Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 1 – Are you ready?

Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  (Matthew 24:42-44 NET)

Stay alert, is God’s warning.  The day that Jesus returns and separates the true believers from the unbelievers is going to take everyone by surprise, like a thief in the night, and as Jesus says earlier in this chapter, like lightning that strikes from east to west.  For those who are truly His, who live a life of daily sacrifice to Him, who aren’t lukewarm or halfhearted but on fire for God, this day will be amazing and wonderful.  But for those who are just partial believers, who enjoy their sins and do very little to get free from them, those people will experience a day of terror.

This is a promise that He will return.  In the rest of chapter 24, Jesus talks about more signs of His coming and the terrible time of tribulation that will also afflict the world before the world as we know it comes to an end.  As we watch current events in the news and observe the rapid degradation of morality and the growing cynicism towards faith, we can see some very clear signs that Bible prophecies are coming true in our day and age.  But Jesus doesn’t just say, “stay alert,” to keep an eye out for signs of the end times.  We are to be alert about the state of our own souls right now, every day.  

Too many self-professing Christians are deceived into thinking that they are just fine because God is love, and He gives them grace.  Yes, grace and love is for those who repent and turn away from evil, fight evil and hate evil.  But churches across the US are filled with many who enjoy their sins, ask for forgiveness, and go right back to them over and over again.  There is no grace for the unrepentant.   If you are in this situation, you are in danger.  Read God’s list of just some of the fruit of the flesh that will prevent people from entering the Kingdom of Heaven:

“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. “ (Galatians 5:19-20)  

Be alert, be ready.  Jesus could return like a flash of lighting, or your life on earth could end at any moment.  God lists selfishness, right alongside drunkenness and sexual sin.  You may think you're just fine because you have “small sins” while pointing your finger at others with what you consider to be more shameful sins.  In God’s eyes, sin is sin, and all of these can disqualify us from entering into His Kingdom.  Fight for your salvation today, work it out with fear and trembling as the Bible says.  You are the only one who can ensure that the Second Coming of Jesus will be a day of great joy for you.  Let’s make sure we’re in a state of constant readiness.

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