Are You Ready?

Events in recent weeks surrounding the coronavirus outbreak may lead us to believe that we are truly living in the End Times, and the second coming of our Lord and Savior may shortly be upon us. If this is the case, it becomes important for each of us to ask ourselves a critical question: “Am I ready?”

In 1 Thessalonians 5:2, we read, “for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” Similarly, in Mark 13:32-33, Scripture tells us, “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!”

These warnings remind me of my days in the U.S. Army. Both in peacetime and wartime, the Army has a standard practice of always having someone who stands guard, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Army realizes we can never know when an enemy will attack, but we must always be prepared. In order to do so, service members live by the mentality that they should always be trained and ready and able to fight & defeat the enemy when the time comes.

This sense of readiness also applies to us, as Christians. In 2 Timothy 2:3, Paul tells us that we are called to be in God’s Army with his words, “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.” Also, in 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7, Scripture tells us, “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.”

As soldiers in God’s Army, our primary enemy is Satan, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We are fortunate, though, that God has given us spiritual armor for our battle with the evil one. Ephesians 6:11 tells us, “ Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Two of our primary weapons are our faith and the Bible. If we truly want to be ready for the return of Jesus, it is critical that we are rooted in our faith and study His Word. Romans 10:9 tells us, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Some people have fears about whether or not they will go to heaven. They think their sins are unforgivable and may preclude them from enjoying eternal life with the Father. We can take comfort in knowing that as members of God’s Army, our Great Commander is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the humble God who gave His life to save us from our sin and provide a path of redemption.

As we ascertain if we’re ready for the return of Jesus, the answer becomes surprisingly simple to discover. We only need to ask ourselves if we have accepted the free gift of salvation, given to us by Jesus, and have turned our hearts away from sin and towards Him.
If you have never made this decision, or have found yourself walking in darkness lately, now is a wonderful time to make a change. As we celebrate Palm Sunday, let us echo the words of the psalmist who tells us in Psalms 118:25, “ Save us, we pray, O LORD!” Confident in the blessed hope of our salvation, we can then wait in joyful anticipation for the return of Jesus and cry out, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

By Paul McCullough
Paul and his family came to Kingsway four years ago, after moving back to the United States from an overseas military tour in Japan. He has been with his bride, Heather, for 21 years and they have been blessed with two great kids, Paul IV and Sarah. Paul is passionate about ministry, working full time at the American Bible Society and engaging at Kingsway in KLS, Growth Track, Next Steps, and LifeGroups. He enjoys spending his spare time reading, building nanoblocks, and watching great movies.