Lifelines September 20, 2020

Christians hang their hopes on the return of Christ.  We look forward to the day that He will come to take us to our forever home.  We gather on the first day of each week to remember His self-sacrifice to bring a new covenant to His people.  We remember His body and blood; and will continue to do so until He comes again.  Skeptics ridicule us for believing such a notion.  That is nothing new. 

Everything seems to be humming long just like always.  We see little difference from day-to-day and year-to-year.  Events vary but the world keeps spinning and the doubters keep mocking.  A few televangelists distort the word of God, identify sure signs that the end is near and ask for your money.  It is certainly an odd request from someone who is convinced that the Lord is getting ready to destroy us all.  Their predictions miss and the calculations start anew as their hands reach for your checkbook one more time.

This creation is certainly going to go up in flames someday, and we don’t know when.  All of that is in the mind of the Lord and not ours.  This world is in the hands of an almighty God who is infinitely patient with His beloved creation.  He does not want anyone to perish but to come to salvation.  Thankfully, He gives second, third and fourth chances; more opportunities than we can count.  It takes repentance for midlife corrections.  We veer off course, and He is waiting for us to come back.  The end will come in an instant and which instant that is remains a mystery.

What if it were right now or tomorrow?  Would we handle things differently?  Pray more?  Study Scripture more?  Draw closer to our Savior?  How would our worship be different this morning if we knew we were going to stand face-to-face with our Lord in a matter of hours?  The clock ticks, and one day it will tick for the last time and eternity will begin.

Days, weeks, months and years slip by and with them endless opportunities to repent.  It was the message of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), Peter on Pentecost (Acts 2:38) and it should be ours, too.  Hesitation on this fundamental will not do.  We do no one a favor if we play down the importance of repentance when the consequences are so profound (Luke13: 3 & 5). 

It is as challenging as any of the Lord’s commands.  Rethinking matters and adjusting beliefs is as basic to being a Christian as breathing is to being human.  A revamped mind brings about behavioral changes, and that is an ongoing process.  The letters to the struggling churches of Asia (Revelation 2 and 3) consistently told the errant churches and their members to repent.  The Lord patiently waits.  Is there anything for which we need to repent?