Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Be Prepared

They say there are no atheists in fox holes. I think that's generally true. When we are faced with certain death, we are more willing to entertain the possibilities of life through faith. But fox holes during times of war don't have a monopoly on praying for help. Black ice can have a similar effect.

When I got home from work after a particularly scary drive I checked Facebook as I tried to unwind. I read a post from a friend of mine that said he'd been in an accident, totalled his car and he received 12 staples in his head at the E.R.

My friend is a believer so there was no danger of his losing his eternal life but my friend came close to losing his earthly life and that's what I'd like to write about today.

Have you ever had a near-death experience? One in which you could have easily died had things turned out differently? I've had a few. It's amazing how close we get to God when we don't have any control over an earthly outcome.

I think most of us go along through life without really thinking about the possibility of dying. "Not today," we think. "I've got too much to do. Well, one day death WILL come knocking on our door and no busy schedule will stop it from coming in. The question is, "Are we prepared?"

One of my son's high school classmates died this week. It was a surprise. Death usually is. The real question is, are we prepared for it? Most are not. To most, death will occur without them really thinking about it. It will be sudden and swift. No real time to talk about the important things in life. Like Jesus.

Jesus has promised us eternal life, if only we would believe in Him. No offense but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me. The only catch is, Jesus wants to be more than an insurance policy. He wants to be Lord of your life. That's a little more demanding and many refuse to allow it.

I still minister to a few young adults and teens from my youth leader days. Many have "prayed a prayer" and tell me that they "accepted" Jesus into their hearts. That's actually a sure sign that they have NOT been saved, in MY opinion. They continue on with their sinful, pre-prayer lifestyle and keep Jesus in the truck in case of emergency like a spare tire.

Here's a typical conversation with a young adult who says they know Jesus.

Me: "How's your walking with Jesus going?"
Them: "Good."
Me: "Have you been attending church?"
Them: "Well, not really. I haven't really found a church I like."
Me: "Have you been reading your Bible?"
Them: "Not really. I've been really busy."
Me: "What about a Bible study? Are you in a small group?"
Them: No.

There's an old saying that goes, "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck!" The opposite is true for Christians. If you don't walk like one, serve like one and love like one, you are not a Christian! My friends, that's the most dangerous kind of Christian - the one's who think they are but really are not.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” - Matthew 35:31-46

When we place our faith in Jesus we become changed. We don't just continue on like nothing ever happened. People should notice a change. WE should notice a change! We should be acting like who we have placed our faith in, not like the world. And that is the problem. We don't want to change, yet change . . . repentance . . . is a prerequisite for eternal life.

We had better be sure that we not only know OF Him, but KNOW Him before we venture out on life's highway. Be prepared! When you're spinning out of control, that is not the time to find out you are lacking in the faith department and get set aside with the rest of the goats. Be prepared.

Winter Storm Survival Tips

Prepare Him Room - Northland Church

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