It is the end of the Church Year. This coming Sunday is November 21 - the Last Sunday of the Church Year. The focus of the service will be on the return of the Lord. What do you believe about that?
I ask that question because what we believe will happen on the Last Day affects how we live today. Will there actually be a "Last Day" when Christ comes? Or will the world go on until we finally destroy it - through war or through abuse of nature itself? If there is a Last Day, what will happen on it? Will Jesus really come upon the clouds as the angels told the disciples on the mount outside of Jerusalem 40 days after the day when Jesus rose from the dead? (Acts 1) When He comes, will He really separate people - believers from unbelievers - as He says in Matthew 25:31ff? Does that mean that only those who believe will go to heaven? And those who don't believe in Him will go to hell for eternity, to the place of eternal suffering and pain, a place where they will never again know the love and the presence of the Almighty?
The way you answer those questions is important. Scripture tells us that Christ will return on the Last Day. On that day, all who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the one and only Savior, will enter into eternal life with Him forever. (All right, so that is a redundant saying, but it is what Scripture means.) Scripture also tells us that all who do not believe that Jesus is the one and only Savior of mankind will be cast into hell, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, where there is torment and suffering that never ends and where Satan and all the demonic horde will be for all eternity. Scripture points out these very things. Do you believe that?
I do. And having said that, it changes how I look at life. Life is not meant JUST for my pleasure. Oh, the Lord does come that we may have life and have it abundantly. He does give us much joy and pleasure in this life. He does intend for us enjoy the wonders and bounties of His creation. So don't go thinking that Scripture tells us that we are to grumpy, sad people who have no sense of joy. Just the opposite is taught in God's Word. He tells us that we will "leap like calves from the stall." (Malachi 4:2) He tells us that we will enjoy the fruits of this earth, the pleasure of marriage and the joys of family. Christians actually can enjoy life more than non-Christians, because they know the real meaning and direction of life - given to them by faith in Jesus Christ. For those who think that Christianity is meant to be boring, sad and unmoving, they have missed how God wishes us to live.
But life is not JUST about me. It is about others. If I truly believe that only those who have faith in Jesus Christ are going to heaven, AND that Jesus can come at any moment, then I am living my life for others. Life becomes a life of witnessing to Christ Jesus. And not waiting till tomorrow, but witnessing about Him today! Now is the day of salvation, now is the day when I need to tell you that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came to save you from eternal damnation. I will want to shout it from the mountaintop - Hey world! There is one Savior and it isn't Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. The only Savior is Jesus Christ - the One shown only in what is called the Holy Bible. Any other god or savior or path of religious/spiritual enlightenment is wrong. It will lead you to hell - whether you believe that or not. You might not accept there is only one God, but there is. And my life, my being, all that I do and say, is meant to reflect that.
Why? Because I believe what Scripture says. It states that Jesus will come again. When He does, all bets are off. You either believe in Him or you don't. And I want everyone to believe in Him. I want what God wants - all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-6).
So what do you believe? Will Christ come soon? If so, why are you sitting on the message of life and hope and not sharing and living it? "He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20 ESV)