Over the past few days residents of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas at large have been running around making preparations for the impending Hurricane Irma. As I write this article, Hurricane Irma is currently an enormous storm at Category 5 with winds of 185 miles an hour. It is forecast as a potentially catastrophic storm causing our Prime Minister, to call for an evacuation of the Southern Islands of The Bahamas, the first in our history.
As I observed the activities over the past few days, listened to the news broadcasts and conversations from locals and read all the talks on social media, with anxiety building up and some persons no doubt fearful, I could not help but to ponder the question, “Will we be ready?” Not if we will be ready to face Hurricane Irma, but if we will be ready for the return of Jesus Christ. It is not my intention to sound so spiritual or to try and frighten anyone, but I just thought to share my thoughts with you. It is something for all of us (including me) to ponder.
Here in The Bahamas, we live in a hurricane zone. Hurricane season for us is June 1 to November 30 every year. As adults, most of us have known this for years but how many of us prepare in advance? How many of us start shopping or storing items prior to June in anticipation for a hurricane. I know I don’t. For the most part, the majority of us wait until we hear the news warnings of an impending storm before we start to do any preparations. Even then we wait until the very last day or two, when the storm really looks like it may ‘hit’ us before we think it necessary to prepare. That’s just us. Many of us are guilty of procrastinating, putting off for tomorrow what should be done today. As the saying goes, “Procrastination is truly the thief of time.” We waste valuable time waiting. By waiting we put ourselves in the predicament of having to rush, facing chaos and stress, things not going as we wish or not finding everything we need. Wayne Gretzky once said, “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”
As it relates to the second coming of Jesus Christ, however, it is not wise for anyone to procrastinate. We are reminded in the Bible, in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return, not even the angels in Heaven. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2, we are told that Jesus is coming like a ‘thief in the night’. None of us knows exactly when a thief may have plans of robbing our homes. If we knew, no doubt we will take precautions and be ready. Likewise, we do not know when Jesus will make His return. Unlike with hurricanes, we will have no prior warning of the exact timeline of Jesus’ return. The only warning that we have is what those of us that have been attending church nearly all of our lives have heard for years or things that we may have read in the Bible about ‘signs of the times’, predicting that Christ’s coming is near.
There are many who procrastinate on accepting Jesus as their Savior. They say things like they’ll wait until they get older or they figure they are in the prime of their lives where they are enjoying partying with their friends etc. so they’ll just wait. Some may be indulging in habits that they know are not right so they say they’ll wait until later to accept Christ as Savior. Many of these persons may go to church regularly and believe that there is a God but say that they are not ready to fully ‘follow’ Him. But besides none of us know when Christ shall return, we also do not know when our time on earth will end. If we are faced with sickness or some terminally ill disease, we may then begin to think on Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, however, many of us may not have that opportunity. None of us know how we’re going to die. As we have seen or heard of so many times, there are many who die suddenly in fatal car accidents etc. not having a chance to ask God’s forgiveness or accept Him as Lord.
Accepting Christ does not mean that your life will automatically change but you are simply securing your eternal life (life after death) or as it says in 2nd Peter 1:10, ‘making your calling and election sure.’ Yes, you will make mistakes but as you study God’s word, fellowship with other Christians and pray, you will begin to grow in Christ. Others will judge you but God knows your heart. It’s all about your relationship with Christ.
There are many of us who profess to be Christians but we too fall short. We do not all do what is required of us in God’s word but we must all answer to God for ourselves and therefore ensure that we are ready for His return.
While shopping at a local hardware store this week, in preparation for Hurricane Irma, as we waited on long lines at the cashiers, a customer stood at the front of the store, facing the other customers on the line and began singing in a loud voice, a song by the Chicago Mass Choir, “I Pray We’ll All Be Ready.”
“I pray we’ll all be ready
I pray we’ll all be ready
I pray we’ll all be ready for His return
I pray that we’ll get our business straight
So we can all meet at the gate
I pray we’ll all be ready for His return.”
I found this quite sobering. Just as we are trying to ‘get our business straight’ in preparation for Hurricane Irma, are we trying to ‘get our business straight’ for the coming of Jesus Christ? Will we be ready for His return?
We prepare for hurricanes and sometimes they may not come, but as they say it’s better to be safe than sorry. In the same vein, some may ask, how can we know for sure that Christ will return? Well it’s better to be safe than sorry. “Will you be ready?”
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