Summary: The fact of Christ’s soon return should have a great effect on the manner of our behaviour and perspective in life. Knowing that nothing on earth is permanent; that this is not our real home should dissuade us from materialism which leads a soul astray.
Intro: The fact of Christ’s soon return should have a great effect on the manner of our behaviour and perspective in life. Knowing that nothing on earth is permanent; that this is not our real home should dissuade us from materialism which leads a soul astray. Such truths related to Christ’s return should influence our lifestyle and service for God. In our passage there are five characteristics of the Christian who believes in the imminent return of Christ. If we truly believe that Jesus Christ is coming again very soon –
I. WE SHALL STRIVE TO LIVE LIVES THAT ARE HOLY, BLAMELESS AND CHRISTLIKE (vv. 11, 14).
A. What would be your immediate reaction should God suddenly reveal to you that Christ is returning within two hours?
B. Is it not true that so many Christians, upon receiving such unexpected news, would use every second of those two hours to get right with God and prepare for Christ’s sudden coming? Perhaps there would be overdue debts to pay, forgiveness to seek or to give, terrible mistakes to correct, wrongdoings to make right, shortcomings to make up for, and sins to repent of and forsake?
C. The truth is that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming without prior notice! Nobody knows the exact date but He is coming! (v.10)
II. WE SHALL BE FAR MORE INTERESTED IN THE WORLD TO COME THAN IN THIS PRESENT EVIL WORLD (v.13).
A. This does not mean that Christians should never share toward the betterment of society and mankind. Great institutions were founded in the past by not a few concerned Christians.
B. A Christian must always strive for balance. That is, he should neither be too "heavenly-minded" so much so that he is virtually useless on earth nor too occupied with worldly cares that he neglects his higher heavenly calling and priorities.
C. Christians are just pilgrims and strangers passing through the earth but on our way to Heaven. Why? Because we are citizens of Heaven (Phil. 3:20) and indeed aliens on this planet!
D. Because of our unique outlook, we are most often viewed as pessimists. To the contrary, we are of all people most optimistic about the future. While this present world and everything in it has already been appointed to destruction, we have been promised a new heaven and a new earth that are to come (I John 2:15-17).
III. WE SHALL BE CONCERNED FOR THE SALVATION OF THOSE UNPREPARED TO FACE CHRIST (vv. 9, 15).
A. Verses 9 and 15 remind us of the Lord’s compassion towards those perishing. You and I who have been forgiven and redeemed should share in God’s burden to persuade men to repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).
B. The signs of the times – the rebirth of Israel, the European Union, frequent earthquakes and other natural disasters, famine, pestilences, plagues, global political and social unrest – all tell us that the coming of the Lord draws near (Jas. 5:8; Rev. 22:7).
C. The Lord’s coming is a wonderful day for us believers but a terrible day for those unprepared. Let us rescue the perishing!
IV. WE SHALL BE STEADFAST IN THE MIDST OF WORSENING CONDITIONS IN THE WORLD (v.17).
A. Though there are strange and false prophets who tell us that the world is getting better and brighter, such are destined to fail.
B. Can a world that has – rejected God and His Son, doubted the Bible, and despised the Gospel of Christ – ever get better?
C. Can a sinful mankind which has disregarded the only remedy for sin and eternal condemnation be ever safe and sound? NO!
D. Beware of the error of the wicked! We who are in the world yet not of it are to find hope, peace and inspiration in the Lord who will soon leave His throne to come for us (John 14:1-3).
V. WE SHALL DESIRE ABOVE ALL TO GROW IN GRACE AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD (v.18).
A. Prayer, Bible study, scripture meditation and memorization, worship, fellowship, witnessing, discipleship, and ministering are just some of the essential elements of spiritual growth.
B. Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour? How deep and precious is your love for Him who first loved you?
C. If Christ is indeed your Lord and Saviour, you must then strive to grow steadily and deeply in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is a sin not to grow spiritually after sufficient time.
Conclusion: Fellow Christians, let us daily anticipate the coming of the Lord by living well-pleasing lives in His sight. Let us set our priorities right while ever striving to bring the Gospel of Christ to our unsaved fellowmen. By God’s grace, let us be alert and remain calm in the midst of worldwide unrest, distress and calamities. Above all, let us know Christ deeper and serve Him gladly! Amen!!