Sunday, March 1, 2020

Ready for the Lord to come

Anita Clark – Pastor Grace Chapel Carbondale, Kansas

“Therefore be ye also ready, for in the hour that ye think not the Son of Man cometh” Matthew 24:44.

Jesus was speaking to His disciples concerning His return to earth to reign, and establish His kingdom at the end of the seven years of tribulation.  We know that Jesus will come in the clouds before the tribulation, as Apostle Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 4:13-18.  At the coming before the tribulation, He will not touch His feet on the earth, but will call those away who are ready to come up to meet Him in the air.  But, regardless of which coming it is referring to, He asks His people “to be ready.”

What does it mean “to be ready?”  In the Greek, it means to “be prepared.”  But, in the dictionary it gives a more complete meaning.  For instance it means “with preparations complete.” Remember Revelations 19:7, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready.”  Right now in this life, some saints of God are making ready.  Preparation is going on and will be completed.  The Lord Jesus Christ will have a bride to rule and reign with Him.  The Lord is working in the lives of those who will give themselves over to His will and let the work be completed.

Another meaning of  this word “ready” is “to be willing or resolved, i.e. “I am ready for anything.”  If we want to please the Lord we must have a resolve to run on patiently, (I Cor. 9:24).  Trials will come and they are hard to bear, but if we resolve to win the race, we draw on the Lord’s strength to go onward until the victory is won.

Apostle Paul said in II Timothy 4:6-8, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will give at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”  Meditate on these words.  Can we say this is true of us?

Are we ready today if the Lord should call us away to be with Him?  None of us really know when He will call.  We are looking for Him to come and take His bride, but perhaps He will call us away before that by way of death.  Are we ready, prepared, willing and resolved?  Remember, this preparation is not by our fleshly works, but by letting God work in our lives as He desires.  Apostle Paul says in Phil. 2:13, “For it is God who worketh in you both to do and to will of His good pleasure.”

Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them who look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”  Note: “them who look for Him.”  What does it mean to “look” for Him. This word “look” in the Greek means “to expect fully.”
In the natural if we are expecting company, we usually go to great labor preparing to have everything clean and just so, so.  We want our guests to have the best visit we can produce by all our work and care.  Jesus wants nothing else than this.  This cleansing and straightening must go on in our lives today to prepare us for His coming.  We can’t wait until the last minute to get ready, right now use diligence to be prepared for His eminent return.

In I Thessalonians 5:1-6, Apostle Paul writes, “But of the times and seasons brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say Peace and Safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail as a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But you brethren, are not in the darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep as others; but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep, sleep in the night and they that  be drunken are drunken in the night.”  Jesus is coming soon to catch away His watching and waiting ones, His bride.  Many believers are asleep to this very important event.  Let us be different!  Let us be faithfully watching!