God's Danger Signals

W. Terry Varner
May 11, 2014

The prophet Amos states: “Prepare to meet your God” (4:12). Many reading this article are old enough to remember December 7, 1941 when scores of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American fleet which rested at anchor in Honolulu, Hawaii. Our ships and planes were destroyed, thousands of our finest men and women were killed, and our nation was in fear and shock. President Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 as “a day that will live in infamy.” As a nation we were unprepared for that day.

A wise man is always prepares for life. He prepares for sickness, rainy days, troubled times, and the welfare of his family. Boy Scouts have a motto in simple words: “Be Prepared.” God also believes in preparation and stated: “Prepare to meet your God.” Many fail to heed God’s warning. Consider the three questions:

WHY Prepare to Meet God? Because God demands it. There is an unbroken thread that begins in Genesis and runs through Revelation that commands man to “Prepare to meet God.” WHY? Because God commands man to prepare to meet Him because of his sins. God is holy and righteous (1 Peter 1:16) and man becomes sinful and unrighteous (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). We are not ready today to meet the holy and righteous God if we are not children of God. Luke 19:10 tells us the purpose of the coming of Jesus: “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Being lost means eternal separation from God. This is why Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again . . . That where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). We cannot go to heaven without obeying Jesus.

WHEN are We to Prepare to Meet God? The answer WHEN is found in these three warnings from God. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Pro. 27:1). “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2, emp. added). “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your heart” (Heb. 4:7). To delay in accepting Jesus as Savior is, to make the decision to do so, much more difficult. If you have ever been to Niagara Falls, there is a sign on the Niagara River that says: “Past Redemption’s Point.” It means that to go the river beyond this point there is no redemption, no hope of being saved. You will be carried over the falls to the rocks beneath. We are all going down the river of life. There is a point beyond which, if we go without obeying Jesus, that there is no redemption for us. Each time we postpone our obeying Jesus we make it more difficult. The day will come when we feel no impulse, no desire, and no need to obey Jesus. Jesus tells what happens to such a one. “Then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12). Life is designed to obey Jesus in order to be saved. Life is never lived at its best unless it is lived for with Jesus.

HOW to Prepare to Meet God? “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool’” (Isa. 1:18). Preparing to meet God calls for obedient faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6). A penitent heart. “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). We must confess Christ. “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). We are to be baptized “for the remission of sins . . . you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Faithful living. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).