How are we to live our lives in light of Christ's return?

Question: "How are we to live our lives in light of Christ's return?"

We believe that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent; that is, His return could occur at any moment. We, with the Apostle Paul, look for “the blessed hope and the glorious appearing” of Christ (Titus 2:13). Knowing that the Lord could come back today, some are tempted to stop what they’re doing and just “wait” for Him.

However, there is a big difference between knowing that Jesus could return today and knowing that He will return today. Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour” (Matthew 24:36). The time of His coming is something God has not revealed to anyone, and so, until He calls us to Himself, we should continue serving Him. In Jesus’ parable of the ten talents, the departing king instructs his servants to “occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13 KJV).

The return of Christ is always presented in scripture as a great motivation to action, not as a reason to cease from action. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul wraps up his teaching on the rapture by saying, “Therefore . . . always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” (verse 58). In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul concludes a lesson on Christ’s coming with these words: “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled” (verse 6). To retreat and “hold the fort” was never Jesus’ intention for us. Instead, we work while we can. “Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).

The apostles lived and served with the idea that Jesus could return within their lifetime; what if they had ceased from their labors and just “waited”? They would have been in violation of the Great Commission, and the gospel would have not spread. The apostles understood that Jesus’ imminent return meant they must busy themselves with God’s work. They lived life to the fullest, as if every day were their last. We, like they, should view every day as a gift and use it to glorify God.

1 John 3:2-3, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

Recommended Resource: The Second Coming: Signs of Christ's Return and the End of the Age by John MacArthur.

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How are we to live our lives in light of Christ's return?