As we get closer and closer to the coming of the Lord, I find it sad that even though many are aware we are in the end times, people are making excuses instead of getting their lives right with God. This is like playing spiritual Russian Roulette and gambling their eternal lives that Christ’s coming is not going to happen, even though they see sign after sign of His soon-coming. Jesus talked about it in terms of people invited to a banquet and spurning the grace of the One inviting them:
16But He said to him, "A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; 17and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.' 18"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused' (Luke 14:16-18).
It really is time to get ready for the banquet with the Lord, and not make excuses any longer.
In the year 2000, I was separated from my wife and two children for nearly three months when I left them in England to start work as one of the pastors in a large megachurch in Cincinnati, Ohio (I was born in England). You bet I was counting the days for our reunion! How lonely I was without the ones I loved. It brought me to tears many times. As the time grew closer for their coming and our reunion, I began to prepare everything for us to be close again. I checked the flight times, again and again, I planned where we would eat on the way from the airport, I cleaned the house meticulously where we would be staying, but most of all, I prepared myself. What joy I had when they arrived, we hugged and kissed repeatedly. I was so excited to show the three of them around Cincinnati, the city where we would now be living. My girlfriend (my wife of 39 years) and my two children were coming home to their own country after 19 or so years of serving God in England. You cannot understand the joy I felt to bring them back to their family and country.
If you are a Christian, this world is not your home. Like me longing for my family, our Lord is longing for our reunion. He has spent nearly 2000 years preparing a place for us so that where He is, we shall be also (John 14:1-3). What joy will flood His heart upon our reunion, and how He longs to show us where we will be living together. It must be disappointing to Him that some would not even be watching for our reunion day–their hearts are not beating with the same passion as His, instead they make excuses and want the things of this world instead.
There are some who are not aware of the days in which we are living; they are asleep and not watching for His return. These are days of preparation. Before Passover and deliverance from Egypt for the Promised Land, the Jewish people went through days of preparation (they still do) as the Passover lamb was brought into the house for four days before it was slaughtered (Exodus 12:3-6). The houses of the Israelites were swept clean before Passover because it was also the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and every crumb of yeast or leaven had to be swept up and put in the garbage bin. Yeast or leaven speaks of sin. In the preparation time before our deliverance from this world, we are to get ourselves ready for home and to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). We should sweep up our lives and prepare ourselves for the banquet with the Lord. The time in which we live should not be spent spiritually asleep to what's going on. Turn off the TV! Forget sports! People are dying without knowing the Savior! We must do what we can to reach them with the truth! Prepare yourself for eternity!
Prayer: Father, keep me awake amid a world that wants to drug me to sleep. I want to be wide-awake and sensitive to you so that I may walk in eager anticipation for that great reunion day. Amen! Keith Thomas