I’d like to begin with a football trivia question. In each half of football, more points are scored in what two minute period? The answer is: the last two minutes of each half. Why is that? Because in comparison to the rest of the game, there is a true sense of urgency in the last two minutes of a half. Time is running out.
The Apostle Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians (7:29-31): “I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.”
Paul was an Apostle of urgency. He felt Christ might return at any moment and there were still so many who did not know the news of Jesus, or who had not perceived it as the good news it was. Paul would certainly be one who would have said,“So much to do and so little time to do it,” before rushing off to tell another group of people.
A while back in confirmation we were talking about Christ’s second coming and one confirmand said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if Christ would come back tomorrow and we would see it all?”
It would be amazing to see such a sight. But I’ll be honest; I hope Christ’s second coming doesn’t come anytime soon, because there are people within my family and within our parish and community family that I fear are not ready nor prepared for the day. So my prayer is that the Lord will hold off until I (and all Christians) have more time to talk to these people.
I’ll never forget what our Sunday School Superintendent told us one day at the opening of a Sunday School session (I was probably around twelve years-old at the time): “Would you agree to be killed tomorrow, if today, you could have everything you ever wanted?”
“No,” we all answered.
She then went on to tell us about all the wonderful things we could have today, all the fun, all the possessions we could have for that one day. But of course we remained steadfast in our answer – one good day isn’t worth our entire lives.
She ended by saying, “Remember this: Your entire life is like one day when you compare it to eternity. So don’t let yourself die forever for the sake of one good day.”
Life is a gift, but in some ways it’s just the foretaste of the feast to come. Salvation is of ultimate importance, and that being the case, we should all have a sense of urgency in inviting people to encounter Jesus is a true and deep way.
Yes, the second coming of Christ will happen, but I hope not too soon. We all have a lot of work left to do – and it is holy and life-giving work. It is work that blesses forever.
Get to work you ministers of the Son of God!