LIVE TODAY AS IF IT WERE YOUR LAST…

Did the Apostle Paul expect the Lord to come back in his lifetime (yes, cf. 1 Thess. 4:15)? I assure you every New Testament person expected the Lord to come back in his lifetime. Why do you think the Gospels were not written for some 30 40 50 60 years after Jesus is dead? They thought He’s coming tomorrow. “Why write this down? He may come tomorrow…surely next week…by the end of the year for sure.” But Jesus did not come. Finally, the Apostles started dying. False teachers started rising. There was the delayed Second Coming, and these early Christians said “we’ve got to write this down”. This generation is passing away, so are the authoritative speakers passing away. Remember John was given the charge of Mary, Jesus’s mother, and he stayed with Mary in Palestine until Mary died and then John apparently moved to what we would call Asia Minor, in the city of Ephesus. And the early traditions say that the elders of that church pleaded with the ageing John, to write down his memories of Jesus before he died, and that’s when the Gospel of John was written in the 90’s. So these people did expect the Lord but then the Lord delays and delays. Nobody understands how all those words in Revelation, ‘soon’, ‘quickly’ mean. Just think of those words. Why has there been a 2000 year delay? I don’t think anybody can answer that. But what i would say is this – the Second Coming is meant to be an encouragement for every generation of Christians to live holy every day to the fullest. It’s an impetus for holy living in the exigencies of today, because we don’t know if we have tomorrow. If you knew for certain the Second Coming was next Saturday at 8 o’clock, how frenzied would this week be for you? Now, it shouldn’t be frenzied at all because i think the sum of the New Testament teaching about the ‘Second Coming’ is, it’s not ‘how?’, it’s not ‘when?’, it’s not who? It’s ‘be ready’, and ‘be active’. and it ‘doesn’t matter’. We ought to be ready, we ought to live in light of the possible immediate return of Christ. Some believers are so obsessed with the “how” and “when” of Jesus’ Second Coming and somehow neglect the Great Commission. Believers can actually hasten Christ’s return by stepping up efforts towards evangelism and discipleship. The time and manner of His return wouldn’t really matter because this is entirely within God’s purview. It will surely come to pass. Live as if this were your last but plan for your future ministry.

#apostle-paul