Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Unexpectedly

I have three small books which contain questions intended to get the students in youth group talking. They are a good resource to have in youth ministry, but I haven’t used them much since leaving youth ministry three years ago. What I have used them for is to ask questions to my girlfriend as we got to know each other. They contain silly as well as some more thought provoking questions and can help you discover things about each other that wouldn’t be right out in the open.

This morning I was skimming through the book of unfinished sentences (the object is to finish the sentence) and the sentence that caught my attention was: When the Second Coming of Jesus occurs, I think most people will...

How would you finish that sentence? This is how I would finish it: be surprised. I think people will be surprised for a few different reasons. The will be surprised because it will happen so unexpectedly. It will be just an ordinary day and all of a sudden everything changes. We will be sitting at our desks, eating supper, washing the car, playing with the kids, or doing a number of other everyday activities when the heavens open up and the last day of life as we know it is over.

Not only will it come unexpectedly, but it will also be different from what we have come to expect. The Jews of Jesus’ day had access to Scripture, and they their Scriptures very well. What had happened wasn’t an ignorance of Scripture, but elevating certain interpretations of Scripture which caused them to miss out on Jesus. When we get so tied to our interpretations and doctrines that it causes us to miss hearing what God is telling us through Scripture we have problems. I think there are some Christians who have fallen into that same trap that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time fell into.

Another reason why I think it will be a surprise is because it will be something that we can’t even really imagine. We might think we have an idea, but our wildest dreams won’t be able to compare to reality. When Jesus comes back our jaws will drop because there it will be the most awesome experience in our lives. It will be awesomely horrible for those who have not put their faith in Jesus and awesomely joyful for those who have.

I don’t know when Jesus is coming back, I think it very well could happen in my lifetime, but I think it is something that we need to ponder about. Are we ready for Jesus to return? Is it something we are anticipating or dreading? Do you hope He holds off for a few more years so you can accomplish your dreams? Is the prospect of Heaven something that you desire or just a pipe dream you haven’t really thought about? Do you want Jesus to come back today?

Perhaps one of the things the Church needs today are more people willing to pray what John wrote in Revelation: Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20; NLT)

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