“Don’t knock something until you’ve tasted it,” my mother scolded me. To be honest--it wasn’t until after college that I saw, tried, or experienced much of life.

I am no longer afraid of heights, but you won’t catch me jumping out of an airplane any time soon. I love eating all my vegetables now especially asparagus, although I still choke down Brussels sprouts. And like my other life experiences, though I’ve grown in my faith and am excited for what God has for me, I forget how many times I begged and pleaded with God to delay His second coming.

Ready, Set, Return!

For years I hated being single. The thought of Jesus returning before I married horrified me. I desperately didn't want to enter heaven a virgin. And now that I am married, I am shocked to see how my list of one has grown into a list of many reasons why Jesus can’t come back yet.

At the risk of sounded like a Pharisee--I wasn’t the biggest fan of Revelation until I heard it preached by Pastor Ray Bentley. My husband and I searched for over a year until deciding to pick Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, CA as our home church. Pastor Ray was finishing the book of Revelation and we caught the last dozen or so sermons. At first, we were caught off guard. I had never heard the book of Revelation taught that way before. I expected hell, fire, and brimstone, but what I ended up receiving was grace, hope, and love. During those sermons I was forced to remember my prayers and pleas to God. Remembering them made me feel a little bit silly, naïve, and childish.

I guess my mom was right. I shouldn’t have knocked the book of Revelation until I gave it a chance. I assumed listening to a book on the end times and the second coming of Christ was for grownups or the elderly.

I. Was. Wrong.

No Vacancy

What is it about our culture that crowds out Jesus and leaves no room for all things eternal? In my heart of hearts I had to come to terms with the question,

“Do I truly desire God and eagerly await His return?”

 If I’m honest with you again--the answer is no.

I’m still searching, trying, and wanting to experience more of what life has to offer. For instance, my husband and I want to travel around the world. We want to stay in new places, make new friends, and try new things--especially Middle Eastern food. Maybe someday we’ll have a child or adopt one of our own.

There are also many other selfish reasons to shut the door of my heart to Jesus, but I’ll stop there.

“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” (Hebrews 11:32-24, 39, NIV84).

No More Excuses

I have to wonder, what is it for you? Did you grow up assuming Revelation was a book for grownups only? Maybe you’ve never read it all the way through to understand what heaven is like. If I were to ask you “are you ready for Jesus to return”--would you say no like me because your dreams haven’t come true yet? Because you’re too young? Because you haven’t experienced enough of what life has to offer?

I have a story for you. In the Bible, Jesus was asking those around to follow Him: