We’ve all read the warning many times. Looking forward to the day He returns, Christ tells us, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:42) We tend to respond by wondering “when,” but the more practical question is “how.” How can I prepare so I’m ready?
There is no doubt Christ requires that those still here when he comes back must be serving effectively when he arrives. Scripture seems to describe that age as dark and filled with persecution. No wonder the Lord wonders, “But when the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) There will obviously be a church here, but will He find us faithful?
If we’re all cowering in bunkers singing our favorite songs while we escape the opposition of the world, our returning Lord won’t find much faith on the earth. If the world is being swept away by unbelief and we’re doing nothing to resist or rescue the perishing, there’s not much faith there no matter what we believe about the Bible.
So I’ve come to believe the #1 essential for saints who want to be prepared is a teachable spirit. We must always be learning so that we can correctly read the signs of the times. Christ has two words for believers who cannot: wicked and adulterous.
We must be prepared to minister the Gospel in any setting: great interest in faith or complete hostility; prosperity or economic calamity; golden days or plague years. We have to know what makes people tick and where they hurt. We will need to be able to overlook personal differences in order to find common ground for pre-evangelism and sharing the gospel.
Proverbs 6:6 suggests the ant should be a role model for us: she gathers food in the summer and stores up for the winter. I don’t think there’s any doubt that can be applied to encourage saving some money for hard times. Living within your means is more than spending only what you have; it’s also about saving something for times when you’re earning less or encounter a famine.
But the larger lesson is that we should also store up some truth, some experience, some insight for adapting when the world changes for the worse. Readiness requires that you and I must cultivate a teachable spirit. We must stop asking, “Am I comfortable,” and begin asking, “Am I ready?”
The virgins who weren’t ready missed the wedding feast. The laborers who weren’t ready lost their jobs when the master returned. The guests who weren’t ready were kicked out of the wedding.
And saints who aren’t ready to serve up the Gospel to the next generation are missing the point. Saving up for winter means I am ready and resourced to rescue my neighbors when harsh weather descends on them. That is one practical implication of loving my neighbor as myself.
For an uplifting message about Redskins QB Kirk Cousins, resourceful saints, and readiness, click here.
Lift up the Cross!