"Prepare to meet your God, O Israel."1
Some "years ago as several million watched on TV the beginning game of the World Series baseball in San Francisco, there was a sudden interruption of the opening interview. The screen blinked and went blank. When the program resumed, a special news bulletin appeared. The San Francisco metropolitan area had experienced a serious earthquake. We all watched the live pictures as the huge fire in the Marina area burned. A remote camera crew was there and we saw the firemen fighting the fires.
"The scene I remember the most, however," said the writer of this article, "was a group of people standing around just looking at the destruction and looking at the fire. All of a sudden a policeman came up to the crowd and yelled out to them: What are you people doing just standing there? You must get prepared immediately. Go home and fill your bathtubs with water. Be prepared to live without city services for 72 hours. The sun will set in another hour and your time is running out. Go and get prepared."2
I can, at least to some degree, identify with these people. Living in Southern California I've experienced several earthquakes of varying degrees. In two of the worst—one a 4-point something and the other a 5-point something—I woke up and said to myself, just another earthquake, rolled over and went right back to sleep. That was a very dangerous and foolish attitude and I realized that I need to "wake up and get with it" the next time an earthquake hits, and at least dive under a table for protection, otherwise I could be badly hurt or even killed if/when a really big one hits.
Even as a kid I learned in the Boy Scouts the motto: "Be Prepared." We all need to be prepared for unexpected crises as much as is possible. And absolutely nowhere is it more important to be prepared than it is to be prepared for eternity—to meet God face to face, "for man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment [God's judgment]."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that in your Word, the Bible, you repeatedly warn us of the danger of not being prepared for eternity. Help me to know that I am ready to meet you face to face, and help me to so live that I won't be embarrassed on that day but will hear your welcoming words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'4 Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
NOTE: To be absolutely sure that you are prepared to meet God face-to-face and ready for eternity read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://www.actsweb.org/christian
1. Amos 4:12 (NIV).
2. The Staff, www.eSermons.com.
3. Hebrews 9:27 (NIV).
4. Matthew 25:23 (NKJV).