Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Are You Ready?

 I admit it. I am one of those people who went to the store right before the winter storm came and got some milk and other essentials, like ingredients for tacos. Don’t give me that look; you were there, too. Everybody was.

That’s all right, though. I mean, you never know. This winter weather has been pretty unpredictable. I’m just thankful we have a grocery store in town. And while our church, along with several others, was cancelled Sunday morning, guess who was open? County Market.

I hope you don’t think less of our commitment to come together for worship, when County Market opens up for business while we close for the day. But it was the wise decision for us to make, and I’m sure they felt staying open was the wise decision for them. After coming in early to the church building Sunday morning to survey the situation and make some phone calls, I also stopped at the store for some donuts on the way home. I’m glad they were open. Yeah, I’m one of those people.

Okay, so a friend posted a picture on Facebook that showed some lady with a full shopping cart ready to unload groceries in her car in a snowstorm. The caption read: “People: Tell them bad weather is coming, and they prepare! Tell them Jesus is coming, and they do nothing.” And I thought that’s about the way it is.

We believe the weatherman when he says the storm is coming, but do you believe the preacherman when he says Christ is coming? 

"Well, when’s He coming?” you ask. Good question.

Here’s the answer. “Now, brothers, 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” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). In others words – rather, in Jesus’ own words, He said: “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:44).

The point, obviously, is that we don’t know when He’s coming, which means we must always be prepared. There is no radar that can track His movements and forecast His arrival. It would be foolish to even try, though some fools have attempted to predict dates of His second coming, and failed.

But we can see the signs and know that the time is drawing near. Some of these signs, as Jesus says in Matthew 24 include: many who claim themselves to be Christ and deceive many people; wars and rumors of war; nation rising against nation, kingdoms against kingdoms; famines and earthquakes in various place; extreme persecution and hatred of Christians; many who will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other; many false prophets appearing and deceiving people; increase of wickedness; the love of most will grow cold; and the preaching of the gospel to the whole world.

You know what? It looks like we’d better start paying attention to the signs.

Friend, I urge you to get ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus. I’m not talking about getting an extra gallon of milk or some taco sauce, either. I’m not talking about making sure you’ve got enough gas in your car or seeing that the generator’s working.

I’m urging you to get on your knees before a holy and righteous God and plead for His mercy. I’m telling you to recognize that because of your sin, you need the salvation that Christ Jesus alone offers to rescue you from the coming storm of God’s wrath and judgment. I’m warning you to repent from your sin and believe in Jesus, who died on the cross in your place, so that you will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus is coming, and He’s coming soon. Are you ready?