Do Not Fear the End Times Part 6: Always Ready for His Return: A Lesson from Luke 12
To stay ready for His return is our duty as Christians
To stay ready for His return is our duty as Christians
When Christ returns, will He find us on His difficult narrow path? Will He find us following His teachings, no matter what it costs us?
Hello reader. Hope you’re doing as good as you can during these painful End Times. Fear Only God and never despair, knowing that at the other end of something terrible comes something great. And as I’ve said in other End Times posts, never be sad or afraid to leave this fallen world of sin.
This world is not everlasting, but the kingdom of heaven is. As Christians our inheritance is in the kingdom of heaven. Stay focused on that above all else (Colossians 3:2) and rejoice when it’s time to go there!
But it’s good to see so many people openly discussing the end of the world now, both Christians and non-Christians alike. I’m glad so many of us are on the same page. I pray the Holy Spirit will inspire more people to turn to their Bibles for solace and answers in these trying times. And I pray that when they do, Jesus Christ will shine his light on them and cure them of their spiritual blindness, like He did to Paul, so they will accept the truth that Christ is king.
I pray the Holy Spirit will lead more people to confess and REPENT their sins and turn back to Jesus, who is forgiving and loving. As I’ve said going all the way back to my first post, REPENTING and turning to Christ with all our faith is the one and only way to be safe from what’s coming. We may physically die, but our souls will be saved, which is all that matters.
The bonus for those who hear this message early and act on it is that we have a chance to reform our lives and overcome our sins. We do this by walking with Jesus and relying on Him. This leads to a better life in general!
God is so great that we’re given a chance to live our best lives here and now, right before the End. Life is good, even if it’s about to end. I have no reason to complain if my life were to be cut short in this Coronavirus crisis-I won’t hesitate to leave this fallen world and go to be with Jesus! I’ll be glad to go!
So let’s remember that God is good all the time. Nothing happens in this world without God either causing it or allowing it. He has plans that we don’t know, and we are incapable of understanding His various intentions (maybe the Coronavirus crisis will end in something amazing).
But God is so good that He did tell us repeatedly in the Bible about one specific plan: The Second Coming of Christ. The End Times. God told us it’s coming, and today I’m going to talk about our need to be ready for it — always.
Luke 12: Be Ready at all Times
Many books of the Bible tell us the signs of the End Times that will happen before the Second Coming. And in Matthew 24:32–33 Jesus said that when we see these things, we know that He is coming soon.
(32) “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. (33) In the same way, when you see all these things, you know that the Human One is near, at the door.
Matthew 24:32–33 (CEB)
I know that Jesus Christ is coming back soon. Amen! This wicked world has been waiting for Him for so, so long. Knowing that the End Times are upon us, I’ve stated a few of my predictions in other posts ( not prophecies and not divination of any sort) of what might come next.
But whatever ideas you or I or anyone might have, the simple fact of the matter is that we don’t know when Christ will return and the world will end. Jesus Himself said that we don’t know the day nor the hour (Matthew 25:13). That’s why we must be prepared for it at all times.
Besides Matthew 25 and other passages, Jesus told us this in Luke 12. I want to use the Luke 12 example to show why we must be prepared at all times, because it also explains how to be ready at the same time.
Like the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids in Matthew 25, this parable teaches the message that we must be prepared for Christ’s return at all times. We as Christians are servants of Christ, taking care of things until His return. We never know when our Master will return, and even trying to interpret signs and prophecies and whatnot will not help us-we don’t know the day or the hour! But how do we stay ready? Let’s look at this passage from Luke 12:
(35) “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps lit. (36) Be like people waiting for their master to come home from a wedding celebration, who can immediately open the door for him when he arrives and knocks on the door. (37) Happy are those servants whom the master finds waiting up when he arrives. I assure you that, when he arrives, he will dress himself to serve, seat them at the table as honored guests, and wait on them. (38) Happy are those whom he finds alert, even if he comes at midnight or just before dawn. (39) But know this, if the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he wouldn’t have allowed his home to be broken into. (40) You also must be ready, because the Human One is coming at a time when you don’t expect him.”
(41) Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?”
(42) The Lord replied, “Who are the faithful and wise managers whom the master will put in charge of his household servants, to give them their food at the proper time? (43) Happy are the servants whom the master finds fulfilling their responsibilities when he comes. (44) I assure you that the master will put them in charge of all his possessions.
(45) “But suppose that these servants should say to themselves, My master is taking his time about coming. And suppose they began to beat the servants, both men and women, and to eat, drink, and get drunk. (46) The master of those servants would come on a day when they weren’t expecting him, at a time they couldn’t predict. The master will cut them into pieces and assign them a place with the unfaithful. (47) That servant who knew his master’s will but didn’t prepare for it or act on it will be beaten severely. (48) The one who didn’t know the master’s will but who did things deserving punishment will be beaten only a little. (Luke 12:35–48, CEB)
Verses 45 to 48 are the key to that. We must obey Christ’s commandments until he returns-to love God with all our being and to love our neighbor as our self. We need to be following His teachings when Christ returns, or we’re in trouble.
If we decide to relax and have a party like the servants in verse 45, we will be punished for it. Look at verse 47: If we have heard Christ’s teachings and know His ways, but we turn away from those and don’t follow them, our punishment will be even worse than those who didn’t know what they were doing was wrong (those in verse 48). This is because we were already given Christ’s teachings and God’s Word, we had all we needed. If we then decide to party, live how we like, and overindulge in the pleasures of this world then we are being more disrespectful to God than a nonbeliever who never got the message! Think about it! Turning away from the message after hearing it is worse.
This is important because living as a Christian in today’s world is hard. There are only two rules, but the second one is so hard sometimes to follow. That’s why we must do it though. Christ never promised us an easy time here on earth! The Gospel costs us if we truly try to live it. But we have to try our best to do these hard things until He returns.
And that’s not all. On top of that are the pleasures of this world and the temptations of the flesh. These are delightful indeed-or so they seem at first. These things are meant to trap us! They take our heart off of God and lead us to love the world instead. Remember the words of 1 John 2:
(15) Don’t love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them. (16) Everything that is in the world-the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions-is not of the Father but is of the world. (17) And the world and its cravings are passing away, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.
1 John 2:15–17 (CEB)
Many Christians fall into the traps of these worldly pleasures and forget about following Jesus. There are many ways to turn away from Christ, and no believer should ever think that they’re immune to falling away. Only the narrow path, the most difficult one, leads to heaven.
When Christ returns, will He find us on His difficult narrow path? Because that is the only way to be “Rapture ready.” Will He find us following His teachings, no matter what it costs us? Or will He find us partying and living as we please, like the servants from Luke 12:45?
Well that is up to every individual’s choice.
Our God Allows Us to Die in the Desert
We have a God who gave us free will, and that includes the free will to make the wrong choices. We have a God who allows us to sin and make grievous mistakes, even if it leads to our death.
Much of the book of Numbers in the Old Testament shows this. The Israelites made many foolish decisions on their journey out of Egypt through the desert, and God punished those decisions with death. Think about Korah’s mutiny against Moses in Numbers 16, which led to Korah and all his accomplices being killed by God. Think of the various plagues from God that the Israelites earned throughout Numbers (multiple chapters) for their disobedience and ungratefulness towards God. There’s also Numbers 14, when a group of Israelites went into battle (remorseful and trying to avoid God’s punishment of 40 years of wandering the desert) without God’s help and after Moses warned them not to; of course they all got killed and captured.
We have a God who will let us die in the desert, if we make the wrong choices.
The Israelites were God’s chosen people, and God is all powerful. He could have prevented all these things if He had chosen to. But God gave us all free will, and so the test is what we’re going to do with that gift of free will. God wants to see who will remain loyal, and who will be grateful. So if we disrespect God or disobey him after our fair warnings, God is content to leave us to the consequences of our actions. And that is true freedom. No one can be forced to follow God, and so no one is.
Now, why am I talking about this point? It’s because I want to point out that not everyone will listen to the warnings of Christ’s impending return, and it is what it is. Not everyone will be saved. I believe Christ will keep rescuing sinners and shining His light into people’s lives like I described earlier, all the way up to the very last day. But those who reject the warnings and choose to continue their sinful or mistaken ways will be left to the fatal consequences.
Whether one heeds the warnings of the impending End is an individual choice. I wrote about this in my first End Times post:
“…this is a personal task; no matter how much you love somebody, one thing you can’t do is change them, and you can never force someone to have faith in Jesus Christ. Faith has to be genuine, honest, and truly felt in order for it to be real. If you force someone to have faith … well, all you’re doing is forcing them to say they have faith in Jesus. You have no idea what’s truly in their heart or mind, and if their faith isn’t real in their heart and mind, then their faith isn’t real, and it won’t save them. Jesus Christ is the one who examines hearts and minds (Revelation 2:23), so whatever is truly inside a person that you can’t see, Jesus knows it.
Not everyone will be saved on the day of the rapture. Perhaps some of our loved ones won’t be saved either. Jesus said: “I tell you, on that night two people will be in the same bed: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together: one will be taken and the other left (Luke 17:34–35).”
The one you share a bed with at night, they might not be taken up to Jesus during the rapture! I hope that illustrates my point: You have to worry about your own faith now, your own heart and mind, and your own ways. No matter how much you love someone, you can’t make their faith real. Only they can, it all happens within.”
It’s unfortunate, but not everyone can get into heaven. Even some of our own family members. But it is what it is.
We must make sure of our own REPENTANCE first, then we can help others. Some can be helped and some will not be. We must keep on trying what we can to warn people and help them turn back to Christ, all the way up to the last day. We must do what we can, but we literally can’t do any more than that. Keep trying, but understand that by their own choices some will not be saved.
Now is the time for us to look inward and examine our own faith. It’s time to be honest about our own sins, and turn to Christ for the help we need to overcome those. With the time we have left, let’s renew our faith in Jesus and cleanse ourselves of sins, let’s change our hearts and ways like Jesus says in the opening chapters of Revelation.
Jesus is close and there isn’t too much time left. No one knows exactly how long we have, and if we did know that, what do you think people would do? What would you do? Most wouldn’t REPENT until it’s too late. We don’t know when our Master, Jesus Christ, will return. That’s why we need to be ready all the time. We need to see to our inner lives, and we need to follow Christ’s teachings.
There’s nowhere to run to, and no amount of stockpiling that can save us. That’s not the point. All the work we must do to be Rapture ready happens inside us, it’s completely free, and we don’t need to go anywhere. Put your faith in Jesus, confess your sins, and REPENT! And if we truly repent, it will come with a change in our sinful ways too.
This is the only way to be safe, but don’t worry-we can do it! But we do have to heed the signs and warnings before it’s too late.
Be prepared for Christ’s return at all times. Don’t be like the partying servants from Luke 12:45!
Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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Originally published at http://999online.net on April 3, 2020.