The Zero Hour
The migratory season is on. The exact hour of Christ’s appearing no man knows. No mortal knows just the time when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout (1 Thess. 4:16) to catch away His own out from this world of sin and sorrow – but we do know that the season is here, and the zero hour approaches nearer and nearer each moment.
Are you ready to go? More than that, are you willing to go? Do you love anything or anybody more than you love His appearing? God is a jealous God. Jesus says, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Matt. 10:37). Are you going to let anything or anybody hold you back and prevent you from being ready for His upward call?
There is going to be a ready company of people. "The bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut" (Matt. 25:10).
Are you now ready…and are you continuing to get ready for the coming of the Lord as He shows you more and more light to walk in, more and more humbling tasks to perform for His sake – that you might purify yourself, even as He is pure? (1 John 3:2-3). Are you suffering with Christ now, that later you may reign with Him? "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him" (2 Tim. 2:12).
Pray One for Another
Have you begun to smite your fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunken – because you think the Lord has delayed His coming? (Matt. 24:44-51). Do you spend more time criticizing other Christians than you spend in prayer for them? Are you more concerned about what you shall eat, and what you shall drink than you are about the advancement of the cause of Christ and the spreading of His Gospel over the earth?
"Redeeming the Time"
Are you frittering away your time and strength discussing matters with the sons of the prophets, saluting everybody by the way, "passing the time of day" with everyone the devil sends across your path – or are you expending your life’s strength in joyous service for the One who died for you?
Have you taken up your cross daily (Luke 9:23), and are you following Jesus? Do you not only bear your cross, but do you glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ? (Gal. 6:14). Is the Son of God dearer to you than all, and do you delight to do the will of God? Do you delight to give up your own ways – that the life of Christ may be manifested through you?
Are you continually confessing your sins and never forsaking them? Or have you gone down to a bedrock repentance and come up with such an abhorrence of sin of every kind that your life bears a holy testimony for God and for righteousness wherever you go?
Are you more concerned about your reputation among men than you are about your standing with God? Are you more afraid of offending people than you are of grieving the Spirit of the living God?
"Be Sober, Be Vigilant"
Are you frivolous, given to jesting and joking and foolish talking – things that are obnoxious to God? (Eph. 5:4). Or are you sober and vigilant according to the command of the Word of God? (1 Pet. 5:8).
Do you "run off at the mouth"? Do you talk too much? Does most of the steam of your life escape through the whistle instead of being reserved for needed power in running the train of your life? "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin" (Prov. 10:19).
Have you a censorious spirit? Or do you in lowliness of mind, esteem others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3)? Do you merely "say" prayers? Or do you actually from your heart truly pray?
Do you permit the devil to have a field day in your mind? Or do you resist him (1 Pet. 5:8-10; James 4:7), and give no place to him (Eph. 4:27)? Remember that the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:9-11).
May God search our hearts out that we might be ready for His appearing, and that we might "Occupy" (keep busy in His will, and in His glorious service), till He comes (Luke 19:13).
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).