Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tomorrow is the Night!

Ok, this is going to sound crazy. I mean like I have gone off my rocker kind of crazy. Jesus IS coming back tomorrow night! See, crazy right?

Truth is, I really, REALLY wish I could honestly say I believe that. However, if I am intellectually honest with myself, I simply don't believe it. Now to me, as I will explain the fact that I don't believe that Jesus is coming back tomorrow is quite possibly one of the most sad circumstances of my life right now. Still, I think it might be even more depressing that if I did believe it most of my friends would seriously think about having me committed to the local mental health facility.

Here's the thing about this; if I don't believe Jesus is indeed coming back tomorrow (and I mean REALLY believe it), then I can't really believe that He is coming back this week, this month, this year, in my lifetime. And, if I don't believe He will come back in my lifetime, then really I can't believe He is EVER coming back. Uh oh, that's a slightly large problem. About the best I can say if I don't believe Jesus is coming back tomorrow is that I "generally believe that at some point in the future He will come back." Seriously, I think that is a total punt on the issue of my core faith.

So, why the "need" to believe the return of Christ is now? Well, for starters because He said He was coming back. Secondly, because the early Christians and even apostles believed His return was imminent. Thirdly, that belief might just be the single biggest motivation for my intellect to get out of the way of my soul (filled with the Spirit), so that I can finally and fully participate as a citizen in the Kingdom of God on earth! Look at what that belief did for the building of the early church!

And the other side of this issue; do I lose my credibility in the world if I choose to REALLY believe Christ's return is tomorrow? Probably. The bigger question is do I care about my credibility in the world. If I TRULY, REALLY believe Christ's return is imminent, then no, absolutely not! I don't care what the world thinks of me or my beliefs. All I care about if I really believe Christ will return tomorrow is how many people can I help to be ready for that coming. And I also care that my life reflects Christ to the best of my very limited ability. So, if my co-workers, my friends, my church, my family all look at me like I am crazy I am fine with that except that it might indicate a significant alignment to the world's perspective for those people. And, of course, since at the beginning of this post I said I DO NOT really believe in my soul that Christ is returning tomorrow, I also have that worldly perspective.

This is one of those cases where "common sense," or the "world's sense" seems to all too often persuade us away from the richness and fullness of true, committed hope and faith in ALL of God's blessings and promises. We can find it easy to accept that it is God's blessing on us that we have a gift in music, art, teaching, etc. and yet we cannot believe the grander, eternal blessings still waiting for us. We forget to HOPE. We refuse to have REAL faith that God WILL do what He promised us He would do and instead give in to the fallacy of common sense that says water cannot be turned to wine, that blindness cannot be cured with mud, and that a man dead for three days cannot be raised to walk again. So what is it? Common sense, or Christian Faith and Hope? I choose hope and faith! Call me crazy if you must, but I am going to start believing Christ is returning tomorrow. If it doesn't happen tomorrow and I am wrong, then the next day. But rest assured, I will be right! I choose to believe that starting now!

I am going to leave the whole philosophical argument around "can I really choose to believe something" as well as the other somewhat obvious philosophical concerns here for another time. So, please don't grill me too much on that front. I know there are other thoughts to cover here. But, just think how on fire we all would be to share Christ and serve others if we ALL REALLY believed He was coming tomorrow! What if our churches, entire congregations rallied behind the solid, real belief that Christ returns tomorrow? Wouldn't that be something to see?