Making preparations are a part of life. People make preparations all the time for various things: Christmas, vacations, tests in school, etc. Secular preparations are important, but spiritual preparation is more important. Let us notice some things for which we ought to be getting ready.
We should be ready to follow the Lord.
Every person alive today should be ready to follow the Lord. It’s obvious that not everyone is following the Lord, in fact, some members of the church are still not completely ready to do so. Or maybe some just follow Him at a distance (Matt. 26:58). Why is this? Because in order to follow Christ, it will cost us something. First, it will cost you time (Eph. 5:15-16). Second, it will cost you money (Matt. 6:24; 1 Tim. 6:10). Third, it will cost you some relationships. It will cost you some friends (so-called) and even family (Matt. 10:34). Fourth, it will cost you yourself (Gal. 2:10). In order to follow Christ, one is required to deny themselves (Matt. 16:24). Knowing that Christ came to this earth to seek and to save the lost (Lk. 19:10), we need to be ready to follow Him no matter what it may cost us. When we follow Him, we follow His perfect example that He left for us (1 Peter 2:21).
We should be ready to give an answer or defense (1 Peter 3:15).
This seems logical, doesn’t it? Being ready to tell people why you are a Christian, and why you have chosen to live differently than the rest of the world. Or do we even know why? Perhaps many are not ready to give an answer because it requires the following:
- Study (2 Tim. 2:15, 4:13).
- A right position of heart (Phil. 1:17).
- A right motive (seeking souls) – (Prov. 11:30).
- Love (1 Cor. 13:1-3).
And these are only to name a few. But before we move from this point, I want to think about an individual who only thought that he was ready to give a defense. This individual was Peter, and when the rubber met the road, he denied the Lord three times. Matthew 26:35 states, “Peter said to him, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!’ And all the disciples said the same.” There is a difference in being ready to give an answer, and thinking that you are.
We should be ready to do every good work.
Paul told Titus that he was to put people in remembrance of the first principles, including a readiness to do every good work (Titus 3:1). When it comes to good works, some may be harder to do, such as going to the house of a couple living in adultery and having an unpleasant conversation about the scriptures (Matt. 5:32, 9:1-9). Or the church might be called upon to exercise church discipline and to withdraw from an erring church member (2 Thess. 3:6; 1 Tim. 6:5). Such works although difficult, are good and necessary. Other good works will be easier to accomplish, such as visiting the sick, orphans, and those who are in need (James 1:27). You may have opportunity to help those around you, support local events (VBS, gospel meetings, etc..), teach a class, go on a mission trip, or simply help support others who are willing to go. Good works come in many shapes and sizes, and the church must be ready to do them. An active church is a living church, and an inactive church is a dead or dying church.
We should be ready to die for Christ.
I know that no one likes to think about dying, but that should not stop us from preparing ourselves. The reality is that we live in a world that is, in many ways, very hostile to Christianity (Jn. 15:18-19). Just this past year our hearts were broken to hear about various church shootings, even one at a church of Christ in Tennessee. When we turn our attention to the scriptures on this point, Paul was ready to die for Christ, and eventually he would (2 Tim. 4:6-8). On one occasion Paul would state, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13). John would even record some very encouraging words to those who would die for the sake of Christ. In Revelation 2:10 we read, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” That same crown of life is promised to us today.
We should be ready for judgement.
Imagine that you have planned a specific week to go on vacation. You have taken the week off of work, packed your clothes, and even made the hotel reservations, but you failed to save any money for the trip. How can you go without money? No money for gas, food, lodging or souvenirs. Or maybe Christmas approaches and you fail to get any of your loved ones a gift? These scenarios do not usually play out because we make it a point to save the many and we count the days until we go on vacation, and we do purchase those gifts for our loved ones. But how many Christians are activing preparing for the judgement day? The question is not “if it comes” but “when it comes.” How foolish is it to not get ready for something that we know is coming? The Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2), and after then comes the judgement (2 Cor. 5:10). So, may I encourage those reading this to get ready and to stay ready.