Summary: How to live ready for Jesus' return
“Always Be Prepared!”
David P. Nolte
The Scouts don’t have a monopoly on the Motto: “Be Prepared.” We, as Christians, need also to be prepared!
People prepare for many things: a vacation trip, company coming, athletic events. I tell you, there is a ton of fun, excited, upbeat, anticipatory preparation for a wedding. Thank you all who made things ready for John and Lois, or Lois and John whichever you prefer.
We need to be prepared for life, for service, for meeting the Lord when He returns. When that last day comes we need already to be prepared. The song said,
“I hear the sound
Of a mighty rushing wind
And it’s closer now
Than it’s ever been
I can almost hear the trumpet
And Gabriel sound the chord
At the midnight cry we’ll be going home.”
Peter wrote, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” 2 Peter 3:10-12 (NASB).
And in his first letter Peter gives this counsel of preparation: in light of what God has done to save us, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘you shall be holy, for I am holy.’ If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13-19 (NASB).
Peter suggests that we be:
I. PREPARED BY ACTION:
A. Peter said, “prepare your minds for action.”
1. That means turn your mind to doing something; being active; serving and working.
2. We are to be doers, workers, and as Paul wrote to Titus, “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.” Titus 3:1 (NASB). And “This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.” Titus 3:8 (NASB).
B. We need often to be reminded of the place of works in the Christian life:
1. We are not saved by any good works. “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, ...” Titus 3:4-5 (NASB).
2. But we are saved for good works.
a.“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB).
b.“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” James 2:14-17 (NASB).
3. Saved by grace through faith for good works.
4. Works are the fruit of salvation, not the root; works are the consequence of salvation, not the cause.
C. What are good works?
1. Helping those in genuine need when we have resources.
2. Visiting widows and orphans in their distress.
3. Bearing one another’s burdens.
4. Teaching the untaught.
5. Weeping with those who weep.