Waiting for Jesus? Determining Where You Stand

André Beitze

In some ways, our response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic shows where our priorities really lie. Are we waiting for the Lord, or longing for a comfortable life?

What kind of Christians are we? Maybe we’re the kind who made a decision for Jesus once, were cleansed from our past sins, and began the Christian life…but didn’t continue in devotion to the Lord. There are times when a Christian invokes salvation from his sins, but still wants to live his own life without placing himself under the rule of Jesus Christ. His love for the Lord is insincere, so this type of person isn’t really looking forward to His coming.

Even if we’re not praying this way, there’s a danger that our actions will express to God: “Lord, wait a little longer; I’m not in any hurry to come to You in heaven. Let me enjoy life here on earth, and when I’m old and frail, You can come and bring me home, so I won’t have to suffer very much. But until then, give me a quiet life, with an abundance of earthly possessions and health.”

Or, taking it a step further, we may actually be aware of our soul’s need for redemption, but we still want to enjoy life on this earth, and love to wallow in the mud of this world. We may be thinking: “God is gracious and merciful and so kind. He understands my weaknesses. I can always repent and ask forgiveness for my mistakes later. I know He loves me and forgives me. Nobody is without sin, so it can’t be that big a deal.”

We should ask ourselves, “What would our priority be if we were living this way?” Does our love really belong to the Lord, or is He just our safety net? Yes, when we’re in trouble, we quickly come running to ask for His help. But when the storm has passed, do we give ourselves over to our own will again? If this is the case, the words of the prophet Elijah apply: “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21).

The people of Israel didn’t reply; they were confused. The Israelites didn’t have a clear opinion about Baal or about Yahweh, because they didn’t have a personal friendship with God. They worshiped both God and Baal, because they were obviously lacking clear teaching about the God of the Bible. Parents were failing to teach their children God’s ways, so faith was growing smaller with each generation. They knew that Yahweh was the God of Israel and the God of their ancestors, but they didn’t have a living relationship with Him. They only knew His name. 

They served Baal because the whole world was doing it; it was in fashion at the time. Consider that there were a total of 850 prophets of Baal and Astarte, and only Elijah remained from the prophets of the God of Israel. The majority had been killed by Jezebel, except for those who had hidden themselves. That’s why the dominating mindset in Israel was: “If everyone’s doing it, it can’t be so bad. I’m not so different from everyone else. I need to conform to societal developments and do what the majority of people are doing. If most people are doing it, it can’t be so wrong. And society respects me this way.”

They were living in a kind of grey area, that was growing bigger and bigger. There was no clear line between good and evil. Evil can’t be that bad if everyone is doing it. But what was Jesus’ judgment on the church at Laodicea? “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:16).

God wants us to set ourselves apart, to be either one or the other; there is no grey area with Him. Ultimately, God’s judgment won’t be according to society’s ideas, but what is just and true according to His standard. As Paul said to the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).

Jesus Christ paid the price for our lives, our salvation. If we call ourselves Christians, it is because we are His followers, His disciples. We are His property, and that is why we love Him and want to obey Him.

This is where we see the difference: Christians love Jesus not only as Savior, but also as their Lord and King. Take the biblical image of the bride and groom. What is a bride’s wish? To be with the groom. She wants to have fellowship with him, communicate with him, and show him her feelings. The true bride goes out of her way to please her bridegroom. She seeks to do his will; she seeks his closeness, and she wants to hear his voice. Yes, she would like to go out to meet the bridegroom when he comes to take her home. Her deepest wish is that he will come soon.

The author of the Letter to the Hebrews calls out to us, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). If we love the Lord, we will seek peace with everyone and pursue sanctification. And that’s how we’ll see Him. Do we have this desire for the Lord’s coming? That will also have its reward, as Paul testified at the end of his life: “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim 4:8).

Especially in these days, we want to love Jesus’ coming, and not belong to those who say, “Wait a little longer! Let me enjoy life and achieve my earthly goals, and then You can come.” So, what is our priority in life? Is it really pleasing the Lord Jesus, loving Him and His coming?

It’s good if we are consistently reflecting and evaluating ourselves: if the Lord came for His church today, would I be included? Would I have pleasure in His return? We know better than anyone else where we may be hiding our “Baals,” what our life’s priorities are. Is our life pleasing to the Lord, or are we limping between God and the world like the Israelites in Elijah’s day? The position of God’s Word is this: “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).

If we want to live forever and have life in abundance, we do not need to focus on the current course of the world, but instead approach the Lord, surrender ourselves completely to Him, and follow His will.

Perhaps we belong more to those who have played at Christianity very successfully so far, but for all intents and purposes, we’re not waiting like a bride for her bridegroom. The coronavirus pandemic has revealed where our priorities really are and what our hearts are really set on. Then have the courage to say today: “Enough of appearances! Lord, I give my life completely to You. Be the Lord of my life. I want to wait for You.”

He’s waiting for us with open arms, and doesn’t refuse anyone who comes to Him with a sincere heart, as He also said to the doubly-limping church at Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20).

“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Rev 22:17).

Midnight Call - 07/2021

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety