Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Importance of Preparation

By the end of this week I will have conducted my 103rd and 104th funeral services in the nine years I have been pastor here at Westmoreland Baptist Church. These serve as another couple of reminders to what the Bible reminds us about death. It’s certain. We may not know when. We may not know where. We may not know how, but it’s coming for each of us. It is important for us to remember that this is an appointment that we all must keep (Hebrews 9:27).

Fortunately the two dear ladies whom we have lost were prepared for their appointments. We can certainly take comfort in the fact that when they fell asleep here, they awakened in the presence of their Lord, Jesus Christ. Each of them had made those preparations years ago, when they came to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

The Word of God goes to great length to urge us to be prepared – for the likelihood of our own deaths, or for His coming to take His children home. Jesus, himself, used parables and lessons to teach of the importance of preparation.

I am thankful to know that in a world of uncertainty, preparation is possible. God has revealed His plan to us through His Word which explains that we can be prepared for death through the cleansing of our sins in the precious blood of Jesus.

Neglected preparation is sad, indeed. He tells us it is “Not His will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. (2 Peter 3:9) John 3:16 tells us the scope of God’s love, for everyone. The fact that any would leave this life without a relationship with Him is truly tragic, and totally unnecessary.

Thank God, however, that preparation has glorious results. Death is a blessed event to the one who knows Christ. It is certainly not a happy experience for those who have said farewell to their loved one, but it is a precious event to the Lord (1 Peter 3:4). One can only imagine the beautiful scenes that await us in Glory. We can rejoice in knowing that earthly pain and suffering are not even a memory to those who rest in the presence of Christ. It is a realm of endless bliss, perfect peace and rest, and fullness of joy for the believer.

I hope that you have made your preparation, because the time for each of us is coming!

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