How does it effect you to think that one day you are going to stand face to face with Jesus and look him in the eyes? Do you look forward to it? Does it cause you trepidation? Does it make you question how you’re living you life at the moment? Does it fill you with joy? Wow....even to ask these questions causes multiple answers in my head. I suppose in some ways it depends on the moment. When I’m driving and have an outburst of anger at someone’s idiotic driving, I’m not thinking I want to be seein’ Jesus. On the other hand at the end of a particularly good day it’s not such a bad idea. What makes you desire to live a holy and godly life as Peter said in 2 Peter 3:11-12?
Back in the 60’s when I was a young teen and watching a movie about the rapture, or singing Larry Norman’s song You’ve Been Left Behind, I was terrified I was going to be the one left! It wasn’t joy, it was fear. This was the result of an immature theology I held, quite by default at the time, that left me feeling I could never be sure if I was still ‘saved’ or just how patient God would be to a guy who still had a propensity to sin. I didn’t understand the gospel.
A lot has changed. I still have a propensity to sin, but my basic trajectory is that if anything is going to be left behind its my sin, not me. I understand that my salvation is not my doing but God’s. He has provided the way through Jesus, and has opened my heart to the gospel and authored faith in my heart (Heb. 12:3). My ability to anticipate seeing Jesus face to face with joy in my heart is not based on my ability but Christ’s finished work. The grace of God revealed in this causes me to rejoice at the prospect of seeing him and looking him in the eyes, and make me want to live a life that’s pleasing to him; to live a life of “holiness and godliness”.
So...what motivates you? That day or this day? Do you live for the day you will see him eye to eye, or do you live to get all the pleasure out of this life you can? Do the things of this world have preeminence or is the eye or your heart looking to the cross and his coming again? You will always live with failure and sin, but your faith in Jesus will overcome that. If your lifestyle is one of practiced sin, then you need to ask yourself if you’re looking to the right thing for your hope.
Let’s commit together to remind ourselves to look to the gospel and to his coming.
For His glory!