Posted by: pmarkrobb | November 16, 2015

as if the next will be in eternity

When is Jesus coming back?  It’s a question as old as “the Church” itself.  It’s a question Jesus took time to answer even before He left the earth the first time He came.  Yet we continue to ask and consider it to this day.  Are we simply anxious for the day He will return to make things right?  Are we so fed up with the evil and brokenness around us that we just want Jesus to turn over some proverbial “temple tables” and fix this place?!  Are we wondering if it will pre-date our retirement, so we can stop worrying about not having saved enough?  There are so many reasons why end-times prophecy is a fixture in every age.  In our’s, there is no shortage of books or websites focused on answering the question that Jesus already has.  When will we begin trusting His answer and begin caring less about “when” and more about now?

Jesus used a fig tree to attempt to illustrate the truth of His coming again to the disciples.  Just as the new life of tender fig branches and leaves give evidence of the coming of summer, so it will be of signs He shared with the disciples and His coming for the second and final time.  Jesus’ ultimate answer to the question? … you won’t know the details of when.  “Stay awake,” is as close as He gets to being specific about it.

I love that Jesus knows us so well and is so gracious when we continue to focus on the wrong things.  The question of when began many verses earlier when the disciples were commenting on the beauty and permanence of the buildings outside the temple.  Jesus was quick and clear in responding, that those impressive buildings would not stand forever.  They would one day be reduced to rubble … the day of His return.  “Do not fix your gaze on the grandeur and might of this material world,” I can hear Jesus say.

While Jesus was clear that we will not know the day or the hour, He was equally clear about several fundamental truths:

  • Don’t be deceived. There are many who will claim to be him, and many will be fooled.  Read the Word.  Know the Word.  Test their claims against the Word.
  • Do not fear. There will be a great deal of unrest and evil at work in the world as its end approaches.  God knows.  God will allow.  God remains in control.
  • Be faithful. The severe trials and tests of our every day (and especially of that time) will cause some to fall away.  Be faithful.
  • Stay awake! Every moment is a moment closer to forever being present with God.  Every passing moment is one less to reach someone who is lost.  Do not grow indifferent or comfortable with the time you’ve been gifted here.  God has measured your days and those of this present world.  Be about the work of the kingdom in each and every moment you are given.  Do not take any of them for granted.

One of the truths I have learned in losing someone I loved in this life, is that if I had known the exact measure of time I had with them, I would have chosen to spend more of it with them.  We need to live this way in light of the kingdom.  We need to live each breath as if the next will be in eternity.

Trust Jesus’ answer that we will not know the day or time of His return.  Live as He said — with discernment, fearless, faithful, always alert, adding to the kingdom.  Live each breath as if the next will be in eternity.


  1. Thanks for the reality check, it’s good to think on these things.

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