Luke 12:40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Since the first century, the Church has always felt like Christ was returning in their lifetimes. Jesus left us with the great commission, and told us that things would happen pretty quickly. He also told us that only the Father knows the hour of Christ’s return.
Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
I believe the words of Jesus were always intentional. I don’t think there’s any other reason to believe that everyone since the first century has thought that Jesus was going to be coming back in their lifetime, other than he wanted us to live in urgency. Urgency of ourselves, and urgency for others. Imagine if you knew that you had another 20, 30, or even 40 years. You could essentially put things off, do as you wished, and then finish strong.
That’s not what Jesus asked us to do.
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This is what we have to come call The Great Commission. It’s Jesus final commands as he ascends back into Heaven at the end of Matthew. The early Church had eye witness of Christ coming to the Earth and changing things. They were on fire from seeing what He did, and excited to spread it. Nearly 2,000 years later, we have just a book of the accounts of those people. History lessons from earlier centuries. But we do have the same thing they had.
The Great Commission. Jesus made 12 disciples. He then told them to go out and make more. The same is true for us, we should be seeking those out who are lost and telling them about the hope of Jesus. After all, Jesus could return at any moment.
Who’s your one?