I recently went on a vacation with my family.  While the vacation was great, the days leading up to the trip were far less enjoyable.  There is so much to do before you leave on a trip.  There are a variety of things at work that must be done.  Your home has to be secured, and prepared for your extended absence.  And many other things get added to your to do list as the day of departure draws near.  All this got me thinking.  What should we be doing right now as we prepare for Jesus’ arrival and our own departure?  I don’t know when Christ will return but I believe that it will be soon.  And the fact remains one way or the other we are all one day closer to our departure from this earth.  So here are the three things I think we should all be doing.

We should all be listening and looking for Christ’s arrival.  1 Thessalonians 4:16 says he will arrive with a loud command.  Other places in scripture like Hebrews9:26-28, say that he will appear and we will be able to see him.  So it only makes sense that we would all be both listening and looking for Christ.  Luke 12:40 proclaims that the date and hour is unknown, but if we are watching and listening daily we won’t be surprised.

Next we should all continue to labor until he returns.  In 2 Timothy 4 we see the Apostle Paul encourage Timothy to “preach the word” and “be prepared” among other things.  Paul told Timothy to do these things “in view of his appearing” (NIV84). In other words the swift return of Christ should move us to labor in the fields that are ripe for the harvest.  Speaking of the ripe harvest it was Christ himself who says “Go! I am sending you out…” in Luke 10:3. When Christ returns we should not be found idol, but rather doing the work of God.

Finally we should long for his return. Every Christian I know wants Jesus to return, but few want him to return today. Some would rather Christ wait because they are ashamed to face him for one reason or another.  Others just love their lives here on earth so much that even the prospect of heaven itself they would rather stay here.  Whatever the reasons, few really long for the return of Christ.  Paul said this in 2 Timothy 4:8 (NET) —8Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.[1]  Some translations say “longed for his appearing” others “loved his appearing” and still others “eagerly awaiting” his appearing.  The point is simply this, as we prepare for our departure, we should long for it at the same time. In the same way you long for that vacation more and more as it draws near.  Even though there are extra things to do in preparation you still long for the day you get to pull out of the drive way and head off for your adventure.

I don’t know when Jesus will return, or when we will leave this world, but I do believe the day is coming.  While you wait, listen, look, labor, and long for the return of Christ Jesus.  May God richly bless you until His one and only son returns.

[1]  Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible, 2 Ti 4:8, Biblical Studies Press, 2006.