Are You Ready? — Herb Peters
As you should know by now, I believe events are occurring in Europe and the Mediterranean that appear to be fulfillments of the end-time prophecies. So, what does it mean for us? It means we’d better be ready. The end-time events predicted in Bible prophecy — that terrible period of time referred to as the Day of the Lord — could soon spring upon the world, as Jesus said, as a thief in the night.
The question now before us is, when the Day of the Lord begins, who will survive? According to the Apostle Paul, we must be prepared before it begins. When that terrible period of time begins, it may be already too late.
This is because, when the Day of the Lord begins, Satan’s hold on those who have not believed in the Lord Jesus Christ will become much stronger. The apostle Paul warned:
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
You see, Paul said we would need to be wearing special armor to survive the day of the Lord before the day begins. Paul called it the armor of God. He said:
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything stand. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with the truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:13-14).
The first part of our armor is to gird our loins with the truth. This means, if you’re not a believer in Jesus, then you need to become one. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
But before we can come to Jesus for salvation, we must first recognize something. In God’s eyes, we are all sinful and guilty of death. If we don’t think we’re guilty of any sin, think about it: which of God’s 10 Commandments haven’t we broken at one time or another? Have we ever told a lie? Have we ever coveted something that belonged to another, or taken something that was not ours? That’s why the Bible clearly tells us that we all are guilty of sin: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
No matter how good we are compared to one another, not one of us is pure enough to stand before a Holy God and survive. The Apostle Paul wrote, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).
Yet, it is in this hopeless condition that we find our hope. The fact that we have together all become useless means that all of us — no matter how bad or good we think we are — have exactly the same chance before God. You see, because we’re all under sin, we’re all eligible for His great salvation!
About this hope, the Apostle Paul said:
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die, but God demonstrated His own love toward us, in while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).
So, how does the Bible say we can take advantage of this hope? Paul answers this question. He said:
But what does it (Scripture) say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Who ever believes in Him (Jesus) will not be disappointed (Romans 10:8-11).
When we have come to believe in Jesus, and that we are all sinners and that Jesus died for our sins, we have put on the first part of our armor — we have girded our loins with the truth.
Now we need to put on the second part of our armor — the breastplate of righteousness. Just knowing what to believe isn’t enough. We must act on our belief and begin creating a genuine relationship with Jesus. We must accept, by faith, His forgiveness for our sins. And, we must begin living a life that is pleasing to Him. This means when we stumble back in sin — and we very well may — we immediately go back to Him and confess our sins and start over.
When we’ve believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, and have turned from our former sinful life, we have put on the second part of our armor — the breastplate of righteousness.
But there is one more important part to our armor we must not forget. We must shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. This means we need to always be willing, at a moment’s notice, to leave this world behind for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. To have this attitude requires us to guard our hearts. We need to always make sure that our treasures are in heaven and not on earth. When we have this disposition, we have on the third part of our armor and are ready for the Day of the Lord.
You see, a lot of people today will tell you they know God. But when the Day of the Lord begins, what will only count is if God knows them (Galatians 4:9, 2 Timothy 2:19).
Are you ready for the Day of the Lord? Have you put on the full armor of God? Have you girded your loins with the truth? Do you believe you are a sinner and that Jesus died in your place? Have you put on the breastplate of righteousness? Do you have a real relationship with Jesus and have you turned from your sins? Are your feet shod with preparation of the gospel of peace? Are you willing, on a moment’s notice, to leave this world behind for Jesus and His kingdom?
If not, now is the time to put on the full armor of God. If you wait too long, it may be too late and you’ll have to face the terrible Day of the Lord without it.
This could be our last call.
And behold, I am coming quickly (suddenly). Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book (in other words, those who are ready) (Revelation 22:7).
— Herb Peters