I am planning on ripping you off next Friday at midnight…

Those aren’t words you are likely to ever hear. More realistically you would just come home only to find a back window smashed in and your stuff rifled through. I have never been the victim of a home invasion but we have experienced vandalism at fresh life church on several occasions. Just this past week, for the second time, the glass in two of our front doors was broken. We have also been egged, paint-balled and had our fair share of graffiti. We figure that since our building is in the heart of the downtown and we are two doors down from a popular bar, it just sort of goes with the territory. When I am driving home from our Saturday night service the night life next door is in full swing and those are just the sort of people we are hoping to reach–there is no where I’d rather minister. And with all the flashing neon on our building it is impossible to not know something is going on over here at the church. I kind of think of it as our take on church bells.

Whenever I get a text-message, from a staff member, letting me know we have been “hit” again, I am tempted for a moment or two to get discouraged but then I remember something I once heard, “When you turn the lights on you attract bugs.” People are getting saved, Christians are growing in grace, of course there is going to be resistance. The funny thing is that when this sort of thing happens, it always seems to catch us off guard, and happens when we least expect it. This most recent vandalism occurred while I was out of town. We have never gotten an email or a phone call letting us know some drunk dude was planning on putting his foot through our door or a teenager telling us he just bought a new marker and wanted to scribble a four letter word on a wall at a certain time. If they ever did, we would be ready–with a can of bear spray. 😉

Jesus used that same sort of analogy to let us know how His second coming will occur unexpectedly:

Matthew 24:36,42-44 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven…Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The reality is His return is imminent. It could happen at any moment. And we will not have even a five minute notice or the time to stop what we are doing when we realize He has come. That is sobering, and I believe that is the idea. He wants us to live every second of every day fully aware that He could show up at at that very second. It should be of great concern to us that we wouldn’t do anything that would potentially cause us to be ashamed at His return. We should also take advantage of every opportunity we have to be used by Him here and now so we have no regrets about how we used the time we have been given. We will never get another opportunity to reach the lost once He comes back.

Let’s live like we believe Jesus is coming and His reward is with Him!