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How would we live differently if we knew it was tomorrow?

iStock/Wirestock
iStock/Wirestock

Imagine knowing about Oct. 7, 2023, Sept. 11, 2001, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 1987 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor or the sinking of the Titanic, the day before these events happened.

This knowledge would have drastically altered the way you lived, and the actions you would have taken. Jesus gave us a series of warnings beginning in Matthew 24, telling us to watch and be alert because we don’t know the day or hour of His return. How would we live differently if we knew it was tomorrow?

Before we consider this compelling question, I want to acknowledge Jesus’ statement that no one knows the day and hour of Jesus' return but the Father (Matthew 24:36). This article isn’t meant to make sensational predictions but to take Jesus’ repeated warnings seriously and consider how we would transform the way we live if we knew He was going to return tomorrow.

Jesus gives an example from history that compares the time just before His return to the days of Noah, right before the people were swept away by the flood. They were distracted by the things of life and didn’t take the warnings of coming judgment seriously. He goes on to give a series of parables starting in Matthew 25:1 that are meant as a call to action for every believer to watch, wait, and work for His glory as He may return at any moment.

Having prior knowledge about momentous days should drastically affect the way we live. As you consider the “unsinkable Titanic” foundering, the World Trade Center collapsing, the Indian Ocean Tsunami inundating, and other tragic events, wouldn’t you have done everything in your power to warn people standing in harm’s way if you knew they would happen tomorrow? Of course, you would.

How would we live differently if we knew Jesus was returning tomorrow? The Bible tells us exactly how. Second Peter 3:11 reminds us to be godly and holy as we wait for the Day of the Lord. Jude 1:17-23 tells us to be discerning because spiritual deception will be rampant in the last days, with much of it coming from within the Church. Moreover, we are to be compelled by love and mercy to bring the hope of the Gospel to others.

Considering the weight and urgency of Jesus’ warnings to be ready, alert, and awake, it should compel us to live radically different lives. If we somehow knew Jesus was returning tomorrow, most of us would cut all non-essential activities out of our schedule. We wouldn’t squander another moment on entertainment or endless scrolling on our phones. Being a wise steward and investing is prudent and biblical, but we wouldn’t lay up treasure on this earth or obsess over our financial portfolios or a comfortable retirement.

Denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and losing our lives for His sake would be the obvious response if we knew Jesus was coming back tomorrow (Matthew 16:24-28). We wouldn’t care about hobbies, vacations, second homes, obsessing over reputations, or the opinions of others because of the urgency of the hours remaining. We wouldn’t spend countless hours on empty religious programs devoid of the Spirit, just talking about doing ministry, instead of truly ministering to people. We’d do exactly what Jesus said and go into the world and preach the Gospel.

I want to ask you a question. If you knew someone was in immediate danger, would you risk everything to help them? I’m thinking about scenarios like being caught in a rip current, a housefire, a car accident. I think an overwhelming majority of us would do whatever it takes to rescue people in these situations. If you are a Christian, this is exactly the eternal danger most people are in right now. If Jesus came back tomorrow, judgment would fall, and these souls would be lost! Let’s live like Jesus might return at any moment and do everything we can to snatch them out of the fire. Dear Christian friend, let’s live with a biblical sense of urgency, discerning the signs everywhere that Jesus is coming soon.

I know some people are reading this article who don’t follow Jesus. The same question I asked Christians applies to you. How would you live differently if you knew Jesus was coming back tomorrow? Would you cry out for mercy, ask for His forgiveness, and repent for a life lived in selfish pursuits and sin? Dear friend, considering the brevity and fragility of life and nearly 175,000 people just like you who die every day and go into eternity, you should respond like Jesus is coming back tomorrow. If you knew about the horrible events the Bible warns us of, it just might compel you to seek forgiveness from the only one who can give it to you: The Lord Jesus (Luke 21:26-28). 

If you want to know about following Jesus, please click this link: Are you saved?

While we don’t know the day or hour of Jesus’ return, we can discern the signs that it is very near. Let’s all live in light of this reality.

Howard Green leads Concerning The Times, a Bible teaching and evangelistic ministry whose primary focus is proclaiming the gospel to the lost and exhorting believers through End Time Bible prophecy.

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