Are You Ready?
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. (Romans 13:11-14).
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up (Latin word is “rapto”…we get word “rapture” from it) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess.4:13-18).
The word “maranatha” is a Syriac expression that means: “our Lord comes.” It was used as a greeting in the early church. When believers gathered or parted, they didn’t say “hello” or “good-bye” but “Maranatha!” If we had the same upward look today, it would revolutionize the church. O that God’s people had a deepening awareness of the imminent return of the Savior!
While on a South Pole expedition, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left a few men on Elephant Island, promising that he would return. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. But suddenly, as if by a miracle, an avenue opened in the ice and Shackleton was able to get through. His men, ready and waiting, quickly scrambled aboard. No sooner had the ship cleared the island than the ice crashed together behind them. Contemplating their narrow escape, the explorer said to his men, “It was fortunate you were all packed and ready to go!” They replied, “We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea was clear of ice, we rolled up our sleeping bags and reminded each other, “The boss may come today.'”
The trump may sound anytime. How important for us as Christians to be “packed and ready to go!” (Copied).
Sadly, not all will be ready when He comes. Many will have ceased to be expecting His return and when He comes suddenly, they will be found unprepared.
A young man, who was to return home and be married, came sooner than was expected. He did not notify his bride-to-be of the exact time. He desired to please her with a surprise. He loved her devotedly and had worked hard and saved his earnings in order to purchase a home for her. It was about midnight when he arrived, but, with a happy heart, he felt he must go by her home. However, when he came near, he saw the house was all lighted up. As he came nearer, he heard music. Still nearer he saw dancing. Finally looking through the window he saw his bride-to-be in the embrace of another man. His heart sank within him and he went away never to return. If Jesus came today, where would He find His professed bride? Are you ready and watchful?