Sunday, May 30, 2010

Be Ready

Lately I have been enjoying reading Max Lucado's book "And the Angels were Silent". He has a neat way of writing and a neat way of making you see stories in the Bible in a totally new light.

 In one chapter he talked a lot about these verses (and the rest of chapter 24 and 25):

   Matthew 24:42-46
  "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you be ready too, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
  Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes."

Chapters 24 and 25 of Mathew are Jesus last sermon and He spent that sermon telling the people over and over again (in various ways) to be ready! Jesus would be coming again and Jesus doesn't want people to put off getting ready until it is too late.

I really like some of what Max said about this and so I will quote part of the book:

  "His return is certain.

   His return is final.

   Upon His return "He will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The Son of Man will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left."

    The word separate is a sad word. To separate a mother from a daughter, a father from a son, a husband from a wife. To separate people on earth is sorrowful, but to think of it being done for eternity is horrible.

   Especially when one group is destined for heaven and the other group is going to hell.

    We don't like to talk about hell, do we? In intellectual circles the topic of hell is regarded as primitive and foolish. It's not logical. "A loving God wouldn't send people to hell." So we dismiss it.

   But to dismiss it is to dismiss a core teaching of Jesus. The doctrine of hell is not one developed by Paul, Peter, or John. It is taught by Jesus Himself.

    And to dismiss it is to dismiss much more. It is to dismiss the presence of a loving God and the privilege of free choice. Let me explain.

    We are free either to love God or not. He invites us to love Him. He urges us to love Him. He came that we might love Him. But, in the end, the choice is yours and mine. To take that choice from each of us, for Him to force us to love Him, would be less than love.

   God explains the benefits, outlines the promises, and articulates very clearly the consequences. And then, in the end. He leaves the choice to us.

    Hell was not prepared for people. Hell "was prepared for the devil and his angels." For a person to go to hell, then, is for a person to go against God's intended destiny. "God has not destined us to the terrors of judgment, but to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Hell is man's choice, not God's choice.

   Consider, then, this explanation of hell: Hell is the chosen place of the person who loves self more than God, who loves sin more than his Savior, who loves this world more than God's world. Judgement is that moment when God looks at the rebellious and says, "Your choice will be honored."
So what do you think? Are you ready for Jesus return? We don't know when it will be but He is asking us to please get ready!


Bonnie Williams said...

Abbi.....Thank-You for a reminder post. Too often we put off until "tomorrow" things that must be done NOW.....There may not be a tomorrow. Serious thoughts and surely well put!

Shelley said...

I remember before I was a believer that I was terrified by the "end" or death. As a believer, I don't relish the thought of death and leaving behind others, but I know now that I am saved and where I will be going. Revelations is a whole other animal. And reading through and digging deep into that book, it can get scary, but the truth makes it easier to handle and the outcome is eternal life. How awesome is our God!! Thank you for posting this and making me realize that God always wants us to be ready for the "day"!!
God Bless,


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