Music, new cars, entertainment, jewelry, parties, social networks, “stuff”, “things”, experience, thrills, bragging rights, impressing others, popularity, notoriety, power, prosperity, self-importance. These are the longings of hearts of an astounding majority of the professing believers I know. Mention the return of Christ and it is the last thing they seem to want to talk about. I can’t blame unbelievers for disdaining what passes for “Christianity” these days.
When I express eagerness in anticipating the Lord’s return to these individuals, I generally get one of a handful of reactions. There is a panicked look, and quick change of subject. There is “well, I’m all set with God so I don’t really see any need to think about that, I’m just gonna live my life. (To which, my thoughts run along these lines: so, if you know He really could come soon, the only thing that comes to mind is that YOU are all set? No urgency to throw out the lifeline to others?) or more often than not, just this: “I hope He doesn’t come just yet. There are still so many things I’d like to do” When asked what those things might be, persuading others of their need to be saved is usually not even on the list.
I have to wonder how that makes Jesus feel.
I scratch my head sometimes and try to fathom what folks might think heaven and eternity are going to be all about, that they should be so eager to delay getting there. I think that a lot of people must think of heaven the same way the do retirement. They seem to anticipate it as an anticlimax. They like to know they’ll get there eventually, but if they had their preference they’d rather be self-sufficient and free to indulge in whatever earthly pleasures their individual means can buy them for as long as possible first.
The way I see it, life doesn’t even get started until we are shed of this corrupt body, out of this corrupt world, and its corrupt system. It’s like we haven’t even been born yet. What could a Christian possibly want more than being with Jesus? All of those other things are like a drug. They are enticing, but never fulfill, and only leave you longing for more, in an endless pursuit of that next thing because as soon as you acquire the thing you reach for, you ache and hunger for another “next thing”.
Contrast this to the “living water” Jesus offers, with the promise that He who drinks of it shall never thirst again. (Found in the book of John, chapter 4)
Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
(Note that the reaction of the woman who had this real encounter with the Messiah, was to go and tell others).
If one has truly partaken of this living water, shouldn’t he or she be satisified, not hungering and thirsting after all the world offers? And if one has truly met the Messiah, shouldn’t he or she want others to know Him too? Most of all, if He has radically changed you by saving your soul from eternal hell, shouldn’t there be some longing in your heart toward Him?
My heart resonates with the words of the psalmist: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God”.
- Question: What Is the Saddest Verse in the Whole Bible? (servehiminthewaiting.wordpress.com)