Lesson 9 - A Looking People

Philippians 3:20
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

Since this life on earth is all we can fully understand there may be the tendency to become comfortable in this world.  Sometimes we may get so caught up in the day to day of life we forget that we are on the path to spend eternity in Heaven with the Master.  In The Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis rightly points out that Satan wants to lull us into "everyday of life" where we will be content with who we are and where we are.  The love of God perfects us and give us a confidence about the judgement to come (1 John 4:17). As Christians we should always have an eye towards Heaven and ensure our lives are lived with this ultimate goal in mind.

There are many people whose minds are ignorant about the Great Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13).  Christians should not share in this mindset and should instead understand and anticipate the Lord's return.  In the Old Testament the Israelite nation spent a great deal of effort looking forward to the coming Messiah.  Someone once said the Bible's different sections can be broken down as; Someone is coming, Someone is here and Someone is coming back.  Of course we know this Someone is Jesus and we should look forward to His return as much as the Jews looked for Him long ago.  The context in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 gives us a great mental picture of what the return of Jesus will be like.  Verse 4:18 says these words should provide comfort and relief in the minds of faithful Christians.  Let's keep our minds focused on the coming of the Lord.

Think of Judgment Day as a trip we will all be taking.  If we prepare for this trip like we do now for a trip out-of-town we may be better prepared to go:

1.  The first leg of any journey is deciding to go.  Many people never go anywhere because we are content where they are.  Judgement Day is coming whether we decide to make the trip or not.

2.  Read the travel brochure.  When going to a place with which we are not familiar we research the location so we know some of what to expect.  We have the ultimate travel guide in God's Word.  By reading and studying it we will be prepared for our trip and over time will being to eagerly wait for the day.

3.  Convince loved one to join us.  Traveling with those we love is always a more enjoyable trip than going alone.  In preparing for Judgement Day we should desire that everyone we know is ready to go along.  If we see others who are on a path to miss the great journey we should reach out to them in love (Galatians 6:1) while also looking at ourselves to ensure we do not leave the path to Heaven.

4.  Decide what to "pack."  When we are preparing to travel we have to decide what we are going to take with us and what we will leave behind.  We do this by prioritizing what we feel is the most important and valuable for our trip.

5.  Make final preparations.  As we prepare to leave we must take an opportunity to check and ensure we are ready to go.  If not making adjustments quick and decisively will ensure we are ready to go.

We should never be content with this fleshly life.  While we must live the life God has placed us in, we must have an attitude of looking forward to a better existence.  By readying ourselves we will be able to welcome the future we have with God in the last time (1 Peter 1:5).

Philippians 3:20
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

1 John 4:17
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

1 Thessalonians 4:13
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

1 Peter 1:5
who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.