Instead of Trying to Predict The End Times, Let Us Live Like Jesus Is Returning Tomorrow

Posted: April 14, 2015 in Gospel of Luke
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Luke 17:20-37 — End times movies. End times books. Trying to understand prophecy. It sells. People want to know how this all going to end. The Left Behind books series was not just a Christian best-seller. It was one of the best selling book series of all time on the New York Times bestseller list. We are all wired to understand that there must be an end to things, regardless of whether you are a child of Christ or not. Throughout the centuries and throughout all cultures, there are, have been, and will be stories of how the world as we know it will come to an end. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the kingdom of God come?” The disciples asked, “where will this happen?” Why is it that we are so preoccupied with the end? It sells books. It sells tickets. Any time you mention the book of Revelation people stop and listen. People make all kinds of money trying to interpret the signs of the end times. YouTube is full of videos of people saying the end is here. Books are sold trying to say that current events are matching up with ancient prophecies.

Jesus tells us two things in this passage. First, the kingdom of God is already here among us. Second, when Jesus actually does return to end all things, He will come quickly and many will be caught off guard by it.

The first thing that Jesus teaches us in this passage is that the kingdom of God is already here. The Pharisees wanted to know but could not see that it was already here right in front of them. The kingdom of God is not like earthly kingdoms with defined boundaries and signs that tell you that this is the boundary of the country. Instead, it begins with the work of the Holy Spirit in peoples lives and in relationships. We must not look for institutional signs of the coming of God’s Kingdom. Instead, we must look at what He is doing in people’s heart. A 65 year old man coming to Christ after a life of ambition and greed is the kingdom of God showing itself. My friend, Marvin, passed away night before last. He accepted Christ as His Savior not til he was 65 years old. His life was radically changed by his salvation in Christ. That my friends is the kingdom of God in operation. It is his church in action. It is the spreading of the gospel to those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the kingdom of God. Paul warned the Thessalonians not to quit life watching and waiting for the end of time and Jesus’ return. They had work to do. They had a gospel to spread. Instead of waiting and worrying and bemoaning the state of the world as Christ followers, we should be about our business of spreading the gospel as if Jesus were about to return tomorrow. When Jesus does return (and only the Father in heaven knows when that will be), there will be no more second chances. As our Ironmen men’s ministry at has been progressing through Revelation, the thing that has struck me the most is that it must increase our urgency to share the gospel. Not just live our lives as examples of Christ in front of them but actually telling them about their need for Jesus that they don’t even recognize. When Jesus returns, what will we say then? We were too busy to share the gospel. My friend Marvin did not think twice about sharing the gospel with complete strangers. He was so thankful for his salvation that he felt compelled to share the gospel with everyone he met. We should be the same. When the end does come there will be no more second chances. We should have gospel urgency. Stop trying to match Obama to the anti-Christ. Stop trying to determine if the United States is Babylon. Share the gospel before its too late.

The second thing that Jesus tells us is that many of us will go through life as business as usual ignoring the signs of the kingdom of God. Even if the signs of the end times are really coming to fruition people will not take them seriously. Many of us want to continue to live like there is no end times. There is an end time for us all whether its in our own physical death or when Jesus does actually return to end all things. One way or the other, we will meet our own end time. Our own death or Jesus returning today. Many of us live as if one or the other is not going to occur. We live like hell. We live for ourselves. God is merely and idea. We believe in our tangible things. We believe in our possessions. Our things will make us happy. We ignore the kingdom of God. We believe in our own abilities. We believe that we determine our destiny. We worship ourselves. We worship what we can touch and feel and ignore the Holy Spirit of God. We ignore our need for God. We ignore our need for a Savior. If we make this world the most important thing, we cannot see the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is among those who have already submitted their lives to His Lordship. Those who cannot see this will go on living there lives living to please themselves all the way up until the day the Lord returns, indifferent to the kingdom of God. I have time. I will deal with Jesus later. I will deal with this whole God thing later. They will be taken by surprise by Christ’s return. They will taken by surprise by their own death if it happens before Christ’s return. We should be living as if Christ will return tomorrow. When He does return it will be too late for those who have ignored the kingdom of God. You must deal with this God thing right now. Stop trying to interpret the signs of the end times by buying the latest book on the end times by some guy who has a Messiah complex. Stop trying to push the envelop as far as you can because you think you will be able to interpret the signs of the end times and THEN get your life together. Stop. Now. Like my friend Marvin at age 65 had to stop on the side of the road and deal with Jesus right then and there. We all are going to face an end. We do not know when it will come. Either you die or Jesus returns. We don’t know when it will come either one of those. You could die today on your way to work. Jesus could return today during your commute to work. Stop trying to interpret signs. Deal with Jesus right now. If you died RIGHT NOW, where would you spend eternity. If Jesus returned RIGHT NOW, where would you spend eternity? He will come suddenly! Death often comes when we least expect it? The kingdom of God is here. It is in Jesus Christ. Know Him now. Accept Him as Your Savior NOW!

Lord, God, give me the power to speak your words with urgency as if you are coming tomorrow. Give me the urgency to share that you are the only and only way to heaven and to the Father. Give me urgency to share the gospel story of rescue and restoration. Help me to be a part of the expansion of your kingdom. The kingdom that lives in the hearts of men. The kingdom to which we are blind to its existence until we accept Christ as our Savior. Amen.

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  1. […] Instead of Trying to Predict The End Times, Let Us Live Like Jesus Is Returning Tomorrow […]

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