The bodily return of Christ can’t be too soon for me. I’m eager to meet Jesus. And not just because I’m facing some dental work. My penalty for sin has been paid and I’d be grateful for Jesus to take charge.
But I think Jesus’ imminent return is unlikely. It’s just a matter of math. Nearly two thousand years have passed since his death. In each year, Christians believed false signs of His coming. The odds of Jesus’ return in my lifetime are thereby low.
But regardless, my responsibility as Jesus’ follower is to live in a godly manner. Fortunately, Jesus left succinct guidelines: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:37-39.
This leaves me with the question, Who is my neighbor? People follow various interpretations of my neighbor–those living on the same street, or community, or country, or all those sharing our planet. Because Jesus’ return probably isn’t imminent and God isn’t limited by the dimension we call time, I think the godly application would be to also love those who will live after me.
Consider the picture of the child above. Barring Jesus’ unlikely return, she is likely to outlive me. I consider the child my neighbor, and not only her, but her potential descendants. This is a reason, I’ve spent the last thirty years trusting God to strengthen families. Godly families will benefit not only the parents, but future generations.
For me, failure to consider the welfare of future generations is failure to love my neighbor. That’s why my values lean toward protecting the environment, reducing government debt, and opportunity for all regardless of race and status of the parents. I’m willing to make sacrifices–including increased taxes–to not burden this child with current day excesses.