by Daniel Bramlett
Do you want to hear a date when Jesus is coming back? Would you prefer to know ahead of time? I
really don’t think any of us would. There’s a lot of fascination with this topic throughout history. People
appear with a ‘special word’ from God that includes a date. The date comes and goes. No Jesus.
Billboards are hung, websites are created, sermons are preached…no Jesus. People speculate all over
the map. I remember Y2K. “It’s been 2000 years! Surely this is the year He comes!” Nope. I remember
Harold Camping. He missed it in 2011 and apologized for the mess he caused. Camping is not at the
head of this line, though. People have been predicting Jesus’ return for the last 2000 years. People have
always wanted to know when He’s coming back. Why do you think that is?
I think people want to live however they want for as long as they want. If we have a date, we can always
get right the week before. We tend to think meeting with Jesus is about all the right vs wrong things
we’ve done. The Baptists in the room will argue “NO!” It’s about whether or not you’re saved. “Have
you given your life to Christ?” But that question misses the point. We tend to think about our salvation
like a contract. Have we signed it or not. The Bible never views salvation like this. It has always been a
matter of the heart. The question is not when Jesus is coming but if we want Him to come. If so, I’d love
to see Him tonight. If not, odds are we’ll never be ready.
Do you want the King to come? Are you ready to look Him in the face? There’s no shame in His eyes for
you, only love. He’s accepted you from the moment of your conception. Do you want to be loved by
Him? Do you want to be accepted? Or would you rather stay on the run? I can’t tell you the day. Jesus
says He doesn’t even know the day. Only God has that day circled on His calendar. We don’t need to
concern ourselves with it. We do need to concern ourselves with the condition of our hearts.
The night Jesus first appeared was spectacular. Angels announced it. Shepherds witnessed it.
Townspeople ignored it. And only a few anticipated it. These few were as ready as they could be. Mary
and Joseph both heard from Gabriel that Jesus was coming. He answered enough questions to settle
their hearts. When Jesus arrived, they knew God was at work. Wise men knew He was coming. Their
gifts were acts of worship. Simeon and Anna knew. God answered their lifelong prayers by allowing
them to see Jesus before they died. Zachariah and Elizabeth knew. The angel’s news shocked and
readied them for Jesus and His forerunner.
God never leaves us totally in the dark. He’s not aiming for the shock factor when He speaks and acts.
He’s not ‘withholding’ Jesus for a better time or for a more deserving people. His goal isn’t drama. He’s
not waiting until there’s nothing else going on. God picked a date for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem to
Joseph and Mary. He picked the date for His death and His resurrection. He knew exactly when Jesus
would be drawn up to Heaven. God knows exactly when He will come back. We never knew any of those
dates and never needed to. It’s enough to know that God has it mapped out.
What if it were today? Are you ready to meet Jesus? What would you say? “I wish I had more time!”
Somehow, I just don’t think that will be the first thing on your lips. “I thought you’d be different!” Again,
I don’t think that will be anyone’s response. “Who’s going with you?” I think we will know then if we are
acceptable or not. Really, that’s the only question that matters today. Are you willing to live as if today is
your first day in Heaven?
Make you plans. Set your goals. Work your timetables. But know that in the end, only God’s plan counts.
Only His timetable matters. Either you’re ready or you are not. If you are, you know it. There’s a
confidence in your step and a faithfulness in your plans. You love this life and love the next one more.
You’re ready. If not, it’s time you get ready. Not tomorrow or next year, but right now. It’s time you lay
down all your hesitations and just come to Jesus, asking Him to make you right. It’s time you put your
childish ways behind you and grow up to look Jesus in the face. It’s time you get ready. If not, your time
with Jesus may be sooner than you think. That’s not a threat. It never is. God’s Word is full of grace, but
that doesn’t mean it’s not also full of truth.
If your heart isn’t ready to meet Jesus, take it to Him today. You can trust Him. He’s ready for you. Don’t
ask Him for a date. Ask Him for a new, ready heart. He will meet you where you are and will not hesitate
to begin His good work in you. Heaven’s coming. I hope to see you there.