In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul exhorted Timothy to always be prepared to preach the Word of God. Peter tells us we should always be prepared to give a defense of the reason we have hope in Jesus (1 Peter 3:14-15). And Jesus instructed His disciples to be prepared for the attacks of the world as they went out preaching the gospel (Matthew 10:16). As you survey the world today, if your eyes are open, you will see it is decaying at incredible speed.
I’ve been asked if I believe we are living in the end times. I cannot presume to know such things. Jesus told us no man knows when He will return. What I will say is I struggle to imagine the lawlessness and depravity getting much worse. I think Christians face hard times ahead, and we must prepare now.
We’ve been asleep at the wheel so long that many of us do not know what it means to prepare for trials and tribulation. This is true particularly for those of us in the West who have lived through a very peaceful last 70 years. We’ve had blips of violence, crisis, and wars, but nothing on a large scale that threatened our freedom to proclaim the name of Jesus. Things are changing. Churches in many countries, even in the United States of America, have been forced to close by the government. For the first time in our nation’s history, a governmental mandate prohibited believers to gather for worship.
Pastors in formerly freedom-loving Canada have been imprisoned simply because they obeyed the Word of God over the rules of men. These are different times in which we find ourselves. Believers around the world are no strangers to these types of persecution, but it is new for many of us. Many have even quietly complied rather than taking a stand for the commands given in the Word of God. We were not prepared for persecution, regardless of how mild, and we failed badly in our response to it.
I believe the worst is yet to come. Christianity continues to be mocked in the press and demonized by legislation. They promote immorality as good and charitable while discarding the morality of God as hateful. Wickedness has turned our world upside down by the lies of evil men and their father, Satan (John 8:44). Dark times are approaching and have now come. We must be prepared.
We must all rededicate ourselves to reading God’s Word and falling on our faces in prayer. It is past time to cry out for mercy on our nation and our world. We need God to intervene, as we don’t possess the power or will to do this without Him. It has never been more important to commit Scripture to memory. There may come a time when Bibles are not available to us in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, so we need to be able to recall God’s Word for strength and comfort in times of trouble.
Prepare yourself by not only reading God’s Word but by living it. Don’t be hearers of the Word only, but do what it says (James 1:22). Don’t give up meeting with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25). The evil one will not overcome the Church of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18). If we hold fast to the Word of God, commit ourselves daily to prayer, worship, and memorization, we will be prepared for whatever the enemy throws at us. Be sober-minded. Don’t be deceived by the lies of the world. Be prepared and never take your eyes off Jesus.