Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Time is Now

Matthew 25  (TEV)

"At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this.  Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps.  The bridegroom was late in coming, so they began to nod and fall asleep.

"It was already midnight when the cry rang out, 'Here is the bridegroom!  Come and meet him!'  The ten young women woke up and trimmed their lamps.  Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, 'Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.'  'No, indeed,' the wise ones answered, 'there is not enough for you and for us.  Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.'  So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived.  The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.

"Later the others arrived.  'Sir, sir!  Let us in!' they cried out.  'Certainly not!  I don't know you,' the bridegroom answered.

And Jesus concluded, "Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour."

No, we don't know the day nor the hour that Christ will return.  But He warns, here and in other places in the Bible, that we are to be ready.  He is the bridegroom, and the church is His bride.  Some of us aren't going to be ready.  Some don't realize there's an urgency, and some of us plain and simply are not taking it seriously.

The whole country of Japan, one week ago, was living life as usual.  There seemed to be ample time, but for tens of thousands of them, there wasn't.  On the morning of September 11, 2001, thousands of people went to work as usual, with plans for their day, but the opportunity for carrying out those plans, or anything else, came to an abrupt halt.  It doesn't take a disaster of epic proportions to doom a procrastinator eternally; some of us won't even be here next week.  We don't know when our times are coming, yet so many of us don't consider the things of Christ while we do have time.  Perhaps it's intimidating; perhaps with school activities, working long shifts, or just daily life, there doesn't seem to be time to read the Bible or take a class at a local church.  But it takes less than 5 minutes to read a typical chapter of the Bible - something all of us can do on a daily basis.

Anyone who has experienced hopelessness and has lived to tell about it has had a small taste of hell.  The thought of going through that for all of eternity should open a few minds to what Christ offers us.  He's here.  He's real.  And there isn't anyone He isn't willing to forgive and redeem, but He won't force Himself on any of us.  Take the initiative, and think about it.  Today.

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