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« Go to series: Life in Christ
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Our perspective affects how we live. For instance, living in the light of eternity affects what we do and how we respond. There was a reminder of the "piece of string" illustration from November - living for the "dot or living for the "line"
Another perspective which affects our lives is the perspective of an anticipation of Christ's return. 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 tells us that it will involve everyone - both the living and the dead - everyone who has ever existed. Even those who have never acknowledged Christ will be there. Christ's return is as certain as our death.
Three questions around this event:
- Christ is coming - How will He come?
Matthew 24: 36-44. He will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Most people will not be expecting it, including believers. It will come "as a thief in the night". After death, meeting Christ face to face is the next event we'll be involved in. Some meetings need us to be prepared and expectant - they go better. The meeting we are going to have with Christ is one we should prepare for.
- Christ is coming - when He comes, what will He bring?
2 Peter 3: 3-10. The day of Christ's return is also known as the day of judgement - when everything will be made known. There will be three groups of people. (1) Those who rejected Christ. See Revelation 6: 15-17 for the consequences for those who have not received Him. (2) Those who think they know Christ but find that Christ does not know them. Matthew 7: 21-23. This is the deceived group. They thought they were doing OK, thought they knew Jesus, but didn't live for Him in obedience to Him and His word, making Him Lord. Hebrews 10: 26-31. "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. These people are in the "surprised" category. They have a form of religion.
- Christ will bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. Hebrews 9:27-28, Romans 2:5-8, Matthew 16: 27. For those who genuinely live for Christ, He comes with salvation, eternal life and reward. This is the group to aspire towards. This will be a day of unimaginable joy and pleasure. This day is described in scripture as a wedding day. Jesus comes as a bridegroom to love us and take us to himself. He's coming with gifts - to reward each person according to what they have done. It matters how we live our lives now. Our rewards will be according to how we live our lives. Compare the gifts that God has given us and there is no comparison to earthly gifts. This will be our experience at the last day - unimaginable gifts that will bless us.
Christ is coming - so how should we live? Matthew 25: 1-13 - parable of wise and foolish virgins. v13 – therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
(a) don't fall asleep, don't live half-heartedly, don't live with compromise on the word of God etc
(b) Live wisely, not foolishly. Live full of God, not half empty. Full of holiness, faith, zeal and passion. Live full-on for God.
(c) Be alert and ready. make every moment Christ-aware. Every attitude, every thought, every behaviour. Then you will be ready and prepared.