Several years ago I had a very good friend whose wife was a Christian although he was not. He had a hobby that was rather expensive. He built radio controlled planes. (If this is a hobby you know nothing about, people can make a decent living just building them for others). My friend did do some building for others as a side job during the winters (he worked construction and as we all know that slows down considerably in the winter months). One particular winter, he needed to go to California in hopes of being contracted to build a couple of planes to help the family out while construction was slow. He was really nervous about the flight. So nervous in fact, he bought life insurance just in case something happened to him while he was gone. He explained to his wife and kids that he wanted to be prepared just in the case the worst happened. To this day, I can still remember his wife’s reply. She told him, “I am glad that you are preparing for the worst to happen. However, you have failed to see that your preparation comes up short. I want to know that I can see you again, and I won’t know that until you are baptized.” These words have resonated in my heart for almost 10 years now. I thank God that he did put on Christ in baptism almost 7 years ago. And I thank God for this constant reminder of preparation.
How often have we argued that the reason why we have done something is because we were preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. Maybe we were putting some money aside because we knew the economy was struggling. Maybe we stopped fixing up the house because we knew that the housing market was not what it once was. Maybe we bought insurance just in case something happened. Maybe we even went to the doctor for a check up because someone we know was diagnosed with cancer and we just needed to be certain that we were okay. We argue that common sense tells us to do such things. We argue that it is foolish to stumble along haphazardly through life. But I ask you, how many of us do the same thing when it comes to our soul?
Is not the eternal reward more valuable than the measly treasures that we build up here? Is not our eternal abode more important than our temporal ones? Shouldn’t “heaven assurance” be more valued than life insurance? Isn’t our spiritual health of greater importance than our physical health? Brethren if we take time, thought, care, and concern for earthly matters when preparing for the worst, then isn’t it time we start considering spiritual matters when we are preparing?
As brother Mack Fox said during the meeting (and as I have said on occasion) no one accidentally gets into heaven. Even Jesus alluded to such in his parables on preparation in Matt. 24:44-25:30. In these three parables Jesus teaches 4 very valuable lessons about preparing for the worst (the end of one’s life).
The faithful servant (Matt. 24:44-51). The faithful servant was found working at all times. It did not matter if his master was watching or away. It did not matter if his master returned in a few hours or in a few months, the faithful servant kept working. This is the first great lesson on preparation. The one preparing for his eternal home is found working, not watching others work.
The Wise Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13). This parable of course is about 10 virgins. 5 of them came prepared by bringing enough oil for their lamps. The other 5 failed to bring enough oil if the bridegrooms arrival was delayed. It is not as if the foolish virgins came completely unprepared. They had their lamps. They had showed up to the wedding on time. What they failed to do was be prepared for the long haul. Often times this is where people fail to prepare for eternity today. They ready for the Lord to come today. But, they are not ready for the Lord to come next week, next month, next year, or never in their lifetime. The second great lesson here, is that the one properly prepared for eternity is ready no matter how long it takes.
The Talents (Matt. 25:14-30). This parable is an easy one to understand. A master gave each of his servant a some of money, expecting them to use it wisely as he was away. On the day of reckoning, two of the servants doubled what they had been given the third had wasted his time away and tried to just give his master back his money. The master punished the last servant. Why? Because the prepared servant does not just avoiding wasting his talents, but the prepared servant seeks to grow in what he has been given. Our eternal assurance requires that we grow as Christians, not just exist as Christian as one. ~WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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Preparing for the Worst
Volume 3 Issue 46 October 21, 2012