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September 26, 2004

”Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”—Jesus

Matthew 24:42

The Lord Jesus Christ is returning to this earth. He’s coming back. It’s just a matter of time.  Since we are told it could happen at any time, we must watch or keep watching. Each moment, we must be aware that Christ could come today. We should be ready for His return all the time.

We don’t know the exact day, date or time He’ll come back. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus tells us: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” From this, we learn that if someone sets a date of Christ’s return, it can’t be correct since no one but the Heavenly Father knows the time.

“Surely I come quickly.”—Jesus, Revelation 22:20

When Christ arrives, it will happen “in the blink of an eye”. If you want to be ready for His return, you must prepare now. There won’t be time to get ready, at the last minute. His return will happen in a flash and those unprepared will be left behind.

An illustration of this is a supply ship that sailed to Antarctica, years ago. The crew stayed there for several months and the ship returned up North.

This same ship was scheduled to come back and pick the crew up. However, because the ice would freeze up within hours of the ship’s arrival, the crew had to be ready, at a moment’s notice, to load their provisions and board. The captain left instructions to take all their provisions to the loading area, every day. This way, the crew would be well prepared for the ship’s return.

Every day the entire crew packed their provisions (these would be needed during the voyage home) and took them to the designated loading site. The crew did not know which day the ship would return. They only knew that it was coming and that, when it did arrive, they had just a brief window to load and go.

At last, the day came. The ship arrived! And because the crew was well prepared, they were packed and on their way. They left before the ice could freeze, leaving the entire crew stranded—far longer than they would be able to survive! Their obedience to the captain’s instructions saved their lives!

This true story illustrates the need for preparing for Christ’s return today! What must we do to be ready?

The first step is to know Christ.  In Romans 6:23, Paul tells us: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” All of us are sinners. We all have sinned and need a Savior. We have a problem and Christ is the solution! Our problem is our sin—our imperfection, flaws, bad behavior, attitudes and thoughts. All of us are made in God’s image, but marred by sin. God, however, took care of all our sins by nailing them to the cross Jesus died on. Christ bore the penalty of all our sins and paid for them in full! He freely offers us the eternal life He died to pay for.

Just like the ship crew in Antarctica, you and I have a choice. They chose to prepare for the inevitable day of the ship’s return. We, too, may prepare for Christ’s inevitable return. If we receive Christ, then we’ll meet Him as a friend. Otherwise, we remain His enemy, still in our sins.

Won’t you turn to Christ today? Is there anything stopping you from simply receiving what Christ did for you? You can pray something like: Father, I receive the gift of salvation, paid for by Christ on the cross. Thank you for eternal life. Amen.

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