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Friday, April 21, 2017

Are You Ready?

On the Mount of Olives, Jesus was asked by His disciples about His second coming and the end of the age. They wanted to know when it will happen and what the signs will be (Matthew 24:3). Jesus told them that there will be many different signs. Many false prophets will arise, some even claiming to be the Messiah. These deceivers will lead many people astray, even some believers (Matthew 24:5,11,24).  There will be wars and rumors of wars as nations turn against each other. Natural disasters, such as famines and earthquakes, will occur in many places throughout the world (Matthew 24:6-8).

In addition to these signs, Jesus gave the disciples other signs that will signal His return and the beginning of end times. The one thing He did not tell them was when all these things will occur. He told them that no one knows the day or the hour on which He will return, except for the Father (Matthew 24:36). For this reason, He gave the disciples, and all of us as believers, instructions that we must always be ready for His return (Matthew 24:42-44). On a day and an hour known only to God, Jesus will return. His first order of business will be to gather to Himself all those who have persevered in the faith, all of the elect, both the dead and the living in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). And this is why we must be ready.

Now, being ready for that day does not mean having a bag packed and ready to go. It is a spiritual readiness. It means that we must be steadfast in living lives that are pleasing to God. We must avoid the sins that separated us from God before we gave our lives to Christ. God calls us to avoid impurity and strive to live lives that are holy, set apart to Him (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). As he taught us, we must remember to love one another (1 Thessalonians 4:9). We mus persevere in the faith, always keeping Christ in our hearts and minds so that we become more and more like Him. When we do this, we will be ready when that glorious day of His return arrives.

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