One Thing to Remember
January 26, 2022
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President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Lincoln wisely highlighted the importance of preparation in order to reach one’s goal. When we look at some of the most successful business people and athletes in the world, the common denominator in all of their stories is their extraordinary mental and physical preparation.
Take NFL quarterback, Tom Brady, for instance. I’m not Brady’s biggest fan, but I can’t help but respect his discipline. Brady knows that every year, on the first Sunday in February, the Super Bowl is coming. It’s not a surprise. He can count down the days. He knows it’s a reality. He wants to be successful. He wants to win. And he knows the only way he has a shot at winning is to be ready. So, he prepares mentally and physically for the event. Every day, he does what most of us aren’t willing to do: he gets up early, works out like a beast, and prepares his body and mind for that sure coming of Super Bowl Sunday.
Far more important than training for something physical is your spiritual preparation for the second coming of Christ.
The Lord’s return will be the culmination—the highest and most decisive point—of all of history. It will be an epic, final battle between good and evil, light and darkness. Every saga you’ve ever seen on the silver screen (and I hate to break it to you fans, but this includes Star Wars) will pale in comparison to this fateful day.
As a Jesus follower, this reality needs to be your ultimate focus. Of all the things to prepare for in life—sports, tests, graduation, a job, marriage, parenthood, retirement—the one thing for which we really need to prepare is Christ’s return.
I find that when it comes to the Second Coming of Christ, people generally fall into three different categories:
- They don’t believe that it will ever happen, so they live life without an eternal mindset. So, when Jesus comes again—and he will come again—they will be totally unprepared.
- They believe it is true, but that it will happen so far into the future that they have all the time in the world to have fun and not do anything to advance the gospel. Therefore, when Jesus comes again—and he will come again—they will be totally unprepared.
- They believe it is true and that it could happen any day, so they live their lives with an eternal mindset, in expectant hope of Christ’s return. Therefore, when Jesus comes again—and he will come again—they will be joyfully prepared.
In which category do you fall?
Are you living your life in a way that reflects your confidence that the Lord is coming back, just as He promised? The truth is, this reality will influence your entire perspective and decision-making. It is the one thing needed to adopt an eternal mind-set based on God’s timetable, not ours.
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus Christ will return to the earth in glory and power to judge the living and the dead and to make all things new (Matt. 24:27–30; Rev. 22:12–13). Despite this fact, people won’t believe, and they will mock. You may find it difficult to keep going, to keep trusting Jesus, to keep doing the right thing, to keep abiding in God’s Word. Time may pass, and it may look like Christ is never going to return. And you may begin to wonder, “Where are you, Lord? This world is too cruel, too difficult, too challenging, too much temptation, too much sorrow. You’re taking so long! Are you ever coming back?” But my friend, if you ever find yourself feeling this way, I urge you not to let this thought distract or derail you from preparing for God’s kingdom.
Second Peter 3:8 says,
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
The world may doubt or mock the Lord’s return, or it may seem as though you have all the time in the world to do what God has called you to do. The truth is: God is patient and on a different timetable than we are—and you need to be prepared for Jesus’s return. What are you doing today to prepare? Pray and ask the Lord for wisdom, discipline, and a holy game plan in order to be ready for Christ’s Second Coming.
Pastor Dudley Rutherford is the author of, One Thing: Rediscover a Simple Faith in Our Complicated World, available now on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Pastor Dudley Rutherford is the senior pastor of Shepherd Church, which has three campuses in the Greater Los Angeles area. You can watch services online or connect with Dudley at www.LiftUpJesus.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.