Less than 72 short hours before His arrest, crucifixion, and subsequent death and burial for the sins of the world, our Lord gave crucial answers to critical questions which are vital to the understanding of anyone hoping to go heaven. One of those questions was, “What would be the sign of [His] coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:4). Later on, in answering that question as to when “heaven and earth [would] pass away” (vs. 35), Jesus’ response was that only God knew when that would happen (vs. 36), but that when it did come, it would strike suddenly, without warning, and would therefore occur so quickly and unexpectedly that for those who had simply gone about their normal, daily, earthly lives without getting properly prepared, there would be no time left to get ready (See vss. 37-41). Both the Apostles Peter and John (who were two of those who posed the original question and heard Jesus’ response that day – Mk. 13:3ff), as well as the Apostle Paul, all similarly wrote later on of this same event’s incredible suddenness (See: 1 Ptr. 3:10-14; Rev. 3:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:16-5:10; and 1 Cor. 15:51-58).
Jesus thus continued on in Matthew 24:42-44: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” “Be ready!” That was clearly the clarion cry of the Christ and the crucial life and death conclusion which He would continue to drive home throughout the remainder of chapter 24 and all of chapter 25: “Be ready!”
“Be ready!” according to the Scriptures! “Be ready!” in the eyes of God! “Be ready!” before it’s too late! Get prepared, be prepared, stay prepared, and BE READY at all times – because you do not know the time of His return! Nor do you know when your momentary earthly life, which is but a vapor (Jms. 4:13-14), will come to an end – as we have been so relentlessly reminded by recent news stories regarding such sudden, fatal, and unexpected tragedies. Therefore, we must all, “Be ready!” Thus resounded one of the last, major, life and death messages of the Messiah!
You see, getting ready, being ready, staying ready, and helping others to get and stay ready and prepared for His return is one of the major reasons why the Lord’s church exists (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 8:5-12). That is why we do not waste our precious Bible study and worship time (Eph. 5:8-17) with such vain, useless, and soul-destroying frivolities as man-made doctrines, philosophies, entertainment, or other worldly pursuits (Mk. 7:5-13; Col. 2:8; 1 Jn. 2:15-17). Instead, we spend our Bible study time… well, studying the Bible! Studying the “black and white,” “book, chapter, and verse,” divinely-inspired word, will, and truth of the living God (2 Ptr. 1:20-21; Jn. 17:17), which is able to prepare and make us complete to stand before Him (2 Tim. 3:16-4:4). This is why we continually study (1 Tim. 2:15), abide in (Jn. 8:31-32), grow in (2 Ptr. 1:2-11), and obey it (Jn. 14:15-21). Similarly, we refuse to waste our precious worship time with anything less than absolute Biblical adherence to exactly how God said He wanted to be worshipped in His word, thus seeking to be only the kind of worshippers which He is clearly, continually, and exclusively seeking (Jn. 4:23-24).
The reason that such an all-out effort at informed preparation is so infinitely important, is because the Bible clearly depicts the eternal tragedy of even some very highly and devout religious people; devout religious people who had called Jesus “Lord,” done incredible things in His name, and who obviously believed with all their heart and soul that they were saved, but alas, were not. They truly appear to have believed they were fully ready – and in their own hearts and minds surely they were, one hundred percent – but in God’s eyes, they obviously were not; for although they had done some good things, they had not done God’s will (See Matt. 7:21-23).
We don’t want to be them, nor forced to share in their eternal departure from the Lord (2 Thess. 1:7-10). Hence, we plan to be getting further, better, and more Biblically prepared this coming Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10), in the Lord’s church (Rom. 16:16), so that when He, our Lord returns, we, His people (Acts 11:26; Gal. 3:26-27) will be ready.
What about you? Are you ready? Not in your own eyes, but in His? According to His word (Jn. 14:15-23)? If not – or if there’s any question whatsoever – then please come join us and let’s all get more Biblically prepared and truly ready for the Lord’s return together this coming Sunday, shall we?