Are You Ready to Meet Jesus? A Message for the Christian
Bride and Groom, Licensed with Shutterstock
"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming...For this reason, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." Matthew 24:42, 44
Are you ready to meet Jesus either when He comes to take you from this earth or at His Second Coming? What must we do to be ready? How do we need to prepare in order to be received into Heaven and not sent to Hell? In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable referring to a wedding feast that sheds light on this important topic. The wedding feast represents Heaven and the father who gives the wedding feast for his son represents God the Father and Jesus. "But when the king (the father) came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes... Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot and throw him into outer darkness (Hell) where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 22:11, 13). The man was not ready for the wedding feast. Not having the right attire is referring to not having the right heart condition. God looks at the condition of our hearts. It is comparable to a man being present in a church building every Sunday, but his heart is not present. He shows up late and leaves early. While there, he texts his friends or daydreams about the week to come. A woman is not ready just because she has said 10 words of a salvation prayer. If she does not choose to follow Jesus daily and to live like Him, then she is not ready. Nor is she ready because she can quote hundreds of scripture word for word. Our thoughts, words and actions need to reflect the condition of our hearts. We need to be "married" to Jesus in our hearts! Jesus gives us another parable which refers to 10 virgin brides (you and me) waiting for the bridegroom (Jesus). Out of the 10 brides, 5 were foolish because they were not ready for the bridegroom. "The bridegroom came and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding (Heaven)... Later, the other virgins also came saying, 'Lord, Lord, open up for us.' But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you'" (Matthew 25:10-12). The foolish brides were not ready when the bridegroom arrived. They were present at the door with oil for their lamps, but they ran out. Their love ran out. They were no longer in love with the bridegroom. They no longer put him first. He didn't know the brides because they didn't talk with him or walk with him or listen to him. This can be compared to the Christian who quotes the Bible, but does not live it by obeying the Word of God. If we love God with our whole hearts, then we would obey Him because we desire to please Him. It's all about the heart. In the Bible Jesus said, "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Mark 7:6b). To the leaders in the Temple who quoted scripture with ease, Jesus said, "So you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" (Matthew 23:28). He also said, "There is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him, but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile a man...For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts...deeds of wickedness...all these evil things proceed from within and defile the man" (Mark 7:21-23). When we meet Jesus face to face, whether at the moment when we die, or at the Lord's Second Coming, we will be judged based on the condition of our hearts, and not solely on our outer appearance. Are you ready to enter the wedding feast? Is your wedding gown without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27)? Is your lamp filled with oil? Do you love Jesus with your whole heart, and mind and strength? I pray it is so, for you and for me.
Prayer Dear Lord, give me to a deeper revelation of Your love so that I can love you the way that You deserve. Give me grace to obey the First Commandment, which is to love You with all of my heart, with all my mind and with all of my strength. Give me the desire to meet with You daily, to talk with You and listen to You. Give me a hunger for Your Word, so that I will read it and apply it to my daily life. Make me into Your bride, ready for the wedding feast in Heaven, which You are preparing for me even now. Amen.
Grace n Glory has been given permission by the authors to publish these blog posts.
*Annette Hahner is a writer, poet and blog contributor.
*Kathy Colasante is a native Rhode Islander, nurse, wife of Michael and mother of six. She loves to write when the Spirit of God prompts her.
*Kathleen Bailey is better known as Mama K in New England. She is a pastor and founder of Kingdom of Dominion Teaching and Training Center. Kathleen is grateful for her husband John, 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.