Many have asked the question, “What would you do if Jesus returned tomorrow.” I generally don’t worry about that question. I look to the Parable of the Faithful Servant for wisdom. The faithful servant does not focus on when his master will return… but rather to be faithful each day… doing what one should be doing every day.
But then I must be honest. Today I taught two classes (“Contemporary Issues in Missions” and “Cultural Anthropology”) at seminary. It occurs to me that if Christ was returning tomorrow, then teaching students to do ministry would be quite a waste of time. Maybe there would be something more important to do than train students for a ministerial vocation that would cease to be in a matter of hours.
But that is the problem isn’t it. If we spend too much time focusing on the nearness of Christ’s return, it can actually motivate us to the wrong action. At first this seems counter-intuitive. Wouldn’t doing right be the correct response to the nearness of Christ? But many of the best life choices demand investment in long-term processes. Focusing on the nearness of Christ’s return can motivate one away from long-term investment in important relationships and spiritual discipline and more towards something that could be thought of as “spiritual day-trading”– short-term activities that seem like they would give a quick return even if they lead to minimal long-term “fruits.”
So, consider the this question, “WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF CHRIST RETURNS IN 200 YEARS?” Here are some possibilities:
Would you spend time in discipling others— preparing the next generation of the church?
Would you invest your life in your children to raise them up in the way they should go?
Would you seek to grow in your relationship with God, accepting life as a pilgrimage, a spiritual journey, of faith?
Would you seek to become a positive transformative influence in your community?
Would you seek to express love of God in the love of others and action against social evils wherever they exist?
Would you seek to be a good steward of the world you live in to help ensure a healthy place for your descendants to the 4th or 5th generation?
Would you do these things if you were convinced that Jesus was coming tomorrow? I don’t know, but probably not. Would you consider doing these things if Jesus was coming in 200 years? I hope so.