In this worship gathering, we hear a message from Revelation 14.14-20 continuing on the theme of judgment, and how we can be ready for it. You can watch the message below, or the whole worship gathering below that.
With so many other shiny things in the news lately, we haven’t heard much about hurricane season. But Fiona, the most recently-named storm, has pummeled Puerto Rico and has its sights set on Atlantic Canada, and though it will likely not be rated as a hurricane, it has the potential to do some serious damage.
Residents are being encouraged to ensure they have sufficient supplies for a hold-and-secure period of not less than 72 hours, and that their sump pumps are working. This is the time when the “prepper” community – those whose hobby (or obsession) is emergency preparedness – has its opportunity to shine!
Often, it is experience that teaches us to be prepared for trouble, whether it is something large and uncontrollable like a weather phenomenon (remember the big ice storm of ’98?) or something localized and preventable (like a car accident that knocks out a transformer). Until we are prepared, we end up scrambling. And in reality, it may not be possible to be prepared for every eventuality, unless your commitment to emergency preparedness truly is an obsession that gobbles up your entire life.
Whether it’s having a good supply of potable water or a generator or a pantry full of canned goods or dehydrated food – to say nothing of fully-charged electronic devices and backup battery packs – it’s difficult to be ready for everything, but there’s one thing that many of even the most prepared people neglect, and that’s eternity.
You can be ready for a power outage so that your freezer’s contents aren’t destroyed, but that doesn’t make you ready for the second coming of Jesus; you’re not going to need your freezer when he returns.
The challenge for eternal preparedness is that it’s not a matter of buying More Stuff. It’s about readying your heart and your soul, and quite frankly, that’s harder work, because God’s holy standard is perfection, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t measure up to that standard.
However, there is good news: the bulk of that harder work has been done for you by Jesus. The Bible tells us that “God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5.21, NLT). When Jesus died on the cross, he became our sin. He was perfect, and he bore the weight of our sin – even yours and mine – so that we could be brought back into a right relationship with God.
And the benefit of this comes to us simply by faith. When we can truly say in our hearts that Jesus is Lord – that he is Master of our lives – the benefits of Jesus’ work on the cross become ours, and our hearts and souls are made ready, fully prepared for eternity.
So, whatever befalls you, ensure your emergency preparedness kit includes faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Then, and only then, will you really be ready.