Before Jesus Returns Matt. 24:42-44 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Matt 24:42-44 Jesus instructed his disciples to “be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Doctrinally, this command applies to the Second Coming of Jesus rather than to the rapture as you can see from the example and the parable that follow it. Nevertheless, since no one knows the time of Jesus’ return, the command to be ready has a beneficial application to us. We have work to do before Jesus returns and we’d better be finished with it by the time he comes for us.
In order to be ready before Jesus returns, you must:
Get as clean as you can – in 1 Jn 3:1-3 we find that every man that hopes for the appearance of Jesus Christ “purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” The groom always cleans himself and makes himself presentable for his bride and, likewise, she makes herself clean and beautiful for her groom. We should always be presentable so that when Jesus comes he will find his bride ready for him.
Do as much as you can – Ecc 9:10 encourages us to get our work done while we are still alive. Paul worked harder than all the other disciples to get the gospel out. He was looking for the Lord to come at any moment [Titus 2:13]. We are certainly very close to the Lord’s return and we can each do more than we are doing; there is so much yet to be done. In Uganda we saw children working as hard as adults to provide for the families’ needs. Likewise, our young people need to be involved in the work of the ministry, carrying a bigger part of the load.
Go as fast as you can – we know that haste makes waste, so we are not advocating that you speed up recklessly. But we must remember that we are in a race that involves “running” not “walking” [Heb 12:1-2, 1 Cor 9:24-27]. We must work faster if we are going to get everything done that will be required of us. There is too much procrastination among Christians today and that must stop.
Win as many as you can – truly it is the Spirit of God and the word of God that “wins” them; not us. Nevertheless, we must be diligent as Christians to be going after the lost by sowing the seed of the word of God, preaching and witnessing. Almost all of the adults that have been saved this year in church have been invited by friends who have been witnessing to them. We can increase this work before Jesus returns.
Conclusion: Pick up the pace, we are getting closer to the finish line. Don’t slack off and don’t become complacent. There is still plenty of work to be done before Jesus returns.