Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ARE YOU READY?

What did Jesus mean in Matthew 24:49 when He spoke about the evil servant who would “drink with the drunken”? Jesus isn’t just talking about alcohol here. The Bible mentions many ways of being drunk: with fury, with bitterness, with bloodthirstiness. The main alcohol in our society—the sedative that most people drink from today—is prosperity. And Christians indulge freely in this drink.

Jesus is warning us, “What happens to you once prosperity grips you? Your heart gets wrapped up in material goods. Suddenly, you lose your awareness of My coming. Your life spins out of control, because you no longer have a moral compass. And you begin doing anything you can to get what you want. You become a drunkard, stoned on prosperity.”

Note the judgment Jesus describes for such hypocrites. “The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (24:50–51).

Are you ready? Have you begun to love the thought of Christ’s appearing? Paul says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8, my italics). James urges us likewise: “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8). “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

Finally, Paul writes, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority” (Titus 2:11–15).

I pray to become the kind of shepherd Paul describes. Yes, I’m looking for my Master’s return. And, like the apostle, I can say with confidence, “I’ve got a crown waiting for me, because I love His appearing. I am ready. Come, Lord Jesus!”