Summary: An exhortation to maturity.
How To Build Your Relationship To Jesus!
As we get closer and closer to 2000, there is a whole lot of talk and excitement about meeting Jesus soon, maybe. I have extreme doubts, but I will not be upset if I am wrong. If I am right, I am concerned that all this loose lips stuff might hinder the old Gospel Ship though it won’t sink it. A mess of heathen are "praying" that He doesn’t show up. Not because they are lost and not ready to meet Him, but because they want to be able to get rowdy about those nut cake Christians and their God that did not show up. (1 Peter 3:3,4) If we were more biblical than emotional, we would not set ourselves for ridicule.
Not only that, I am concerned that with as many professing Christians that we have in this country should we panic and make a run on the banks we might cause a problem that is not Y2K created but rather one that is why am I dumb created. That could cause some "unofficial" persecution as well as needless suffering to the rest of the folks in this nation. It could also be the foundation for "official" persecution. Remember Hitler blamed the Jews for the financial woes of Germany and the flames of genocide were ignited.
I have already worked in a shop where my life was threatened and I was verbally tormented daily once they found out that I went to Bible College. Had there been an open season on Christians, I would not be here today. Of course, neither might you. If God deigns for us to suffer persecution before He returns than we can rejoice in being counted worthy to suffer for His name. However, if we in our stupidity bring it upon ourselves we gain nothing by receiving it stalwartly. (1 Peter 2:20)
Being more biblical than emotional would help us from falling into such traps, but also knowing Jesus better and how He thinks would make our preaching more sound. I am afraid that many of the folks that are getting all excited about Jesus coming in 2000 would be shocked and dismayed if He arrived. A lot of them that are shouting for the Day of the Lord are going to hear, "depart from me for I never knew you." (Amos 5:18-27; Matt 7:20-23)
The sad part is that many He does know are not going to recognize Him and be joyful. The Bride of Christ is going to look at Him like she was a mail-order bride seeing her Husband for the first time and He sure doesn’t look like His pictures. She may recognize the voice somewhat, because His sheep hear His voice and She did not follow another. (John 10) She knows Him, but not as He would have liked her to know Him. She can quote His love letters, but they are still barely more than strangers. They will have a lot of catching up to do at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
In light of the possibility of His soon Parousia (coming) or your soon passing, you must build your relationship with Jesus. While I will primarily address our relationship to Christ as His spouse, you will see some correlation of these principles to your marriage, career, and church life.
The first step to a strong relationship to Christ is being totally committed! Drat! I said the dreaded C word. We live in a time when you ask people to commit themselves they look at you like they want to have you committed. The X-generation is not the only one that has this problem. It is has become a retro situation because the no commit bug infects my generation and the remnant of the previous generation as well. That one bugs me more than the Y2K bug.
My generation coined the phrase, "If it feels good, do it" but the practice has spread across at least three generations. We all do what we feel like doing and if we feel like doing nothing we do nothing until we can no longer feel. In order to develop a relationship with Christ you have to forget feelings.
So many marriages fail because they are based more upon feelings than commitment. When a couple are newlyweds everything is fresh and exciting. The rush they get experiencing so many new things keeps emotions or passions high. After awhile it is a bit different, what was once new and exciting becomes a bit routine. If they both work, the job stress may make them too tired for communication and romance. If the wife stays home and tends to one or more children, she is just as stressed as if she were she the CEO of a small firm.