Preparing for the Great Appointment

“Prepare to meet your God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12).

When John the Baptist arrived on the scene, he cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight'” (Matthew 3:3).

An important meeting always involves some preparation. A student might review the notes before he enters class, a speaker might practice his message; a young man thinking to propose to his girlfriend might prepare his pitch. How much more might we prepare the way for the Lord?

The Lord insists that we “must be ready, for the son of man will come at a time we do not expect” (Matthew 24:44). The second coming of Christ is a time for which we must be ready.

Paul was ready to meet the Lord. “I am ready not only to be imprisoned, but to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13). Because he was ready to die for the sake of Christ, I suspect, he was also ready to meet Christ, if necessary. One doesn’t simply walk into the presence of God in a casual, half-hearted manner. You will need to prepare for this, the most important encounter of your existence!

Israel had no doubt been trying to avoid this meeting. Perhaps if we ignore it, it will go away? That would no longer be possible, however, because the Lord was determined to meet them. No more ducking of the date was possible; with ominous certainty, this meeting would occur! The ten virgins were supposed to be “ready” to meet the bridegroom. Only five were (Matthew 25:1). Paul declares that one day “we who are alive … will be caught together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

This is a limited promise: Only those who are faithful to the Lord will meet him in the air; only those who have indeed “prepared” to meet the Lord.

Are you prepared to meet the Lord?

This is an unavoidable appointment. You can’t get your secretary to cancel for you. All of us move inexorably toward this, the most human of all appointments.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan began preaching in 1976, and worked in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He served as preacher with the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He was Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He was married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He authored five books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs; Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song; Equipping the Saints for Ministry; and Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation. Stan passed away 19 Feb. 2019.

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