In our text, God’s people had sinned against Him and in His grace and mercy He had sent divers afflictions among them in order to bring them to repentance, that they might be blessed. They would not turn, so God was now summoning His people to battle!
It is as though the Lord said, You would not listen, you would not turn to me, so ready yourself now, for I am about to come against you in My fury! Call upon your idols if you will, and see if any of them can help you! See if your strength can protect you from the unconquerable arm of the Lord of hosts!
We might well imagine that God is speaking similarly to His people today. Wickedness and faithlessness abound, and God’s people still remain unrepentant.
What is on the horizon? Are things about to reach a climax?
We believe the end of the age is at hand and that as it was in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot, judgement is coming. Many will enter into the joy of the Lord, but many will be swept away in judgement.
On a personal level . . . are you ready?
It is indeed interesting how many of God’s people think that they are ready to meet Jesus, for one reason or another. Often, they think they are ready because of their good works. But the Bible says that, although good works are indeed good, they do not save us. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Others believe they are ready to meet Jesus because they have attended church services all their life, or belonged to some Christian organization. This, of course, is all well and good, and it is something that all Christians should do — but it does not save their soul. These folks may think of Jesus while they are in church, but aside from that, they may not give Christ a thought.
Yet, if asked, they would most likely say they are ready.
In Matthew chapter seven, we read of some people who thought they were ready to meet Jesus. They approached the LORD with confidence and expectancy. Yet, read what happens — “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
This is a chilling scene indeed. Here we read of “many” people who fully expected to enter into the joy of the Lord, but instead heard the numbing words, “Depart from me.” Never in their wildest dreams did they expect to hear those words! And yet our Lord sent them away.
“Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12)
Our readiness to meet the Master is not based upon our works or how many organizations we were involved with here. Our readiness is solely dependant on Christ’s work on the cross, and our faith in Him.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
All He wants is for His people to turn to Him, trust in Him and love Him. People will think that’s too simple. Surely, we must do something!
Remember the fiery serpents in the wilderness? God’s people had angered Him, so He sent fiery serpents among them. Those serpents were biting the Israelites, and they were dying. They frantically went to Moses and asked him to intercede for them, which he did. And God told Moses to make a serpent of brass, fasten it onto a pole and lift it up, and said that anyone who would look upon that serpent would be saved. No work, no penance, just look to the brazen serpent on the pole, and believe. It was that simple.
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:14-18
Dear reader, our Lord is soon to return. Are you ready?