Question:

A while ago my grandma, who has been an amazing influence on me as a Christian, says sometimes she feels hypocritical when we sing and pray about wanting Jesus to return soon. She says she wants to go to heaven, but she enjoys life and hasn't had to deal with too much suffering.She's a Christian who has been blessed with a great family and life overall, but she does wish that Jesus not return during her lifetime.Personally, I want an end to suffering and sin in this world, but I also want to make sure I'm prepared.I'm learning and growing, but sometimes I feel like no matter how much I grow there's something I'm leaving out that could keep me out of an eternity with God. Is it wrong of my grandma to feel the way she does, and if so, what advice and information can I give her?


Answer:

It isn't unusual to see all that should be accomplished and want to get something done before you leave. "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you" (Philippians 1:21-24).

There is a danger in longing for the world, thinking that this is the best. It can become a distraction. That is why Jesus warned, "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful" (Matthew 13:22). A focus on this world can cause us to get our priorities wrong.

"Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (II Peter 3:11-13).

For every Christian there is more to do, more to learn, and more to improve. Being a Christian is about growth. "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:8-11). It is people who aren't growing who have a problem.

And remember that God isn't looking to keep people out, He is trying to bring people in. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).