Monday, June 4, 2018
There was a time when the Boy Scouts of America used the motto, “Be Prepared.” It was a good motto. It’s sad that this organization was blindsided by a materialistic, secular world, that desires the materialistic rather than the spiritual. Despite the direction the Scouts have taken, “Be Prepared” remains a good motto!
There is a song that is often sung in many churches with the title, “Are You Ready For The Judgment Day?” Sadly, too many prepare themselves for hell, while expecting heaven as their reward. They believe they can live wrong and still die right. There are some who want to sow their wild oats just short of taking their last breath. Some hold to what is called a “Death Bed” mentality. They never entertain the thought that they may be short sheeted in that bed!
Death isn’t restricted to your time table nor mine. Making peace with God is something we should do in our youth, not moments before we die. Solomon stated,
“Don’t let the excitement of being young cause you to forget about your Creator. Honor him in your youth before the evil years come—when you’ll no longer enjoy living.” Ecclesiastes 12:1 (TLB).
Heaven is the results of mental, physical, and spiritual preparation. Jesus speaks of the prepared life as “Come,” “Obey,” “Be faithful,” and “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” What kind of preparation are you making? Are you a good candidate for heaven or hell? The choice is yours! Why put it off?
Some attempt to approach Jesus in an Old Testament fashion. They believe keeping commandments is partial payment for their sins. They would never take a bundle of $100-dollar bills and offer them as payment for their salvation, but they believe they are helping Jesus pay it off through what they do! One may hear another say, “My obedience is my part in securing my salvation.” If so, then Jesus did not pay it all. Someone may object by saying, “Yes, Jesus did all of his part, but I have to do all of mine.” Obedience is essential, but it is not essential in paying for our salvation. When we stand before Jesus in judgment, we will have no bragging rights. Why? Because our obedience is not a 30 or 40% payment for our sins. Jesus paid that complete cost upon the cross. When we stand before Jesus, 100% of our gratitude should be showing on our face since his blood was our 100% payment! We need to learn Paul’s lesson in Romans 7. He confessed that he failed miserably in keeping law perfectly. We all join him in that condition! What we do is reduce our percentage from 100% obedience to 30 or 40%. Paul reduced it to Jesus (Romans 7:24-25; 8:1). We need to do that too! To “be prepared” is to put our complete trust in Jesus power to save and obey him out of love for what he did for us!