by Kevin V. Rutherford


Those who study weather patterns and issue warnings about approaching storms might tell you to be prepared.  Know where you will go during severe weather and have the appropriate supplies at hand.  Those who work with our national defense might tell you to have a plan in mind, and be prepared for a terrorist attack.  While it is impossible to be prepared for everything this life may send our way, it is very important we be prepared for the second coming of Christ.

The promise has been made concerning the return of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11; John 14:1-6).  However, the Bible doesn’t tell us when He will return. Repeatedly the Scriptures tell us that we cannot know when Jesus is coming back (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44; 25:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3; 2 Peter 3:10). While we cannot know when Jesus is going to return, we can know that He is coming.  Therefore we need to be prepared for this momentous occasion at all times.

Living in a state of constant preparation for the return of Jesus is the point of the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).  The five foolish virgins did not have enough oil in their lamps to wait for the bridegroom.  They had to leave in order to get more oil.  While they were gone the bridegroom came and they were shut out of the wedding.  The five wise virgins had enough oil and thus were ready when the bridegroom came.  Whether or not you are prepared for the second coming determines whether or not you are showing yourself to be wise or foolish.

The importance of being prepared for the return of our Lord is made clear in the picture He gave us of the judgment day (Matthew 25:31-46).  To those who are not prepared Jesus will say, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).”  To those who are prepared, Jesus will say, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34).”  At the end of this discussion of the judgment Jesus says, the wicked “. . .will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (Matthew 25:46).”

While it is of extreme importance that we be prepared for the second coming of Jesus Christ and the judgment day, it is also important that we be prepared for the day we die.  Every man will die (Ecclesiastes 9:5).  Once a person dies he will be given no opportunity to change his spiritual condition (Luke 16:26).  One simply waits in Hades for the judgment after he has died (Hebrews 9:27; Luke 15:19-31).  Because we cannot change our spiritual condition after we have died, we need to make sure we are saved before we die, In other words, we must be prepared.

We do not know when Jesus is coming again.  We do not know when we shall die.  We must be prepared for those events.  Are you?