I heard the average person hits the alarm clock snooze button an average of three times. I rarely use it so I wonder, “Who’s making up for me?” I also wonder how many of us would, if we could, hit the snooze on Christ’s return.
Jesus said He’s coming back and warns us always to be ready. But what if we don’t want Him to come back just yet? Maybe we want to doze in this world a little longer because we’re comfortable snuggled under the fluffy duvet of our self-satisfying life. Perhaps we are so at ease in the bed of life that the thought of Christ’s return doesn’t rouse or comfort us like the Bible said it should (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Living the Christian life in this fallen world with its hardship, pain, and battles with sin and Satan isn’t supposed to be easy and comfortable. Jesus said, “I have told you this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows...” (John 16:33). Yes, being a Christian may be more fulfilling and joyful. But easier? No way!
Life is supposed to get more difficult after we come to Christ. Here’s why: we don’t live our Christian life in a vacuum. All the sins we succumbed to before now become never-ending temptations. We’re no longer spiritually dead, being carried along downstream by the world’s current. Now we’re alive and swimming upstream against the current of the world, the flesh, and the Devil constantly struggling to live our lives by God’s values.
To change metaphors, when we come to Christ we suddenly become strangers and aliens in this world. We are new creatures. Strangers, aliens, and creatures aren’t supposed to blend in very well. We often don’t fit in with our friends and family anymore because they don’t understand us and question our beliefs and behaviour.
So if the prospect of my Lord’s return to take me out of the battle and to an eternal bliss with Him isn’t comforting to me I have to ask myself, “Is my little world too sterile, easy, and full of fluff? Am I so out of touch with the realities of how the Christian life is to be lived that I am unmoved by the prospect that the One who died for me is returning to take me personally to be with Him in heavenly bliss forever?”
Jesus’ second coming is the ultimate corrective. If I’m preoccupied with pursuing the creature comforts of this world then I need to remember that when Christ returns it will all be destroyed by fire. Someone may counter, “True, but until that happens why not enjoy the creature comforts? So what if convenience and comfort secretly are my life’s goals?”
I would counter with, “Christ’s return will lay your motivations bare. Works will be judged. Rewards will be given for sacrificial service in this life. And heavenly assignments for eternal service will be determined. Convenience and comfort will matter little as you stand empty-handed before Him with no crown to cast at His feet and smelling of burnt wood, hay, and stubble, and being assigned to the least of heavenly tasks for eternity.”
Sounds kind of embarrassing. And short-sighted.
It is hard to comprehend the glories that await us when our Saviour returns and takes us to be with Him. C.S. Lewis has it right, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea".1
When I catch myself thinking like this I need to remember that I’m not home yet. I’m “just a-passin’ through” as the old song says. In this life I’m camping in the flimsy tent of this dying body while my eternal house, my real home, is being prepared. And if I’m getting too earth-bound and tied to the things in this campground called life I ought to recall that God has saved me not just from sin, but for heaven.
When our Saviour returns for us, the day of the Lord will dawn. It will be a new eternal morning breaking and this life, like a dream, will be over. So I ask, on that great gettin’ up mornin’ will you be hitting the snooze?
1 C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, (New York: HarperOne, 1949), 21.