If You Are Better off than You Were Four Years Ago
Most people agree that things are looking pretty good. Wages are stable, inflation is not rising fast, and--this is what really matters to many--what you want, you can buy, or at least put on your charge card.
Our government is involved in no major war, and political leaders are making efforts to address the major domestic problems of the day. Yes, things seem to be going well.
But on the other side of the coin we see many problems. There has been a rash of investigations involving political leaders' unethical behavior. Driving on the highways is more dangerous than ever because of drivers who become upset at other drivers and try to do them physical harm. The drug problem has continued to escalate. Crime among teenagers continues to grow. We see increasing disregard for laws and disrespect for authority and for others.
It will be a dangerous time in which to live. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come" (2 Timothy 3:1).
Why will this time be so dangerous? "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
Many will not be expecting Jesus' return. "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2). "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not" (Luke 12:40).
It will be a time like any other. Men will be living as usual. "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:26-30).
Some will not believe He is coming. "There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Peter 3:3, 4).
Some will be prepared for His coming. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" (1 Thessalonians 5:4). Those who have chosen to believe and obey God's Word will be ready. "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching" (Luke 12:37).
There is a reason Jesus has not yet come. God offers salvation to every person. He is waiting in order for more to accept His salvation. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
Yes, Jesus is still waiting; but He will come. When He does, it will not matter whether you are better off than four years ago. Nor will you need to concern yourself with the next four years. Then--and now--the question that must be answered is this: Are you prepared for His return?
DO I believe in Jesus Christ?
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12).
Did I repent of my sin?
"Repent, and be baptized . . . in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38).
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out"(Acts 3:19).
Did I confess Christ as my master?
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Am I following Jesus as my master?
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
"For to me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21a).
Am I a part of a Christian brotherhood?
"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:24, 25a).
Am I watching for His return?
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man"(Luke 21:36).
Get ready and stay ready.
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