Prepare to meet the Lord – Part 1
Christians are saved and sanctified, consecrated and committed to serving the Lord faithfully till the end for the purpose of meeting the Lord and receiving eternal rewards from Him in heaven. We need to think about the end, because sooner or later, everyone will come to his end. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope”. Every Christian comes to his end either by death or rapture. While some have gone, others will soon go. The end of everyone and the Church age is at hand; it may be sooner than expected. And since “the end of all things, is at hand”, we need to be “sober, and watch unto prayer.”
Even sinners come to their end on earth, though they hardly think or talk about it or plan for it. And those who think about their departure are always preoccupied with the wealth, estates and other mundane things they will leave behind and what people will say about them when they are gone, rather than what they will face beyond. Such people are not wise. As believers, we should prioritise and concentrate more of our attention on where we will spend, eternity instead of what and whom we are leaving behind. The wise prepare for eternity, but fools come to their end without any preparation. “Therefore… prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”
Bishops, evangelists, ministers, pastors, preachers and all born again children of God have a ministry to prepare other people for the coming of the Lord or the time of their departure. Their responsibility is “…to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Every believer has a duty to prepare his life, family, neighbours, friends and colleagues for the coming of the Lord.
When Noah was warned of the end of the world in his time, he “prepared an ark to the saving of his house.” Since we do not know when we would depart this world or when the Lord will come, we should be prepared at all times by studying the Word, praying, resisting temptations, living a holy life, preaching the gospel and serving the Lord faithfully. People who, like Ahithophel, Abner, Achan, Balaam and Ahab think only about what they are leaving behind or labour for mundane things without a thought about the future or eternity are foolish. The rapture of saints will be sudden and only those who are watchful and ready will meet the Lord, when He appears.
The sorrow of hopelessness that awaits sinners at death should compel believers to show concern for their souls and preach the gospel to them. “For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?” So-called believers or preachers who offer or accept bribe, steal, defraud others, indulge in pornography, immorality or harbour anger or hatred in their hearts are hypocrites. They should understand that prayer, fasting, miracles, signs and wonders and success in ministry are no substitutes for holiness that qualifies a person for heaven.
Denominations or individuals, who relegate the doctrine of holiness to the background, will be rejected by the Lord on the final day. “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Those who labour tirelessly to gain the world at the expense of their salvation and sanctification experiences should know that “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour…” (Ecclesiastes 5:15).
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Thessalonians 4:13; 1 Peter 4:7; James 5:8; Amos 4:12; Luke 1:17; Hebrews 11:7; Matthew 24:36-39; Luke 17:26-29; 12:46-48; 2 Kings 20:1; 2 Samuel 17:23; 3:33; Luke 12:15-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13,17; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Ephesians 2:12; Job 27:8; Matthew 23:25-28; Proverbs 11:7; Matthew 7:21-23; Ecclesiastes 5:15-17; 12:7; Luke 16:19-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:3,4,7,15-17; Luke 16:22; 23:42,43; Acts 7:55-59; Luke 1:75; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Hebrews 12:14; Philippians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:1,2,6,8; Revelation 14:13.