OR CHRIST CONTROL?
Luke 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Susie: This principle is reiterated many times in the Gospels (Luke 9:24, Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; John 12:25). Therefore, we should pay close attention to it. To truly follow Jesus, is to surrender my right to myself and submit to His control—thus, to lose my life.
Susan: We give up our own agenda for Christ’s kingdom agenda. This leads to true life, including spiritual vitality as well as, ultimately, eternal life in the presence of our Lord.
Susie: The person who avoids identification with Jesus, who seeks everything in this life only is not only condemned to judgement when Jesus returns but misses out on abundant life here and now. That person loses their life completely now and forever.
Susan: That person chooses separation from Jesus, from all that is good. The end to that is ultimate destruction, being perpetually tormented with no comfort, compassion, or hope of relief—experiencing only evil forever.
Susie: Those who lose their lives by dying to self and trusting Jesus, walk in renewed, invigorated life while here on earth and ultimately experience perfect peace and joy with the Lord forever.
Susan: Some people approach life on automatic pilot, doing business as usual as in Noah’s day. However, to surrender one’s life to Jesus is to choose Christ control rather than cruise control.
Luke 17:34-36 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Susan: Note that there are examples here from daytime and nighttime. The point being that Jesus’s return could occur at any moment, any time of day.
Susie: In all three examples (some manuscripts omit verse 36), there are two people in close proximity to one another. One is “taken” and the other left.
Susan: There is disagreement between the commentators as to the destination of the one “taken”. Some see this as the rapture of the saints.
Susie: However, since Jesus is talking about His return in judgment, other commentators do not see this as the rapture of the saints. They view it as the one taken is being judged and the one left is being preserved.
Susan: We are not sure which way we lean on this; but either way, one is judged and the other saved.
Susie: Being close friends with a believer will not be able to save you from judgment. Each person must respond to Jesus personally.
Susan: Every individual must choose between Jesus and the world on their own. No one can ride a believer’s coattails to heaven.
Susie: Your parents’ faith cannot save you. Your grandmother’s trust in Jesus cannot preserve you. You must surrender your life, die to yourself, and trust Jesus on your own.
Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
Susie: Just as carrion birds circling above corpses can be seen from a great distance, the day of Jesus’s return in judgment will be apparent to all.
Susan: Judgment will fall wherever the spiritually dead, those who have never trusted in Jesus, are found. I don’t know how this is going to happen, but when Jesus returns, everyone still alive on this earth will know about it. It will be definite, fearsome, and awesome all at the same time.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Luke 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
Ponder this and apply it: Do you see the return of Jesus as a day to be celebrated or feared? If you live in fear and dread of judgment, you have been convicted of the fact that you are a sinner. This awareness is a part of the Holy Spirit drawing you. Surrender to that call by trusting in Jesus completely and turning over control of your life to Him. This is the only way to have both abundant life here and now and the security of Heaven eternally.