Summary: A sermon that reminds us to keep our focus on the destination: The eternal life in worshiping the Lord in Heaven.
We have all heard that Jesus is coming back. That should be the best news we will ever hear, but for many Christians, it is just a story. A story from a book that is more like fantasy than reality. A story they hear, but do not really believe. And because they do not believe it, they have missed the power they could otherwise have in Christ.
We have this incredible message of grace that can be realized through faith, yet we read it and the meaning doesn’t sink in. We know that God is real, and we know that Jesus is the promised Savior. We know everything the story tells us about Him. We even know that Jesus is going to be coming back someday, but we do not live their lives like the story is real. We don’t live our lives like we even believe the story.
I think the reason we are like that is because we have a problem with eyesight. As humans, we are nearsighted. We focus on today because that is all we see. We live for today because today is here. And we forget about our eternities. Eternity is this vague thing that many of us do not understand, and none of us can see, so we put it on the back shelves of our minds, intending to get into it later. But the elusive “later” never arrives.
Jesus is tarrying. He is delaying His return so that we might have every chance to get ready; to help and encourage others; and to build His kingdom. And we think we have all kinds of time. But, in reality – do we have all kinds of time?
Turn with me to MATTHEW 24:42 says,
‘Therefore, keep watch – because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.’
The Bible is telling us that instead of living like the Second Coming will eventually happen ‘some day, we should be living like it could happen today or tomorrow.
1. BE WISE
There is a song that goes; “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.” We are here for a very short stay and then we will be on our way to our final destination; eternity. And that has to do with the biggest problem Christians have. We are here for a very short time, yet we act like this is all there is.
We look at our present life as all there is because the physical is all we know. Since most people can only count on that which they can see, touch, feel, and hear, they will end up missing any chance they could have had through faith to choose Heaven as their eternal destination. And, of course, the only alternative when we are talking about forever is hell. These people who do their level best today to ignore the call of Jesus will burn forever but will never be consumed. To get a picture of what that is like, light a candle and hold your finger right above the flame for just 5 seconds - if you can. The pain is excruciating, isn’t it? Now think about your whole body going through that - every day, all day long with no let up; with no reprieve; with no stopping.
Those who do acknowledge Jesus as the lead in their life, however, will be spending eternity in Heaven with Him, because of God’s powerful mercy and grace. So, the question now becomes, “ How many of us will be wise and choose His gift?”
Many of us go through life looking at our Christian life as a side dish, or a hobby, as we take care of our worldly priorities. God expects everything in our lives to be centered on Jesus Christ. That includes every relationship you have. And that includes your total commitment. God will not reward a ‘casual Christian’, because they have not made a total commitment to submit their lives to Him.
It is a human trait to be superficial. Very few people, including Christians, have ever spent any real time at all thinking about “how” they life. For instance, if someone were to ask you to explain how you know you are a Christian, how would you answer them? Most people would say something like –
· I go to church regularly
· I read my Bible fairly regularly
· I try to live a good life
How much better of a witness it would be to answer like –
· I believe the blood of Jesus allowed for my salvation
· I have chosen to follow Jesus in my life
· I have faith that Jesus is the ONLY Redeemer
We don’t answer that way most of the time, because we apply our faith where it is easy and convenient to do so. Why do we do that? Because we want to be faithful, but we also want to enjoy what this world offers us. When we see a Christian who is living out their faith in a “sold out” way, we join the world in criticizing them as being a fanatic, or belonging to “one of those other church denominations”. When a Christian lives their life as if Jesus could return today, we consider them an embarrassment to other Christians.