Rev. 16:15 (“See, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and is clothed, not going about naked and exposed to shame.”)
Matt. 24:43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
Luke 12:39 ¶ “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
1Th. 5:2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1Th. 5:4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
2Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Mark 13:35 Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
1Pet. 5:8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.
The scripture reference in Revelation is a reminder to all of God's followers that they are to be prepared for his return. Jesus WILL come again! The question for you and for me is whether we will be ready!
Just as no one knows when someone might try to break into a home -- no one knows when Jesus Christ will return. But that means that each and every single one of us should be on guard every day -- as if this might be the very day of his return. We are to remain awake spiritually and spiritually clothed. The scripture in 1 Peter is a great reminder -- that we are to be disciplined. A follower who is prepared for that day is one who is faithfully following Christ every single day -- clothing themselves in the spiritual disciplines. In this way, we will be prepared.
Today is the twelfth anniversary of September 11. It's a day in which 12 years ago thousands of people went off to their jobs, not knowing that for them life would be changed forever. Just as a thief in the night, there were those coming to steal their very lives.
None of us knows when the end may come. We may be alive to see the return of Jesus Christ, or we may have already passed on, but if we think that we are going to wait around until some later date to make things right with the Lord, we may be sadly mistaken. There is an old saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes." When it comes down to facing life and death, even those who have said they don't believe cry out to God!
The importance here is understanding that we simply need to be prepared every single day of our lives. "Be prepared." It's that motto of the Boy Scouts -- for them to recognize that they needed to be prepared with all the skills that they had garnered and learned -- to go out and face the world.
For Christ-followers, we must be prepared spiritually every day. What does it mean for us to be disciplined spiritually? The Revelation scripture says we are to be clothed. One commentator says that we are to be clothed in justification and sanctification! We are to be in a right relationship with Jesus Christ -- we must repent and be saved! When we are saved we receive the Holy Spirit and God begins his sanctifying work in you and me. God's plan for us is that we be sanctified -- his holy people in this world.
Daily we are to work together with God -- following him into the moment by moment call of being a disciple. There is no time to let down our guard. We are to be dressed and ready to go at a moment's notice. Jesus is here -- Jesus is coming -- are we prepared?
Lord, please help me be prepared for you today. Amen.