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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 13

Be Ready

The coming of Christ looms over all that happens in our world. It is the devil’s greatest fear and the believer’s greatest hope. Jesus had a lot to say on the subject but his instruction to us can be summed up by what he said in Matt. 24:44 — “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” When he concluded the parable of the ten virgins in Matt. 25:13 he said in a similar vein, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

What does it mean to “be ready”? First of all, readiness is based on knowledge. If you don’t know about something you cannot be ready for it. But beyond mere knowledge readiness is also based on belief. Many in the world know of the doctrine of Christ’s coming but they don’t believe it themselves. In fact, many openly scoff at the idea as Peter said they would. II Peter 3:3-4. But true readiness treats the coming of the Lord as the fact that it is — and acts accordingly.

Obviously, someone who has never been born again of God’s Spirit is not ready. If Christ came today they would be left to suffer the world’s fate. If you fall into that category I urge you in Christ’s name to give your life unreservedly to Him. Bow before Him in your heart. Call upon Him to save you for time and eternity. Believe His promise! Rom. 10:9-13.

Yet I’ve met many people who think that because they went forward and “accepted Jesus” somewhere way back there that’s all there is to it. They continue to live their own lives, attending some lifeless church, just waiting for “the rapture.” I’m afraid that in many of these cases such people are not really Christians at all. They’ve been begotten by the lifeless gospel of “easy-believism.” They are just lost church members.

Paul exhorted the Corinthians to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” II Cor. 13:5. In light of the eternal stakes, that sounds like good advice. What other issue is more important? Every other issue affects only our life in this world. God’s kingdom is eternal. Don’t be among those who scream and cry and gnash their teeth over their lost opportunity to be saved.

I believe that readiness implies a basic knowledge of what it means to serve Christ, to be His follower — and a willingness, by His grace, to do it. It means that we are ready to serve Him in the light of what He has revealed about conditions on earth as His coming approaches. And, since we don’t know the day nor the hour, it means that we are ready should he come today; it also means that we are ready to endure by faith however long He may tarry His coming.

Jesus gave us a warning in Matt. 24:45-51 concerning some who, when His coming seemed to be delayed, became careless and began to “eat and drink with the drunken.” That’s a picture of someone whose faith is superficial and whose real inner desire is to live to the lusts of their flesh along with the rest of the world. There are some that can be aroused to a state of excitement in their carnal emotions about the prospect of Christ’s return, yet when that seems to be delayed and it comes down to practical Christian living, they’re not really interested in that.

As we have said, being ready means ready if He comes back today; it means ready to walk with Him and look for Him if His coming is delayed for 50 years; it means ready to live for Him; ready to suffer for Him if need be; ready to die for Him. It simply means that our lot is 100% cast with Him no matter what comes — or when. Like Abraham, we look for “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb. 11:10. We are willing to die in faith if necessary.

Are you ready?

Luke 21:36 says, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

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