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People Get Ready

May 11, 2018

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not but, people just seem to be tired these days. Whether it’s the challenges of raising children, the pressures of work or financial needs, health issues, trying to get victory over some things in their lives, or simply from having demands from morning until night, people are often running on fumes.

I think this has had an effect on the church in this way. There seems to be, overall, a decrease in emphasis on the things of eternity. Oh sure, we pray “even so, come Lord Jesus” and we know that the best, for believers, is definitely yet to come, but what are we doing to get ready for it? Are we focusing on “preparing the bride”, getting the church and its people ready to meet Jesus? Is there a real burning desire within us to share the Gospel with the lost, realizing that there are some who are still in darkness unless the Lord intervenes?

I think we can look at our music in the church as a way this shift is reflected. We sing fewer songs about Heaven and eternal life and more songs about the here and now. Fewer songs are being written about the life to come. Now, I’m not criticizing. I love the old music and the new music – but it is an observation I’ve made.

Could it be that we’ve gotten so comfortable in our lives that we’ve lost the urgency for souls?

John speaks in the transition to chapter 3 of I John about the need to get ready for the return of Christ.

I John 2:28-3:3, 28 So now, little children, remain in him so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know this as well: Everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

3 See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.

Do you remember what it was like when you were a kid and you had something that you knew needed to be done before your parents got home, and how hard you worked to get that done? Or maybe at work the big boss was coming by at some point and you wanted to make sure that things were in order in preparation of their arrival? How about getting ready for a big job interview and you wanted to make sure you looked your best and you were as informed as you could be? Maybe your spouse has been away for a few days and you wanted to make sure that the house looked just right before they returned? It’s always about preparing for something that is to come. Good stuff ahead if you are ready – bad if you are not.

As John is continuing to challenge the church to get back to what they were called to be, He is giving them some hope – Jesus IS returning. He IS coming to redeem His own, to claim His children, to take us home with Him. We need to get ready

Verse 28 speaks of…The Father’s Preparation

  • John says “remain in him” so that when Christ returns, there is nothing to hide, no reason to look over our shoulder

Verse 29 speaks of… The Father’s Image

  • As children, we bear the marks of our parents – looks, character, personality, habits – we reflect our Father

Verse 1 speaks of… The Father’s Transformation

  • Nothing makes a bigger difference in anyone’s life than to know that they are truly loved – love transforms

Verse 2 speaks of… The Father’s Likeness

  • Phrases “we are God’s children now”, “we will be like him”, “we will see him as he is” – being made into His likeness

Verse 3 speaks of… The Father’s Evidence

  • The true measure of the child of God is the pursuit of holiness, to be more like Him, the continual purification

People Get Ready, Jesus is Coming – a timely song sung by Crystal Lewis

  • People get ready Jesus is comin’, Soon we’ll be going home
  • People get ready Jesus is coming, To take from the world His own

Church, it’s time to get ready, it’s time to prepare the bride, and it’s time to share Jesus with our community. People get ready.

Blessed,
Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts, Podcasts

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