Be Vigilant, Be Watchful, Be Prepared
"So be prepared, because you don't know what day your Lord is coming … You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected."1
"The unofficial creed in the American homeland war on terrorism, Paul Gunther writes, is this: 'Be vigilant, be watchful, be prepared.' Be vigilant in matters of security, whether at an airport, a government institution or in the back sorting room of your office. Be watchful for signs of terrorism: a back-pack left unattended, a strange request for chemicals at a fertilizer plant, a white powder in the mail or unusual behavior by a neighbor down the street. Be prepared to call the police or FBI. Be prepared to evacuate a building. Be prepared to take defensive measures when your life or the lives of others is threatened. 'Be vigilant, be watchful, and be prepared.'"2 This motto should apply to every country in this day and age.
To be prepared, of course, is nothing new. As a kid I learned the same lesson in the Boy Scouts whose motto was, "Be Prepared." But it goes back at least two thousand years earlier when Jesus promised his followers that he would return to earth to take his true followers home to heaven to be with him. He advised them to be prepared for his coming because he will come when people least expect it.
However, Jesus did say that there would be certain signs that would precede his return to earth—such as an increase of earthquakes, pestilences, wars and rumors of war, etc., etc.
Howard Sugden used to say, "All the signs that Jesus said would precede his second coming have been happening since his first coming 2,000 years ago, but today they are all standing up at once!"
Only God knows the exact day and the hour of Jesus' return. It may or may not be in our lifetime. But of one thing we can be certain, as Jesus' first coming to earth is an indisputable fact of history, so will be his second coming. The important thing for us is to be vigilant, be watchful, and be prepared!
NOTE: If you are not absolutely certain that you are prepared for Jesus' return, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have made it perfectly clear both in person when Jesus was on Earth 2,000 years ago and in your Word, the Bible, that Jesus is coming again for all his true followers. Please help me to know for certain that I am prepared for his coming and know that I won't be left behind. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 24:4, 44 (NLT).
2. Dr. William H. Morley, sermon. http://www.stthomasreidsville.org/sermons/11102002.htm