with people not going to heaven because we wanted to live like hell (no it is not entirely our fault if they go to hell, they have a choice of accepting or rejecting Jesus for themselves, but we need to show them the differences in their choices)? We must live out the truth that Jesus Christ has saved us and changed us and then we must tell others that He can and will do the same thing for them, and we need to urge them to make that decision today so they don’t have to worry if they have tomorrow or 1,000 tomorrows.
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him