When I was a teenager, one of my friends would say so dramatically, “We are so desperate, and there’s so little time.” And then, she would laugh as if it was the biggest joke.
Friends, it is no joke anymore. We are so desperate for Jesus to come, and our time to prepare to meet Him is passing quickly away. Maybe we will live to see Him come, but we also could die before then. We must remain faithful if we are to reach our heavenly home. Every moment counts, complacency is not an option. We must get ready and stay ready every day.
When I was about ten years old, I remember one Sabbath after church, I looked at some of the oldest members, one man in particular who seemed older to me, and as I looked at him I wondered, “Will Jesus come before he dies?” Now I think to myself, will He come before I die? Our world is in constant upheaval and chaos—not the kind of chaos that has come and gone as in previous decades—but the kind of chaos that is now snowballing at an ever-accelerating pace. And as the Bible tells us, it will not get better as we draw closer to His return. The unmistakable signs of Jesus, soon coming, are everywhere. I have spoken to strangers about the world situation, and so many have come right out and said, “It’s because Jesus is coming.”
It is not important if we go to our graves before He comes and are resurrected later. To be ready is of the utmost importance.
“It is a solemn thing to die, but a far more solemn thing to live. Every thought and word and deed of our lives will meet us again. What we make of ourselves in [this] probationary time, that we must remain to all eternity. Death brings dissolution to the body, but makes no change in the character. The coming of Christ does not change our characters; it only fixes them forever beyond all change.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 466
I recently passed an old gravesite. The verse on the headstone really spoke to me.
“Behold my friends, as you pass by. As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, you soon may be. Prepare for death and follow me.”
What a powerful witness. This person reminds us that death may be inevitable, but if we follow Jesus, our heavenly home, where death cannot enter, awaits.
How beautiful, I thought. The headstone only had a name, as if to the writer it didn’t matter when they were born, how long they stayed, or when they died. Rather what mattered was only how they had lived; and soon they would awake in Jesus. This dear soul left to all who passed by what mattered most. How much more important to us, as we yet live, to tell everyone we meet that Jesus is coming soon. Get ready.
In these times of fear and rapidly changing world events, it is now, as never before, that people are most receptive to the gospel of Christ. Never be discouraged by those who are not interested, because for every one of those, there are thousands who long to know. Who can know how many people have passed this gravesite and been encouraged to think about their own destiny. This person died, but their testimony lives on. On that glorious morning, as they are awakened by the voice of their King, it will be as if no time has passed. Centuries may have come and gone, but it will be like a moment in time. How wonderful! Knowing this truth—if I am ready, I cannot fear death.
I remember as a child we had a little plaque on the wall that read:
Only one life will soon be past.
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
It doesn’t matter who you may meet in daily life, tell them about the love of God and how they can be saved. Initiate a chat with someone in the grocery store, or the parking lot, or just anywhere God lays on your heart to speak to the person before you. Be bold and trust God to give you the words to speak. We may never know what can become of that experience. Plant the seed in simple words, and let God do the rest in that person’s life.
“The good seed may for a time lie unnoticed in a cold, selfish worldly heart, giving no evidence that it has taken root; but afterward, as the Spirit of God breathes on the soul, the hidden seed springs up … In our life work we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This is not a question for us to settle. We are to do our work, and leave the results with God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 65
I long to see every person I have witnessed to in heaven on that great day. Oh, what a day that will be—not for a moment in time, but for all eternity.