Preparation is essential to every endeavor. Folks prepare for retirement, a trip they are planning on taking, for the children's college, for a job and the list goes on. Few seem to see the need for making preparation for the greatest of all events: that of life after death!
1) Preparation Requirements: Preparation for eternity falls into two areas: First, primary preparation involves hearing the gospel preached (Ac. 2:22); believing or faith (Jn. 8:24; Heb. 11:6); repentance which involves a change of mind that results in a change of life (Mt. 21:28; Ac. 17:30); a public confession of faith; confessing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Mt. 10:32; Ac. 8:37) and being baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27) for the "remission of sins" (Ac. 2:38); into the one body (I Cor. 12:13); to be added to the Lord's church (Ac. 2:47). After making the initial preparation, one is now ready to continue to make preparation for eternity. Salvation has to be worked out (Phil. 2:12). Stedfast faithfulness is required of each member (I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10). This includes faithful "church" attendance (Heb. 10:25); worshiping "in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24); being "ready to every good work" (Tit. 3:1); "fighting a good fight, finishing the course, and keeping the faith" (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
2) Heaven Prepared For The Prepared: No one will go to heaven by accident; but by preparing to go. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins teach us that only "they that were ready went in..." (Mt. 25:1-13). As Jesus was about to leave His apostles he proclaimed: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14:1-3).
3) Prepare To Meet God: As God challenged Israel of old, he demanded: "...prepare to meet thy God, O Israel" (Amos 4:12). We will meet God prepared or not! So, don't let your life slip away without making the proper preparation to meet God in judgment and plan to live with Him throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity (Mt. 25:46).
By Johnie Edwards-- Via The Ellettsville Church Bulletin, April 2007
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