I often find myself looking forward to specific things. Christmas, birthdays, the end of semesters. Finishing school, getting a full-time student ministry job, buying a house. All of these are good things to look forward to.
But what if these goals (and maybe yours) are getting in the way of the kingdom of God? Even worse, what if these things are stopping the return of Christ?
Many New Testament scholars agree that the entire New Testament was written as if the return of Christ were imminent. When Jesus says his return will be like a thief in the night, he commands us to pray and be watchful; be ready for him to come back. Yet there are many days where I do not think about or pray for the return of Christ. I do not eagerly await the new heaven and the new earth.
I realize that there are many people (myself included) whose primary concern is paying rent, buying groceries, having health insurance, and making sure the car has enough gas to get to work the next day. Sometimes paying for groceries and simply surviving is the only goal we have. But I truly believe that many “CHRISTIANS” would be disappointed if Christ came back tomorrow.
I know I do not say this out loud, but in my heart of hearts my attitude says “Jesus, I want to see you return, but I want to finish my masters first. I want to have a house first. I want to have children and grandchildren. I want to go on a cruise and see the bahamas.”
Things like this have kept American Churches from sending missionaries to unreached people groups. There are more baptist churches in North Carolina than there are unreached people groups in the world, but because we are saving for vacations/cruises/retirement/a new car/no reason at all, we are unwilling to sacrifice for the gospel.
I hope that you have goals and aspirations and things that you are looking forward to, but do not put those goals above the kingdom of God. Pray, be watchful, and eagerly await the return of Christ.