The Countdown

by APC on December 23, 2015

We were forewarned through commercials, reminded through the paper, nagged by our calendars, and jabbed each time we walked into a department store—Christmas is coming—and now we only have 2 days left.

Some of us may be relaxed as everything is in order and in its place. Some may be scrambling to get every gift wrapped and garnished perfectly to place under the tree. And, some are hearing the ever-increasing pounding of their heart as they frantically rush store-to-store to find that last-minute perfect gift. A countdown started 363 days ago, and we either planned or we didn’t. The set date was inevitable: Christmas would be on December 25.

Countdowns are funny—we either like them or loathe them. For planners, they’re a dream come true; for procrastinators, they’re a living nightmare. Whether we choose to act (plan or procrastinate) we’re governed by dates and times. We know when things will happen, most of the time, and we can anticipate at least a reoccurrence of events per calendar year.

There is one date, however, that we cannot know—and will never know as long as we live. That date is the coming of the Son of man.

Scripture tells us Jesus is coming back one day for His church (Revelation 1:7); He will take His Saints out of this world to be with Him for all eternity (I Thessalonians 4:17). But, this day has an invisible countdown. The day is unknown to all except the Father (Matthew 24:36). That date will come as a thief in the night (II Peter 3:10) and will sneak up on us and possibly catch us unaware.

Because Christmas is a planned date on the calendar, we can choose when to get our shopping done, wrap gifts, cook meals, travel, etc. We have the time to incorporate it into our calendars—to prepare. The time to get ready for Jesus’ return isn’t something we can pencil into our calendars or create an appointment or reminder for on our mobile device. The time to get ready is now.

We must live our life in a state of anticipation that the Lord’s return is today. If He came for us, would we be ready? Have we already prayed, repented, been baptized, received the Holy Ghost, lived holy and righteously, sacrificed for His kingdom, witnessed to the lost, completed His will, etc.? Are we rushing to squeeze it all in today because we waited to the last minute, and the sound of our pounding our heart is because we don’t know if we’ll make it? Or, is everything still on our to-do list?

We know Christmas is in 2 days. We know we’re busy. But, have we been too busy for God? Have we lost track of the countdown to our eternal salvation? Do we think Jesus’ coming is too far into the future to think about now? Do we think we have time?

Jesus is coming back soon. The countdown is ongoing, and the date is looming. When the clock stops, where will we be? What will we have accomplished? Are we ready?