Continuing on with my study of the book of Luke, this week’s message offers biblical guidelines for those seeking comfort in Christ’ return. While many among us claim to be ready for the Lord’s second coming, few actually take steps toward preparing for this most important biblical prophecy.
In Luke 12, Jesus shares a parable about readiness and awareness. Just as the servants in this parable, believers are called to prepare for the Lord’s return.
“35 Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”(Luke 12:34-40)
One of the critical elements of the verses above involves the fact no one knows for certain when Jesus will return. Because of this, it is wise to take action and abide by the word so we are ready for Christ upon His triumphant return.
Did you know the bible contains 318 mentions of Christ’ return? Or that 1 in 25 verses talk about the second coming of the Lord? Based on these facts you would think every believer would be ready right? Unfortunately you would be wrong.
Caught up in the things of the world, believers of weak faith, spiritual babies and even Christian hypocrites find themselves distracted from biblical awareness. Instead of carrying out their assigned duties and fulfilling their mission, these burdened slaves are in grave danger of being surprised by Christ’ upon His return.
“42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (Luke 12:42-44)
True servants are also able to cope with delay, since no one knows the hour when Jesus will return. The wise hold steadfast to the commands of the word of God and live according to biblical reverence and obedience. Those who chose to abandon their post will pay the ultimate price as their lack of faith drives them straight to hell where they will burn with unbelievers for eternity.
“45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.” (Luke 12:45-46)
Because all of us have been warned, there will be no excuses upon judgment day. Though many were invited to inherit God’s gift of eternal life, few will choose to accept it. Among the few, some will be rewarded greatly according to their deeds while others, entrusted with less will be judged less harshly.
“47 That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:47-48)
We will all be judged according to our faith and our works. We are all sinners however, those who repent of their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness and grace will be glorified upon judgment day. Jesus clearly states that those who do not repent will perish.
“1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on themâ€”do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)
The only way to make certain we are ready for Christ’ return is to renew our faith in Him each day through prayer, bible reading and fellowship. By immersing ourselves in God’s word and surrounding ourselves with believers we abide by the Lord’s commands and achieve the level of preparedness required to inherit our place in His kingdom.
“6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 ” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.” (Luke 13:6-9)
In this parable, we are the fig tree. The fruit are our deeds, our works. The fertilizer is the word of God, the relationships we have with others, the affections, hobbies, interests in our lives.
Test yourself, have you bared fruit through your works? Are you in danger of being cut down and cast in to the eternal fire to burn along side unbelievers? Are you involved in a small group, life group, bible study, fellowship, quiet or prayer time? What about ministry, are you spreading the word of God? Are you a witness? Do you have a testimony to share with others? Have you suffered for your faith or been persecuted for your works? What steps have you taken, are taking or plan on taking to ensure you are ready for His return?
I invite you to call on this ministry for answers and prayer, for guidance and biblical inspiration certain to help you prepare for Christ’ return. Whatever you do, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE! Remember, being saved or born again is not enough, it is merely the first step on the narrow path that leads to heaven. Let’s pray.
We thank you for this day and for all your blessings in our lives,
We praise you father for all that came before us
All that is, and that will be.
Lord we thank you for looking after us and for guiding us each day
Leading us to prepare for your return through your word,
Through fellowship, prayer and the fulfillment of our mission
Spreading love and faithfulness throughout.
We pray you will continue to bless our lives
And we ask that you strengthen us when tempted
By the enemy through sinful addictions, habits or ungodly ways.
Father we ask you to become the driving force in our lives
Giving us purpose, joy and perfect peace,
As promised in your word the bible.
Thank you lord father for your ever growing splendor.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre