Last fall, she succumbed to the virus that’s been making headlines for over two years. Her family and friends were stunned. She had two teenage boys. She had everything to live for, but her time was up. A few weeks ago, her boys were in an ATV accident. The younger boy was unharmed. The older boy, who turned eighteen the day after the accident, had massive brain damage. He has now been reunited with his mother. Nine short months and the family has been reduced by fifty percent.
It’s devastating. It’s unsettling. Family and friends once again gathered around this small family to grieve and mourn. A life gone too soon. No one knows the right words to say. No one knows the right things to do. Just be there. Share a hug. And tears. And a prayer.
My mother had a famous saying when she heard news of an unexpected death or serious illness of a family member or friend. Well, you never know. Is what she’d say. And it’s true. You never know what can happen in life. We need to be prepared to be unprepared for what life throws at us. Because you just never know.
I recently had to purchase a new vehicle. It was unexpected. But one of our vehicles was involved in a mishap that pushed the value of the car underwater. Plus, the expense of the repairs we were continuing to endure shouted that a new purchase was upon us. We didn’t want it to happen. We were planning to keep the car for a few more years and just deal with occasional repairs. Time was not on our side. So we traded up for a newer vehicle in the hopes that it will last for many miles and many years. Only time will tell. You never know.
Another time, we were caught in a flash flood. A rapid rise in water outside the restaurant left us stranded for hours inside the building, while our vehicle sat under water. The car never started again. It was a total loss. Unexpected. Unplanned. You never know.
She got the test results. It was unexpected to hear the word “cancer”. But it was true. She was diagnosed with a terrible disease and was unprepared for what lay ahead. Treatment. Surgery. Hospitalization. Long, slow recovery. Unclear prognosis. Only time will tell if she is in remission. You never know.
Three times in an eight-year period, I heard the devastating words. You are no longer needed in this job. You are done with this company. Three times I filed for unemployment, unsure of what the future would hold. Three times, after months of looking and applying for many jobs, I gained new employment. Hoping against hope that those words would never be said again to me. Only time will tell. You never know.
So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return. Matthew 25:13
We’ve been hearing the same warning for many, many years. Basically, all our lives. And even before our time, the word was out. Jesus is coming again to gather all believers who have repented of their sins. They will be with him in eternity. No one knows the day. No one knows the hour. No one knows when it will happen. Only God himself knows when Jesus will come back to take us out of this world. And at this very moment, he is preparing a place for us to be with him on that day.
Oh. Some think it’s a hoax. Some say it’s never happened yet, so we still have some time. Others believe the time will be upon us shortly. The Bible tells us that Jesus will return like a thief in the night. We will be going about our daily business, expecting life as usual. And then. Bam! The eastern sky will open and Jesus will appear. I imagine time will appear to stand still. And those who have bowed before God and confessed their sins will rise to meet him in the air. Everyone else will be left on this earth to fend for themselves. Rest assured, this will happen. And it will only happen once. So we must be ready for it at all times.
Jesus said his coming back to Earth would be like a thief in the night. No, Jesus isn’t a thief. He didn’t come to rob and steal and harm. He came to give eternal life. Oh, he’s coming back. The first time He came as a baby. We celebrate his birth every year. It’s called Christmas Day. We celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world. And people ignore the true meaning of Christmas. It’s all about the gifts, the parties, the decorations, the trees, the food and family time. How often do we stop to think about the baby in the manger and who he really is. He was God laying right there in a manger as a newborn infant, and he lived thirty-three years on this earth as a man. He was fully man but he was also fully God. So anything he did as a man he did it as God. When the Roman soldiers came and arrested him in the garden of Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot planted a kiss on his cheek to show who they were coming to arrest. Here’s the man who calls himself the Son of God. Jesus was handed over, and was tried at a criminal’s trial. Under the cover of darkness Jesus was convicted.
He was flogged and beaten. His clothes were stripped off of him and cut into pieces. Then he was forced to carry his own cross. He was so weak from the loss of blood that he stumbled, so another man was forced to carry the cross the rest of the way. And when they got to Calvary, the Roman soldiers laid that cross down on the ground and nailed his hands and his feet to it. Then they shoved a crown of thorns on his head making sure the thorns sunk deep. They posted a sign above his head that said King of the Jews because that’s who he was. And Pilate knew who he was. Then they stood the cross up in the hole in the ground and left him there to die. And Jesus, the God in human form died that day.
Oh, he rose from the dead on the third day. And then later, he went back to heaven to be with his father. And now he’s planning to come back again.
He will come back again to take with him all of those who believe in his name, who’ve repented of their sins and follow His ways. He’s coming back. We don’t know the hour or the day. But we must live ready at all times. We must live as Jesus would have us live so we can be with Him for eternity. He promised he would return, and he keeps all of his promises. There’s not one promise he will not fulfill. All of the prophecies that have been spoken about him will be fulfilled at the proper time. So we must be ready, because we don’t know when that time is. We must live a holy life that pleases God, because you just never know.
When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all. “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building— until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. Luke 17:26-35