R U Ready?

Introduction – This paper was written by a retired high school and college mathematics instructor. It was not written or produced by any particular church or denomination. It is provided free of charge as an expression of God’s love for mankind.
I am not a rich preacher with a private jet, and I am certainly not a member of any false religious cult. I am just someone who cares enough about you to ask if you are ready to meet Christ. What do I want in return? I hope to be your friend in Heaven, and I desire to please Christ for my remaining years on earth.

Jesus clearly promised to return. So, are you ready? Jesus said, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44 KJV). While no one knows the exact time or date of His return, Jesus did share many prophetic statements concerning His return and the characteristics of society in that day. The Bible indicates that His return will come as a complete surprise to most people. As a matter of fact, much of the disrespectful and sarcastic statements made to ridicule the return of Christ fit very well with the prophetic descriptions given two thousand years ago by Jesus and His disciples.

"3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2 Peter 3:3-6 KJV). People laugh at the second coming of Christ. People laugh at the flood. God calls it ignorance. Many people are "walking after their own lusts" and simply want to fulfill their desires and carnal appetites. So, they ridicule the Bible.

The psalmist David wrote, "1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  2The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God" (Psalm 14:1-2 KJV).  The world is filled with wickedness, wicked actions, and wicked imaginations.  Social media has made it very convenient for scoffers and mockers to hurl their slanderous insults toward Heaven.  But, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7 KJV).

So, what does it mean to be ready for the return of Christ?  What preparation is needed?  The first thing that is needed is repentance.  We must be willing to turn from our sin and rebellion against God's direction for our lives.  If someone is lost in sin, God is listening for their cry of repentance.  God is calling us to life and peace.  He is asking people to turn away from sin and self-destructive thoughts and behavior.  The apostle Paul wrote, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 KJV).  God is pure and holy.  We are not.  If we try to be holy, our behavior and motives fall short of God's standard.  Isaiah put it this way, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isaiah 64:6 KJV).

How can we be clean enough to stand before God?  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9 KJV).  Jesus died on the cross as the perfect atonement for our sins, and it is His blood that cleanses us from all our sins.  Romans 10:13 (KJV) says very plainly, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Listen, I feel a considerable burden in writing this article.  I cannot possibly say everything I would like to say in just a couple of pages.  On the other hand, the message of salvation may be found in a limited number of words.  When Jesus was suffering and dying on the cross, not many words were recorded.  Luke mentions two thieves dying on crosses nearby: "39One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, 'So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you're at it!'  40But the other criminal protested, 'Don't you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?  41We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn't done anything wrong.'  42Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.'  43And Jesus replied, 'I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise'" (Luke 23:39-43 NLT).

The first thief was very demanding and rebellious.  He scoffed at Christ and demanded that Jesus prove Himself.  However, First Peter 1:20 says that God's plan of salvation to demonstrate His love for created man was designed before the very creation of the world.  The fall of man and cross of redemption were not part of an alternative plan.  The cross was God's original plan.  The second thief cried out for mercy, and Jesus heard his plea.  Jesus said, "'Today you will be with me in paradise'" (Luke 23:43 NLT).  Unfortunately, one out of every two people are not going to be saved.  The Bible declares the majority will rebel.  The majority will be lost.

Jesus said, "'13Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it'" (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV).  Sadly, most people in the world are in the category of the first thief.  There are many people shaking their fist at the sky in hateful rebellion, questioning God and His motives.  If God does not conform to their expectations and timing, they say He doesn't exist, or He has questionable motives.  As I write this article, the world is continuing to face a global pandemic that has killed millions of people around the world.  While many stories are being told and headlines are being written, there seems to be little interest or thought of repentance.

In chapter nine of the Book of Revelation, we read the prophecy of three plagues and the death of one third of the world's population.  Nevertheless, "20The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands" (Revelation 9:20 NIV).  They will stubbornly continue to worship man-made idols, glorify violence, promote every possible kind of sexual immorality, and exalt the belief in magic (including drug abuse).  Global societies now celebrate these behaviors and demand their acceptance.  

As I sit here typing at my keyboard, it is getting late in the evening.  So far, Christ did not come today.  He may come in the few remaining hours of this day, and I pray that He does.  But, I will close with two remaining thoughts.  First, tomorrow will be one day closer to His coming than ever before.  Second, while Christ has not returned so far today, in the last twenty-four hours, some one hundred fifty thousand people have gone out into eternity to meet Him and kneel before His throne.  Yes, eventually every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess (Philippians 2:10-11, Romans 14:11, Isaiah 45:23).

Please don't wait until it's too late.  Bow today in sincere repentance.  Call on the Name of the Lord, and receive new and eternal life.

If the Spirit of God is speaking to you today, then today is your day of salvation.  Second Corinthians 6:2 says that at just the right time, God heard you.  If you cry out to God, He will hear you.  On the day of salvation, He will help you.  He will send the Holy Spirit to guide you and draw you to Him.  Certainly, the "right time" is now.  Today is the day of salvation!  There is no guarantee of tomorrow.  Your heart may become hard and your ears deaf to His call.  Today, if you are fortunate enough to hear His voice, I urge you to say yes to Christ and His love.

You can experience a spiritual rebirth today.  Romans 10:9 (KJV) says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” 

Will you pray today and begin your journey with Christ?  “Lord Jesus, I confess with my mouth today that You are the only begotten Son of the living God.  I repent and turn from my sins.  I believe that You died on the cross to save me from my punishment, and I receive You as Savior and Lord of my life.  Please help me to grow in Your fellowship and serve You all the days of my life.  I ask these things in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer today from your heart, then you have become a child of God.  You have been born again, and your adventure with Christ begins.  Read the Bible each day, beginning with the book of John.  Talk to God each day, and ask for His help.  Find a church that loves Jesus, loves people, worships God with enthusiasm, and teaches the Bible.  They will help and encourage you on your journey with Christ.

May God bless you,

Ken Campbell


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