Are we living in the last days? Many books, sermons, and pundits would say yes. Surveying the state of the world and comparing it with Biblical prophecy would also seem to point to it being a possibility. Whether or not it’s true, no one can say for certain (Matthew 24:36-44). This isn’t the first period in history when people were convinced things couldn’t get any worse and surely the Lord’s return was imminent.
Whenever there is talk of living in the last days, there is also an increased focus on making sure you are ready to meet the Lord. Certainly, that is sound advice, but with the knowledge Christ’s return will come as a surprise, doesn’t it make more sense to live in a constant state of readiness? Since our King could return any moment, shouldn’t we be preparing for Him regardless of what’s happening around us?
There is no time we are called to not be prepared to meet Jesus. The Lord instructs us to pick up our cross daily (Luke 9:23-24). That means every day we are to be dying to our plans and desires. Every day should be a renewing of our devotion to Him. If we are dying to ourselves, that means everything we are doing is concerned with Christ. We’re not looking to fulfill our happiness but instead to please and serve the Lord. If that is our focus and obsession, we will be ready to meet Christ.
Paul told Timothy to be prepared to share the gospel “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). In other words, be prepared to tell someone about Jesus at any moment. I can think of few better things to be doing when Christ returns than sharing the gospel with someone. With all the talk of us living in the last days, there will be increasing opportunities for us to share our faith and hope with those who are unsure or even frightened about what’s coming. We cannot put off sharing the news that may be too late to share tomorrow.
If you’re not ready to meet Christ, how can you expect to help someone else prepare to meet Him? The old Larry Norman song says, “I wish we’d all been ready.” Don’t wish; take action and prepare now. Don’t wish you’d prayed more, studied more, served more, or shared more. Go and do it while there is still time (John 9:4).
I don’t know if we’re living in the last days, but I know we should live as if we are. Being prepared to meet Christ not only will improve your life here and now, it will reap infinite rewards in the life to come. There is no downside to denying yourself, picking up your cross, and following Christ. Sure, you may have to endure some ridicule, deal with discrimination, or suffer some persecution, but those are all minor inconveniences compared to the glory you’ll receive in Heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). Read and study God’s Word, serve and pray for those in need, and surrender your life to Jesus. If you do that, you’ll be ready to meet the Lord no matter when He returns.