Preparing for the end
Many Christians will celebrate the season of Advent beginning in the month of December. The season of Advent focuses our attention mainly upon the second coming of Jesus. Christmas, the following season, focuses on Christ’s first coming.
Jesus is coming again! In the 21st chapter of Luke Jesus says so. In reply to the disciples’ questions about the end, Jesus answers with the following three things to do in preparation.
Be careful! Jesus said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’[Do not go after them.” (Luke 21:8)
Many people claim to know the secrets of the end times, but Jesus himself says that no one knows. “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)
Prepare for the end by being careful!
Secondly, Jesus urges us: Be ready. We wouldn’t last very long if we were always worrying that the end could come at any second. We couldn’t stand to be in a constant state of alert like a firefighter sleeps with his boots next to the bed. Nor should we put it out of our mind altogether.
I was thinking maybe it is kind of like that annual flu shot. You make your way to the doctor’s office and sit in the waiting room. But, while waiting you make the most of your time: you read a few magazines; you talk to people seated around you. You don’t calculate the exact moment you will be called. You don’t spend your time staring at a blank wail in fear and trepidation. You go about your business the best you can. When the nurse calls your name, you stop what you’re doing and you just go.
Prepare for the end by being careful and being ready!
And be one more thing: Be confident. Jesus says, “But none of these things can really harm you. By continuing to have faith you will save your lives.” (Luke 21:18)
We do not need to know all the secrets of the end time. The future will unfold according to God’s master plan. Be confident that all the battles that need to be won have already been fought. Jesus has battled the devil and won! Jesus has fought death and won!
Time will wind its way down to the end, but only according to God’s design. There are no surprises for God in the days ahead. God is in complete control.
Concerning the last day, the Great Day of the Lord, and all its uncertainties: Be careful, be ready, and be confident!