Making Preparations For The Day
“Making Preparations For The Day”
Decorating. Baking. Cleaning. Planning. Shopping. Etc. Etc. Etc. With the holiday season fully upon us, how many preparations there are to make! Certainly, for many, this season will consume a great deal of time leading up to that one day. Then, it will all be over. Family will have went back to their homes. Leftovers will be sitting in the fridge. Gifts will have been exchanged. Now what? All of the time that was spent fulfilled its purpose, and, now the focus shifts to preparing for another day and time.
Though your preparations have served their purpose and you have enjoyed the valuable time spent with family and friends, it ought to at least cause us to pause and consider the value of our efforts in the “big picture.” How much time have you spent preparing for that one day in comparison to the time you spend preparing for the day?
An Appointment To Keep
There is an appointment in future that we must keep. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). We will all die at some point. After this, will be the judgment. James spoke about the brevity of our life on earth when he wrote, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (Jas. 4:13-15).
Jesus Himself discussed the need to be prepared on the basis that He is coming again. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44).
Whether it be due to our death or the return of Christ, we must be making preparations for that day! On that day we will know whether our lives have been spent wisely or foolishly. For, on that day, we will know whether we will spend eternity in Heaven or in Hell. With such an important day awaiting us, we must recognize the urgency of being prepared!
What Preparations Do You Need To Be Making?
Just as you need a plan in order to accomplish all that needs done for the holidays, you certainly need a plan in order to be prepared for eternity! Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). What preparations should you be making?
Studying the Scriptures. This seems like a logical place to begin. We should be spending our time learning about the things that God has in store for us (the blessings awaiting those who love Him as well as the torment awaiting those reject Him). Through your study of the Scriptures, you can understand the additional steps you must take in order to be pleasing to Him. The Lord expects His children to grow in knowledge (2 Pet. 3:18). The Lord expects His children to grow in all areas! “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14). If we’re not studying, how do we expect to be growing?
Praying. How much time do you spend preparing for eternity in prayer? Prayer must have an active role in the life of a Christian. We should view prayer as a tremendous blessing! Through the avenue of prayer we are able to address our Heavenly Father – praising Him, offering thanks, casting our cares upon Him, seeking His forgiveness, etc. Do we fail to make the proper preparations for the day of eternity by failing to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. Paul wrote, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). There is no part of our lives that this instruction does not touch. This instruction is applicable to the way we spend our time, the way we spend our money, our desires, our jobs, everything! It is the Christian’s responsibility to make sure that God comes first in his/her life. The Christian must be diligent to make sure that the things he/she does, thinks, and says are always pure. We must be diligent to live as servants of the Lord, rather than as servants of Satan. All of our efforts, therefore, must be focused on purging out the old sin and walking in the steps of Christ, looking to His perfect example in all things. Earlier to the Romans, Paul wrote, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom. 6:13).
Spreading the Gospel. Our preparation is not complete without this. We must view spreading the Gospel to lost souls as absolutely essential to our salvation. It is as much of a command as baptism, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and helping others are! Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Without one who teaches the Gospel, how can one hear the word, believe, and be saved (Rom. 10:13-18)?
Are you making diligent preparations for the day of eternity? Certainly much more could have been discussed in this article. However, the purpose of this article is not to consider all that you must do in order to be saved. Rather, it has simply been to provoke you to evaluate whether or not you spend the necessary time making the preparations that truly matter in comparison with the time spent preparing for an earthly holiday. Paul, to the Ephesians, wrote, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). We must view time as absolutely important. Therefore, the way that we spend our time is important. There will come a time in which time to prepare will not be granted to us, and, those who are prepared will be welcomed to spend an eternity with God. However, those who are unprepared will be left out of that eternal paradise and punished with an everlasting destruction (Matt. 25:1-13). Won’t you be diligent to make the necessary preparations for your eternity now?
- Eric Krieg -
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.