Sunday, August 11, 2019

Ready While Asleep

Ready While Asleep
August 12, 2019
Revelation 3:3  "If you refuse to wake up, then I will come to you like a thief, and you will have no idea of the hour of my coming."

Jesus told a parable about virgins, ready and waiting for their groom. Some of those fell asleep, when the groom did not arrive when they were hoping. The virgins were tired and fell asleep, some not keeping their candles burning and missed the opportunity they were waiting for their whole lives.  This parable was speaking to those in the church, who were waiting for the Lord's return. Notice in the parable, they were virgins, saving themselves for the wedding. But they fell asleep, having grown tired of waiting. Then the sun went down, they grew sleepy and succumbed to the slumber, as the temptation to sleep was too strong.

This parable is reinforced in the book of Revelation, where Jesus writes a letter to several churches. One of those churches, in Sardis, had a reputation for being alive but had fallen asleep. Jesus said to wake up, which means to repent, otherwise they would miss the opportunity to be taken to Heaven when Christ comes back again. The threat was, and is, wake up and repent or be damned to hell. Like the parable of the virgins, who had waited their whole lives, the opportunity to met Jesus in Heaven can be lost if we are not ready for it. Obviously, the analogy of falling asleep is something we are familiar with; you cannot be ready to go while you are also asleep. In keeping with the analogy in both Matthew and Revelation, falling asleep means falling into sin, otherwise repentance would not have written to and required of Sardis. They were a church that had a reputation for being alive (waiting for the groom as a virgin), but had stopped waiting with excitement for the Lord's return. They weren't living like they should be living and Jesus said they would miss the opportunity that they had waited for their whole lives.

The original disciples were waiting for the Lord's return during their lifetime, fully believing that He would be returning before they died an earthly death. Obviously, 2,000 years later, that has not happened yet, but some of us put it off like it won't happen for another 2,000 years. The disciples eagerly awaited the Lord's return, consequently they did not fall asleep; they kept the faith. We get accustomed to each new day, without the Lord's return, then become complacent. The Bible clearly wants to motivate us in believing He is going to return in our lifetime, any moment. This was, and is, how the Lord intended us to live, even if His return is a few years off still. The only way to be found ready upon His return, is to wait in anticipation, with eagerness, believing it will happen any day now. Otherwise, it is easy to fall asleep. You cannot be ready while you are asleep. Remember, falling asleep is akin to falling into sin. If you are asleep, then you are not ready.

Are you ready for the Lord to comeback today? This question does not ask if you are tired of the earth and want something different, but are you truly ready to meet your maker? Are you ready for Him to show up tonight? When He shows up tonight, what sin is He going to catch you doing? If you are in sin, then you're not really ready. It is a tough journey, to stay watching and waiting all through the night, alert for His return. You cannot have it both ways, being asleep and ready at the same time. You're either ready or you are not; you are either in sin or not.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Matthew 25:13, Revelation 3:1-6

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