Longview Baptist Church in Franklin, NC (828) 524-6836 Sec@LongviewBC.org

Believe it or not another year has passed and we are on the brink of a brand new one.  I can remember when the year 2020 seemed like a distant eternity; a time that needed little acknowledgement because it was so far away.  As a child I often considered the 21st century to be almost science-fiction because it was so distant.  But look where we are!  19 years are behind us in this century and the clock continues to tick as we journey forward, longing for Christ’s return.

Who knows?  2020 could very well be the year that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ returns.  While we don’t know if this is the year or not He certainly knows.  The question I want to pose to you is this—If this indeed turns out to be the year that the Lord returns to claim His own, are you prepared for that glorious event?  I hope everyone at Longview can honestly answer “Yes!” to that question.

However, I realize that in every church family there may be individuals who are certainly not prepared to meet our Creator.  First, there are those who are not saved.  I’m thinking of those who, while having heard the Gospel many times, have never by faith accepted Christ’s sacrificial death to take away their sins.  Then there are those who have indeed believed in their hearts that Christ has died for their sins and have received His grace and forgiveness; but their lives are filled with unconfessed day-to-day sin and disobedience to God’s Word.

If you find yourself in either of these 2 categories I must warn you that you are not ready for the Lord’s return.  If you are lost and without Christ you certainly don’t want to face Him as the righteous Judge who will not allow any sin to go unpunished.  I plead with you to repent of your sins, turn to Him by faith, and receive the free grace of forgiveness He offers.  Also, you need to come forward and publicly profess the faith you exercise in Christ.

If you are indeed a Christian and yet continue to live a life that is in direct contradiction to God’s Word I must also warn you that you are not prepared for the Lord’s return.  Surely you wouldn’t want to stand before the One who died for you with a disobedient and rebellious spirit.  The guilt and shame will be unbearable for those who are living in such a way.  My advice to you is that you repent and begin living daily according to His standard for His people as found in His Word.  The best way for this to happen in your life is for you to fall in love with Jesus as never before.

And that is my desire for all of us this coming year—that our love for the Lord Jesus Christ will grow deeper than it ever has before in our lives.  I pray that everyone at Longview, as well as the church universal, will long for, hunger for, and desire God as never before in 2020.  Your faith will never be stronger than it already is and you will never “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18) if you don’t love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and forsake all to follow Him.

Why not make 2020 the year that you are closer to Him than ever before?  After all, if He returns this year wouldn’t you want Him to find you longing for that return instead of dreading it?

By His Grace,

Pastor Johnny