The disciples of Jesus once asked Him a question saying, Master, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus replied them saying, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
Then Jesus went ahead and told them the following interesting story, “Then the
“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
“But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”
As I read the two Bible passages above (Matthew 24:3-14 and Matthew 25:1-13 NLT) they served as fresh reminders to me of God’s desire for His people to be constantly prepared and ready for the second coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 22:12, Revelation 3:11). I realized afresh how God desires for His people to be rooted and grounded in Christ (Ephesians 3:17-19), so that they are not shaken by any unpleasant experiences they might encounter in the world due to their affiliation with Him (Luke 21:12). How He seeks for a people who have broken out of religious mentalities and are no longer bound by the traditions of men (Matthew 15:3-6); and realize that worship is no longer tied to a place but is a condition of the heart (John 4:21-24), as such we must pray always and not faint so as to maintain a steady flow of fresh oil and power from Him (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
I realize today that being a Christian goes beyond going to church and attending numerous church programmes, but rather its more about seeking to do God’s will as His kingdom is being established here on earth (Matthew 6:33).
Today going to church should no longer be an end to itself because ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:9 NKJV, 1 Corinthians 3:16). He wants His people to realize that they have become the habitation of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), therefore they are to stay alert and carry Him wherever they go. The Master wants His people to hold themselves in readiness for Him.