“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)
We hear it often: “I’m a sinner in need of a Savior.” This statement is one hundred percent true. Full stop. We are sinners and we are in need of a Savior. But if this statement is purely the end goal, then we are saying personal salvation is all that matters. However, personal salvation is not the end goal, because Christ is set to return at a time only the Father knows, and our good God is actively working to make all things new and will one day culminate in his return. Putting your faith in Jesus Christ is not simply acknowledging that you’re a sinner in need of a Savior, but knowing, believing, and living out the entirety of the Gospel in anticipation of Christ’s return.
Matthew 24 contains a familiar parable, comparing Christ’s return to that of a thief in the night as well as a servant awaiting his master’s return. As a young Christian, I thought that this parable was talking about sin. I thought, “I must be sinless when the master returns.” And the funny thing is, anyone who believes in Jesus will be seen as sinless when He returns and we are called to the judgment seat because the Father will see Christ in our place. But this passage is talking about living an entire life for God. His standards must impact our every motive, thinking, emotions, everything (Deut. 6:6). It means to seek and do the will of God, not just refraining from sin. Living in anticipation for Christ’s return in light of the Gospel must challenge and transform the way we view our relationships inside and outside the church (especially the challenging ones), the way we interact (or don’t) with worldly politics, the things we say in person or on social media (perhaps even our engagement with social media), and in every way imaginable, lest we are seeking our own will and desires in actuality.
Living an entire life for God is certainly a tall task. Jesus said to count the cost, to follow Him solely and not the world, which means throughout the course of it we may lose relationships we desire, material things, and even our lives (Luke 14:28). The good news is that we have an incredible God who knows the depth of our sin and loves us so much that he forgives us for all past, present, and future sin when we believe in His son. We certainly can’t do it alone, so He gave us a Helper through the Holy Spirit while we await his return or calls us home.