Recently, I was studying about the end times and how soon the return of Christ could be. For believers, as we read the glorious conclusion of Scripture in Revelation, we may get excited. We see how in Revelation 21 everything is perfect and we dream of the day. But do we really stop to ponder the awful fate of those unbelievers in Revelation 20? If we do, what is our reaction, a short sadness followed by an “too bad, oh well” feeling? Jesus is clear throughout the Gospels that this is not his not his reaction.
We see Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39 weeping over Jerusalem because of their sad, self-destructive choice to reject God’s will and Word. Jesus knew their end and didn’t want it. That’s why He gave the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 (NASB): “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Jesus doesn’t want anyone to perish.
Those of us hoping for the new heavens and the new earth to come quickly often forget that when that happens, those lost without Christ are permanently lost. There will be no more witnessing, no second chances. That lost neighbor is doomed to a fate no one should wish on their worst enemy. It is because of God’s mercy that the end tarries. So make the most of every day. Have that conversation about Jesus with a coworker. Invited that family member to a Bible study. Care for the homeless and widows. You don’t know if this is your last day on earth. Make the most of it.