If you are involved in social media at all, you’ve seen the headlines. Someone important has heard on good authority that a politician’s life as they know it is finished. The president has to be impeached over the news they are about to release; a politician is just days away from indictment. You soon find out the real reason for the headline – it’s designed to lure you in. After closing 13 popups and waiting for 22 other ads to load, you realize that the words were rumor and innuendo that had no depth. You just got caught by a clickbait site. Perhaps the clickbaiters have learned something from those in the Church who make fantastic claims about the return of Jesus and get all sorts of Christians following them.
What follower of Christ doesn’t want to see Him come again? What an amazing day that will be! When someone “knows” the day and the hour our pulses quicken and we rush to find out this “truth.” Then, when the day passes, we sit back in disappointment and maybe even lose a little of our faith – revealing that part of our faith wasn’t fully in God, but instead on what one person said about God. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:26-27)
Let me ask one question of those of you who follow Christ. If you really knew for sure the time and the day of the coming of Jesus, what would you be doing? Would you be rushing out to some hillside to see Him coming or would you be about the work that He has called you to do? I don’t think God has called us to be on a greeting committee; He’s called us to be His ambassadors in a world that grows more hostile to Him every day. We are to share the good news of His grace and mercy in words and in deeds. Jesus reminds us not to believe the people who tell about His second coming. Jesus warns us to avoid those false prophets because His coming, when it happens again will be as obvious as lightning, which lights up the sky. Does that mean the rapture will happen first? I don’t know. I don’t care. I have work to do. Does that mean He’ll come with a mighty army? (See my answer regarding the rapture.)
Since Baptists speak committee, let me put things in committee terms. As much as I would like it, God didn’t put me on the planning committee for His return. I found out He doesn’t take volunteers for that committee either. He didn’t put me on His welcoming committee and He isn’t open to volunteers for that position either. I am on the invitation committee. My job, my committee responsibility, is to extend invitations to people to receive God’s grace and mercy. I am to do that by telling others about this amazing grace. I am to do that by caring for the poor and oppressed while telling of His grace. I am to do that by extending mercy and grace to those who have not experienced mercy and grace. I am, to paraphrase Paul, to become all things to all people so that some might receive God’s grace. This is the invitation I make to you. If you have not experienced God’s grace, then welcome it now. Ask God to forgive you and grant you His forgiveness and mercy. Experience His eternal life which begins right now in your own life. It will be the best RSVP you ever make.
Lord God, forgive me for wanting to get involved in the planning of Your return. Forgive me for wanting to forget those You care for and run to meet You at Your return. Remind me that I am called to be doing Your work on this earth until I die or until You come again. May I always show others the joy of living in Your grace and mercy.