Should we plan our lives based on Christ’s soon return?

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By BibleAsk Team


Living in anticipation of Christ’s imminent return is a foundational aspect of Christian faith and practice. The belief in Christ’s second coming is rooted in biblical prophecy and is central to Christian eschatology—the study of end times. Throughout the New Testament, believers are exhorted to be watchful, prepared, and faithful in light of the promise of Christ’s return.

However, the question of whether we should plan our lives based on Christ’s soon return involves discerning the balance between living in anticipation of His coming and responsibly stewarding the time and resources entrusted to us. Through an examination of relevant passages from the Bible, we can explore the biblical teachings on Christ’s return and its implications for how we should live our lives.

The Promise of Christ’s Return

The belief in Christ’s soon return is firmly established in the teachings of Jesus Himself. In Matthew 24:36-44 (NKJV), Jesus speaks about the uncertainty of the timing of His return, urging His disciples to be vigilant and prepared:

    “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only… Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming… Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

    Similarly, in Revelation 22:12 (NKJV), Jesus declares, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” This promise of Christ’s imminent return underscores the importance of readiness and anticipation among believers, for no one knows the time of his death.

    Living in Anticipation of Christ’s Return

    The New Testament repeatedly emphasizes the need for believers to live in anticipation of Christ’s return and to be prepared for His coming. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NKJV), the apostle Paul addresses the Thessalonian believers regarding the timing of Christ’s return and exhorts them to be watchful and sober:

      “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night… Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober… For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

      Similarly, in Titus 2:11-13 (NKJV), Paul emphasizes the grace of God that brings salvation and instructs believers to live godly lives in anticipation of Christ’s return:

      “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

      These passages underscore the call for believers to live in readiness and anticipation of Christ’s return by living holy and godly lives.

      Responsible Stewardship and Planning

      While the expectation of Christ’s return is a central aspect of Christian faith, believers are also called to responsibly steward the time, talents, and resources entrusted to them. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus shares the parable of the talents, illustrating the importance of faithful stewardship and diligence in using one’s abilities and resources for the kingdom of God. The parable concludes with the master commending the servants who invested their talents wisely and reproving the one who buried his talent out of fear. The servant who did not invest was judged for being “lazy” as well as “wicked” (Matthew 25:26).

        Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV), Paul writes, “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” This emphasizes the importance of faithfulness and diligence in stewardship, including planning and wise decision-making in various aspects of life.

        Jesus gave a parable in Luke 19:12-27 about a ruler who went away on a long journey and promised to come back. Before he left, he gave his ten servants sum of money and told them “So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten [a]minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come’” (Luke 19:13, NKJV).

        The word “do business” here means to carry on trade (Luke 19:15; Ezekiel 27:9, 16, 19, 21, 22). The words “till I come” indicate that the ruler anticipated being away for an indefinite period of time. The ruler desired to know how the servants will prove themselves as administrators of his property, and planned to assign them responsibilities as officers in his kingdom, each according to the ability he had demonstrated.

        The Bible teaches the necessity of hard work and perseverance. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NKJV). “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23).

        Therefore, Christians don’t show lack of faith when they acquire an education, do business, invest their resources, or have future plans. At the same time, they should be spiritually ready at all times for they don’t know the hour of their death or when Christ will come. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is” (Mark 13:32, 33 NKJV).

        Balancing Anticipation and Responsibility

        The question of whether we should plan our lives based on Christ’s soon return requires discerning the balance between living in anticipation of His coming and responsibly stewarding the time and resources given to us. While the expectation of Christ’s return should motivate believers to prioritize spiritual readiness and kingdom-focused living, it does not negate the importance of practical planning and responsible decision-making in life.

          In Philippians 1:21-24 (NKJV), Paul expresses his desire to depart and be with Christ, yet acknowledges the importance of remaining on earth to fulfill his ministry and serve others:

          “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”

          Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NKJV), Paul advises believers to live in light of the imminent return of Christ, yet to carry out their earthly responsibilities with a sense of detachment:

          “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.”

          Conclusion

          In conclusion, the question of whether we should plan our lives based on Christ’s soon return requires a balanced approach that integrates spiritual readiness with responsible stewardship. While the expectation of Christ’s imminent return should motivate believers to prioritize spiritual preparation and kingdom-focused living, it does not negate the importance of practical planning and wise decision-making in various aspects of life. As believers, we are called to live in anticipation of Christ’s return, faithfully stewarding the time, talents, and resources entrusted to us, and actively engaging in the work of the kingdom until He comes again.

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          In His service,
          BibleAsk Team

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