“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3).
At a popular local gym, Ted sat looking in the mirror, impressed by his results when in walks Jack. Getting buff was not the first thing on Jack’s mind.
“Looking good Ted, but what you really need to do is get to know Jesus. He is coming soon!”
“Yeah right! Wacko…”
“No, I’m telling you, Jesus is coming.”
“Heard that ALL MY LIFE, He hasn’t shown up yet.”
“Yeah, but Jesus said when you see certain things, to look up.”
“Dude, the sun will come up tomorrow and go down tomorrow night.”
“I know it will but Jesus warned all who would listen, when you see Israel being surrounded and pressured to give up land for peace, that the Day of the Lord is at hand.”
“Oh NO, not another conspiracy theory, nut job.”
“Okay, lets back up, you have a Bible right?”
“Yeah, so what.”
“Well, have you read where Jesus said there would be earthquakes in diverse places, and war and rumors of more wars?’
“That’s been going on my whole life.”
“True, but have you seen any charts of the rapid increase in this stuff just over the last twenty years?”
“No, but come on, that’s a pretty weak argument.”
“Have you ever seen a picture of Israel a hundred years ago? It was a barren land, and then just like Jesus said—there would come a day that Israel would be a re-born nation and begin to thrive. In 1948 Israel was given nation status and look at Israel now, just since 1948! Jesus said when mankind saw THAT take place, they would know the end of the age was at hand, and let me add, have you read Daniel chapter 12, where he was told to write the words of a prophecy and seal it up until the end, and that at the end, knowledge would increase and people would travel to and fro?”
“For thousands of years travel was with horses, donkeys and camels but then, boom, in the same century of Israel’s rebirth, we see the crazy changes in travel. You can literally ship packages around the world in three days and can talk instantly globally through text, tweet or chat. Knowledge increasing? Satellite TV’s in SUVS with GPS talking to you while you listen to a song just downloaded seconds ago via iTunes in the UK…need I say more?”
“I mean Jesus said you can see the western sky and know it’s going to storm, but how is it you can’t discern the signs of the times? Same sex marriage is trending, traditional marriage is scorned, violence is increasing, love is waxing cold, the nations of the world are becoming enslaved to debt, and governments are playing God. I’m telling you, Jesus is coming soon!”
“Well you believe what’s right for you, I’ve got my own truth, and hey—I believe in Jesus, too.”
“Yeah, sure I do, me and Jesus are homeboys, He lets me do my thing and I let Him do His.”
“I’m not sure we are talking about the same Jesus, the One who says, “Take up your cross and follow Me?”
“Hey now, don’t judge me bro, I wear a cross, see!”
“Okay sure, but are you following Him with your daily walk? I mean do you read your Bible and have any desire to tell others to flee the wrath to come? I mean do you ever share the gospel or pray for anyone to be saved?”
“Hey, I never claimed to be a fanatic. I trust Jesus that today is going to be my best day ever, and He is going to bless me and like I said, I’ve got to live my truth and you’ve got to live yours.”
“Well, let me ask you a few more things. When the Bible says for those who believe in Him to be “watching and praying” and to be sober and serious in our praying — for the end of all things is at hand, what does that say to you? Does it mean anything to you that the Scriptures say, the Spirit and the bride cry Jesus come quickly? And how about when Jesus told Nicodemus that ‘We must be born-again to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Doesn’t all of that make you think?”
“No, man that is so off my radar, I’ve got a life to live, a 401k to grow, places to go and people to see.”
“Look I’m not trying to make you mad, I’m just trying to make sure you’re ready.”
“Ready? FOR WHAT?”
“Jesus, He’s coming soon?”
“Dude I’m not worried. It will all pan out in the end.”
“The end? What are you going to do when you stand before God at the end? Are YOU NOT LISTENING?”
“Jesus and me are homeboys and He knows I’m a good person, He knows my heart.”
“YES HE DOES, and He says our hearts are wicked. Have you ever repented of trusting in yourself? Have you believed upon Him whom your sins crucified? Have you ever put all your trust in Christ? Repented?”
“Dude, I don’t need to hear all of that religious mumbo jumbo, I’ve got my truth and you’ve got yours. Now like I said, I’ve got a life to live. You can go on doing what you do, looking for Jesus, I guess, but I’m going to live for the here and now.”
In heaven Jesus sat watching and said, “You are a lost man unwilling to accept the truth, this night your soul will be required.” Jesus wept knowing Ted would never come to accept Him and would be lost forever.
Hours later, driving home, a semi-truck loses control and crashes into the deluded man’s false reality and his earthly life comes to an end. Now, catapulting into outer darkness (It’s appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment!) this man trembles with fear, screaming, “God, I was a GOOD person,” he begs and pleads. “God, where are you?”
Overwhelming terror overtakes him in the pitch-black darkness.
“I should have listened to that guy at gym,” he sobbed.
“He tried to warn me to pay attention to what the Bible says. I should have listened. Please, God, don’t let it be too late!”
He was haunted by the silence as no reply was given.
Flashing before his face, a replay from earlier that day, the image of the man at the gym pleading with him to get serious about the Lord. Jack had tried many times to reason with Ted, but Ted was too self-righteous to listen and hear the truth.
Ted had many opportunities to get to know God and heed His Word, but now it was too late. He had been cast into hell weeping desperately, even gnashing his teeth. The time will also come at the end of Jesus’1000-year millennial reign on earth when Ted will stand before God at the White Throne Judgment to hear his eternal sentence (an eternity in the lake of fire with all others who reject the Savior). But he already knows that he has NO HOPE of escape. It is too late for Ted.
What about you, dear reader? How does the message of Jesus’ soon return hit you? Does it resonate and bring joy and excitement, or do you too, hate it, mock it and live as if its a fairy tale to be shelved into a “to be read much later” section of your life?
Salvation is “by grace through faith, not by works lest anyone should boast.” Have you received that free gift of grace? Are you really alive in Christ? If you have no desire to be where He is, if you have no hunger to read His Word, if you have no burden in your life about the sinful state of your existence and aren’t living a joyfully forgiven lifestyle of repentance, you might want to examine yourself and make sure you “are in the faith.” I pray you might be asking, “What must I do to be saved?”
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-13).
Please take the Word of God seriously before it is too late.