Lauriault: Christians must make ready for Jesus’ return

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was sleeping, not even a mouse.

Why?

Although the song says when the baby awakes, no crying he makes, the song, it was lying, for the baby was crying.

Although he was perfect regarding sin, Jesus suffered the same physical desires and maladies common to all of humankind and it's sheer speculation that he didn't cry as a baby (Hebrews 4:15; 2:14; John 11:35). While we can speculate about that and what it was like on the day after Jesus was born, and even whether or not that was December 26th, that speculation doesn't matter. The labor pains of childbirth were gone, as were the shepherds and angels, and Joseph and Mary had to get on with life raising Jesus (Luke 2:1-24; John 16:21).

What does matter is what will happen the day after Jesus returns. So, we need to prepare ourselves in this life Jesus' return (Hebrews 9:27-28; Matthew 24:36-44). Jesus said that life would include things like war, famine, and earthquakes, but these were only the beginning of labor pains (Matthew 24:4-8). As before the flood, people will live as if they won't be held accountable, having purposefully forgotten God's providence and word about sin and that a flood of retribution was coming (2 Peter 3:3-14). This is despite the fact that they were already experiencing some of the detrimental effects of their sin and they had to know something was up with the boat construction and Noah's preaching (Genesis 3:16-19; 6:1 to 8:22; 2 Peter 2:5).

Regarding birth pains, I can remember watching my wife's labor for two and a half days while doctors tried unsuccessfully to induce labor with one child and for well over a day for the other child. On the other hand, both of my current grandchildren were born within minutes after the first contraction of any significance was felt. In each case, we'd known for months that a baby was coming and made preparations, not only for the impending birth, but also for the baby's arrival home and life there.

God only knows when Jesus will come back, but Christians are to be always looking forward to his appearing so we'll be ready without a moment's notice (2 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52). We know that the day after Jesus returns, we'll be rejoicing in God's presence in perpetual day while those who haven't prepared themselves will actually not experience any more day at all (Matthew 24:45-51; 22:1-13; Revelation 22:1-6). Rather, they'll be where, although the darkness is blacker than night, no one is sleeping and everyone is crying. As soon as Jesus appears in the sky, everyone will know the outcome of their life and things will move so fast that it'll be too late to prepare for a different destiny (1 John 3:2-3; Matthew 24:27-35; Revelation 6:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

What will be like for you the day after Jesus comes back?

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at lmlaur@plateautel.net

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