Preparing yourself for the end times
We don’t have all the answers about the end times. But do you know the most important thing you can do to get ready?
(Click to listen to an audio recording of this article: Preparing yourself for the end times)
The “end times” can be a big question mark. There are terms that we know, like “the great,” “Judgment Day,” “the antichrist,” but we’re not 100% sure what they’re all about. We can google these things and find a pretty big array of explanations, including doomsday predictions and theorizing. It can lead to a lot of uncertainty and even fear.
How can we know if it’s the end times?
The truth is that Jesus Himself said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only …” Matthew 24:36. Of course the Bible gives us various clues and signs that we can look for. We can read about those in the books of Revelation, Thessalonians, and Daniel, as well as several of the other prophets. Jesus also gives us some signs to look for in the gospels. But no one can tell us precisely what is going to happen and when.
But for those who love Christ, the most important thing to know about the end times is that we have absolutely nothing to fear. (Luke 12:32; Hebrews 13:6.) What we know is that for us, these things mean that we will finally be taken to be with our Savior for all eternity. That’s the whole goal of our lives – we live for the day we will meet Him and be with Him forever! So instead of worrying and fearing, we can look forward with great anticipation to that day. That’s the day we’re waiting for, living for, longing for!
Jesus told us how we should react in Luke 21:28: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” There is our hope and comfort and rest in that! We can find great peace in knowing that our redemption is drawing near!
Be ready for the end times – and any time!
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:44.
So we don’t know if it’s going to be in our lifetime. We don’t know if it’s going to be in 100 years, 25 years, 10 years, or tomorrow. But if we have the mind of Jesus’ bride and knew that He was not coming for another 100 years, and we had the opportunity to live here on earth all that time, wouldn’t we love and serve Jesus just as much? Wouldn’t we still use every moment of that time to live for Him?
Because we shouldn’t just start thinking about this and looking for how to prepare ourselves when there are things going on that seem like obvious or probable signs of the times. Our whole life should be lived in a spirit of expectation for that day when we finally get to meet our Lord and Savior – our Bridegroom. (Read the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25). We don’t live in such a way that when we think it’s the end times we madly scramble to try and squeak through the door. We live our whole lives preparing for this day. And it is the love of Jesus, who first loved us, that compels us. (1 John 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:14.)
Do the will of the Father in heaven
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:3-4. Jesus said He is there now, preparing a place for us. And one day we will join Him there in eternity! But there is a way that we need to go to get there – and we know the way. He is the Way. He showed us the way. And He told us that “not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. So that is the way to go. Actively seeking and doing God’s will. And what is God’s will? That we do not sin, as far as we have light and understanding.
Read more about what it means to do God’s will here: “If you love Me, keep My commandments”
Paul wrote to Timothy about perilous times that will come in the last days. But what he described as perilous times were not disasters, tribulations, and catastrophes. He defined peril as a time when people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, proud, unloving, headstrong, amongst many other things. (2 Timothy 3:1-5.) That’s where the real danger is – in living in such a way that we become one of those people. But if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16.) He will show us when these things come up in us from the sin in our flesh. Then we can acknowledge that, love the truth about ourselves, and overcome these things through Him! That is what keeps us from perilous times!
How can we know for sure that we’ll be ready when He comes?
If we are consciously, faithfully living for Him, then we don’t have to be afraid that we won’t be ready. We don’t need to think, “Do I have enough time left to get ready?” All that is required is that we’re faithful in this moment. So, while a whole long life of faithfulness and preparing ourselves is great, it’s also true that if we start now and we’re faithful from now on, then no matter when that day comes, we will be judged righteous. So, there’s no panic that we need X number of years to prepare ourselves. If we’re faithful to do God’s will then we will be brought along into the kingdom of heaven. Then we belong there.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3.
We will be like Him and we will be with Him for eternity. This is our ultimate goal, the desire of our heart. It’s what we live for, what our whole lives revolve around – our beloved Savior and Bridegroom. So we can truly lift up our heads and look forward to that day when we finally get to meet Him and be with Him forever!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.