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Are You Ready?

by Patricia Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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Are You Ready?

by Patricia Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

Matthew 25:1-6
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Jesus is coming again, but the exact time of His coming is unknown to all but the Father. He is the only one who knows when that time will be. We may not know the time, but Jesus let us know what the signs of the season would be (see Matthew 24 and Luke 21).

Matthew 24:6-8
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

We can see these signs in our present day and know that His coming is getting closer and closer.

Matthew 25 speaks of ten virgins: five were wise, and five were foolish. A virgin is one whom we think of as being pure.

Matthew 25:7,8
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps, but the foolish wanted the wise to give of their oil because their lamps had gone out. Their lamps had been lit, or they would not have said they had gone out. These foolish, as well as the wise, had been saved, had known the Lord. They were virgins, pure, and their lamps had once been burning.

Why were they foolish? They didn't keep up their prayer life. They weren't watching like they were supposed to be watching.

I Peter 4:7
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

God's people are to be ever watching. They are to be on guard, watching and praying. But many who claim to be Christians — who claim they belong unto God — are lackadaisical about their experience.

This is what was wrong with the five foolish. They didn't keep up with their spiritual experience. They let down their guard.

The Enemy of Your Soul

I Peter 5:8,9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

We have an adversary, the devil. He is ever walking about, seeking whom he can devour. And when we're not on guard, watching and praying, we give him the opportunity to attack us and take control. This is why people yield when temptation comes along: They are not on guard. They haven't really been watching and praying as they should be.

I Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.

Does this mean we are to stop everything and pray 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? No, it means we are to have a faithful prayer life. We're not to pray today and then wait to pray again a month later when something turns up that we need to pray about. No, it means to pray without ceasing, not slacking off in our prayer life. If we slack off in prayers, we have no power to resist the devil, and we will yield to temptation.

It's very, very important that we keep a consistent prayer life, and that we are ever watching, ever on guard. If we're not on guard, the adversary will succeed in causing us to fall to temptation.

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

This is why it's so very important to watch and pray. Our flesh is weak, but when we are on guard and praying, we have what we need to resist the adversary.

James 4:7,8
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

When we draw nigh unto God, He will draw nigh unto us. And when we resist the devil, he will flee from us.

I Corinthians 16:13
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

We are told to watch and stand fast in the faith. Don't let your prayer life down. You are not going to stand fast in the faith if you let down on your prayer life. You need your prayer life. You need to be on guard. The devil is trying to turn the genuine children of God away from God.

Some feel they can stand on their own, but the Scriptures say:

I Corinthians 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

We cannot do this in ourselves, but we can do it through Christ who strengthens us. And we'll do it with prayer and by being alert, watching for the snares of the adversary, because the devil will put snares in our way: and if we're not watching, we'll walk right into them.

As the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, we are not ignorant of his devices (II Corinthians 2:11).

Jesus called the devil a thief (John 10:10) who came to kill, to steal, and to destroy. The devil wants to steal our salvation from us. He wants to steal our peace, steal our joy. Yes, he wants to destroy us and take everything from us that he can take.

Quit you like men, and be strong. Get a backbone like a man, a spiritual backbone, and stand for God.

Be Prepared for Jesus' Coming

Matthew 24:44
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Jesus is going to come in an hour we wouldn't think he would come.

Revelation 3:11
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Jesus is going to come quickly, giving no time for us to get ready. Today is the day of salvation, the day to get ready while we can get ready.

The Bible tells us to prepare to meet our God (see Amos 4:12). We need to be prepared, because we will have no time to get prepared when He comes. There's no time to fool around, to play around with our life. Our world is in serious condition. Anytime, we could find war in our own land. Would you be ready?

We have already experienced attacks against us in recent years, and we don't know what terrible times will come our way down the road.

Many are hoping that everything will work out just fine. But if we read the Bible, we read of God's judgment falling upon this world. Oh, there is judgment falling now, but the day is coming when it will fall without measure.

We are a nation who once prided itself as "one nation under God." But today God is being taken out of things more and more.

You'd best not take God out of your life, or there is a terrible place waiting you that burns for ever and ever, and you will not get out. You'll live in eternal damnation if you reject the Lord.

Obey the Scriptures

Even when we profess to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we need to keep on top of things. We need to be watching and praying. We need to walk close to the Lord. We need to obey His Word.

Hold fast that which you have. Let no man take your crown. Don't be deceived. There are a lot of deceivers in this world, a lot of false prophets and false teachers. Those who advocate beliefs that don't agree with the Scriptures are false.

We need to cling to the Lord and to His Word. We need to cherish the Word of God: and not only cherish it, but let it sink down into the depths of our soul. And if perhaps He deals with us through His Word, yield to Him.

As we walk along day by day there will be things in our lives that are not well pleasing to the Lord. What about hard feelings towards another? What about bitterness and resentment? Those are things God will deal with us about because they are sinful and need to be repented of.

When God deals with us through His Word, He'll make us to know what we're really like — if we will listen. If we yield to His dealings, we can be freed from these things that crop up in our life along the way.

Do you have an unforgiving spirit in your heart because of what someone did to you? The Bible says that if you don't forgive others, your heavenly Father will not forgive you.

We've got to have a forgiving spirit: willing to forgive and forget. Bury the old hatchet. Bury it, and get on with our life. Give it totally, completely, unto the Lord, and go on, living totally for Him.

That's all that's going to matter these days. And when Jesus comes, we'd best be ready. There's a lot of teaching today that says you can do whatever you want to do, and you'll make it into heaven. They teach that as long as you prayed the sinner's prayer, you can live any way you want to.

Absolutely not!! You cannot live in sin and expect to make eternal life. Realize that Jesus Christ went to the cross because of our sins.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

He went to the cross the pay the debt. His death would have been in vain if He provided a salvation that didn't deal with sin.

But this false teaching is so prevalent.

Matthew 24:27
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Imagine how quick that will be. There will be no time to get ready then. His coming will be too quick to give any time to get ready — as quick as a flash of lightening.

I Corinthians 15:51,52
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Those who are ready to meet Christ will be changed: in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. That's quick!

When the trumpet sounds, the dead in Christ will be raised incorruptible, and then we who remain at His coming will also be raised incorruptible. Those who are found ready will all be changed — in the twinkling of an eye.

Matthew 25:10
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.

They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage, and the door was shut. They that were ready! They who had confessed their sins, had forsaken their sins, asking the Lord to forgive them and be their personal Lord and Saviour, going on to live for Him.

Living for Him day after day is important. We can't be lackadaisical about our walk with the Lord.

There is so much lust in the world today: lust for drugs, lust for sex, lust for things.

Separate from the World

II Corinthians 6:17,18
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

God has called us to a separated life, not making friends with the world and the ways of the world.

I John 2:15,16
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

If you follow the world and their ways, you will find yourself drawn back into sin.

Proverbs 1:15,16
My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

You have to come to a crossroads where it is either your worldly friends or Christ, either walking the broad way with the world, or the strait and narrow way with the Lord.

The Lord has done so much for you, taking your sins upon Himself on the cross, suffering tremendously for your sins and for the sins of the world. Do you appreciate that?

How will you ever win your friends and loved ones to the Lord if you follow their sinful ways, if you allow them to bring their sinful ways into your home? Many sinners know it is wrong to sleep with someone they're not married to, yet there are Christians who will allow their loved ones to do this very thing in their home!

It takes the Spirit of God to deal with His people concerning these things, to deal with them about separating from sin and taking a stand.

Luke 21:34-36
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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.

Here's another area where we need to be watchful. We don't want that day to come upon us unawares: the day the Lord comes for His own. It will come as a snare to those who are not watching and praying, who are not ready when He comes.

We want to examine these verses carefully that we not be caught unawares:

Matthew 13:22
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

The care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches can make you become unfruitful. And in Luke we see that if we're not watchful, our hearts can be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and the cares of this life.

The Bible likens us to a tree. The tree that bears good fruit will be ready for the coming of Jesus, but the tree that does not bear good fruit — the tree that is unfruitful — will lose out and be cast into the fire.

This is serious. We find in Matthew 3:10 that the tree which is unfruitful will be cut to the ground and cast into the fire. In the end there will be final rejection:

Hebrews 6:7,8
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

We cannot be worldly and expect to have eternal life. In the end there will be final rejection of those who turn away from Jesus Christ to be taken up with the things of this life, this fleshiness, this worldliness.

I John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

This is speaking of those who love fleshy things, who love worldly things, while professing to love God. We must be watchful that we don't turn aside.

Half-hearted or Whole-hearted?

If we want to win others to Jesus Christ — even someone we might consider as our worst enemy — we wouldn't want them to lose out and find themselves in the lake of fire for eternity. We should have a concern in our hearts for souls, wanting to see them surrendering all to the Lord Jesus Christ, and going on to love and serve Him wholeheartedly, not half-heartedly.

The problem with many is that they are serving the Lord half-heartedly. That will not work. He tells us to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength.

Luke 10:27
And He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

If you do this, you will be blessed of the Lord. Oh, you will find some persecution along the way from those who don't understand your love for the Lord. Even some under the guise of Christianity don't understand the people who sell themselves right out to God. They think they're going crazy, or that they're living under the law just because they want to walk in obedience to God's Word.

When we're wholly dedicated to God, devoted to Him, our lives belong to Him in loving service.

Are you ready? Think about it. Are you really ready? Or are you still messing in the world, still playing around with sin, still doing things that are totally contrary to the Word of God? Only you can answer that. But you need to be sure that you're ready to meet the Lord at His coming.

How to Be Ready

Because He lives we can live also. We can have eternal life through believing in Him. First of all, we must acknowledge that we're a sinner in need of the Saviour, and we must believe that Christ died for our sins and that God raised Him on the third day.

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we sin, we must confess our sin to the Lord that He might forgive and cleanse us. What mercy! He loves us so much that He has made the way for us to receive eternal life.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God is moving to get a people ready for the coming of His Son. If you're not ready, why not get ready while you can? Why not surrender all to the Lord Jesus Christ? You'll never regret it.

I've served the Lord over 50 years, since I received Him in my early twenties, and I've never regretted it.

Daniel 1:8a
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself . . .

We need to purpose in our heart that we won't defile ourselves with the world. Daniel was just a young person when he purposed in his heart not to defile himself, and he stood the test. You and I can also purpose in our hearts not to defile ourselves and to stand firmly true to the Lord. It's up to us.

Again, I would ask, are you ready? If not, what's holding you back?

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