Preparation for a great event
The yearly December retreat titled: “Only God Can Do This,” is here with us again. For God to find us worthy, we must be prepared inwardly and outwardly by living holy. God instructed Moses to go and sanctify the people; therefore, we must be sanctified to meet God.
The church is an outpost of the Kingdom of Heaven established and charged with the sole responsibility of teaching the people the doctrines of Christ in preparation for their return to heaven their final abode. From the very first day man fell from the glory of God, a provision for the coming of the Son of Man, who will bruise the head of the serpent, defeat him and liberate man to return to heaven for eternal life, was made. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God that will liberate man from the yoke of sin and bondage of the Devil. Fortunately, our Lord Jesus Christ has come as a Messiah for the reconciliation of man with God, and for the salvation of man’s soul from sin.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has come, suffered and died on the Cross of Calvary for the sins of the world and has gone back to heaven, interceding for us. He will return, this time as a ruling king to rapture the saints. The Church is currently saddled with the duty of preparing the saints for the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be prepared to accept Him, as Lord and Saviour and abide by the legacy He has laid down for the return of the saints to heaven. Every Christian preparing for the second coming of the Lord to rapture the saints must always be ready with high expectations waiting for the Master.
There will be challenges to stop God’s children from returning to their father in heaven, but they are expected to make serious effort in order to overcome those challenges. As stated in the lead scripture, one must be determined to keep to the faith, endure to overcome challenges and forge ahead. This is why the Bible says in Mark 13:29-37: “So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30: Verily, I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. 31: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 32: But of that day and that hour knoweth no man: no, not the angels, which are in heaven neither the Son, but the Father. 33: Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 34: For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35: Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36: Lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37: And what I say unto you I say unto all, watch.”
The key word of being watchful implies steadiness and careful preparation at all times, ensuring you are not taken by surprise. In the course of preparation, one is not to leave any stone unturned. Live a holy and righteous life. No one knows the day or the hour rapture will take place, hence we are to be prepared at all times. Matthew 25:1-13 says: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto 10 virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2: And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3: They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5: While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6: And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.7: Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8: And the foolish said unto the wise, give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9: But the wise answered, saying, ‘not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10: And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.11: Afterward, came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12: But he answered and said, verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13: Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.’”
The parable of the 10 virgins goes beyond signs of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but presents His return in three aspects:
• Testing our profession: we are all openly professing our faith in Christ, hence the events of this parable test the strength of that faith in Christ and in God our Creator.
• Testing our service: this implies how dedicated we are in our service to God even in times of difficulties and lack.
• Testing individual’s gentility: this takes a look at your relationship with the Lord in terms of what you do for the people in need. Then, the entire parable lays emphasis on thorough preparation and readiness at all times. No stone must be left unturned in this heavenly race.
The five foolish virgins are not prudent Christians. They are in the church doing the work faithfully without spot and wrinkles, but they lack wisdom that was why they missed the rapture by the whiskers. Zeal without wisdom may cost you heaven.
On the other hand, the remaining five virgins are zealous, wise, dedicated and careful. They are not the type to be pushed around by messages from different sources without validation from the Holy Bible, which is the standard for the Christian faith. Every man is an aspiring candidate of heaven, but only a few can be raptured.
There are qualifications for rapturable saints. Such a person must repent from his/her sins and accept Jesus Christ, as Lord and Saviour, as well as reject the Devil and all his works. He/she must run away from every sinful act and render faithful and selfless service of evangelism. Preaching the gospel in and out of season and being courageous and determined to bear all challenges in the course of running the Christian race, are other aspects expected of the saints to obey. Above all, he/she must be wise to understand what must be done at any particular time and must not allow things of the world to distract him/her from making heaven.