Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11 – Are we ready?

I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book.  He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”  Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!  (Revelation 22:18-20 HCSB)

This is the risen Jesus speaking through the apostle John, about 60 years after Jesus had returned back into heaven.  He is now on the throne at the right hand of the Father, glorified and exalted above all powers.  His promise to us here, is, “Yes, I am coming quickly!”  Time in God’s eyes is not the same as for us.  Many other verses in the Bible urge us to be ready at any moment for His return, because He is coming like a thief in the night.  Many will be unprepared for Him.  Eternity will be before them, and it will be too late. Our task is to live in total surrender to Him now, so we won’t be among those who say, “Wait! I’m not ready!”

But I wanted to include these verses that precede this promise.  They are the strongest warnings about how we are to treat the Word of God.  We are not to add to, or subtract from God’s Word.  Everything that we are to base our lives on should be in line with the entire teachings of God’s Word.  We are not to pick and choose the comfortable sections and ignore the challenging ones like we would pick over produce at the supermarket.  We have an obligation to know who God is and what He wants from us by knowing the entirety of His Word.  

Sadly many Christians make it a practice to exclude the commands of God that don’t mesh with their lifestyle.  Tithing, sacrificing their old lives, striving to obey, pursuing holiness, faithful commitment to the gathering of believers, submitting themselves to the authorities God has placed over them, and many other inconveniences are simply ignored.  But for us to be welcomed blameless into God’s Kingdom, it is of utmost importance that we treat His whole Word, both Old and New Testaments, as holy and vital for daily life.  

There are various religions, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics and others, who have actually inserted extra writings and books into the Bible that are not God’s Word at all.  The proponents of these religions will have to deal with the implications of God’s warning sooner or later.  But this warning is not just for organized religions who physically insert pages into the Bible.  This is for anyone who refuses to acknowledge the entirety of the Word of God.  For those who choose to ignore God’s teachings, or reinterpret them to agree with their fleshly desires will have these plagues to face.  Salvation can be removed from them because they traded what was true and holy for their own foolish version of “wisdom.”

Jesus is coming soon, it’s a promise!  Let’s be vigilant to know Him and serve Him to the best of our abilities.  No one wants to be caught off guard on the day that will change all that exists. Let’s all be able to say, Amen! Come Lord Jesus!    

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