You must also be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. — Mark 16:4 (NLT)
Yes! It’s true – He’ll be back again! One day, He will be coming back. And He won’t need to be parachuted in! How He will come, we simply don’t know. The Bible does say that:
… Someday, He will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!
Acts 1:11 (NLT)
This is what the early disciples were told, just after they had seen Jesus being taken up into a cloud as they were watching, and they were straining to see him rising into heaven. Can you imagine that? Standing there, mouths wide open, watching Jesus being lifted up into a cloud into the sky? And then to be told that one day He will return in the same way?
And here we are, some 2,000 years later, still waiting. Of course, we are told in Matthew 24:36 that “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen,” not even Jesus Himself; and later in Matthew 24:44, we are told, “You also must be ready all the time.” Are we ready?
I’m not convinced that we are; or, to put it more personally, I’m not sure that I am. We are only responsible for ourselves, our own actions, our own behaviour, our own lives. We, as Christians, are not responsible for anyone else, except that we must share the Good News of the Gospel, that we must make Jesus known, we must let people know that He has paid for their lives and that they, too, are welcome in heaven one day. Beyond that, it’s not our responsibility. We must not judge, or we will be judged; we must not condemn, or we will be condemned; we must not treat others with contempt or any negativity; regardless of their lives and how they live, we must accept them, embrace them, welcome them, and invite them. Prejudice, discrimination, inequality, injustice, or bias have no place in the choices or the behaviours of us as Christians. How are you doing?
We may read plenty about and from Christians who are critical and condemning of those with lifestyles that don’t fit into their Christian narrow-mindedness. Those of other faiths, those of other sexual orientations, those of other lifestyles that don’t “fit” into the Christian mould. Well, those are the very ones that Jesus came for. Anyone, and everyone, who doesn’t know Him; anyone, and everyone, who don’t follow Him; we are all the same, regardless of colour or creed, sexuality or sin. We are ALL invited to the party.
Because there will be a party! Or, so I believe. But, before the party, there is a sifting; there is a judgement. You can read about it in Matthew 26:31-46. For Christians, it is a challenging section of the Bible, particularly as we are included; or so I believe.
The ones that were allowed into the party?
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
Wow, don’t we want to hear the words, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father”? Of course we do! We’ve been looking forward to this party for all of our Christian lives. But, we must ask ourselves, are we on the right side? Have we fed the hungry, given drink to the thirsty, invited in strangers, given clothing to those in need, cared for the sick and visited those in prison? Have we done that? Have we done that today? Have we done that this week? Have we done that this month?
Jesus says: “You must also be ready all the time.” Are we ready?
Because the only difference between the ones who got into the party and those who did not, was what they did! What did you do today? Are you ready? Am I ready?
May we pray: Thank You, Lord, that You are coming back one day. Help us to be ready. Help us to do what we need to do to be ready. Help us not criticise or condemn others; all that matters is what we ourselves say and do. Help us, heavenly Father, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.
If you’ve been impacted in any way by this message, we would like to pray for you – please get in touch. Leave a comment here, or on Social Media; we’d love to hear from you. May God Bless You.
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