Session 22: So, What’s Your Expectation of the Last Day?

Holy Tuesday 2020

This is post #22 of a series entitled RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP: Five Days that Define Our Call in Christ. We hope you’ll enjoy this series of 27 podcasts and blogs that focuses a bit deeper on the first five days of what we now call Holy Week. Using the Gospel text found in Matthew 21 through 25, we explore the major differences between organized religion and true relationship with Christ. Practical sessions that give us Jesus’ view of spirituality as compared to the religiousness found in so many people today. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this blog!

Today’s Lectio Divina: “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know He’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; My words won’t wear out. But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows. The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away. The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up. Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation. But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it and make hash of him. He’ll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.” Matthew 24: 32-51 (MsgB)

Last time, we discussed the issue of readiness for the Last Day.

Apparently, at some point in the future, there will be a day that starts out like every other day. The sun will come up, the coffee will be made. We’ll open up our morning newspaper (or might I say our news app on our phone) and see that stock prices are steady, there’s trouble brewing overseas, the president is still insisting that he’s right, and there might be some afternoon showers. We’ll go about our business like we normally do.

But this day will be different than the others. On this day, you see, the Son of Man will split through the skies. And suddenly, this world, with our lives included, will finally be transformed. Heaven will come to planet earth, and suddenly, the gray haze we’ve become accustomed to will clear and we will see ourselves, our God, our world, our future as they truly are.

The Scriptures call this day the Last Day.

Yet, while it is the Last Day of what you and I call Normal, it’s actually also the First Day of a permanent future where God’s ownership of Creation, which has never really been in doubt, is fully recognized by everyone.

For some, those who have lived their lives for complete self-pleasure, having to admit that they were mistaken about who is in charge will be a hard pill to swallow. Many will choke on their words as they say out loud, “I was wrong. God is God and Jesus is who He said He was.” Some will try to run for the hills because suddenly their games of dishonesty and deceit will be exposed for all to see. On that day, even the demons in the pit of hell will be exposed, having to finally spit out the painful words, “Jesus is Lord and King!”

And what about you and me?

How will we be found on that day?

I’ve told folks in my church that I think I will cry for the first thousand years.

At first, they laugh, and say, “Marty, that can’t be right. The Bible says all of our sadness and tears will be wiped away when we get to heaven.”

But here’s my response.

First of all, none of us are going to heaven. Heaven is coming to us. And secondly, my thousand-year cry won’t be tears of sadness, but tears of joy. Joy that the journey has been completed. Joy that I can be reunited with my loved ones I’ve so missed over the years. Joy that Jesus loves me so much that even all of my selfishness, sinfulness, and silliness didn’t deter Him from dying on the Cross on my behalf. Joy that now I will be able to see clearly. See God. See Christ. See myself. See others as we truly are. Precious sons and daughters who are deeply loved by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Oh yeah, at some point, I’m sure, the tears of joy will subside, and then I’ll take the next ten thousand years walking around this totally redeemed and restored world, meeting and greeting folks and living the life of good Jesus has always intended for me to live.

How about you?

Like Keith Green, the hippie-musician who turned Jesus-freak, sang in his 1983 Song To My Parents…

I need to say these things ’cause I love you so.
And I’m sorry you get angry when I say that you just don’t know.
But there’s a heaven waiting for you and me.
I know it seems every time we talk, I’m only trying to just make you see.

Please try and overlook my human side.
I know I’m such a bad example, and you know I’m so full of pride.
But Jesus isn’t like that, no; He’s perfect all the way.
I guess that’s why we need Him, ’cause by ourselves there’s just no way.

And it’s only that I care.
I really, really only just want to see you there.

My Prayer: Father God, mindless chatter about the Last Day has been going on for centuries. Many say they know the timing, yet Jesus states it clearly here that only You know the exact date and time. So, Father, rather than being caught up in the speculation of when and how, allow me to focus on the deeper question…“Will I be ready?” So, Holy Spirit, come. Do your internal work in me and through me so that every spot and blemish that remains will be cleansed and purified, for the greater glory of God. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.

My Questions to Ponder: Jesus spoke about a God-blessed man or woman, one who is faithful with their daily assignment to oversee the kitchen. Can the Master depend on me to feed the workers on time? Am I a faithful servant, one who won’t be found lacking if the Master drops in unexpectedly? Am I awake? Alert? Vigilant? Paying attention to my duties for the glory of God?

So, what are you hearing from Jesus as we take this journey into the first 5 Days of Holy Week?

Religion or Relationship: Five Days that Define Our Call in Christ. 

A 27-session Lenten blog series from Matthew’s Holy Week Gospel.

Throughout the Lenten season (Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday), you and I will take a deeper look at Matthew 21-25. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our blog series home page for ease of use.

If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!

Click here to go onto the next session in this series…

1 thought on “Session 22: So, What’s Your Expectation of the Last Day?

  1. Pingback: Session 21: Not Ready People vs. Ready People. | The Contemplative Activist (TCA)

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