Today’s Reading: Mark 13:14-37 (additional reading: Psalm 50:1-23 & Proverbs 10:29-30)
In the late 19th Century, there was a wave of enthusiasm for prophecies predicting the actual date for Christ’s Second Coming. This wave set birth to many of the cults which we see today. Yet Jesus teaching was “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”
George Sweetin wrote: More than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy. Approximately one-third of it has yet to be fulfilled. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1,800 references appear in the Old Testament, and seventeen Old Testament books give prominence to this theme. Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return – one out of every thirty verses. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven New Testament books refer to this great event. Three of the four other books are single-chapter letters written to individuals concerning a particular subject, and the fourth is Galatians, which does imply Christ’s coming again. For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are eight on Christ’s second coming.
If you’re a good planner then you will plan for the next life. You will look at your day and ask, “In view of what’s coming in the next life–and it could be very soon, you know. Death could come anytime–how should I structure my day?” As for me, the next life is fixed. God has planned when that will be, and I try to let that truth have its powerful bearing on all of my present planning. This means, basically, that I hold my plans rather loosely, because he has plans for me now and he can take me out of here any minute. I hope I’ll be found faithful to him in my planning, but he’s the ultimate planner. Knowing that the next life is coming makes me realize that, though I must do my best in planning right now, God is the one who writes the script and he will bring the climax
John Wesley was working in his garden one day when a neighbour came by to visit. The neighbour attempted to jolt Wesley by asking, “What would you be doing now, John, if you knew for certain Jesus would return today?” Wesley jolted his neighbour instead by replying, “I would go right on doing what I’m doing.” May we live in such a way that Christ could return at any time and we would be comfortable continuing the task at hand.
Do you live your life in a state of readiness if at any moment Christ were to return? From the evidence we have around us, just like that of a tree telling of summer, we are living in the last days. That could mean a few years or hundreds, but in the timeline of humanity, we are nearer the end than the beginning.