Are You Ready?
Matthew 24:36, 44 (ESV)
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only...Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
What does it mean to be ready for Christ’s return?
Many, many predictions have been made as to when Jesus is going to return. During the pandemic, many people claimed that it was a sign that Jesus’ return was imminent. Every time a natural disaster occurs, people begin predicting that He will be coming back very soon. But what exactly does “soon” mean? We don’t know.
While it’s true that Jesus’ return is getting closer with every passing day, it is impossible to know exactly when. In today’s verse, Jesus made it clear that even He does not know the day or time of His return. But this is important—notice that He doesn’t command us to make predictions about when He will return. He commands us to make preparations for His return. He says we must be ready!
What does Jesus mean by being ready for His return? The apostle John gave us this advice in 1 John 2:28: "And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.” Remain in Him so that when He comes you may be found in Him.
In Romans 13:11-14, Paul instructed us on how to act while we wait. He wrote, “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” In order to walk properly, we shouldn’t even give sin a chance! We shouldn’t put ourselves in positions in which we’ll be vulnerable to temptation.
Finally, because we don’t know the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, we should live with a greater sense of urgency. In Acts 1:7-8 Jesus told His disciples: “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Then they watched Him as He was taken up into heaven in a cloud. Immediately, two men in white robes stood by them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10) In other words, get busy spreading the Gospel! It is not our business to know exactly when Jesus will return. But it is our business to be about His business while we wait.
Friends, the Bible is clear that no one knows when Jesus is coming back but it is also clear that Jesus IS coming back. When He returns, may He find us faithful, obedient, and about His business. Until then, abide in Him.
Jesus, when You return, I want to be found in You. Keep me walking close to You. Help me to live an obedient life. Please give me opportunities to be Your witness and give me the wisdom and discernment needed to take advantage of every opportunity I am given. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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