Today has been a blur of activity as I have been busy all day getting everyone ready to go. Tomorrow Eric and I will leave to head to Orlando for a missions conference. The boys will go with us part way and stay with my brother and sister-in-law for the weekend, while Lauren stays with mom and dad. So, I have packed Andrew’s suitcase, Landon’s suitcase and my own. We have cleaned out the car and gassed it up and even now I just re-checked everyone’s stuff to make sure they have everything they need, though I’m sure there are things we forgot. But, it has been a busy day preparing to go. Wondering if we are ready or not?
As I thought on this question, the Lord brought to mind an even greater question, am I ready for His return? The Bible says, “ for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (I Thes. 5:2).” Paul and the apostles all thought Jesus would return in their day, they expected it and were ready. I wonder how many of us are ready or how many of us really even expect it?
I believe for many of us, we know and believe Jesus will return, but we live as if it is way in the future and certainly not today. I heard a story of a lady once who got up each day and prayed for the Lord’s return and then she would live in anticipation of His return. His return was an ever-present thought so much that you wouldn’t catch her doing anything she would not want Jesus to return and find her doing.
The Bible tells us Jesus will return and that not even He knows the day, only the Father. Remember the story of the ten virgins. I love this parable for it so rightly describes how we should live. “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:1-13).
Five of the virgins were ready, they were prepared and the other five were not. The Bible goes as far as to call them fools. The virgins had all been waiting for a long time and probably given up hope that he would return that night, but instead when they least expected it, he returned. The wise virgins were ready to meet him, yet the others were not, they’d run out of oil. They rush off to find oil and when they return, they knock to go in, but it is too late. Now, I truly believe this parable applies to the saved and the lost. Yet, I think we too as Christians can apply this to ourselves as well.
Will we be ready when Jesus returns? Will He find us doing things we wouldn’t want? Are we living for Him right now, waiting in expectation of His return? The truth is, He knows and sees what we are doing even now. He knows our hearts and our every thought. Nothing is hidden from Him. In I Corinthians 3, Paul speaks of us being God’s building and that Christ is our foundation. He goes on to say we are building with either gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble. And that one day we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ and our works whether good or bad will be tested by fire and we will be rewarded or not rewarded accordingly.
This means, that even as Christians it does matter how we live now. The passage tell us that for those who have been building with wood, hay or stubble will suffer loss. One way I think we can tell if we are truly living as if Jesus could return at any moment is by examining our lives right now. How well do our lives line up with the Scriptures, how is our obedience? I believe with all my heart if we truly believed Jesus could return any moment, we would be telling others of Jesus at every opportunity, encouraging the saints, making disciples. Living for the eternal and not for this world.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live for Christ now, building upon His foundation with gold, silver and precious stones. I want to live in a way that glorifies and points others to Him. And I want to be ready, truly believing He could come at any moment. How about you, are you ready??