Summary: His return is certain – it will happen. It is imminent – that is, it could happen at any time. It will be sudden – like a thief in the night. Luke 12:40 tells us that we need always be ready so that His return will not catch us off guard.
Lord Baden Powel, the founder of scouting gave the Boy Scouts their motto: “Be prepared”. What he was seeking to do was to instill in his scouts a readiness for any emergency. The scout should never be taken by surprise. He is always to be ready. He is to “Be prepared.”
Christ in teaching His disciples told them that He was going to His Father and preparing a place for them and that He would return. He would come again. While the time of His coming is unknown, His return is certain – it will happen. It is imminent – that is, it could happen at any time. It will be sudden – like a thief in the night. Luke 12:40 tells us that we need always be ready so that His return will not catch us off guard. We are to be prepared!
I. Being prepared means being properly attired
A. Luke 12:35a “Let your loins be girded about…”
B. By being spiritually ready in the matter of salvation
1. Matthew 22:11-14 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen."
2. This was a royal wedding, and it is likely that a special garment was provided by the royal host for his guests on an occasion such as this. If so, the failure of one of the guests to be clothed with the marriage garment indicated that he had spurned the garment provided by the king when it was offered to him.
3. A person can be well dressed but that does not mean that they are properly dressed. Only with the garment provided by the King can one be properly dressed.
4. The wedding garment represents holiness, which we are given by God in exchange for our sin, at salvation. Holiness, without which, no man will see God. Our wedding garment is the righteousness of Christ, and unless we have it, we will miss the wedding feast.
5. To insist on covering ourselves is to be clothed in “filthy rags”
6. Isaiah 64:6a “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags”
C. By having the right mindset
1. The HCSB translates the first part of Luke 12:35b “Be ready for service...”; the ESV “Stay dressed for action...”; the NIV “Be dressed ready to serve…”
2. Men in Israel during Bible times wore long, flowing robes. If you were going to go into action or wanted to get work done, wearing a flowing robe was a very inconvenient way to be dressed. So when they wanted to get some work done they would tuck these robes into a belt around their waist so that they would not get in the way. They would pull in all the loose ends. Today we would say, "Roll up your sleeves."
3. 1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
4. Peter says we are to pull up the loose ends of our lives. So that we are focused on the spiritual and not the temporal things of this life because He may come any day. Since he may come any day, it is well to be ready every day.
5. Being ready means to roll up our sleeves and work until He comes
a. Titus 3:1 “to be ready for every good work”
b. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”
6. Oswald Chambers said, “The only way to wait for the Second Coming is to watch that you do what you should do, so that when he comes is a matter of indifference. It is the attitude of a child, certain that God knows what he is about. When the Lord does come, it will be as natural as breathing. God never does anything hysterical, and he never produces hysterics.”
7. The great preacher F. B. Meyer once asked D. L. Moody, "What is the secret of your success?" Moody replied, "For many years I have never given an address without the consciousness that the Lord may come before I have finished." This may well explain the intensity of his service and the zeal of his ministry for Christ.