It is sad to think about how many arguments have happened in churches over the end times. When will Jesus return? What will the order of events be? What is literal and what is figurative in the prophecies? Often, we get so caught up in arguing our position that we forget how the fact of the future return of Christ should effect our lives today.
Luke12:42-48 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
In this passage from Luke, the Savior has been counseling his disciples toward obedience. Of course, in the discussion, the return of Jesus and what the world will be like at that point is in the minds of the disciples. But notice what Jesus offers us for a thought. He wants us to consider that, when he returns, whenever that is, he should find us faithful.
Looking at that paragraph, we see that Jesus wants our consideration of his return to drive us toward obedience. The Lord wants us to know that he will come back, and that it would be better for us if he finds us faithful. There is no room in the life of a Christian to assume that today could not be the day when we meet our Lord. And so, this day should find us behaving in a way that is fitting a servant of the Lord.
Just ask yourself, “If I were to know that I would meet Jesus today, what would I do differently?” How would your obedience to the small commands of God change in the light of soon meeting the Savior? How important would your quiet time become? How significant would your study be? How much would you want to share the gospel? How sweetly would you want to treat your family?
On the other hand, if you knew you would meet Jesus today, think about what would not matter to you at all. Would you worry about who seems to have slighted you? Would you worry about how others on earth view you? Would you care about whether or not you were given a position of honor or a title? Would you worry about whether or not you got your way in an argument?
It does us good if we allow ourselves to view the return of Christ as Jesus paints the picture. He does not tell us to argue about pre or post tribulation raptures. He does not tell us to fight about a view of the millennium. He does not call us to try to fuss about the role of Israel in the final days. What he does call us to do is to realize that he will return, that we will stand before him, that we might meet him today, and that this all should move us to faithful obedience.