In light of Christ's return, how are we to live our lives?
Christians are taught that Jesus will return at any moment (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). How should we live when we know Jesus could come back at any time?
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The New Testament offers many insights regarding how we are to live in preparation for Christ's coming. For example, Hebrews 10:24-25 teaches, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." We are to encourage one another, regularly meet together with other believers, show love to one another, and practice good works.
Following a description of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Paul also teaches, "Encourage one another with these words" (v. 18). For the believer, a proper understanding that Christ will return at any moment for us should be a source of encouragement.
Further, knowing that our time is limited should cause us to live holy lives. For example, 1 Corinthians 10:31 teaches, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Colossians 3:23 adds, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."
Finally, knowing Christ can return any moment should challenge us to focus on sharing Christ with everyone else we can. Jesus taught, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). The apostle Paul was highly committed to taking the good news of Jesus to all people, especially those who had not yet heard about Jesus: "I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named" (Romans 15:20).
A summary of these biblical teachings shows the importance of a focused life among believers who eagerly await Christ's return. We are to encourage, show love, spend time with other believers, practice good works, look forward to the rapture, do all things for God's glory, and eagerly share our faith with every person possible. When we do, we will even be willing to suffer, as Peter notes, "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name" (1 Peter 4:16).
Perhaps Philippians 3:13-14 states God's desired attitude for our lives best: "Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Our goal must be to live for Christ, looking forward to our future eternity with Him.
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