Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
– 1 John 2:28
Are we really supposed to be watching for Christ’s return? What does it matter, as long as we’re saved?
One Christmas Eve the extended family was coming for the first time to our place for dinner, and I had worked myself into a frazzle getting the house ready. Late in the afternoon, when my nerves were frayed into sharp little spikes, I finally finished waxing the floor in the kitchen and entry. I declared to my poor family that anyone who set foot on the floor before it dried was in trouble.
I had barely walked upstairs when I caught sight of my husband throwing the rug back down on the wet and sticky floor at the front door entry. I literally screeched at him as I flew down the stairs to retrieve the rug.
Halfway down the stairs, I froze mid-screech.
Aaron had opened the door to visitors. Unexpected, important visitors.
I wanted to die. There was no way they could have missed my performance.
They graciously gave no indication they heard my freak-out on the stairs. But my embarrassment was complete and profound. I had totally shamed myself at their coming.
One day God is going to surprise us.
Jesus will appear without warning in the sky to claim His people. I can guarantee it will be unannounced. Although we can’t know the day or the hour, we can see the season coming upon us. We can feel the change in the air and know something is coming upon the earth.
Actually, Someone is coming. He is coming soon, and the more completely we have lived for Him, the more joy we will have at His coming.
The Bible urges us to conduct ourselves in such a way so if He should arrive at any moment, we will not be ashamed to see His face. Our hearts should always be packed and ready for the trip home.
On that Christmas years ago, my selfish efforts to impress my in-laws made my family miserable and embarrassed myself when it really mattered.
God doesn’t care about our efforts to impress Him and others. He sees our hearts. He cares about how we live in those moments when we think no one is looking. He longs for us to live every hour as if it were the moment He arrives for us.
He is coming. Be ready. Someone very important is at the door.
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, 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.