Series: The End
Live in Light of the Day of Christ
I have a friend who asks me just about every week, shaking his head, "When is it gonna get better?"
My answer is always something like this: "One day."
These two words summarize a hope that some future day Jesus will change all that isn't working here. One day.
One Final, Future Day
Some claim the end has already come,1 or that it will happen on several days, separated by a thousand years.2 But the Bible speaks of "the day" of Christ's return (2 Thess. 1:9-10) as "the end" (1 Cor. 15:22-26), the "last day" (John 6:39-54), "an hour" when all the dead will rise, and judgment will come (John 5:29-30). Not a millennium, a day. God "has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed" (Acts 17:30-31).
We may wonder why God would let sickness, death, sadness, and evil surround us, but that’s because we confuse One Day with Today. Are people still dying? Then "the end" hasn't come yet (1 Cor. 15:24-26). Is Jesus still reigning as King (1 Cor. 15:24, 28)? Has the Lord "changed" us and given us glorious, immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-53)? If not, then the end hasn’t come.
One Unknown Day
We can't predict that day by watching the news for signs.
"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only … Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matt. 24:36, 44).
Paul says "the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" and compares it to the way "labor pains come upon a pregnant woman" (1 Thess. 5:2-3). We don't know the date, but it shouldn't catch us off guard since we live with that day in mind (1 Thess. 5:4-6).
Living in Light of the One Day
Most people sleepwalk through life, barely aware of the most important realities. We can go on autopilot too, reacting unwisely to the events around us and the impulses within us.
"… the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime …" (Rom. 13:11-14).
Understanding the end should wake us up to walk in daylight. And if we do that, it shouldn't keep us up to worry at night.
So keep your eyes open and live in the light of that day. It's "nearer to us now" (Rom. 13:11) than ever before, and each day brings us closer to that glorious Someday.
1: The "A.D. 70 Doctrine," also known as "Full Preterism."
2: Dispensational Premillennialism, a widespread view among evangelicals that includes the rapture, seven years of tribulation, and thousand-year-reign of Christ on Earth. Most versions of this doctrine anticipate three separate resurrection days (saints, tribulation saints, and wicked) and two judgment days separated by a thousand years.