Are You Ready?
You go to church regularly.
You're a good parent.
You are honest in business.
You read the Bible regularly
You say Grace before each meal.
Have I described you? You're ready then, right?
I'll bet you could even add a few items
to the list above. And anyone will agree that you are in
the front half of the line headed for the Golden Gates of
No doubt about it - you're ready.
So we've compared you with other
Christians in your acquaintance. That should be a good
guide. That should close the case. Right?
If you are comfortable with your
position, then you might as well set this brochure aside,
or hand it to someone you think isn't ready.
But if you aren't so sure, read on and
we will compare your position to what Jesus and the Bible
has to say about being ready.
said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he
that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he
live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in
me shall never die. Believest thou this?
So, believing is all it takes. Sounds easy enough. Let's
see if there is any more.
John 5: 25Verily,
verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is,
when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and
they that hear shall live. 26 For as the
Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son
to have life in himself;
come forth; they that have done good, unto the
resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, to
the resurrection of damnation.
And we have to do good. Well, we've
already stated that you do good things. Anything else?
any man cometh to me, and hate not his father, and mother
and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea,
and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And
whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me,
cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you,
intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and
counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish
whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he
hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Ah-oh. Now we have to love Jesus more than anyone else.
It's getting more difficult now. But what did He mean --
"Hate your family?" In other places Jesus told
us to even Love our Enemies. Maybe the original
Greek will help us here. According to Strong's the word
means to "persecute," or "detest."
But thankfully there is another extension
meaning, and that is to "love less." I don't
know about you, but for myself, I'll take the final
The scripture also says to "Take
up your cross." Does that mean we are to suffer like
He did? Maybe even to die shamefully? Maybe it means we
should be willing to do these things. That
shouldn't be too difficult. But, what if the day comes
that we are put to the test.....?
Jesus also said in the above that we
should have considered all these things before we became
Christians (I'm paraphrasing). Were any of us told
about all this before we agreed? Is that a loophole do
Let's see if there is anything more;
Luke 18: 18And
a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what
shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And
Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is
good, save one, that is, God. 20Thou
knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false
witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21And
he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now
when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet
lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and
distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in
heaven: and come, follow me. 23And when he
heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24And
when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom
of God! 25For it is easier for a camel to go
through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into
the kingdom of God. 26And they that heard it
said, Who then can be saved? 27And he said,
The things which are impossible with men are possible
with God. 28Then Peter said, Lo, we have left
all, and followed thee. 29And he said unto
them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath
left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or
children, for the kingdom of God's sake, 30Who
shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and
in the world to come life everlasting.
So now we have the Ten Commandments to follow (or at
least part of them). Also there are things to do as
well. It seems to be rather deep water we have entered.
And after we do all the doing,
it appears that we have to give everything we have to the
poor. Has any of us done that? Perhaps Jesus meant to be willing
to give up everything like the so many say. After all, I
have yet to see a minister without a car or TV.
Then, He said, we are to follow Him?
How do we do that? We can't physically follow
Him like the disciples did. And, as a matter of fact, they
were no longer able to follow Him physically either
shortly after He said this. Could He have meant to listen
to His voice? Or the urging of the Holy Spirit? Maybe He
meant we should do as He did while He was on earth. What
do you think?
He also told the disciples that it is
difficult for a rich man to enter Heaven. Who is rich?
None of the rich men of His day had a Cadillac, or a 50'
screen TV, or a laptop computer. Since the man (and we)
was supposed to sell everything, is it possible that anything
we are unwilling to let go of (including our family,
according to the previous scripture) is considered as
Perhaps this will clarify:
Matt 6: 19Lay
not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth
and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through
and steal: 20But lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth
corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor
steal: 21For where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also.
Gal 6: 14:But
God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto
me, and I unto the world.
That's a hard one. Let's go one more.
John 17: 13 And now come I to thee; and these
things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy
fulfilled in themselves. 14I have given them
thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are
not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe
on me through their word; 21That they all may
be one; as thou. Father, art in me; and I in
thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may
believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the
glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they
may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them,
and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and
that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast
loved them, as thou hast loved me.
It looks like there is some more yet. As I read this, we
are to be so different from the world (normal people who
are not converted) that we will be hated by them. Are you
hated? Of course, earlier we discovered that
"Hate" also means "Love less."
However it appears to me that in the case of Jesus and
all His disciples, as well as the early Christians -- He
meant "Persecuted and despised."
He also said that He was giving us His
"Glory." Do you find any Glory in yourself? Of
course He might have just been referring to the Apostles,
though He did say that He was not only praying
for them, but for all who would hear and believe.
Matt 7: 12Therefore
all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
prophets. 13Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate, and broad is the
way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which
go in thereat: 14Because strait is
the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth
unto life, and few there be that find it.
false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye
shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of
thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every
good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree
bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree
cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every
tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and
cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their
fruits ye shall know them.
2 1Not every one that
saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which
is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that
day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And
in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done
many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity
Here we have more verses talking about our works. (As I
see it, also called "fruit.") But didn't the
Bible say we were saved by Grace, not works?
Eph 2: 8For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not
of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we
are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good
works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk
I thought so, it does say that we are saved by
Grace. But the way I interpret these verses, we are saved
by Grace - but for the purpose of doing works.
Maybe that has something to do with this verse :
Phil 2: 12work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which
worketh in you both to will and to do of his
14Do all things
without murmurings and disputings: 15That ye
may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without
rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,
among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
There it is. But along with it is the evidence that it is
not us that is supposed to do the work, but rather God
working through us. I suppose that is what is
meant by Jesus saying:
John 15: 1 I am
the true vine, and my father is the husbandman. 2Every
branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and
every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it,
that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye
are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me,
and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye
abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are
the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the
same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do
nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast
forth as a branch, and is withered and men gather them,
and cast them into the fire, and they are
burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide
in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done
unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that
ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
There's "fruit" again. And it sounds to me as
if those who don't produce fruit will be cast out and
burned. That doesn't sound so good to me. It sounds a lot
like what is going to happen to the Great Unsaved. And He
added that those who do produce fruit will be
"purged." That sounds kind of painful to me.
Not at all like the "Peace and Prosperity"
messages that is used to get people to come to the alter.
Let me take a look and see what "Purge" means
in the Greek.
Strong's tells us it means to
"Cleanse," or to "Prune." Here is
something that may help clarify the meaning;
Psalm 79: 9Help us, O God of our
salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and
purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
So it appears that sin is what is pruned away so God can
bear fruit through us.
Matt 5: 14
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an
hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a
candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Here we have works again. And added to works is that we
are to be a light unto the world. Do you feel like a
light unto the world? I wonder what we are supposed to
use for fuel. We certainly can't be expected to use ourself
for fuel. Maybe this will shed a little light on the
Matt 6: 22The
light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23But
if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of
darknes. If therefore the light that is in thee be
darkness, how great is that darkness!
Perhaps these will help clarify it a little more;
John 8: 12Then
spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of
the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in
darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 1: 1In
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. 2The same was in the
beginning with God. 3All things were made by
him; and without him was not any thing made that was
made. 4In him was life; and the life was the
light of men.
5And the light
shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it
not. 6There was a man sent from God, whose
name was John. 7The same came for a
witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men
through him might believe. 8He was not that
Light, but was sent to bear witness of that
Light. 9That was the true Light,
which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He
was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the
world knew him not. 11He came unto his own,
and his own received him not. 12But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name:
appears that the light we are to show to the world comes
from God, or more specifically, Jesus Christ. And that He
is also to be the source of our works. But what are
those works we are to perform?
John 3: 12Verily,
verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the
works that I do shall he do also; and greater works
than these shall he do;
Mark 16: 17And
these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name
shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new
tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if
they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they
shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
don't know about you, but I'm a long ways from any of
that! I wonder if a Good Deed a day will suffice?
Now, I know
there are people even today who can do many of those
things - and some, according to sources, are not very
Godly people at that:
Matt 7: 21Not
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of
my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say
to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in
thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in
thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then
will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from
me, ye that work iniquity.
I only see
few instances of these being done by the early
Christians. Even those who lost everything for the Name
of Jesus. And I wonder if those who were thrown to the
lions were able to drink poison? Jesus did say that these
things will be done in "My name," that might
help clarify His statement. I know that Paul was stoned
to death, then stood up and walked away. However Timothy
Maybe this will
John 14: 10Believest
thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?
the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the
works that I do shall he do also; and greater works
than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13And
whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that
the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If
ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
21He that hath
my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth
me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,
and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 23Jesus
answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will
keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will
come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the
Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all
There's a lot in those final words of Jesus. But if the
answer to my question is there, I think I missed it. I
have a suspicion though. It may be that we don't
experience those signs because we don't make it a
practice to drink deadly poison, or to play with venomous
snakes. As for healing, who can say for sure? I mean,
when was the last time you laid hands on someone to try
to heal them?
And after all, we often hear about
people being miraculously healed from some disease or
another, but only when they need it. We don't
seek healing when we are healthy. Perhaps you
have such a story yourself.
Also, there is this scripture to help
understand what Jesus meant;
1Cor 12: 7But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to
profit withall 8For to one is given by the
Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of
knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another
faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing
by the same Spirit; 10To another the working
of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning
of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues;
to another the interpretation of tongues; 11But
all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit,
dividing to every man severally as he will.
27Now ye are
the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28And
God hath set some in the church, first apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that
miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
diversities of tongues. 29Are all
apostles? are all prophets? are all
teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with
tongues? do all interpret?
By the verses above, I gather that what
Jesus was talking about is Gifts of the Spirit. Some,
like drinking poison and such we rarely need. Besides,
Jesus didn't say that we wouldn't die - in fact the Bible
makes it very clear that we will die. And that
those who die for Him, and those who endure to the end,
are the ones who will reap the rewards and will rule with
Mark 13: 9But
take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to
councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and
ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake,
for a testimony against them.
13And ye shall
be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he
that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Rev 20: 4And
I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was
given unto them: and I saw the souls of them
that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the
word of God,
holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but
they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall
reign with him a thousand years.
2 Tim 2: 11It
is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him,
we shall also live with him: 12If we
suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny
him, he also will deny us:
I ask again; Are you ready?
My thought is - Who could be?
But before drawing any conclusions, lets see if there is
anything else that might tell us if we are "in the
sheepfold" or just wandering goats outside the
John 6: 33These
things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have
peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of
good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Phil 4: 6Be
careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which
passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus.
brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are
honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever
things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if
there be any virtue, and if there be
any praise, think on these things. 9Those
things, which ye have both learned, and received, and
heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be
they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but
they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6For to be
carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually
minded is life and peace. 7Because
the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is
not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So
then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But ye are not
in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the spirit
of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit
of Christ, he is none of his.
How about this well-known scripture;
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me
to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the
3 He restoreth
my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for
his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I
walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me.
preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth
goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
case you have ever wondered - the "rod" spoken
of is for correction, for beatings. And the
"staff" is for support when weak or weary. How
many of us actually lend ourself to discipline so we can
experience God's peace?]
they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments:
32Then will I
visit their transgression with the rod, and their
iniquity with stripes.
my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor
suffer my faithfulness to fail.
So, are you