It has been said that certain truths are “Vest button” truths and others are not. A boy is taught at a young age by his father or older brother how to button up a vest. If you get the first button right the rest follow right in line. If you get the first one wrong, the rest (and the vest!) will wind up out of alignment. Where you go to church is not vest button truth, what version of the Bible you read isn’t either. However, looking for Jesus to return is! That, is essential.
Jesus was emphatic about being ready for His return. So much so He made it the subject of His final sermon He gave on Earth! (Mat 24-25)
In one parable Jesus spoke of what a master told His servants to do until He returned. He simply said to them “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13) We perhaps might ask “But with what should I be occupied with until Jesus comes back?” That is a great question. Let me suggest three worthwhile “occupations”.
BE LOOKING FOR THE LORD!
Members of previous expeditions had met with alcoholism and suicide and insanity. But for some reason on this expedition the 22 stranded men were kept in surprisingly good spirits. For four long, difficult months on Elephant Island, Frank Wild kept his men busy yet expecting to be rescued as indeed they eventually were by their Captain Earnest Shackleton: Every day He’d tell the men “Pack up the supplies, boys, because the boss might come today!” When he came they left.
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.
2 Peter 3:12
BE LIVING FOR THE LORD!
That Day ought to affect This day! If we truly believe Jesus could come at any time (and we should) then we should have our priorities significantly impacted by this glorious truth. John wrote “He that has this hope (of Christ’s appearance) fixed upon him purifies himself even as He is pure”. Like a bride getting ready for her wedding day, we should avoid anything that pulls us away from our devotion to Christ. The only way to be ready then is to be ready now and every day.
Someone once asked a godly man what he would do differently if he knew Christ was going to return tomorrow morning. He answered “Absolutely nothing.” Then he shared his plans for that day and evening (most of it ministering to others). We need to be able to answer that question the same way. If we cannot, it points out precisely what needs changing!
BE LEADING OTHERS TO THE LORD!
“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. (Luke 12:35)
When the angels came to Lot and told him that God was about to judge his city, they asked him to “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place” (Gen 19:12).
Since we know what is coming, we are to call others to be ready to leave with us.
In San Diego during last years horrible fires there was an automatic telephone evacuation notice sent out to residents. When the fire approached, all the residents on the list were called up and called out. Some people discovered they didn’t receive the call yet they lived in the burn area. After inquiring, they discovered that their names in fact were not on the official list! Of course they immediately added them.
If your name is on God’s list (because you have received Christ) you will be evacuated by Him before the fire of His wrath falls on this world. If your name is not on the list, you will miss the call! Be Ready by for the Lord’s return then by Looking For the Lord, Living For the Lord and Leading others to the Lord! Maranatha!