Friday, May 21, 2010

Be Ready (Matthew 24)

Jesus’ disciples asked, “…what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3), and then Jesus gives an amazing answer, recorded for us in Matthew chapters 24 and 25.

It is scary as Jesus describes false prophets, earthquakes, wars and rumors of war, famine, and persecution. It is exciting and awe inspiring to read as he then describes himself coming in the sky with power and great glory and with a loud trumpet sound. Angels will join him, all will see him, and he will gather up all Christians.

Then in Matthew 24:36 he makes an astounding statement, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” There is a time appointed for his return, but even he does not know the day.

So what are we to do as we wait? How are Christians supposed to think about the end times and prepare themselves for the end times? The answers are boundless, and many books have been written about this topic. But Jesus keeps it simple for us: “Therefore keep watch…” (24:42) and “So you also must be ready…” (24:44).

Christians should keep watch and be ready. We need to watch our hearts and our actions, watch out for false prophets and guard against being deceived, and anticipated Christ’s return could be at any moment. Christians should be ready for Jesus’ second coming, ready to share the gospel with others, and ready to stand before the judgment seat of God.

As I think about all of this, a range of emotions well up within me. I am both joyful and fearful, I understand and am confused, I am excited and afraid. Let's pray that God will give us strength and wisdom and endurance to keep watch and be ready.

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