12/1/2016 8:41:31 PM
“Wait! I’m not ready!” We have heard this phrase many times, in many different scenarios. Maybe it was your young ones who were trying hard to get clothes or coat on as you were going out the door to play. Maybe it was your spouse getting ready for a night out. Maybe it was when your children were about to leave for the first time for college. Maybe it was when the doctor said you have a medical challenge before you. Maybe it was when the Lord said, “so be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” He is saying these words to you today.
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:37-44
Can you imagine Noah and his family saying, “I’m not ready!”? What a shame it would have been if the ark was only half finished and not water ready. It would have been a shame because Noah knew it was coming. But indeed, Noah and his family were ready and survived the flood of God’s wrath on a sinful world.
Noah and his family were ready. The rest of the world was not. In fact, they were going about their business, eating and drinking and being married without a concern for the Lord or his call to repentance. Then it came and the people didn’t even have a chance to scream, “I’m not ready!” They forgot, even ignored what they were supposed to be ready for.
During this season of Advent, we are preparing ourselves to be ready, ready for the return of Jesus. And it would be very easy to say, “I’m not ready!” We can get so caught up with this world and forget that this world is passing away, but not in a flood, but in final judgment. We may be so enthralled with the world we might say, “Come Lord Jesus, but can you wait until I’ve experienced all the thrills of this world.” Or maybe this world and our sinful nature have us convinced that there is no reason to be ready with a penitent heart and a faith life that trusts only in our Savior.
If that be the case, then Jesus’ words of the end will be a reality for us. In the blink of an eye, without second chances or the breath to cry out “wait!” our time of grace will be over and judgment will be done. Like the fear in the heart of a child who feels they will be left behind, so too our hearts and souls should take seriously the warning of Jesus. But with comfort we should also prepare with confidence that the Lord will not leave behind those who belong to him.
We prepare ourselves for the Judge who lived for us. We prepare ourselves for the Judge who died for our sins. We prepare ourselves for the Judge who rose victoriously giving us everlasting life in heaven. So we heed his words and take them to heart for our Judge and Savior knows what this sinful world and our sinful nature will do to keep us from being ready. You personally know what has been keeping you from being ready. Be ready!
We have to admit there are instances and events, be them desirable, normal or traumatic in life that we simply can’t prepare for, and we find ourselves saying, “I’m not ready!” And our Lord will help us through all of those. But we have been warned. We have also been instructed by that same Word on how to prepare through contrition and repentance and growth in the Gospel. And so we can with confidence, readiness and eager expectation say, “I am ready! Come Lord Jesus, Come!”
Keep Christ First,
Pastor Chris Christenson