What are you ready for? Are you ready for Easter? Bought baskets and bunnies, maybe getting ready to boil and color some eggs? Are you ready for Spring? Cleaning out the cobwebs and sprucing up the yard? Are you ready to graduate? All of your courses completed and applications going out to where you hope to work? Ready for a vacation? The reservations are made, an itinerary printed so you won’t miss a thing? Maybe you are about to have a baby…ready with your packed bag, food made and frozen, nursery set up and all of the breathing classes completed?
We prepare for everything in life. Weddings, births, dinners, jobs, trips, interviews, on and on it goes. Prep proves valuable. We aren’t caught off guard and wondering what just happened.
Imagine waking up to some pain and delivering a baby that you had no idea you were expecting! There would be a lot of catch up to get you to a place where you could handle that dramatic change.
There are plenty of things in life we don’t get to prepare for as well. An unexpected illness, accident or even death. If you knew that you were going to be off your feet or away from work you may have gotten some things prepared.
A job loss is almost always unexpected, yet being prepared with an updated resume and at least 6 months of savings to live on will help you get through the transition that has to take place and is out of your control.
There is one thing most of us don’t spend much time preparing for and that is the second coming of Christ. The end of this world as we know it.
Oh, I know there are preppers out there, but food and other supplies are not going to be of any use when Jesus returns.
Ready For Jesus?
It is kind of hard to dwell on because it would be so final. We just can’t grasp that it could happen at any time, at least I can’t. I mean, I can grasp that it can happen at any time, just not today or tomorrow or the next day because it just doesn’t seem feasible.
Consider that. Not even Jesus knows when He is returning. God the Father has the sole knowledge of that moment when He sends His Son back to claim us and take us to heaven with Him.
Will We Recognize the Times?
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24 : 42 – 44
Another reason we take the second coming of Christ as lightly as we do is a crowd mentality. We are all in this together sort of mindset. If my neighbor isn’t going to church and my boss doesn’t even believe, well I really don’t need to be thinking about it. After all, we would all be in the same boat. After all, there’s always tomorrow. Is there?
Actually, we won’t all be in the same boat. Remember Noah? No one worried about a flood for heaven’s sake because it had never even rained before. But when the day of Judgement came, there was only one family on the boat.
Every single soul will give an account. No one will be brought up to give a defense for you and you won’t even have a word to say on the matter. Everything has been written in a book. You can’t suddenly say, “hey, I’m with him or her.” We stand alone, when we stand before God…and yet, if we believe, we are covered, dressed in white and spotless despite our sin because of Jesus. But remember friends, if you believe in Christ, you will live for Him. We are saved by grace through faith but the Bible says:
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” James 2 : 14
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2 : 19 – 20
So many in the past have predicted the last day of the world. Deceived, they deceived many. Some took their very lives based on the lies. Even today there are those who call themselves prophets saying these are the last days. And perhaps they are! We are told that we should recognize the times, but we will not ever know the hour or the day.
“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” 1 Thessalonians 5 : 4 – 9
We all would love to know the signs to look for so we may recognize the end is near. The disciples wondered the same thing and asked Jesus. Here was His answer:
“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24 : 3 – 14
The first things mentioned above, we have seen in the world in most recent history. They continue today. The wars, the earthquakes, the famines. But described as birth pains refers to the fact that they will become increasingly frequent and more severe.
As for the final paragraph, it is almost as though we are living that as well. Christians are being shot and beheaded at an alarming rate overseas. Statitistics tell us that over 75% of young people fall away from Christianity after High School. The rise in religions that oppose Christianity and even those that claim themselves as Christian but that would not be recognized by God as Christian are growing in members. Our recent riots, the lawlessness of those who have gone after police officer’s lives, the quest to not honor the laws of our country and to make a mockery of Christians and the Word of God has grown exponentially in the past 6 years. As far as persecution, that is also being seen. People who have opposing beliefs are being rewarded judgements while Christians are being told their rights are not protected. It easily could be seen as the time.
Still God Does Not Operate in Our Confinements of Time
However, God does not work on a clock. At least not one we would recognize.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3 : 8
We are told that people will mock the Lord and Jesus return, claiming it is a lie, a hoax.
“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3 : 3 – 4
Yet, God the Father provides us with His reasons for why Jesus has not yet returned.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3 : 9
Still, He warns us again.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3 : 10
Jesus Is Coming Again
Jesus tells us in John that we can be assured that He will return for us.
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14 : 2 – 3
The inspiration for this devotion came from the Parable Jesus shared in Matthew 25
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25 : 1 – 13
Are You Preparing For The Journey Home?
Friends, this world will pass. We were not created to live here forever. We are going home!
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3 : 20 – 21
What a glorious realization. The end of the world, or just the end of our days in this world is the beginning of something we can only imagine. The Father waits patiently for the Gospel to be spread to every place on earth and relies on us to share our faith and live lives that honor Him so that by our witness, no one would perish. But still the warnings come:
“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
1 Thessalonians 5: 1 – 3
Ready or Not, He Comes
Are you ready? Are your lamps filled with enough oil to get you through the nights ahead? Will you be able to know the time is near and not give your oil away to fools who were not ready? Here are just a few of the Scriptures that will encourage you as you seek God in understanding how to be ever ready for Jesus’ return.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15 : 58
Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire;to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1 : 20 – 23
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4 : 16 – 18
What lies ahead does not sound easy, the things written in Revelation are not easy to even interpret and they definitely can cause us concern, but we are those who will be ready and we will be gathered up with Christ on that last day.
“Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Matthew 24 : 29 – 31
I pray that you are ever ready.
*How much attention do you give to being ready for Jesus return?
*Do you think the end times are here now?
*How will you make yourself ready?
*Pray for direction if you need it and I would imagine we all need it
*Pray for boldness to save the lost and the words and actions that will draw them to you
Father God, only You know the hour and the day. We want to be ready. We want to see and recognize the signs and we want to be living a godly life of faith with works that shines a light to those still in darkness. Teach us, equip us and stir us to live out a life that shines for You, reaching our hands to those who are caught up in pain, suffering, deceived and worn down. Give us renewed strength, refresh us with Your Word, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and give us the confidence to speak in timely fashion without fear. We look forward to Jesus return. We await as a Bride for her groom. The day so anticipated and so exciting when we are joined with You forever. With heavenly longing, in Jesus, Amen.
I want to be ready. How do we know if we are? Seek God on that one. There are far more Scriptures on it as always and I put in loads of them today again. As I wrote the prayer today I was reminded of my most favorite song in the past two years. I put on my dance garments and grab my flags to worship to this inspired song that I will share here. Even if it goes blank there should be a link so you can watch it on Youtube. Even So Come…
Thank you again for being here. I would appreciate you sharing on social media. I know it is hard. Believe me, it has been difficult to publish some of these devotions. You are putting your faith out for the world AND those that know you (which can even be harder) to see. But I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and should one person be brought to Him through my posting I will be so glad to know that a celebration in heaven was taking place because I was bold enough to share. What about you?
See you tomorrow, Blessings,