Pavel Goia, DMin, is the editor of Ministry.

The greatest hope of all generations of Christians and the climax of the gospel is the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Both the Old and New Testaments talk about it. Isaiah the prophet depicts the event in powerful words:

“Behold, this is our God;

We have waited for Him, and He will save us.

This is the LORD;

We have waited for Him;

We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Isa. 25:9).1

There are prophecies all over the Bible pointing to it, and all, except a few final ones, have been fulfilled.

While on Earth, Jesus Himself promised to come again (e.g., Matt. 24:30; John 14:2, 3). The Bible ends by repeating this greatest hope in Revelation 21 and 22: “ ‘And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work’ ” (Rev. 22:12).

It would make no sense to be called a Christian and yet not believe in these promises. Neither would it make sense to believe in Jesus’ second coming and yet not prepare.

Two groups

However, the Bible consistently presents two groups: one that is waiting, preparing, and ready, and another that is not ready. How do you specifically “wait”; how do you get ready?

In all of Jesus’ parables referring to the Second Coming, He consistently underlines a good relationship with God and a good relationship with our neighbor. That relationship is proved by service, using your talents for others, caring for others, being a witness—by real love.

It is absolutely important—and necessary—to pray, study the Word, lead your church, preach the doctrines, and eat healthily. These are essential things, but they are not enough. The Pharisees in Jesus’ time performed these, yet many of them were not ready for Him.

The servant whom the Master finds serving is considered faithful; the fruit-producing tree remains standing; and the talents used and multiplied are the proof of Christianity.

At the Second Coming, Jesus divides the crowd into two groups: the sheep and the goats. Service is the litmus test of Christianity! The servant whom the Master finds serving is considered faithful; the fruit-producing tree remains standing; and the talents used and multiplied are the proof of Christianity.

Service is not based on money, health, or position but on using whatever God has put in your hand for His kingdom. It is all based on Him alone, not relying on self. Jesus, in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19, 20), commands His followers to go and work and promises His presence. This is not a suggestion but a command.

Am I willing now?

To procrastinate in dedicating your energy, time, talents, and resources to serving God with all your heart is to say to Him, “I will do it tomorrow.” Yet, if you mean it and really want to do it, then why not do it now? The Bible says, “ ‘Today, if you hear His voice, / Do not harden your hearts as in a rebellion’ ” (Hebrews 3:15). To harden your heart is to become insensitive to the voice of the Spirit, deaf and blind to the opportunities God gives you to serve. It is to resist the Holy Spirit’s call to service.

The question that comes to mind is, Am I really serving? Do I commit all of myself or just what I am comfortable with? Am I surrendering all to God—my energy, time, and resources? Self-centeredness is an attribute specific to Satan and his character. Jesus came to serve and sacrificed Self. He calls us to do the same.

Whatever you do not surrender, that is what you love more than God. Am I ready to joyfully sacrifice self for Jesus as He sacrificed Self for me? Am I willing to do it now? So many say yes but never get to it. If not now, then when? Today is the day if you hear His voice!

When I was a child walking to school and back, I passed by a Turkish man selling ice cream. He would constantly scream, “Today you pay; tomorrow is free.” I believed him. I paid and got ice cream and then went back the next day to get my free ice cream. He calmly told me, “Today you pay; tomorrow is free.”

And I said, “Well, yesterday was today, and today is tomorrow.”

He answered, “No, today is today, and tomorrow is tomorrow; today, you pay!”

So, I asked, “Then when is tomorrow?”

He answered, “Son, tomorrow never comes.”

Jesus is coming! It is time for us to fully consecrate ourselves to God and His kingdom, to train our members and send them out, to finish the work. God is calling you now; do not respond to Him, “Yes, but tomorrow.” Tomorrow never comes. Today is the day to fully dedicate everything you do to God’s service.

  1. Scripture is from the New King James Version.

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