As I read this above passage in my daily bible reading the other night, a question occurred to me. How would I live if I believed Jesus was returning tomorrow? What things would I do to prepare for His return? Then I began to think about our overseas military men.
We’ve all seen the reunion videos between soldiers and their families after a long deployment. We see the wives waiting with the children, all dressed up so that they may look their best for him. The anticipation for his arrival is evident. They may even bring others with them to celebrate his return. Nothing would keep them from being there to joyfully greet him.
As the husband comes into view, we see a joy so overwhelming that it brings forth tears. The loved ones cling to him as though they are afraid if they let go, he will depart from them all over again. There is much celebration by all who love this man.
When we compare, we see several parallels to how we should be regarding the return of our Lord Jesus.
1. Being physically appealing at His return (Holiness)
Just like a wife prepares herself to be as “spotless” as possible for her husband, so we ought to also seek this as we wait for Christ’s return. We ought to be striving for holiness, resisting temptation whenever it appears in our lives, and repenting when we do fall. It would not be very appealing for a husband to return to a wife only to find her looking disheveled or in the arms of another (idolatry).
2. Excitement at His return that causes abandonment of other activities (Love)
As I thought about this portion of the soldier’s return, I thought about how awful it would be if the wife didn’t wait around for his return because some other activity she deemed more important or exciting. Say there was a sale at her favorite store that same day: 80% off everything. What would that say about her feelings for this man if she viewed that as more important than his arrival? We ought to be anxiously awaiting Jesus’ return, always joyfully thinking, “Could it be today Lord that we will be together eternally?” Every day should be lived with this sort of love for Jesus that yearns for His coming to earth.
4. Sharing with others in His return (Evangelism)
Like the soldier reunion scenario, we should desire to share the moment of Jesus' return with others. This means being active to evangelize the lost so that we might have others to rejoice with. This act is a command from our beloved Savior. We need to be diligently seeking to share the Good News with the lost, for once He descends, there will be no more chances for them. When He comes, then comes judgement. While we wait for Him, we should be proclaiming the message of salvation to all of creation that we might rejoice with other believers at His coming.
Jesus is coming. He has declared it, and so it shall be. We must be ready for Him, living in a way that is pleasing to Him, growing in our love and anticipation of Him, and warning others of the wrath to come. Let us not get lazy in pursuing Christ daily as though we just ought to sit back and do nothing in preparation for His return. Instead, let us be looking to Him and doing what He has commanded. We do this so that when He comes we may not regret how we were at His coming, and all we failed to accomplish with the time that we were given on earth.