Summary: As Christians we have a blessed hope, that Jesus is coming agian.
The Blessed Hope of Believers
Titus 2:11-14 and many more.
How does one become ready for the Lord’s return? It is clear that the Bible indicates that we will not know the time of Jesus’ return. It is also just as clear that we are to be ready for His coming. His returning will be similar to our return home after we have been away for a time. The exact time is questionable, the event is certain. As Christians we are to live in the world, however, we are not to be taken in by the world. Our attention is to be on eternal things and not temporal things. We are tempted by the lures and gadgets of the world, our own lusts and desires pull our minds away from the Godly to the ungodly. If we allow ourselves to be pulled away from the things of God we will become busied by the things of the world. Worldly things can be defined as anything that does not have eternal value. As humans we tend to settle for the good rather than striving for the best. There are many worthy activities to which we can devote ourselves and our time. However, only what we do for the Lord will last.
For people who have not experienced salvation through Jesus Christ, the danger for them is that time will run out before they intentionally make that choice. For some of them what the world offers is enough and they are satisfied to simply give their lives to fulfilling their own selfish desires. They will one day discover the truth of what they have left behind. They will discover they have traded the truth for a lie, and for them time will have run out. The Bible says that today is the day of salvation. This moment is all that any of us have, and decisions that will be made will always be made in the moment. Today for each of us who are here it is not to late to accept God’s gift of salvation which includes the blessed hope of eternal life, resurrection, and Jesus’ coming again.
There will come a time when the heralds of truth will be silenced, either through death or Jesus’ return. The ambassadors of the past are gone, the apostles Paul and Peter both are gone, John Wesley and George Whitefield both gone, Billy Sunday and Dwight L. Moody both gone. Billy Graham and stalwart saints like him are nearing the end of their earthly ministry and will soon be gone. The pastors who filled this pulpit mostly are gone. If you come to the end of your life and you have not received God’s gift it will be no one’s fault but your own. Your eternal destiny is in your own hands. We can proclaim the truth but we cannot receive it for you.
Those of us who know Jesus as our savior and Lord live in the light. We have been told by God’s word that Jesus is coming back. His coming should not take us by surprise. Over and over again God’s word has told us to live on the edge of time. To be ready for His coming everyday. To live lives that will not dishonor our Lord or ourselves. We do not belong to the world and so we are not to live as though we do. The world - those who do not know Jesus as savior - live lives for themselves. They sleep in darkness and they get drunk in darkness, they lack self-control and give in to their own passions. They live in a world of their own choosing, they live to quench the thirst of their own depravity, a thirst that will never be quenched. Even those who live morally, those who try their very best to be good and honorable can never obtain the righteousness that God requires. We have all sinned and lived in darkness. The perfect righteousness that God requires only comes as a gift through Jesus Christ.
There is a darkness in the world, a veil of sorts. As Christians we are not to live in that darkness for we have entered into the light. We are to live self-controlled lives, not giving in to our old natures which existed in darkness, but we are to put on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. We are to live as ambassadors of light. Light dispels darkness. The armor of God is for our own protection, so that we will not be overcome by the darkness of this world. The armor of God assures us that we will not be caught by surprise when we meet Jesus in the air or when we meet Jesus at the gates of heaven.