Make sure Now

Make Sure Now!

Richard Hollerman

Peter wrote to those who had received “a faith of the same kind” as his (2 Peter 1:1).To these recipients, the apostle wrote, “Be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you” (v. 10). We also need to have diligence to be certain about our relationship with the living God and our right standing before Him. Nothing is more important than this! And we need to be assured of this now!

Has it ever struck you as being strange—or nearly unimaginable—how a person can go through life and give little or no thought to his or her spiritual standing before God, “the Judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25)? Since we will all “appear before the judgment seat of Christ” so that “each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10), isn’t it wise to determine now whether we are prepared to meet God our Judge one great Day?

We value prudence, foresight, and preparation for many other things in life. If we plan on a long journey, we probably spend time examining a map to determine the best routes to reach our destination. If we plan to have a serious surgery, we may inquire as to which surgeon would be best for our particular health issue. If we want to begin a business, we may do research as to whether the product will sell sufficiently well to earn a profit. If there is danger in some area where we plan to walk or drive, we want to know about this before we proceed. As Solomon writes, “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12).

If all of this is true, why don’t we give earnest attention to our spiritual welfare and the spiritual decisions we are making?  If there were a one in 100 chance that your plane would crash land, would you be interested in knowing this? If there were a one in 10 chance that your bank would fail, wouldn’t you be interested? If there were a one chance in five that you have cancer, wouldn’t you be intensely interested? If there were a one chance in 10 that walking down a certain deserted street would result in your being mugged and injured or even killed, wouldn’t you be interested in knowing this and doing something about this to prepare?

Surely the answer to the above questions would be Yes, we would want to know about such dangers and would want to do something to prevent the problems. But consider: 100 out of 100 of us will die. Are we prepared?  Another way of looking at this is to observe that even if we live to be 100 years of age, we will die then live somewhere forever! There are no doubts about this; the only question is where we will be for all eternity!  It would be wise for us to make preparation right now to be assured that we will be in a place of indescribable bless rather than in a place of horrible anguish!

To illustrate again, if only one in 100 of people were to be safe from a terrible tornado or hurricane, wouldn’t it be wise to determine whether you would be among the 99 people who are unprepared and will die? If you could do something now to prepare for such a disaster, wouldn’t it be wise for you to do everything possible to escape this weather catastrophe and to come through the ordeal in safety? Maybe you would buy a storm shelter or perhaps you would go to a protected location—but surely you would seek to escape from the coming tragedy!

John the baptizer asked certain ones in his day, “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7). They were right to seek to flee from God’s coming wrath! We also need to escape from this disaster that will surely come on us and the world. What are we doing about this?

Jesus our Lord warned about the future with these words: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Take note of the fact that “many” people go through the wide gate and walk the broad way that leads to destruction! On the other hand, only a “few” are willing to go through the small gate and walk the narrow way that leads to eternal life. Which way are you traveling in life?

Perhaps the most foolish thing you can do while living on earth is to assume that all is well and there is no danger about the future.  Friend, the vast, vast majority of people think they are safe but, in reality, they are unprepared for Christ’s coming and not ready to stand before Him in judgment. When all of this happens, most people will stand there, unable to do anything to change their condition and alter their destiny. It will be too late!

Many scriptures point this out. Jesus warned, “Be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). Again, the Lord declared, “You also must be ready; for the Son of Man [Jesus] is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” (v. 44). God said to one person who died, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared” (Luke 12:20). Christ is coming when people are not expecting Him and the vast majority will not be prepared. Will God find you watching and waiting when Christ returns in glory?

Furthermore, most people will be surprised! You see, people have so dulled their spiritual perceptions and conscience that they will think that they are ready for Christ’s return, but in reality they are not. Again, the Lord Jesus warned us, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matthew 7:21). People will plead their religious acts but none of this will avail. Some will say that they have prophesied in Christ’s name, others will say they have cast our demons in Christ’s name, and still others will say that they have performed many miracles (v. 22). But the Lord will say, “I never knew you; depart from Me; you who practice lawlessness” (v. 23). They will be surprised! They will expect one response, but Jesus the King and Judge will give them a completely different response! Religious acts will be of no use on that coming Day. Only when one sincerely and honestly obeys the Lord Jesus is he prepared for the Lord’s coming and the great Judgment Day!

Paul the apostle also warned of the coming disaster: “You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). Notice that “destruction” will not be forewarned. No, it will come on people “suddenly” and those unprepared “will not escape”! Are you and I prepared for Christ’s return? Are we ready for His coming judgment? Or will we be caught unsuspecting and surprised and then face the Lord in our unprepared condition?

Any thoughtful, sane, and wise person will take Scripture’s warnings seriously and apply them to his or her own heart and life. Will you?





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