Posted by: missionventureministries | October 12, 2016

PREPARING TO LIVE IN PERILOUS TIMES – Matthew 24

matthew-24-preparing-for-perilous-times

It is very important that we understand that we need to make spiritual, physical and material preparation for the events prophesied by Jesus before the time of His Second Coming.  

The most likely to be neglected and more difficult for most people to prepare for is the spiritual one, which we need to be ready for because we never know when our time on this earth is up. Therefore, we need to make sure that when we die, that we will be forever with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

As the time approaches for the second coming of Christ, we see more signs of which Jesus spoke of while He was on earth, “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:7) 

Jesus also mentions that the coming of the Son of Man will be as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37). And He tells us that, “of that day and hour no one knows…” (Matthew 24:36). This is consistent with God’s dealings in the past. Specifically, we can see this in relation to the flood. No one, not even Noah, knew the exact day or hour that the flood would come. (Genesis 7:12-17) 

Noah had spent many years building the ark. He knew that the season for divine judgment was near, but he did not know the exact day. Then one day God gave orders to board the ark. It was God who closed the door, and then He sent the flood. The people of Noah’s day had no “early warning” that the flood was coming. When judgment came, it came quickly, and without warning; there was no opportunity for those under judgment to change their minds and to board the ark, and they all perished.  

The same will occur in last days (Matthew 24:39). There will be no dramatic indications that “the day” or “the hour” has come. Two men will be in the field, going about their normal daily routine; one will be taken, the other will be left. Two women will be grinding grain, just as they normally would; one will be taken, the other will be left (Matthew 24:40-41). 

We, too, must be ready, as Jesus tells us. We do not know the hour of His return, and the coming of the Son of Man will be at a time that we don’t expect. (Matthew 24:44) 

Believers need to get serious about their relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, make Him the number one priority in their life. Obviously, if Jesus is the number one priority, as we communicate with Him daily and read the warnings He gave us in the Bible we will keep our minds sharp and alert as the Holy Spirit guides us. 

We need to pray for wisdom and a spirit of discernment and be separate from the world. We should not be enslaved to the many enticements and distractions that the world offers; because that is the way that Satan wants to distract us. Therefore, be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Before Jesus’ returns, times of trouble, persecution and testing will come to all Christians; some will be very subtle and some will be very obvious. Therefore we need to be prepared as we trust in God.

Many people think that if we prepare materially with provisions for our family it shows lack of faith in God, but that is not so, as we saw Noah’s obedience as he built the ark.

With all that is happening in the world today, it is sad to see Christians who are not making any provision for hard times – not preparing themselves spiritually or physically. Most believers in the world are neither spiritually nor physically prepared for what their Savior foretold in Matthew 24, that it would be like “the days of Noah.”

Let us recall once more about what Noah did to prepare – in direct obedience to God. In Genesis 6, God told him to prepare for the greatest natural disaster in the history of the world by storing food for his family and the animals before entering the ark. God provided all the food and the material to build the ark, but He told Noah to gather the food and actually build the ark. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household.” (Hebrews 11:7)

Noah was warned by God of things to come and Jesus warned us that times like those are coming again; and He provided us with a detailed forecast in Matthew 24. Among the things He says is to “be ready to be prepared.” Being ready means being prepared both spiritually and physically for the hardships believers will have to endure. If it wasn’t so, we would not have been warned by Jesus Christ himself.

Another great hero of the faith in the Bible is Joseph. In Genesis 41 Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream about fat cows and lean cows and healthy wheat and withered wheat. It was a dream God gave to Pharaoh about an impending drought throughout Egypt and much of the Middle East. The solution was to prepare for the famine ahead by storing food for seven years. Joseph was not only given the wisdom from God to interpret the dream but was also given the job of implementing the plan as Pharaoh’s chief operating officer. His work and obedience not only saved Egypt but Israel, too.

God provides, but men have to be obedient and use their heads to prepare. When God gives us warning about impending disasters, believers are supposed to listen and act responsibly to prepare. No, none of us can be prepared for every unforeseen circumstance, but that’s not an excuse for not taking God’s warnings of escalating judgment seriously.

Proverbs 6:6-11 shows that God does not appreciate laziness of those who do not think ahead. Even the ant prepares in advance for her needs.

As Matthew 24 warns, natural disasters will increase in frequency and intensity in the last days, and this is what we are seeing increasing in frequency and intensity every day. God is providing all the information we need to prepare. However, aren’t we being disobedient by ignoring what He has revealed to us as believers? Jesus clearly tells us in His Word that conditions on the Earth are going to deteriorate before His return. He already issued the warnings, so let us obey and prepare; because not preparing ourselves spiritually and physically is unwise and irresponsible.

We need to trust God. He’s warning us of what’s coming. He’s telling us very clearly. He’s commanding us to be prepared. So, think about this . . . doing nothing is the opposite of trusting God.

Remember, all events taking place in this world are unfolding according to His Sovereign plan.

Physical preparedness and spiritual preparedness must go together, because physical preparations should be an outward sign of obedience to our spiritual preparedness.

We need to realize that things are getting worse in this world that we live in and we are going to be persecuted because the Word of God tells us so. Remember, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). These are however, days of golden opportunity to share the Lord Jesus Christ and to warn others to prepare also.

Please pray and ask the Lord to give you discernment and spiritual strength (Philippians 4:13), to listen, obey and prepare.

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