“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13, NKJV)
One of the things I’ve missed during the past year’s restrictions on gatherings and travel has been having guests in my home. Whether our weekly small group from church or a friend visiting from out of town, seldom a week would pass without a friend, or several friends, being here. And then life changed. Yes, we’ve kept in touch, but a Zoom call or text message is not the same as having friends visit in person.
Today I have a longer list of things to accomplish because I’m preparing for the arrival of a friend tomorrow. At last, we will be able to chat in person. I’ve already prepared the guestroom, but I’ll check again to be sure everything is in place. Soon I also will head to the grocery store for some of the food items my friend enjoys. I’ve already let nearby friends know she is arriving so they can plan time with her as well. Yes, I have a mental checklist of things I want ready before I pick her up at the airport.
In the midst of my preparations, God quietly prompted these questions. Am I spending more time preparing for my friend’s visit than I am spending in anticipation of His return? Do I feel as excited about seeing Him, the one Who died in my place, as I do the friend I haven’t seen in over a year? What preparations am I making to be sure I’m ready when He comes? How long has it been since I’ve thought about what Titus calls “the blessed hope and glorious appearing”?
While with a group of friends some time ago, I heard one man declare, “I don’t want the Lord to come. I want to see my children get married. I want grandchildren.” I was somewhat shocked at his words, and I’ve pondered them numerous times since. I finally realized he said aloud what many think but never say. Life is comfortable, all is going well for me and my family, and I’m content just like it is.
Others hold a different opinion on the Lord’s return. They don’t believe it’s true. If it hasn’t happened by now, it’s never going to happen. Or so they say. It’s not a new thought. Others expressed it long before our day. “They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation’” (II Peter 3:4, ESV).
Perhaps it’s time to became less concerned with an untidy guestroom and consider any untidiness in my soul. Titus 2:12 tells me to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (ESV). That is the best way to prepare myself for the Lord’s return.
Those around us may not be interested in the rapture or even believe it’s an actual event that could happen at any moment. We may not know the day nor the hour, but we cannot allow their disinterest or unbelief to keep us from anticipating and preparing for the Lord’s return.
Lord, help me to live each day in anticipation of Your return for me. If I grow complacent or find thoughts of unbelief filling my mind, stir me and convict me. I want to live in a state of constant preparedness—ready to meet You at any moment.
(Other verses you may wish to study: I Corinthians 15:51-58, Philippians 3:20-21, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I John 3:2-3.)