Prepare to Meet Thy God
In Amos 4:12 we have the fear-provoking words of the Lord to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” It seems that no matter what God did in order to get the children of Israel to repent and obey they continued to ignore Him. Since the Israelites persistently refused to heed God’s warnings they would meet Him, not at the sanctuary, in judgment, face-to-face! God would no longer ignore their rebellion and their refusal to repent and obey.
The ideas of repentance and preparation to meet God in Judgment are carried on in the New Testament dispensation. It is vogue in most denominational teachings to assert that obedience is to God is optional to salvation (even though when pressed they will contradict themselves on this point). People overwhelmingly ignore the need to repent in their lives because they like living selfish, sinful, and salacious lifestyles. A refusal to repent and obey will leave one unprepared to meet God in Judgment.
Is obedience to God’s commands necessary? Well, the Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey (Acts 5:32). The Bible speaks of the necessity of being obedient to the gospel and the truth (Romans 10:16; Galatians 3:1; 5:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:8). Only those who obey Him will be allowed to enter into His rest (Hebrews 3:18). And salvation is limited to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). Is obedience necessary?
Is repentance necessary? First of all repentance implies a change in one’s life. Where one’s priorities lie, where we go, what we do, how we speak. It really boils done to turning from being self-serving to a life of serving God and others. This was a real problem with Israel and with the Jews of Jesus’ day (Luke 13:3, 5). But it has been a problem for all men of all times. At least 27 times in the Gospels the idea of repentance is specifically recorded. We are told in Acts 17:30, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.”
Those, like Israel, who refuse to obey and repent, who harden their hearts are setting themselves up for eternal failure at the righteous Judgment Seat of God. God will deliver to ever one “according to his deeds.” Those who are “self-seeking” and “do not obey” will reap eternal indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish (Romans 2:5–11)
One day each of us will meet God face to face to give account for what we have done or refused to do. Are you prepared to meet him?