…So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come
at an hour when you do not expect him.
— Matthew 24:44
Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives and answered the question His disciples asked, What will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age? He gave them signs to look for, but then indicated that when He does return He would come like a thief in the night, catching many people by surprise.
I don’t really like surprises. I remember years ago, in the third year of teaching my weekly Bible class, when I looked out at the sea of upturned faces I caught sight of my parents sitting in the middle of the class! They had come at the urging of friends to surprise me. While it was a fun moment for everyone else, it was not enjoyable for me! I felt caught off guard. While God helped me recover my composure, it was a very unsettling experience.
Surprises. Things that happen suddenly. Unexpectedly. With no time for last minute preparation. While I don’t like them, God has operated according to this pattern many times. And He has put us on notice that He will do so again at the end of the age. The question I continue to ask myself is, Am I ready for His surprises? Are you?
The worst surprise I’ve ever received was when I found my husband unresponsive in our pool. Nothing will ever compare to the horrific shock of realizing my life’s companion of 49 years was gone. The comfort God gave me then and now is that, as unexpected as the end was for us both, Danny was ready.
Are you ready for your life’s end because you know with certainty you have received eternal life through faith in Jesus?1 Because you trust Him.
Are you ready for sudden disaster, death, or disease because you are confident that whatever comes, God will never leave you nor forsake you?2 Because you trust Him.
Are you ready to hear the trumpet sound, and the loud voice of the Archangel calling you to rise and meet Jesus in the air?3 Because you trust Him.
Until the moment you see Jesus face to face, are you ready for those divine appointments when, without any preliminary notice, your teenager or co-worker or neighbor asks you how they can have peace in their hearts? Purpose in their lives? Are you ready at a moment’s notice to just give them Jesus? Because you long for others to trust Him, too.
There are many signs that are pointing to the final hour of human history. I, for one, don’t want to be caught off guard. 2018 is a year in which I want to do everything humanly possible to be ready for the surprises that await at the end of the age.
But it’s also possible that you and I could be in our own final hour and not even know it. Life can end abruptly without preliminary notice. Are you ready? Is there a person you need to forgive? An apology you need to make? A letter you need to write? A phone call you need to make? Whatever it is, do it now. I want to live life so that whenever or however it ends, I have no regrets.
By all indications, 2018 will be a trying time. A testing time. But it will also be a trusting time. Get ready….
For the glory of His Name…
1John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; John 5:24; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
2 Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 43:1-7
3 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Instruction: Ready or Not?
- From the following verses, describe the various world-changing events that took place without prior warning: Luke 2:13-14; Luke 24:1-8; Matthew 28:1-10; Acts 1:1-11; Acts 2:1-4, 14-17
- If these major events involving the life of Jesus took place suddenly, is it possible future world events involving Him will also take place in the same way?
Click here for the Bible study especially developed for this newsletter.
New Audio and Video Resource
In the midst of global, national, political, social, racial, and even personal turmoil, you and I need to be anchored by faith in God’s Word. As the door closes on human history as we know it, we need to be confident that God has everything under control and is working to bring His plan to completion. While believers may increasingly be a marginalized minority, we know we are not alone, because Jesus promised that He would be with us to the end of the age.
Be encouraged as Anne challenges us to immerse ourselves in God’s Word, refocus our faith, and refresh our spirits in this final hour.
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