The Return Of Christ

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In last weeks episode of The Marriage After God podcast, we went over the Gospel and ended our conversation talking about hope. This week we are continuing that conversation as we talk about the return of Christ, which as Christians, is our hope. 

“I think that it (the return of Christ) stirs up urgency and excitement for sharing the Gospel with our words and our lives to everyone around us. I’m not talking about the kind of urgency that’s based on fear, we aren’t letting that propel us to consider the return of Christ. It’s not this like, ‘hurry up now’ or even that urgency to tell your friends because Christ is returning but rather because the power of the Gospel is enough.” – Jennifer Smith

Our desire is that today’s podcast fills you with a pure hope for Christ’s return and that you have a desire to prepare yourself so you can await excitedly with the hope that is within you. We pray this episode blesses you.

READ TRANSCRIPT

Aaron Smith:
Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

Jennifer Smith:
Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

Aaron Smith:
Today we’re going to talk about the return of Christ. Welcome to the Marriage After God Podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

Jennifer Smith:
I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.

Aaron Smith:
And I’m Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution.

Jennifer Smith:
We have been married for over a decade.

Aaron Smith:
And so far we have four young children.

Jennifer Smith:
We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media…

Aaron Smith:
… with the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day.

Jennifer Smith:
We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life…

Aaron Smith:
… love…

Jennifer Smith:
… and power…

Aaron Smith:
… that can only be found by chasing after God…

Jennifer Smith:
… together.

Aaron Smith:
Thank you for joining us in this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together.

Jennifer Smith:
This is Marriage After God. Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to be back for another episode of Marriage After God, and we’re both going to fire it up for this episode. I think it’s going to be a good one. But before we jump in, we’d really like to encourage you guys to check out the Marriage Prayer Challenge if you have not already. I know a lot of you already have signed up. Some of you have been putting it off, though, and so this is just a friendly nudge to go sign up right now, because it’s free and it’s awesome. So marriageprayerchallenge.com, super simple. Sign up. Again, it’s free. We created it for you guys to encourage your prayer life as husband and wife, and there’s a husband version and a wife version. We want to encourage you guys to even do it together. Talk to each other about signing up today.

Aaron Smith:
And I want to give them one more challenge. I dare them, if we had every single person listening, leave us a star rating today. We’re at almost 2,000 star ratings, which is amazing.

Jennifer Smith:
Oh, that’s cool.

Aaron Smith:
And whoever’s done it, and if you’re listening, you left us a rating, you are awesome. And if you have not, we dare you to give us a star rating today.

Jennifer Smith:
Tell them why it’s important.

Aaron Smith:
Every rating, first of all, lets other people be able to read the reviews and see the ratings and say, “Oh, this podcast, this show is great,” or not great, hopefully great. But also, it works in the algorithms. How people find new podcasts is based off of reviews and ratings. So I dare you to leave us a star rating and a review today, and you would just bless our socks off if you did it. So take the challenge. Dare you.

Jennifer Smith:
Okay, you guys. We’re super excited about today’s episode about, we’re just talking about the return of Christ, and I feel like it goes hand in hand with last week’s episode about the gospel.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, we ended on talking about hope. This is our hope, that this life is temporary, but we have an eternal one waiting for us.

Jennifer Smith:
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to last week’s about the gospel, you should just pause right now. Go listen and come back to this one.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, listen to the gospel one first. That one’s powerful.

Jennifer Smith:
Yeah. Okay, you guys. We’re going to jump in. Let’s do this, Aaron.

Aaron Smith:
I got a question for you. Why should we talk about the return of Christ?

Jennifer Smith:
Because it’s in the Bible.

Aaron Smith:
That’s true.

Jennifer Smith:
We should talk about all things that are in the Bible.

Aaron Smith:
That is true, yeah.

Jennifer Smith:
I get excited about it.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, but what does it do for us, that hope? Why is this something that should be in our hearts and minds more regularly?

Jennifer Smith:
I think that it stirs up an urgency and excitement for sharing the gospel with our words and our lives with everyone around us. And I’m not talking about the kind of urgency that’s based in fear, you know, when we keep our eyes on current events or things like that.

Aaron Smith:
Which could invoke fear.

Jennifer Smith:
Right, but we’re not letting that propel us to consider the return of Christ. And it’s not this like hurry up now or even that urgency to go tell your friends because Christ is returning, but rather because the power of the gospel is enough. Rather, it’s this pure urgency, like the kind of message you get on social media that says, “Don’t wait to tell that certain person in your life how much you love them, because no one’s guaranteed tomorrow.”

Aaron Smith:
No one is, yeah. And I would also think that the early church, like literally when the church first began in Acts and we read the epistles in the New Testament, they even then, like Paul said, Christ is returning, so be aware, gird your loins, run the race, all these things. And they even longed and looked forward to what the Bible calls the Lord’s day.

Jennifer Smith:
Yeah. And without that urgency to love in our hearts, we can kind of tend to get complacent. Right?

Aaron Smith:
Yeah.

Jennifer Smith:
It happens.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, and actually I want to talk about in 2 Peter, chapter 3, verse 4, talking about complacency, it says, “They will say, ‘Where’s the promise of his coming? Forever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continued as they were from the beginning of creation.'”

Jennifer Smith:
Okay, and that was even way back then. And I think there’s a general response even today to hearing the words “Jesus is coming back,” wouldn’t you say?

Aaron Smith:
Yeah. Oh yeah, but that’s like way out in the future.

Jennifer Smith:
People push it off.

Aaron Smith:
But you know what?

Jennifer Smith:
Why should we pay attention?

Aaron Smith:
Because he says to. He says he’s coming. He says to stay awake, to be alert, because he is coming back for his church. And I think the church should be excited about that. The very last few verses of Revelation says, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come.” That should be our heart’s desire, come, Lord Jesus, come, because I just want to give a picture real quick of the wedding feast, which is a picture of us going to be in heaven with God and what’s going to happen with that.

Aaron Smith:
The way Jewish weddings took place was the bride waited for the groom. In our Western culture, we kind of do this thing where the groom’s at the end of the thing and the bride walks down, which is not bad, but when we have the Hebrew perspective, you see this beautiful picture of the bride waiting like the church. The church is waiting for the groom. The bride waits for the groom and then the groom comes at an unknown time from preparing their home. He was getting their affairs in order. He was building a house, which Jesus says in John-

Jennifer Smith:
“I go to prepare a place for you.”

Aaron Smith:
“And if I go, I will also come again and take you so that you will be where I am at.” That’s what Jesus promised to his disciples and to everyone that would believe through them. And so the groom’s coming, and we should be excited about that.

Jennifer Smith:
We should be prepared.

Aaron Smith:
That’s awesome.

Jennifer Smith:
We should be prepared and ready for that.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, so I want to bring up some of these ideas of like Jesus is coming back, and ever since Jesus ascended into heaven and returned, or ever since Jesus ascended into heaven on the day of Pentecost in his spirit, from the day of Pentecost till today and until Christ returns is called the church age. That’s the age we live in.

Jennifer Smith:
I just want to interject for one quick second, because as you were talking and you said the word “church age,” I had to share something. I don’t think I’ve shared on the podcast yet, but pretty excited about when I first heard it. And I feel bad, I don’t remember where I heard it from, so I don’t know who to credit, but they were talking about how this is the first time in history that the church and the nation of Israel has existed simultaneously.

Aaron Smith:
Wasn’t it Pastor Jack Hibbs?

Jennifer Smith:
It could have been. And if you guys need a resource for any of this kind of stuff, he’s a great one. He talks about current events and end times and all of that and the return of Christ. But they were just talking about how this is the first time in history. And when I say first time in history, obviously the nation of Israel has been an established nation for the last 70 years.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, since 1948, right?

Jennifer Smith:
So this portion of history-

Aaron Smith:
… is the first time that the church, as in Christians, Christ, Holy Spirit and believers, and the nation of Israel have existed in the same-

Jennifer Smith:
… space of time.

Aaron Smith:
… generation, which is pretty cool.

Jennifer Smith:
I just thought that was really cool.

Aaron Smith:
So this is the church age, and what that means, it’s the period of time between Pentecost and the rapture, when the church is taken home to be with Christ. And what’s awesome about knowing this, and this is a part of what we’re talking about today with Christ coming back, is this is currently the time when God’s grace and patience is being poured out on all of humanity. You know, if you ask yourself, why don’t we just see God’s wrath poured out in certain places or why doesn’t someone just get struck down by lightning, or like the stories that we hear, is because currently in the church age, God’s grace and patience is being experienced. And there’s a reason for that.

Aaron Smith:
And it says in Romans 2, verses 3 through 5, puts it this way. “Do you suppose, O man, you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent hearts, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

Aaron Smith:
Remember, we talked about Romans in the last episode, about the gospel. The first half of Romans is essentially the state of man without Christ. And right here, this is talking about how hypocritical it is for a man under the wrath of God to judge another man under the wrath of God. But what it’s saying is, is that God’s kindness and forbearance and patience is intended to lead men to repentance. So currently this church age, God’s patience and kindness in returning and in meting out his wrath on the world, and his judgment, which is going to come in the form of fire, which Revelation tells us about, is literally so that people would come to know him and be saved from that wrath.

Aaron Smith:
It’s kind of like this, like the economy of like, “Well, we want him to take his time because we want people to come to know the Lord.” And then as a Christian I’m like, “I want him to come back. I want to be with my Lord.”

Jennifer Smith:
I want to be with him.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah. This is the church age. We live in the age where God’s patience and kindness and mercies are with man.

Jennifer Smith:
What a true gift that is, God’s patience. I mean, when I just think about his patience with me.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah. Yeah, we want patience for ourselves. His patience is meant, though, to lead us to repentance.

Jennifer Smith:
Yeah. Here’s here’s an…

Aaron Smith:
That’s how Elliott says it, “instreting.”

Jennifer Smith:
Here’s an interesting verse I found in 1 Peter 3:20 in talking about God’s patience, but it says, “When God’s patience waited in the days of Noah while the Ark was being prepared,” because that took a long time.

Aaron Smith:
It took like a hundred years.

Jennifer Smith:
That’s a long time. “In which a few, that is, eight persons were brought safely through the water.”

Aaron Smith:
I just read that verse the other day too.

Jennifer Smith:
Really?

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s “instreting,” as Elliott would say.

Jennifer Smith:
Well, Peter ties God’s patience back into his second letter as well, and I really love this verse, but it’s 2 Peter 3:8-9, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.”

Aaron Smith:
So again, in this period of time, this age we live in, God’s patience is intended that men should perish, but that we would reach repentance, that we would turn our minds and our hearts from not believing in God and not believing his word and not obeying him to doing all the opposite. That’s what repentance means, to change our minds. It’s a good thing. This generation we live in is an amazing generation, that God gets to pour out his spirit and his patience.

Aaron Smith:
Hey, Marriage After God family, we wanted to take a short moment to let you know about an organization that we believe in and support. Did you know that there are more than four million victims of sex trafficking globally, and 99% of those are women and children? As a Christian and as a father, this truth breaks my heart. What if those were my children? What if that was my wife?

Aaron Smith:
Thank God there are Christ-centered organizations out there that are making a difference. Destiny Rescue is an international recognized Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing children trapped in exploitation and the sex trade. Their vision is to rescue the sexually exploited and enslaved, restore the abused, protect the vulnerable, empower the poor, and be a voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves.

Aaron Smith:
They currently work in seven countries around the world and have celebrated over 4,000 lives rescued from the evils of sex exploitation. Destiny Rescue has operations in Thailand, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines, India, and other locations that remain undisclosed for security purposes. Since 2011, they’ve been working tirelessly to free children from exploitation around the world. They have helped keep hundreds more from entering the sex trade through the various prevention programs, ensured justice for those who had been wronged, and raised awareness to untold numbers.

Aaron Smith:
My family supports Destiny Rescue on a monthly basis, and we want to invite you to join us in saving and protecting children from this wicked industry. Visit destinyrescue.org today and become a monthly partner with us. Thank you.

Aaron Smith:
God gets to pour out his spirit and his patience and that people get to come to know him, that it wasn’t just like, “Done, and now I’m going to destroy everything.” No, he’s waiting. And I like that you brought up Noah and God’s patience with Noah building the ark and with the world, because the entire time that Noah was building the ark, what he was doing was a witness to the world of what God was going to do.

Aaron Smith:
In the same way, what the church is doing in loving one another and being in unity and one mind and one spirit and preaching the gospel is doing what Noah did. Jesus Christ is the ark. So Noah’s ark saved all the animals, saved eight persons. Jesus is the ark. He’s the only way to be saved from the coming flood, of fire, I should say. We talked about the gospel last episode, but we’re talking about for those that have believed the gospel, have received Christ, we now have this hope of realizing like, wait a minute, we’re going to be on that ark. We’re going to be saved from the judgment that God’s going to pour out on this earth.

Aaron Smith:
Not only are we excited about being saved from that judgment, we’re also excited because the Bible calls him the groom and the King and the friend and the shepherd and all of these terms to represent who Christ is to us. All the more reasons why we are excited for him to come back for his church, his people, the ones who have said, “Yes Lord.”

Jennifer Smith:
That’s really good. I don’t know if other people can relate to this, and we’ve talked about this before, but both of us in our childhood had this-

Aaron Smith:
Ever since I was young. I don’t even remember when.

Jennifer Smith:
… longing and almost desire/understanding that this would be the generation. And I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, we’re not going to prophesy anything, because we’re not prophets.

Jennifer Smith:
No way, and this isn’t even really an end times, how people talk about end times, episode. This is just to talk about what the Bible says about Jesus coming back for us. But I do think it’s interesting that we both have had this experience where even from a really, really, really small child, we’ve understood that Jesus is coming back for us and that we hope for it.

Aaron Smith:
I have believed that I’m going to see it.

Jennifer Smith:
Yeah, me too.

Aaron Smith:
And I don’t know if I’m going to or not, but I have a feeling I’m going to.

Jennifer Smith:
And we’re not the only ones. We have talked to other people, of course.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, exactly. I’m sure the people listening are like, “I’ve thought that.”

Jennifer Smith:
Yeah, but it’s okay if you don’t.

Aaron Smith:
But regardless, because people since Christ first ascended into heaven have been believing that he was coming back in their generation. But none of that should be like, “Oh well, see, he’s never coming back,” because we just talked about that. No, he is coming back for his church.

Jennifer Smith:
I also got to make it a point to say, this isn’t Aaron and Jennifer putting a time stamp on this event because-

Aaron Smith:
Don’t come back to this episode and be like, “See, Aaron and Jennifer, you guys said.”

Jennifer Smith:
No way. No, but people do do that. And I think that it’s important that we stick to scripture and what scripture has to say about the coming of the Lord.

Aaron Smith:
Exactly. Yeah, and the only reason we want to bring it up again is this right here, in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4, verse 13 through 18, says this, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.”

Aaron Smith:
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.” And then this last verse, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

Aaron Smith:
So he’s encouraging the brothers in Thessalonica about those that have died. And he says we don’t think of Christians who die as dead, we think of them as asleep. That’s what Paul said. And he’s encouraging them, saying, “Hey, Christ was raised. We’re going to be raised.” Yes, we’re going to mourn. Yes, it’s sad that we’ve lost our brothers and sisters and friends and loved ones. But for the believer, it is not the end. For the believer, that is not the final word. They are going to be resurrected. They are going to be with the Lord.

Aaron Smith:
And he even says those people that have fallen asleep before us, they get the benefit of being raised first. And then he’s saying anyone who’s alive when the Lord returns, they will be taken next. But the crux of what I want to get out of this is he says, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” Death isn’t the final word. We will be raised. Christ is coming back. Be encouraged with these words.

Jennifer Smith:
It also doesn’t say that you need this, that and another thing to be able to use these words to encourage someone. You just need these words. These words are enough to encourage them. When I think of the words “together with them to meet the Lord,” these are encouraging words, you guys. And I think it’s important that we share them with each other.

Aaron Smith:
I want to point out one other thing in this verse. He says, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God.” So the first time Jesus came, he came as a lamb, silent, when before his shearers was crucified. The second time Christ is coming, he’s not coming as a lamb. He’s coming as a king.

Jennifer Smith:
In power.

Aaron Smith:
In power and in might and with judgment, like he is the king. The Bible calls him the lion and the lamb. So he came as the lamb. He’s coming as a lion next, which is probably a better analogy, because that fits perfectly together. But that’s what’s awesome. He’s coming, and we want to be with him in glory, not against him, because the world will be against him and try and fight that.

Jennifer Smith:
In Acts 1:6-11, it says, “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And he said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sumeria and to the end of the earth.’ And when he had said these things, as they were looking on he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'” I almost wish I would have read this before you read that last verse.

Aaron Smith:
Because we just read how he’s coming.

Jennifer Smith:
It’s that picture, yeah.

Aaron Smith:
He’s coming in the same way, and he’s actually coming in the same place that he left. He left on the Mount of Olives, he’s coming back on the Mount of Olives. He doesn’t do anything out of order. These angels standing next to the men, I’m assuming they’re angels, it says men in white robes, but they’re telling the disciples, “Hey, stop looking up, because the way you saw him leave, he’s coming again, just like this.”

Aaron Smith:
And we just read in that other verse that he comes in the clouds with a trumpet, with a loud cry, with a cry of an archangel. That’s how it’s happening. And there’s another scripture that says that every eye will see, everyone will see, which is an incredible thought. And so here’s the deal. Christ is coming back for his church.

Jennifer Smith:
And this news should give us hope.

Aaron Smith:
And this news should give us hope. If it puts fear in us, because I’m going to be honest, when I was younger, even though I knew Chris was coming back, there were times in my life, especially when, like I talked about in last episode, walking in certain sins I had, addictions that I had, I had fears about Christ returning. And the Bible talks about this idea of not standing before Christ on the day of visitation, the time when he returns, in shame.

Aaron Smith:
And so if there’s fear in your heart, I would ask you to pray and ask God to reveal to you why. Is there unrepentant sin in your life? Are there things in your life that you’ve put above Christ? Because I remember before I was married, I even thought like, Jesus, you’re coming back, but just let me get married first.

Jennifer Smith:
I just want to be married first. And then it was I just want to have our first child.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, which are not bad things. But when those things are now trumping my-

Jennifer Smith:
They become an idol.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah. And it’s also going back to that false belief. We must not have a full understanding of what it means for Christ to come back, if we’re thinking about these very temporary experiences. Again, they’re not bad things, to desire to be married and to want children and whatever those good things are, but if we’re saying, Christ, don’t come back until-

Jennifer Smith:
Like telling him what to do.

Aaron Smith:
We have something out of order.

Jennifer Smith:
Yeah, we should never be telling him what to do. It’s not our job. Another part of fear that I just want to ask you to touch on really quick is that part of fear that gets stimulated by the unknowns. And even though reading scripture tells us how it’s going to unfold and play out, there’s parts of it that in our humanness it’s so hard to grasp.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, and there’s a lot of it that isn’t fully known as well.

Jennifer Smith:
How can you speak to the heart that isn’t, I don’t want to say they’re fearful, but maybe just afraid of the unknowns, or how is that going to happen?

Aaron Smith:
Well, I think we combat those things with the knowledge of God, so getting into the word of God, washing ourselves in it, and then just trusting him like he’s good. Letting God do the work in us and just being excited for what’s to come. There’s a scripture, I can’t remember where it’s at, and it says, “For our current struggles are nothing to be compared with the coming glory.” And Paul was saying, “Hey, we have these trials, we have these hard things, cancer, suffering, persecution, death, all of these things.” And he’s saying none of these current sufferings, the things that we deal with, the things that we have no control over, are anything to be compared to the coming glory.

Aaron Smith:
And the Bible explains what the coming glory is, but there’s no way for us to comprehend it fully until it happens. Just encouraging ourselves, reminding each other, hey, this is hard right now, or we may not know, but just know this. The Lord is coming. We’re going to be with him and he’s going to make it all right. He’s going to wipe the tears away. He’s going to take away the pain. He’s going to give us new bodies. He’s going to make it all right.

Jennifer Smith:
And we’ll be with him.

Aaron Smith:
And we’ll be with him.

Jennifer Smith:
You know, the part of hope that I really love is that definition that it’s a holy expectation for us being with him and our hearts desiring that. Right?

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, and I just want to talk about some of the hope. Christ coming back means a lot of things. We live in a world that is so broken, so lost, so dark, it could be hopeless. It could feel that way. We could look around and be like, how is this going to get fixed? What leader’s going to rise up and make this right? And the Bible talks about that, actually. There is going to be a leader that’s going to try and do it. You should go read that in a couple of the New Testament books.

Aaron Smith:
But here’s the deal. Christ is going to come back, and the wickedness and the brokenness is going to be dealt with. It’s going to be taken care of. The things that are broken in this world are going to be made right, and so we should be excited about that. We could look at the world and say there’s no way this is going to get fixed, and then we can be like, oh wait a minute, it is going to be fixed. Christ is going to take care of this. He’s going to fix this. There’s not going to be any more sorrows. No more pain, no more tears.

Aaron Smith:
That’s our hope. Our hope is not for retirement. Our hope is not for our 401(k). Our hope is not for the next job raise or when we are going to take that trip or the next house we’re going to buy. None of those things can give us the hope that is lasting. To be honest, we can get all of those things and have no hope. The hope is what Christ has said and who he is and that he’s coming back.

Aaron Smith:
And so no matter where we’re at, no matter where you’re at, listener, your hope is in Christ, who is constant and perfect and gentle and patient and will come back and take you to be with him if your faith’s in him. And so that’s our hope. It’s in none of these things other than Christ.

Jennifer Smith:
I wanted to take a minute to read an excerpt from the last chapter of our book Marriage After God, because we talk about this idea of Jesus coming back. And then we can dig into the why is that important to consider that Jesus is coming back for us? So everyone hang tight, and I’m just going to read a little bit from Marriage After God.

Jennifer Smith:
This is Chapter 16, Chasing After God Together. “With the desire to walk in his will and his ways and in marriages that claim the name of Christ, we must never forget that our Lord and savior is coming back for us, his bride, and he will do so in a miraculous way. While we are waiting for his return, we must let this knowledge of his testimony and second coming be the fuel that ignites in us an unquenchable fire to boldly chase after God’s will for our marriages.”

Jennifer Smith:
“The beautiful and imminent return of our king is the very thing that motivates us to move beyond our comfort into the amazing, extraordinary, powerful, world-changing, good works that God has prepared for each one of us since before time began. How incredibly empowering and encouraging is that? Just before the risen Jesus ascended into heaven, he said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.’ Matthew 28:18-20.”

Jennifer Smith:
“Jesus gave us a job to spread his gospel around the world and to obey his every command. But that great commission came with a promise. He will be with us. Not only that, but some day he will return to us and take us to himself. John 14:3. God has entrusted you with tools, gifts, and resources with the command and holy expectation that you will invest them well, so that upon his return he can receive the profit and glory from your lives. Whether or not you believe you are qualified to fulfill this heavenly job doesn’t matter, because the Creator himself put in you the only one who is qualified, the Holy Spirit. You are enough. You are qualified. You are called because you are in him and he is in you.”

Jennifer Smith:
If you’ve already read Marriage After God, I hope that just-

Aaron Smith:
You wrote that? That was good.

Jennifer Smith:
That was really good. I hope that lights a fire in your heart to go back to it and revisit some of the things that you maybe encountered in our book. But if you haven’t read Marriage After God yet, I hope that this lights a fire in your heart to go get a copy and start reading it with your spouse, because this is the reason why Aaron and I, one of the many reasons that we were motivated to share this message with marriage is so that you guys would have a picture of what are we supposed to be doing while in the midst of waiting for the Lord?

Aaron Smith:
We’re going to be closing soon, and I just wanted to bring up, in light of this knowledge, the truth that Christ is returning, there could be this duality of like, well how do I live for today in wisdom, knowing that Christ is coming? Because there could be, and I’m sure some have felt this way, like well I might as well just throw everything in the wind. Christ is coming, what’s it matter? What’s it matter how I organize my life or if I buy a house or get out of debt? They could take this idea and say, “I’m just going to go max out my credit card for the gospel.” That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

Aaron Smith:
But how do we have this duality of Christ is coming but we’re still here? And it’s this idea of living like there’s no tomorrow, but planning like you’re going to be here for a hundred years.

Jennifer Smith:
Forever, yeah.

Aaron Smith:
That’s the reality for the believer. And it’s actually scriptural. You see this all throughout scripture. You have this idea of wisdom, living in inheritance, building equity, and then on the spiritual side of living for Christ and abandoning all, and so you have both things happening at the same time. I don’t just abandon my family to go preach the gospel. That’s the whole book point of our book Marriage After God. My family is a part of my ministry, is my main ministry, and so I live like there’s no tomorrow, but I plan and live my life as if I’ll be here for a hundred years. So both happen simultaneously. The hope that Christ is returning should not stop us from living today.

Jennifer Smith:
I think that it excites us and it gives us something to look forward to while we’re making those milestones in our daily life, making those choices with each other as a married couple, setting up a legacy so that if Christ doesn’t return within a hundred generations, there are still people on earth that follow him and know him, because we’ve built a legacy that lasts, not because of us but because of what God has done in us.

Aaron Smith:
Here’s a scripture, Hebrews 6:10-12, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints as you still do.” This is like something happening recurrently today. “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness, to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” So we look forward to the inheritance. We look forward to the end, as in Christ returning.

Jennifer Smith:
But we’re not just waiting around twiddling our fingers.

Aaron Smith:
No, there’s an earnestness so that we’re not sluggish. We’re actually, we’re excited to work. That there’s another scripture that says we don’t want to be found lazy by our master. The master is going to come home at an unknown hour and find his servants sleeping and being lazy. And it talks pretty harshly about what he’s going to do to that servant. We want to be not sluggish. We want to be earnest.

Aaron Smith:
The hope of Christ returning gives us a burning desire to move forward today. If it produces the opposite, then you’re not understanding what Christ returned means. It should produce an excitement. I mean, that’s what our whole book Marriage After God is about, is like, hey, God’s got stuff for us to do and he’s going to do it through us and in us and we’ve got to say yes to it.

Jennifer Smith:
I wanted to end with this question that we touched on a little bit ago in this episode and then end with a scripture. But here’s the question for everyone, just to sit down on the couch and just-

Aaron Smith:
discuss it.

Jennifer Smith:
I was going to say consider it first, independently of your spouse, and think about what it means to you. And then, yeah, discuss it with your spouse. If they didn’t get a chance to listen to this episode, re-listen to it with them. But it’s this question, does the Lord’s return make you consider what is truly a priority?

Aaron Smith:
Good question.

Jennifer Smith:
Yeah. And then I really had this verse on my heart lately, and it’s James 5:7-8. It says, “Be patient therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also be patient, establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” And that word “established” I feel like is so strong. It’s such a strong command to us.

Aaron Smith:
Yeah, it means to not let your heart waiver. Make your heart solid on the hope, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Jennifer Smith:
And he calls us to be patient just like he is patient.

Aaron Smith:
Amen. We must live like there is no tomorrow, because no one is guaranteed tomorrow.

Jennifer Smith:
Yet we must live like we will be here for a long time, because we just don’t know the appointed time that Jesus is coming back. And be okay with that.

Aaron Smith:
And while we live here, we live for him.

Jennifer Smith:
With hope.

Aaron Smith:
With the hope, because he is coming.

Jennifer Smith:
Persevering with hope.

Aaron Smith:
Love you all. Thank you for joining us in this episode. We like to close in prayer. Dear Lord, we praise you. Not only have you given us salvation through your Son, but also the power of your word to know what is to come and to know how we ought to live as we experience life as your people on earth. We look forward to the day Jesus comes back for us, especially in the times we are in. Yet we are faithful to remain steadfast and patient until your will is complete.

Aaron Smith:
We pray for those who are lost and have not received salvation, and ask that your spirit would continue to be poured out to draw them to yourself. Thank you for the hope that you give to us. We love you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Jennifer Smith:
Amen.

Aaron Smith:
Thank you. I hope this encouraged you. We’re excited for Christ coming back, and we just want you to be as well, as his children, as his people, and yeah, look forward to having you next week.

Aaron Smith:
Did you enjoy today’s show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you’re interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com, and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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