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"Being Ready!"
By Harold Stoddard

Matthew 24:44 : "Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
God's time had arrived when the children of Israel would be cast out of Egypt. God would make the Egyptians so glad to see them go that they would allow them to take whatever they wanted --- just Be Gone! The Egyptians realized that the Jew's God was the real God and they had no defence against Him. They sent the Jews out in haste for they said, "we be all dead men" --Exodus 12:33.

God's command to the Jews was, as they ate the Lord's Passover, to have everything ready to go (Exodus 12:33). The children of Israel may well have thought "we've been here 430 years so why the rush to be ready to go?" They knew not the future; however, God knew that Pharaoh would send them forth in haste but after a time he would change his mind and send his army forth to kill them or bring them back -- so the people needed to be ready when the alarm sounded, and leave in haste to get a Head Start. We, today, must never take lightly the Word of God for He knows the future -- and while we may THINK we know what will happen, actually we don't -- so obedience is always the right choice -- it's even better than sacrifice. I Samuel 15:22 -- "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."


Jesus told many stories -- we call them parables -- to illustrate a point. The parables always had a central theme and they were spiritually understood. While the enemies of Christ did not, and could not understand them, those who were trusting Jesus Christ would easily get the point. We find an example of this in Matthew 25:1-13. Please read this. Five of the ten virgins were prepared for the coming of the bridegroom though they knew not the time of His arrival. The other five were not prepared and so when the bridegroom came they were shut out because they had delayed to get ready. The point is stated in verse 13 -- "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh".

Matthew 24:16 --Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:"
After the Rapture of the Church, when the Antichirst takes command of the world, he will make a covenant with the Jews to help them and will treat them as friends. He of course, will not be sincere at this time. He never tells the truth, for he operates under the authority of the father of lies, but he needs the cooperation of Jews for his rule. However, after 3 1/2 years his hatred of the Jews will cause him to break his agreement and send forth his armies to finally destroy the Jews so the alarm is sounded in Judaea to flee to the mountains without delay--not to get anything from their houses, clothes, etc. Those who obey will flee under the protection of God Almighty and will be cared for in the mountains (probably Petra). Those who delay, for whatever the reason, will the forces of the Antichrist destroy, and the greatest tribulation the world has ever seen will begin. The protection for those in Judaea is to be ready though they know not the time.

John 14:3 -- And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
There is nothing in the Bible more sure than the promise of Jesus Christ that He will come again. Acts 1:11 -- "This same Jesus...shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."
The Second Coming will be in two stages -- First, He will come FOR His people: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." --I Thessalonians 4:16,17. Then, seven years later, He will come WITH His people: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." -- Revelation 19:11-14 KJV.

Our most urgent message for today in this age of Grace, is this: Are You Ready for His coming FOR His people? When His call comes -- and we cannot know the day nor the hour -- will you be ready? First, and absolutely necessary, is the question, "Are you Born Again?" As Jesus talked to Nicodemus in John 3, He said, "Ye must be born again". There is a birth of the flesh, and there is a birth of the Spirit -- "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." -- John 3:6.
The birth of the flesh comes, as we all know, by natural means, while the birth of the Spirit comes by supernatural means -- So simple, yet so profound, for it takes simple childlike faith in Jesus Christ to be saved. Only you who realize you are lost sinners, estranged from God, and have a desire to come to God by faith alone -- not theology -- may be cleansed by the Blood Jesus Christ shed for you on the cross. According to the Apostle Paul's letter to the Corinthian church, there are four points to the Gospel by which we are saved, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;"
1. YOU MUST BE A SINNER, for Christ came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance -- Luke 5:32 KJV.
2, CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS. This was the Seed of the woman promised in Genesis 3:15, and verified to be God Himself in Genesis 22:8 and also in Hebrews 9:26.
3. CHRIST WAS BURIED, taking away our sins as far as the east is from the west just as the scapegoat in Leviticus 16:21 carried the sin away never to return.
4. CHRIST ROSE AGAIN the third day. We must have a living Saviour, for in this world there are many adversaries. Our assurance of a new body to be resurrected as was His body, rests upon His resurrection the third day. All the glories of heaven and earth await His people.

I John 2:28 -- "And now, little children, abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming." Having been born again of the Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ, you are a child of God; Now put away any thing in your life that would make you ashamed when He arrives. Many times you will be temptted to wallow in the mire and filth of this world; but put away that which He would not approve. Be ye ready when He comes --and He IS coming --maybe sooner -- maybe later -- So receive Him as Saviour today so you will be ready when He comes. "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." -- I Corinthians 4:2. KJV

"Even so, Come, Lord Jesus." -- Revelation 22:20


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