Preparation for an Unknown Savior
John 8: 6-
A man was dying, and he opened his eyes and said, “Where is my oldest son?” The wife was sitting by the side of the bed and said, “don’t worry; he is just sitting at the left. Please be quiet, relax and remember God, because the doctors say you cannot survive the night.” He said, “Forget about doctors! Where is my other son?” “He is sitting, the wife said, “near your feet.” “And where is my third son?” “He is also sitting on this side.” And the man started getting up, and he said, “Then who is looking after the business?” This man is dying and his mind is still on his business. Even close to death our thoughts are on things in this world. Even as we are passing away we are not prepared to meet our maker. Jesus says, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming!” Death is the great unknown of life. We love living but none of us are prepared to die. We think we have a handle on life and some of us on death but we really don’t know. Last wills, testaments and insurance are not enough.
Many of us think we know the Lord but really don’t, because if we did, we would realize we need to be prepared for His coming. Death is the door to eternal life but how many of us are ready to die? Scripture says, “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 hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” Here is the question, Are you a hypocrite in your preparation for the Lord? Are you pretending to be watching, pretending to be waiting, pretending to be ready for the coming of the Lord? Let me share three ways of preparing for Jesus’ coming.
Many of us do everything we can to pleasure ourselves in this world except prepare for the Savior’s coming. I don’t mean when we physically die, although it applies here as well. The reason we don’t prepare is because we don’t know the Lord. He is an unknown Savior. How do you prepare for someone you do not know? Many of us say we know and love Him. If we knew Him, we would prepare for His coming. Are you prepared for the coming the Lord? Are you watching, waiting and ready for his arrival right now? Today? But Rev. Reid, you might say, how do we get ready for an unknown Savior? How do we plan for the arrival of the King of kings? How do we equip ourselves for the approaching presence of Jesus Christ?
One, we must watch for Him. Watching has two components: recognition of Jesus because you know Him, and detection of false prophets (Thieves) who will rob us of our relationship with the Lord. To know Jesus is to be obedient to His commands. Jesus commanded us to watch. He said, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” But how do we watch? We watch by developing a close personal relationship with the Lord. Again, how do we look for someone we do not recognize? Another thing about watching is being aware of people who knock at our door under false pretense. They may be coming to rob us! They may be the false gods of money, power and prestige, waiting to lead us astray. Robbers like false teaching, preaching and institutions of the world. Once we know Jesus, we are protected from counterfeit and phony thieves who distract us from the Master.
Two, we must wait on the Lord, because we don’t know when He is coming. Jesus said, “If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.” Yes, we have to wait for the Lord to guard us against the thief who would rob us of our birthright. But how do we wait? We wait on the Lord though daily prayer and meditation. We wait to be emptied from our old self to our new self by focusing on the Lord daily. Remember the scripture says, “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings of eagles. They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”
Three, we are commanded by Jesus to be ready. He said, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” We are ready when we trust the Lord and Him only. We trust Him because, “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We are not like the man who would have been ready if he only knew when the Lord was coming. We don’t know when He is coming and the scripture says even God’s Son does not know, so we must stay ready!
Here are some things we do know. We know Christ died and rose again from the dead! We know we can find in Him a resting place! We know that God sent His son, Jesus, who came to love, heal, and forgive. We know because He lived and died to buy our pardon; an empty grave proves our Savior lives. And because He lives, we can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all our fear is gone. Because we know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives. Today I am watching, waiting and ready! How about you?
Preparation for an Unknown Savior