Monday, March 16, 2015

If the end is near, we can't live life as usual. Can we?

The roots of motivation have stymied behavioral scientists, psychiatrists, and psychologists, but we all understand the value of being motivated.

A teenager lost a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a fruitless search, he told his mother the lens was nowhere to be found. Undaunted, she went outside and in a few minutes returned with the lens in her hand.

"I really looked hard for that, mom," said the youth. "How'd you managed to find it?"

"We weren't looking for the same thing," she replied. "You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150."

One thing we do understand about motivation is that, generally speaking, what we truly believe provides a source of motivation for what we do. I want to apply that to the thought that many Christians today believe we are truly moving into (or are in) the end times for humanity.

Throughout my walk as a Christian, I've studied end times teachings and have been more engaged on the topic in the past. I finally settled on the understanding that even the apostles thought they were in the end times, and we just do not know when Jesus will return but that He will, most definitely, return! I let the overarching fact of the surety of His return motivate me rather than get lost in the "when" of it since no human being knows the "when."

But scripture does give us clues, describing "signs of the times," and in my lifetime, I don't think we've ever seen what seems to be very obvious fulfillment of what the Bible tells us the very end of the age will look like. My personal conclusion is that it appears we are moving toward the final days of humanity, but I will be the first to say I could be completely wrong about that. Again, Jesus tells us through scripture that no one knows but God Himself when the end will come.

But I write all this to raise this question: If we really believe the end is near, we can't live life as usual, can we?

By living life simply knowing that Christ would return, or that on any given day our entering eternity could be hastened by death (also something that could happen at any time, but we don't know when), it has motivated me to live with a sense of urgency in sharing the Gospel with as many people as I can. I have been far from perfect at doing that, and I've missed many opportunities, but that motivation has helped me see many I wouldn't have, and its motivated me to work at creating many opportunities as well. I've shared the Gospel with more people because of the motivation of knowing Jesus Christ will return than I would have without that motivation.

But if we really believe that we are now near the imminent return of our King, shouldn't that motivate us to raise our sense of urgency to the highest possible level? Shouldn't that make our sharing the Good News of Jesus a serious priority for every disciple of Jesus Christ? Shouldn't that motivate us to such a degree that we just can't live life as usual?

If the ship of humanity is now sinking, shouldn't we stop playing shuffle board on the Lido deck and move as many people as possible to the lifeboats? Shouldn't we be sounding the alarm and helping people to safety?

We should have been doing that all along. But if we are nearing the final days for mankind, shouldn't we ALL work urgently to reach as many people as we can in the time we have remaining?

Even if we have another thousand years before Christ returns, we should still be motivated to reach as many people with the Gospel as we can. But the motivation intensifies if we consider the possibility that we don't have much time left.

Do the times we are living in motivate you to have a sense of urgency in being an ambassador for Christ? If Christ's return would happen in your lifetime, would you be more motivated to help the lost and perishing to find Jesus?

Scotty

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