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Pastor Granillo: He Is Coming

on December 3, 2017 - 6:07am
Pastor Raul Granillo
La Vista Church of the Nazarene
White Rock

When He returns is not as important as the fact that we are ready for Him when He does return. ―A.W. Tozer

My mom was a working, single mom. (For the record, these people are among the highest level of superheroes.) This meant that my siblings and I would often come home from school and find the house empty because mom had to go to work. We had a procedure in place for when this happened. We were to lock the doors, find the list that she left for us, and then call her to let her know we were all safely at home. One of the most important rules she had was that anytime mom was not home, NO FRIENDS WERE ALLOWED IN THE HOUSE!

We did a pretty good job of keeping the rules, but sometimes we would get distracted or tempted by a friend who came by with the newest Nintendo game. Immediately the sibling bartering would begin.

“If you don’t tell mom, I’ll let you play.”

“No, I’m gonna need to play and you have to do my part of the chores.”

“Ugh, you’re such a jerk! Fine! I’ll do it!”

Then we would call mom.

“Hi mom. What time are you coming home?”

This part was important. After all, we needed to know how much time we had before we needed to get rid of our friends, or begin doing the chores to get them done just before she arrived.

“I’ll be home when I get home. You just get your chores done first and you won’t have to worry about when I get home. And remember, NO FRIENDS!”

It seemed like every time we tried to pull this off, mom would pull into the driveway while we were in the middle of a game, with our friends, and none of the chores were done. Our friends would run out the backdoor and we would begin attacking our chores at a hundred miles an hour thinking that somehow, they would be done before she could get out of the car and into the house. Needless to say, we failed every time. In hindsight, we were not only disobedient, but we showed no regard for the sacrifices that our mother made for us. How many Christians practice this today?

Don't let him show up when you weren't expecting and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert! (CEB, Mark 13:36-37).

As a pastor I often have people ask me about the end times.

“Do you think He’ll come back soon?”

“Surely, He’s coming this year.”

My response, and my stance is this: Jesus will come back and the righteous will be raised to an everlasting life, and the unrighteous to an everlasting death. That’s all we need to know.

As kids, whenever we would ask my mom when she was coming home, she would remind us that when she came home was irrelevant. The tasks and obedience were all that mattered. She also realized that if we asked, it was probably because we were not going to obey until the last possible second. (That’s when she’d call the neighbor to peek in on us.)  I doubt the motives are much different for the believer who is overly concerned about the time of His coming.

Jesus points out that the task of the believer is simply to be ready, at all times. This readiness is accomplished through obedience—through loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. When we practice this, our anticipation of His return becomes a blessing. See, when we disobeyed my mother, we didn’t see her return as a blessing. How sad. She didn’t get to spend much time with us because we were at school or she was at work, yet we did not act like kids who loved and missed her. Instead, we often acted as if her return was an inconvenience upon our lives. Do we do the same with Christ?

He sacrificed everything for us. Do we show the respect and love due Him by living every moment of our lives in readiness for His return? Do we anticipate Him with open arms, or in fear? The advent season that brings us to Christmas is to remind us that we should anticipate His return with hope, peace, joy, and love. This can only be done if we commit to living our lives in holiness.

Imagine the witness to the world, and the testament of our love for God, if we simply lived every moment as if Christ was about to return. We would be found obeying His commands and sacrificing everything about our own lives to share His love with others. Surely, this would please Him more than anything else. 

If you have a Biblical question, comment, or concern, please feel free to email me at raul@lavistanaz.org.

To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007

Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. Our NEW HOURS are Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10:30 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!


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