It did not freeze last night. Contrary to some weather forecasts, it only dropped to about 37 here in Daphne. But I did notice my neighbors covering their plants yesterday. And even though they will awake to realize their work was not needed, they will still take similar preparations next time. When living in the Tuscaloosa area many years ago it was almost comical to watch people strip the stores of every last loaf of bread and every last gallon of milk just because a forecaster uttered the frightful word, “snow.” The people there took weather preparations seriously, as they should.
It’s sad that people do not take seriously spiritual warnings and prepare for their spiritual future. So many will face the reality of judgment without preparation. Why? I think I have some ideas.
Preparation suggests belief
The only reason people prepare for snow or for a freeze, is because they believe it is plausible that snow or freezing temperatures will come. People hear the warnings and they may not be certain, but they do not want to be caught unprepared. They believe the words of the forecaster and act appropriately.
Today, many do not prepare for the Lord’s return because they do not believe it will come, or, they believe they have more time. Jesus himself declares the inevitability of his return. He says, “the son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44). Peter speaks the same, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief and then the heavens will pass away with a roar…” (2 Peter 3:10). Paul echoes the thought, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night…” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). The warnings are given but belief is lacking.
Preparation suggests experience
The reason people prepare for bad weather is because they have seen what can happen when you are not prepared. When snow strikes the deep south it is always trouble. We are not prepared for snow drifts and impassable streets. We have been in that condition before and do not wish to repeat that mistake again.
Spiritually, we have historical events which ought press us to both believe and to prepare for the future coming of the Lord. While Jesus has not come to bring an end to the world before, he has come in judgment. Matthew 24:1-35 is a lengthy, detailed warning of the coming of Jesus in judgment against the nation of Israel. About 40 years after that warning, Israel was destroyed. The AD 70 assault by Rome leveled the city and destroyed the Temple. It was a defeat from which Israel never recovered.
Time and again in Scripture, God warned of his coming judgment. Not once did he fail in his promises. Let us read and learn so that we can believe the warnings of eternal judgment. Let not one of us fail to be prepared for his return. For the saved, the return of the Lord is a glorious moment of deliverance. But for the unbelieving, only dreadful unending punishment is in store.
I do not know if it will freeze tonight. But I do know the Lord will come. I will be ready, will you?