Are You Ready?

A mother was explaining to her little girl about the death of her father. The mother said, “God has sent for your father and will send for us, but I do not know just when.” Finally the little girl said, “If we do not know just when God is going to send for us, do you not think we had better pack up and get ready? God might send for us when we are not ready to go.” Great truths are often spoken by children, and in this story is the truth that we should be prepared at all times, for we do not know when we will be called upon to leave this world. It may be much sooner than we think. Are you ready?

The Bible clearly points out that life is brief. In James 4:14, the Scriptures declare, “whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. What is your life? For ye are a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” The Bible also states, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: We bring our years to an end as a sigh. The days of our years are threescore years and ten, Or even by reason of strength fourscore years; Yet is their pride but labor and sorrow; For it is soon gone, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger, And thy wrath according to the fear that is due unto thee? So teach us to number our days, That we may get us a heart of wisdom” (Psa 90:9-12).

In Job 9:25-26, the Scriptures say, “Now my days are swifter than a post: They flee away, they see no good, They are passed away as the swift ships; As the eagle that swoopeth on the prey.

Yes, not only does the Bible reveal that life is short, but it also points out that death might occur at any time. In Genesis 27:2, Isaac said, “I know not the day of my death.” No one of us is any different than Isaac. We do not know when we are going to die. It may happen many years from now; it might occur even today. Isaac was an old man when he made that statement. He did not know the day of his death, but he felt it would be soon. But did you know that more than twenty years passed before God called him home? You may be an older person and feel that death is imminent. In all likelihood you are right, but who knows? Perhaps you will be one of those who reaches and surpasses the century mark. On the other hand, you may be a young person and feel you have many more years. In all likelihood you are right, but death may occur shortly.

In Luke 12 is recorded the story of a man who thought he had many years in which to get richer and to live a life of ease. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he reasoned within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have not where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said unto him, Thou foolish one, this night is thy soul required of thee; and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

The man who counts on tomorrow is a fool. This rich farmer made great plans, but he did not include God in those plans. There is nothing wrong with planning for the future, but there is something wrong when we plan for the future and do not include God in those plans. Yes, something is desperately wrong! We talk about what we are going to do tomorrow, and yet tomorrow is something of which we cannot be certain. Solomon said, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).We do not know when death will come, but neither do we know when the Lord will return. He may return in our lifetime. We know not the day nor the hour. In Mark 13:32, the Bible says, “But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” And in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Paul said the Lord’s return will be like a thief in the night. You know, one thing that makes a thief successful is that he strikes at a time when one least expects him. The Lord’s return will be somewhat like that. He will return at the time when we least expect him. The tragic thing about all of this is that most of the world will not be prepared for either death or the Lord’s return.

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, “Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.” These verses indicate that a majority will be lost. Therefore, the majority will be unprepared for death or for the Lord’s coming. The story is told of a slave during pre-Civil War days. His master died, and someone said to the old slave, “Well, I guess your master has gone home to heaven.” “No, sir,” the slave replied. “Whenever my master was going to go somewhere, he spent a long time talking about it and a long time getting ready, and he never did say anything about going to Heaven.” How well this story illustrates this truth that preparation must be made!

Are you prepared? Are you ready to go to heaven? Is it possible you are so attached to this world you would not be suitable for Heaven?

In Genesis 19, we read of Lot, his wife, and two of their daughters, who were escaping the burning city of Sodom. They were strictly instructed not to look back, and yet Lot’s wife looked back and immediately turned into a pillar of salt. Jesus, in Luke 17:32, simply said, “Remember Lot’s wife.” It seems Lot’s wife was just too attached to her worldly possessions. It seems she did not really want to leave them. She was not prepared to leave.

So many of us are so busily engaged in the game of acquiring this world’s goods that we do not serve the Lord as we should. We lay up treasure here on the earth but neglect laying up treasure where it really counts—heaven. We become so attached to this world we really are not prepared to leave it. We are so unprepared for eternity, and what a tragedy it is!

In John 14:1-3, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” From these verses, we may see that Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.

In Matthew 25, Jesus illustrated the tragedy of being unprepared. In verses 1-13, we read the parable of the ten virgins. The ten virgins were to attend a wedding. They were to accompany the bridegroom. Five of these were wise because they took extra oil for their lamps, and five were foolish because they took no extra oil. At midnight they were told the bridegroom was coming. The five foolish virgins then tried to borrow oil from the five wise virgins, but the five wise virgins would not loan the oil because they had just enough for their own lamps. The five foolish virgins went out to buy oil, but while they were gone the bridegroom came. Those who were ready accompanied him to the marriage. Later the five who had gone out to get oil arrived but the door was shut. They were too late. They were unable to gain entrance.

Jesus Christ is coming. Most are unprepared. Oh, some will try to make last minute preparations to no avail. Now is the time to get ready. In 2 Corinthians 6:2, Paul said, “ is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” In John 9:4, our Lord said, “We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Listen to the words that were spoken to God’s people by the prophet of old in Amos 4:12: “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” Let me ask again, Are you ready? Are you ready for your appointment with death? Are you ready for the Lord’s return. Are you ready to confront Jesus at judgment?

We present these programs to help you better understand the Bible and to help you get ready for eternity. We appeal only to the Bible for our answers. We believe this is what you really want, Bible answers, because no man has the right to supply answers that do not come from the Bible.

Now, how can you get ready for the end? The Bible says one must hear the word of God: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17, KJV). One must believe in Christ: “...if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” ( John 8:24, KJV). Jesus said we must repent of our sins: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish” (Luke 13:3). And we must confess Christ to be the Son of God, the good confession: “...because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10. And we must be baptized for the remission of sins, buried in baptism, for that is all baptism is, or ever has been—a burial, where the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sins. In Acts 2:37-38, when the first Gospel sermon was preached and those there who heard, many of them cried out, “Brethren, what shall we do?”—that is, What shall we do to be saved? Peter said, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Those who have not done these things are not prepared for eternity.

Have you obeyed these commandments? If not, our prayer is that you will do so. You may not have as much time as you think. You only have one life to live. Why not live it in service to your Lord?