You must be ready. Today, I am going to be real with you just as Jesus was real with his disciples when he spoke about the destruction of the temple and the signs of the end times in Matthew 24. There will come a day, whether you are ready or not, when Jesus Christ will return to establish his Father’s Kingdom. As I read about the return of Jesus, I am filled with excitement. How wonderful of a day that will be! While we await the coming of our Savior, it is important to keep watch as it is said in verses 36 & 42 that Father is the only one who knows exactly when this day will be.
It’s easy to think that we are indestructible. I picture a full life ahead of me with dreams and aspirations that I hope to one day fulfill. However, I know that this life is unpredictable and that each day is a blessing in itself. I picture her in my mind quite often. I picture her at our track practices, I picture her with livestock at the fairgrounds, I picture her when I walk into the church that she attended with my grandparents. And the thing is, I wasn’t even a close friend to Sara yet she has left such an impact on the world around me, forever changing my perspective on life. In the fall of 2017, Sara, a beloved member of my community, tragically lost her life after being struck by a speeding driver who was under the influence. This 15-year-old was kind, compassionate, gentle-spirited, and a friend to many. What I admire most about Sara is the way that she made her days count. Though her life was short, it was one worthy of living. I bring up Sara not to share a tragedy but to share the testament that her life was, one that proclaimed God’s glory. Sara accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and lived each day holding firm to her faith, loving the LORD above all else. When I think of Jesus’s words “you also must be ready,” I think of the fact that we never really know when the final days will be. Sara spent her days preparing for the return of our Lord. I find this trait to be honorable as I too aspire to live my life in this way.
Jesus laid out the signs of the end times in this chapter. He said that there will be:
- many who come falsely claiming to be the Messiah
- wars & rumors of wars
- nations will rise against nations
- persecution & death, you will be hated by all the nations because of Jesus Christ
- many will turn away from the faith & will both betray and hate each other
- false prophets will appear, deceiving many
- an increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold
- a dreadful time for pregnant and nursing women
- great distress
- a darkened sun, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky, the heavenly bodies will be shaken
But once this all takes place…
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other”
Are you ready? Let’s seek to be like the faithful and wise servants in verses 45-47?
Jesus states in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Take heart, friends. Jesus is coming!