“Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
Whenever a big event is on the horizon, it is a good idea to spend the necessary time preparing for it. Every year the women’s ministry at our church has a mid-summer luncheon. If you were to wander onto the campus you would see the place decorated to the hilt. Every table, backdrop, wall covering and notebook fits within the overall motif, and the place always looks amazing. It would be clear, even to the most casual observer, that lots of planning and preparation had gone into this particular day.
Amos speaks of an event far more important than any luncheon, vacation, or travel destination. Amos speaks of us preparing for the unavoidable day when we will all come face to face with the Lord. No matter what your personal beliefs might be, the Bible assures us, everyone will stand before the throne of God, when this life comes to an end. The question is, have you done what is necessary in order to be prepared? Jesus told two parables to illustrate the preparations necessary to be ready to face God.
First, He told the story of 10 bridesmaids who were awaiting the arrival of the groom. They were told to fill their lamps with oil as the awaited his coming. Five of these young women prepared themselves, and when He arrived they were welcomed into the celebration. The other five failed to do what was necessary, and were forbidden entrance (Matthew 25:1-15). The one thing that prepared these women for the coming of the groom was a lamp filled with oil. Biblically speaking, oil is often used to represent the Holy Spirit. Jesus is saying, the way to be ready to face the Lord is to be born of the Spirit; which happens when we trust in Christ for salvation.
Jesus went on to tell another story. This time He spoke of a king who gave varying sums of money to there different individuals. The first and second took the funds and made investments with it, the third hid the money out of fear of losing it. When the king returned he commended the first two and rebuked the third, for failing to prepare (Matthew 25:15-28). The illustration is quite clear. We prepare for eternity by making eternal investments. Jesus called this storing up treasures in heaven; which is done by using our time, talents and treasures in he service of the Lord.
One day time will run out for all of us. It is important that we prepare in advance for the day when we will come face to face with Christ.