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Are you rapture-ready?

Published 10:43pm Friday, September 6, 2013

I love the story of the conversation between the mother and the little girl who had just heard a sermon at church about the second coming of Jesus.

“Mommy, do you believe Jesus will come back?” she asked. “Yes,” her mother replied. “Mommy, could He come this week?” “Yes,” the mother said. “Today?” asked the little girl. “Yes.” “Could He come in the next hour?” “Yes.” “In a few minutes?” “Yes, dear.”

“Mommy,” the little girl asked, “Would you comb my hair?”

Indeed, the Bible does tell us to be ready for His coming. In fact, the Bible records Jesus telling us to be ready.

“Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:42-44 NET)

But what does it mean to be alert and ready? Does it mean Christians should devote a bunch of time to studying charts and tables about the finer details of what we believe the Bible says about the second coming of Jesus?

Does it mean we should spend time debating those details amongst ourselves to ensure that our doctrine is just right?

I don’t think so. I’m quite certain, in fact, that to be ready doesn’t mean to be standing on the street corner with our bags packed and a sign that says “Rapture Ready.”

Which of these scenarios do you think would please God more: (1) for Jesus to return tomorrow and find you at a church meeting with countless charts and tables on the walls of the meeting house, listening to a prophecy expert drone on about details of His coming; (2) or for Him to find you in a soup kitchen, ministering to lowly sinners, with your hand on their shoulders saying, “Repent and turn to Christ, because soon He’ll return.”

What is more pleasing to God — personal knowledge about His return or imparting knowledge to others about how to repent, receive Jesus for the covering of sin and become ready for Jesus return themselves?

Jesus promised to return, and that is the great hope of the church. Without that promise, we are just hopeful fools, lost in a sea of darkness and pretending someday things will get better.

But with the hopeful promise of His return, we are laborers in the harvest fields, every now and then peeking over our shoulders to see if the owner of the field is on His way to take us away for a promised celebration.

I’m rapture-ready all right. I’m ready to see Him coming in the clouds to consummate this age and usher in the bliss of His perfectly revealed presence in the world.

Rather than musing over the details of His return, let us who are called by His grace remain alert and ready, busy with the task at hand.

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