Preparing for Christ's Coming
Big Idea | Christ is coming to condemn the ungodly.
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The certainty that Christ will return to condemn the ungodly is a Biblical reality that has fallen out of favor in our culture. Many have taken an incorrect and dangerous posture toward this idea.
Some are simply ignorant that judgment is an eventuality; others have chosen to disregard it and pretend it isn’t true. Sadly, many (including Christians) are apathetic or have adopted a watered-down revision of what the scriptures say. Some simply deny this truth, refusing to believe that God will punish sin.
We may imagine or pretend that it will be otherwise; we may even reject the possibility outright, but regardless of whether or not we face it, reality will run us over. Our God will deal justly with sin.
In the New Testament, Jude writes with urgency to a church that is in danger of falling victim to false teachers. He is concerned they will discount God’s coming judgment, to their eternal detriment. In verses 14-16, he describes characteristics of these false teachers that remain relevant today: They grumbled about their fate and were ungrateful for where God had placed them; they allowed unbridled desires to result in ungodly deeds; and they manipulated others to get what they wanted. In short, they were guilty of ungodliness in both behavior and speech.
In his message, Jude highlights a sobering reality: Christ is coming with an army of angels to judge, convict, and condemn the ungodly, those who arrogantly refuse to receive the redeeming grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
From the truths pointed out in this text, here are three priorities we should pursue in our own lives in preparation for Christ’s coming:
1. Look at your life
Where are you guilty of ungodliness? As we engage in Spirit-led self-reflection, we allow God’s Word to communicate His will, convict us of sin, and convey our need for a Savior.
2. Labor in evangelism
Are you helping people meet Jesus? If we’re not playing some role in helping people come to faith, we’re hindering the spread of the gospel and hiding from our responsibility as disciples of Christ.
3. Live with anticipation
Do you truly believe Jesus is coming? If we truly believe Christ will return, we will live with abiding hope that He will make all things new; we will live with peace knowing that He will bring justice to all injustice; and we will live with a tangible awareness that our obedience matters.
We all have areas of ungodliness in our lives; the question is, will we repent and allow God’s Spirit to empower our obedience and prepare us for His return? Behavior is the best indicator of belief.