Am I Ready? (ATP)
Matthew 24:44 says, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect”. How do we know if we are ready?! Or how do we get ready?!
The first thing we need to understand is that when Jesus left this earth He left His followers with expectation to not only see Him again, but to go with Him. John 14:3-6, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Christians need to keep this in remembrance, that our ultimate goal is to go with Jesus when He comes back for us. Too often we diminish the hope of this expectation. I believe part of being ready is the realization of how special and amazing that really is!
Besides this, we know the first step of securing that promise is accepting Jesus as Lord of our lives. Romans 10:9-10, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” No one can be ready without being born again.
Immediately, Ephesians 5:27 comes to my heart. It says, “that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” When Jesus comes back for His church, He is looking for what the Word says is a glorious church. In this passage of scripture the Word compares Jesus’ relationship to the church with the relationship, or really covenant relationship of marriage, between a man and a wife. Imagine a bride on her wedding day and how the goal is to have the best appearance she can have as her husband meets her on that altar. Her gown is without wrinkle, her face without blemish, her conduct pure as a gift to her husband. When Jesus comes back to meet His bride, the church, He desires to see her in the best possible condition. This word glorious means, held in great esteem, honorable, and free from sins. It is with the washing of the water of the Word of God that we become glorious.
Philippians 2:5 also comes to my remembrance, which says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” If we continue reading we see what that mind was like, taking the form of a bondservant, humbled, and obedient even unto death. Remember Romans 6:11 tells us, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our life must reflect the fact that we have been born again into a new nature where our sins remain no longer. This is how we stay ready.
Now, the Word is clear, it takes our efforts to stay right before the Lord, to stay in that pure, honorable, sinless, (glorious) state. Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Stay standing on His truth. Don’t grow weary while doing good, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”