On one recent evening, at ten o'clock, our daughter and her husband were told by the local firemen to be ready in case they had to evacuate their house. There had been a major propane leak at the gas station in their small village, and everyone was being told to prepare for possible evacuation. They proceeded to gather up their three cats, one bulldog, and two horses. At 11:00 o'clock, the fireman returned and told them that they were to evacuate immediately.
As I lay in bed praying for their safety and the safety of all the people in their village, I thought about how we are told in the Bible to be ready for when Jesus returns.
- God's kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn't show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.
In the middle of the night someone yelled out, "He's here! The bridegroom's here! Go out and greet him!"
The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, "Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil."
They answered, "There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own."
They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.
Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, "Master, we're here. Let us in."
He answered, "Do I know you? I don't think I know you."
So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive. (Matthew 25:1-13 MSG)
Even though they all knew that the bridegroom was coming, only five were prepared.
How does this apply to our lives today? How can we be ready for Jesus' return? Here are a few ways:
As Jesus' followers, we should be faithful to Him until He comes, by:
We need to be prepared, because even though we don't know the exact hour that Christ will return, we do have God's promise that He will come back.
- [Jesus] told them, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world."
These were His last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared — in white robes! They said, "You Galileans! — why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly — and mysteriously — as He left." (Acts 1:7-11 MSG)
Even though we don't know when Jesus will return, if we are like the smart virgins, we will be ready. Are you ready?
Choose now to serve Him faithfully!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are so glad that You have promised us that Christ will come again. Help us to live every moment for You so that we will be ready and prepared. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.