Are You Ready   based on book by J.C. Ryle  1879        

Watch and Awake  Math 251-11
‘Occupy till I come’  Lu 1911-27
What Time is it?  Ro 1312
The Idols He Will Utterly Abolish  Is 218
Scattered Israel to be Gathered   Jer 1310,11
All Israel Shall Be Saved  Ro 1126
Reading that is Blessed  Rev 13
Heirs of God  Ro 817

Preface       [Contents]

I have purposefully avoided everything that can be called speculative.
The day will decide who is right. It is the new heart and faith in Christ’s blood, which are absolutely necessary for salvation.
1. The world will never be completely converted to Christianity before the end. There will not be a worldwide revival.
When the end comes the earth will be in much the same state as it was when the flood came in the days of Noah.  Math 2436-51  The weeds and the wheat will grow together until harvest.  Math 1324-30, 36-43
2. Before the end, the Jews will be gathered as a nation and converted to faith in Christ after going through great tribulation.  Jer 302,3, 7-12, 17 3110,11,17, 33-37 3237-41  Zech 1210 - 132  Ro 1125-28 etc  It is this promise of God that some in the church have tried to steal from the Jews (= ‘Replacement theology’)
3, At the end a most evil antichrist, a beast will arise and deceive the world.
      Dan 721-27 819-25 121-4  2 Thes 21-12  1 Tim 41
4. Only at the end when Jesus returns will the earth be renewed, the curse removed, the devil bound, the godly rewarded and the wicked punished.

Happy is he who expects little from Parliaments or even the Church but eagerly awaits the return of Jesus Christ as both Redeemer and King.

Watch and Awake Math 251-11       [Contents]

It was when Jesus was in Jerusalem just before being crucified, that the disciples asked him about the end times. This was the 2nd of 4 parables he told them. It is directed primarily to the church. Of the 10 virgins 5 were foolish and unprepared. They may have been church-goers but were not believers as were the other 5 who had spare oil and were ready. All needed to awake and the redeemed are instructed to ‘Watch’. It is so easy to be distracted in this busy world. Priority of time needs frequent examination. We all need to keep in mind the return of Jesus and be ready. The end will be sudden and totally unexpected.  Lu 2135  Math 2444  1 Thes 52  But for many it will then be too late to repent. In the church there will always be wise and foolish. Ryle asks, “Which are you?”

Jesus says his coming will be like in the days of a Lot. The same day that Lot escaped Sodom, the Lord rained sulphur and fire on the city.  Gen 1923,24  Lu 1729  And in the days of Noah, even though it had taken 120 years to build the Ark, no one took any notice. They all ridiculed the idea of needing a boat to escape the flood. There came a day when God shut the door and then it was too late.  Gen 1016  Lu 1727  At the end it will not only be the Lord’s Coming that will be sudden, we are warned that the whole world economic system (based on unsecured debt) will totally collapse in a single hour. ‘Babylon’ on which all nations depended will be destroyed.  Rev 1810 But even this judgement warning will be rejected. They will just weep at the loss of all wealth. If men ignore such warnings it is not the preacher that they reject, but the Word of Almighty God.

When the door is shut, while many are shut out, many are also shut in! No more to be tempted by the wiles of Satan, no more persecution, tears of pain and disappointment, no more surrounded by evil and rampant sin. Only joy in the presence of our most gracious God. And the armour of God can be safely removed.
1. Are you ready? Only the ready went in with the Bridegroom to the wedding.
2. If admit not ready, hear the invitation of God and plead for his mercy. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The Cross is proof of God’s love and the very means of receiving his forgiveness. Procrastinate no longer. Awake and realise the extent of Satan’s cunning and personal deceit. Only Christ crucified and risen can save a man’s soul. Religion is totally impotent.
3. Believers - Watch! Keep awake, alert, filled with longing for his coming. It is so easy to be distracted from being the most useful or to compromise with the world. Beware of pride and self dependence, all selfishness and greed. Trust and obey, there’s no other way.
Remember Leigh Richmond’s dying words: “Brother, brother, we are none of us more than half awake!”

‘Occupy till I come’  (or engage in business)  Lu 1911-27       [Contents]

Sandwiched between telling Zacchaeus “Today salvation has come to this house, ... For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” And just before Jesus entered Jerusalem; Jesus told his disciples a parable because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. The disciples knew that something really significant was about to happen, but they were quite wrong as to what it was. So Jesus had to correct this. He had not come to be Messiah, but as their Redeemer, which meant he was to be rejected. The parable’s punch-line was not the two who occupied their time profitably and multiplied what had been given them, but the one who didn’t.

Three lessons: 1. The disciples had yet to realise that all the various sacrifices that law demanded were imperfect. None of them gave assurance of sins forgiven. But they did point to the need for a perfect sacrifice as revealed in Is 53. When Isaac asked his father about the sacrifice they were going to make on Mt Moriah, Abraham prophesied, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  Gen 228 Although Jesus had told the apostles on at least 9 different occasions in the Gospels that he had to suffer, they still did not understand it. Many religious people today have the same problem. They correctly believed that Jesus loves his followers, but fail to realise that the only way we can receive forgiveness and propitiation is for a perfect sacrifice for sin to be made. Jesus is the only one who can be that perfect sacrifice. The Son of Man had indeed come to seek and to pay the price to save the lost. This is what we need to tell the world, ‘to occupy till I come’. And we need to go on telling this truth to all the world until he returns as the Almighty conquering King. The Messiah who will establish his eternal and righteous kingdom. In Lu 2424-27 and 44-47 Jesus reveals this same vital truth to the two going to Emmaus and then later to the apostles. They each had yet to learn the very reason why the Christ had to come and suffer crucifixion. Revealing this remains the principle work of the Holy Spirit.

The problem with the 3rd servant who buried the gift was that he thought God was a harsh and strict Master who demanded complete obedience. He correctly realised that this is an impossibility for any honest man, no matter how hard he may try. He knew nothing of the truth revealed to Paul, that the Law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ.  Gal 324 He was totally blind as to why Jesus had to be crucified for our sin to be forgiven. He was unable to ‘occupy his time’ revealing God’s grace and mercy. So he buried the money and ignored the Saviour - and paid a high price.

2. The 2nd lesson is much simpler. The parable teaches us that the nobleman (Christ) went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. The great surprise is that he chose to remain so long in the far country - for the last 2,000 years! The problem is that the expectation and longing for his return can grow dim. The church can be distracted from the task set by God; they can be completely absorbed by all the normal affairs of living - eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage.  Lu 1727-29  God has waited all through the last 20 centuries to give us Gentiles the opportunity to be saved and then be able to live with him for ever. The two faithful stewards in the parable had been wholeheartedly busy revealing to fallen men God’s offer of complete salvation. Today men are still hearing the truth and are being saved. O how patient is our gracious and merciful God. And how great is the need for us all to be awake. It is amazing that man remains totally blind to his greatest need. The kingdom of God is so different from the kingdom of man.

Notice well that in going into a far country God has not turned his back on his property. His interest in our state down the years has been well documented. His faithfulness is easily seen in the lives of missionaries, martyrs and ordinary people. He is busy as High Priest interceding for his people.  Ro 834  He is certainly not doing nothing! And he assigns much work for us too, while we await his return ‘from the far country’. Let us make the most of the time he graciously gives us - ‘Occupy till I come’. Remember we are bought with a price.

Today there over 700 languages with a complete Bible and a further 1500 with just the New Testament. It is printed, on disk/tape and even in audio form for the blind or those unable to read. It is available free on the internet in almost every country of the world. Jesus is seated in heaven but his Word and his Spirit remain on earth. The only problem is that man naturally prefers darkness to light. And proud arrogant man has been deceived into believing the Evolution Theory as fact. Denying God’s fantastic creation and thereby rejecting and ridiculing Almighty God, they are also causing God to withdraw his protection. Read with open hearts Ro 118-32 This reveals the dire consequences of man’s choice. It gives us the truth as to why homosexuality is now legalised and spreading rapidly; together with all other forms of wickedness.

How long will the ‘Nobleman’ remain in a far country. His return must be imminent. And the punishment of the 3rd steward will be repeated for all who do not ‘occupy’ themselves in the Lord’s work. This is in stark contrast to the eternal and righteous life promised to all who believe and trust in the finished work of Christ. Only let us be sure that in all our labours now we are in earnest for the kingdom of God. Let us seek the Lord that we may overcome all the deceit that surrounds us. Let us be like the men of Issachar in David’s day - they had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.  1 Ch 1232
Sometimes it is easier to know what the government should do; but let us clear about what we should be doing. And do it with all the strength God has given us!

3. Finally, if you are currently in any doubt about the future then follow the directions in The Pilgrim’s Progress when Evangelist told Christian to flee from the wrath to come, leave the city of destruction and head towards the Celestial City via the Wicket Gate and the Way of Salvation. “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Eph 514 Procrastination remains a predominant sin, that often results in hearing the awful sentence - “Too late!”
Now is still the hour of opportunity.

What Time is it?  Ro 1312       [Contents]

Towards the end of Pauls letter to the Romans he writes: The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.  Ro 1312
These are important words that need action. No man can afford to ignore them.

1.  What is the situation today?  It is night. By choice the world walks in darkness. Jesus told Nicodemus the truth, “This is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” Amazing. All men naturally prefer to walk in darkness! The Son of God was always right. Men hate the light because they hate to admit they are wrong and what they are doing is sinful to God. This ‘night’ has been the situation since Adam and Eve first sinned. To prove the total depravity of man, even when the Son of God took on human flesh and walked in his creation, men crucified him. For three hours while he hung upon the Cross there was physical darkness over all the land. Today proud man still walks in darkness, just as Jesus said 2,000 years ago. Yet the Light of the World still shines in the Word of God. And many still experience the dawn in their souls by reading it. The promise of God still stands: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jer 2913  Deut 429  Joel 232 etc Amazingly, God actually want us to find him. He wants us to walk with him in his light and not stumble in the darkness.

2.  The day is at hand.  The day is coming when the sun shall rise and never set. That day is when Jesus returns and overcomes the night and there is no more wickedness, no evil, no deceit and we are completely surrounded by the full unending light of Jesus Christ. This is the day we long for and is closer every moment. All believers in Christ have a limited view of this light, for Jesus said ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ and ‘the kingdom of God is within you’. For now it is like the first glimmer of the dawn as we await sunrise. It is our faithful God’s encouragement when life is tough. A little while ago I read that in the first 4 months of 2021 in Nigeria 1,470 Christian were murdered and 2,200 were abducted. For those living under such a threat, the truth that the day is at hand must be a significant encouragement. For all of us ‘in that day’ there will of necessity be many changes in us. Do we long for this? Or maybe we are still blind to our own imperfections and wrong views? Does the prospect of that day coming very soon prompt our prayer: “Thy kingdom come O God, Thy rule O Christ begin, break with thine iron rod the tyrannies of sin.”

3.  In this time just before the end, God has clearly promised to first gather the Jews to their own land. Today about 50% of all the Jews in the world live in Israel. But not surprisingly this is fiercely challenged. At the end when Jesus returns it is to defend Jerusalem and the Jews who have, or will, call upon his name as never before.  Zech 121 - 132  Many Christians are unaware of this and the many other similar promises because they put greater credence upon the media accuracy than on the Scriptures.   See website 'Whose Land?'   (Use back arrow to return)

4.  At the end Almighty God is going to shake this whole world.
Fear not. For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.  Hag 24

... now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.  Heb 1226-28

This is going to happen at the end. When it does, remember that it the hand of the Lord Almighty and he is not going to destroy anything or anyone he values.

5.  As was written earlier, Let us use this time to, if possible, rescue brands from the burning. The time is short. The night is far spent, and the day is at hand. It is true we must expect to be persecuted at the end by the satanic Beast of Rev 13.  But as in times past our God will enable us to stand in that awful day. Read how the early Christians and the Reformation martyrs stood with God when eaten by lions or licked by fire.
(It makes my wimpish nature tremble and cry to God.)

6.  Finally there are two instructions at end of Ro 1312
‘Cast off the works of darkness’. We are surrounded by the pressures of the world to conform with it, especially in moral law. God’s Word will be greatly challenged. Remember the cost of compromising will be greater than the transitory cost of being faithful to the Scriptures. Learn now to speak the truth and live a holy life.
‘And put on the armour of light’. Satan will hate this, but he has no weapons that can overthrow the light of God. Aim to develop good godly habits. Learn and rehearse the truths of God’s Word. Be constant in prayer and thanksgiving to God.

       Soon and for ever the breaking of day
      Shall chase all the night-clouds of sorrow away;
      Soon and for ever we’ll see as we're seen,
      And know the deep meaning of things that have been,
      Where fightings without and conflicts within
      Shall weary no more in the warfare with sin,—
      Where tears and where fears and where death shall be never,
      Christians with Christ shall be soon and for ever!

       Soon and for ever,—such promise our trust,
      Though ashes to ashes, and dust be to dust,
      Soon and for ever our union shall be
      Made perfect, our glorious Redeemer, in Thee;
      When the cares and the sorrows of time shall be o'er,
      Its pangs and its partings remembered no more,
      Where life cannot fail and where death cannot sever,
      Christians with Christ shall be soon and for ever!

       Soon and for ever the work shall be done,
      The warfare accomplished, the victory won;
      Soon and for ever the soldier lay down
      The sword for a harp, the cross for a crown;
      Then droop not in sorrow, despond not in fear,
      A glorious to-morrow is bright'ning and near,
      When, blessed reward for each faithful endeavour,
      Christians with Christ shall be soon and for ever!

        J S B Monsell  1811-1875

The Idols He Will Utterly Abolish  Is 218       [Contents]

At the 2nd Coming of Christ he will shake the earth and utterly abolish all idols.
Only his coming will be able to extinguish idolatry from this earth.

1.  What are the idols?
Idol = anything to which is given honour that belongs only to the Lord Almighty.
      It can also be a person or creature that is given undue allegiance.
The Israelites had no difficulty in worshipping both God and their idols.
      e.g. the God who had parted the Red Sea and the golden calf they had made.
We may do the same when a golden calf is substituted by a shiny motor car!
Idols can be human rather than a specific object like a garden or a ring.
Idols are usually worshipped or honoured in the vain hope of some reward. Baal was worshipped in the hope of a better harvest, Ashtoreth for children, Molech to appease anger. Obviously it is good to honour the life of distinguished men and women, but their statues can easily be little different from idols. Roman Catholics promote all manner of relics and have images of Mary and various saints that are worshipped. Some Christian leaders are now promoting ‘seed gift’ giving in the hope of a personal reward. But this can be a form of idiolatry. Likewise other habits like ‘Touch wood’ instead of trusting God; or superstitions like the number 13, or walking under a ladder etc. At the end the satanic Beast and his false prophet will be worshipped because of their demonstrated power and miracles. Many will make him a god. Beware!

2.  The origin of idols?
It should not surprise us that idolatry has one simple origin - Satan. His ambition if always to dishonour and disobey Almighty God.
What is perhaps surprising to some is that every man after Adam is a fallen creature and naturally sinful. So idolatry is natural, acceptable, even encouraged.
It is only avoided by the presence of the grace of God.

Scattered Israel to be Gathered  Jer 3110,11       [Contents]

Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away;
      say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
            and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
      For the LORD has ransomed Jacob
            and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
 Jer 3110,11 The Lord speaks this word to the Gentile nations as well as to Jews. He knows that in the end the world will be united in their desire to destroy Israel. Why?
Very simply because Satan hates everything that God created and loves. If the Jews are overwhelmed and destroyed then clearly God’s covenant is worthless.
So God is going to demonstrate his faithfulness and Satan’s wickedness.
From ~300AD onwards, with few exceptions, the Christian Church has discarded the Jews, arguing that because they crucified Jesus, God has finished with them and has poured out his affection upon the Church instead. But this idea did not come from the Word of God; it is a blind deceit. While it is true that no individual Jew is saved because he is a descendant of Abraham, neither is he condemned. Every individual Jew and Gentile are saved only by repentance and faith in Christ crucified as Redeemer and risen as Lord.

Israel was scattered by Assyria, Babylon and 2,000 years ago by Rome. J C Ryle proclaimed Israel’s return in 1879, before it started, because he believed the Scriptures.
He wrote, ‘Out of the 16 Old Testament prophets there are at least 10 in which the gathering and restoration of the Jews in the latter days are expressly mentioned.’ Today we see 50% of Israel has already returned as promised to their own, God promised land. But this is contested not just by Arabs but also by most of the Western world, who disregarded the reliable Word of God. In the last 60 years the West has also demonstrated its disregard in other areas. It has legalised homosexuality that God says is ‘an abomination’, legalised abortion (murder of babies), disregarded the command to keep the Sabbath, and replaced God’s fantastic creation with the Evolution Theory. The Bible instead of being honoured is commonly ignored and often ridiculed. But the Word of God still stands; no mere man, however arrogant, has the power to cancel it. Scattered Israel will be gathered and all Israel will be saved. Ro 1126 The day will come when God says, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him ... On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.”  Zech 1210 - 131

The 1st Coming of Jesus was literal, as was also his crucifixion and ascension.
The 2nd Coming of Jesus will also be equally literal.
His destruction of the wicked and the satanic will be physical. His reign over the world during the millennium will be absolute. Satan is held chained and sealed in the bottomless pit ... so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. We eagerly await this 2nd Coming. Though meanwhile there is work to do and a tribulation to be endured.

God’s Word concerning Israel is clear. “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”  Gen 177,8
His unconditional and eternal covenant has been written and has stood in bold capitals for 4,000 years. It is not for man to debate its probability or reasonableness. It is for us to acknowledge what Almighty God has said, whether we like it or not. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  Ro 1119

Why has there been such a long apparent delay? God gives us an answer to this question too. A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  Ro 1115 Our most gracious God wants to save the Gentiles! And he is waiting until this work is complete. As Ryle wrote, ‘It is thus a duty incumbent upon all Gentile Christians to take a special interest in the spiritual conversion of the Jews.’ Consider the fact that 64 of the 66 books of the Bible and one chapter of Daniel were written and given to us by the Jews. Shouldn’t this alone make us grateful? But add to this; the Saviour of the world was born of a Jewish woman. Why have Gentile Christians during the last two millennia so often been unkind to the Jews?

After the blasphemous challenge of Babel, the Lord called Abraham and revealed his plan and a promise: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonours you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Gen 123
History has confirmed this. The future will do so too.
Satan and wicked men, will naturally continue do their best to refute its truth.
There has also been a succession of wise men who have been a blessing to Israel. The Lord Almighty has always been pleased to bless such men.
The Jewish Saviour has indeed ‘blessed all the families of the earth’, though many have not appreciated this blessing. But there are also many to whom this truth has been revealed and their rejoicing will never cease.

All Israel Shall Be Saved  Ro 1126       [Contents]

The fact that after 2,000 years half of Israel has already been gathered to their promised land shows that this world is very, very near the end. But God reveals that not only will Israel be gathered, but all Israel will be saved.  This promise does not refer to Gentiles, nor can it mean only a remnant of Jews. Their blind eyes will be opened as never before in history, they will repent as prophesied in Zech 1210  and  On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.  Zech 131
I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  Ezek 3624-26
This will be a great miracle; one that has never happen before in history.

Jews have borne the just punishment of God, but at the end the world will see the greatest extravagance of his grace and mercy in the salvation of the Jews.
Christian Gentiles will realise how great is our debt to the Jewish nation and rejoice with them.

Reading that is Blessed  Rev 13       [Contents]

In the scriptures there is a whole wealth of truth. At times they provoke questions. And to the curious, names, story details and endings are omitted when God deems them unnecessary. Men will always try to predict the future. In the last book of the Bible, God tells us specifically about the future. The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.  Rev 11 There is often much speculation about the last days. So the Lord reveals it in this book.

Sadly it is one that is seldom read, and few understand. Perhaps because it speaks of things that must soon take place and it was written 2,000 years ago! We need to remember that prophecy has to be revealed by God. It is not understood by human knowledge. How did John know what to write? He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.  Rev 12

In a book so filled with warnings of tribulation, why does God say, Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.  Rev 13 He wants us to take heed of the warnings and to see the tribulation as coming from the hand of the God who is both faithful and just. Wickedness will be punished and believers who trust in the Lord will rejoice because the future is secure and with Christ.

Many of the symbolic events are from the Old Testament, so being familiar with the OT is a huge benefit. Judgement is not popular today; was it ever? The inherited sinfulness of all men is rejected. And thus the need for a perfect Redeemer is irrelevant. Without Christ, the book of Revelation is only gibberish.

Throughout the Scriptures all prophecy concerning the last days reveals that they will be vastly wicked, blasphemous and deceiving. The world will not get better whatever resolutions or treaties man may make. Wickedness and the defeat of Satan will only come when Christ himself returns as King. Some have indisputably summarised the book in just two words: “Jesus Wins!”  Problems always arise when man thinks he can do what only the Lord Almighty can do. Babel ends in confusion and a failed goal. So do all men’s dreams that omit Christ as both the risen Redeemer and King, the One that is Faithful and True, Merciful and Just, the everlasting Creator. He wants us to know his plan for the last days. We can then trust him to complete it and at the end bring into being his everlasting, righteous kingdom in which we can all walk and live together in holiness. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea ... Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.  Ps 461,2,10

Heirs of God  Ro 817       [Contents]

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
      and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.
 Ro 816,17
Inheritance always concerns two parties; the one who dies and the one who inherits. In this truth, we are heirs because Christ has died. But Christ is also an heir because when he died he inherited the children he redeemed. The names of all such children were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before creation. So this book is the will and testament of Christ. This book, is seen in Rev 5 as the scroll that cannot be opened, unless and until, there is One who is found worthy. When John is shown this scroll, he weeps because it seemed that there was no one who was worthy. Then he is shown the Lamb. The elders told him, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And the rest of the book of Revelation reveals the sequence of events as the Lamb, the Lion, opens the 7 seals that kept the will of Christ, the scroll, furled up. By his perfect blood sacrifice, both Christ and all believers become heirs according to what is written in his will.

In this world, inheritance is physical, finite and temporary. It cannot be taken with us when we die. As they say, “A shroud has no pockets.” But our inheritance with Christ is everlasting because Christ is everlasting. It will never perish, can never be stolen or given away; it is totally indelible. It is the eternal right to live and walk in continual righteousness with Christ for ever. This is what the Almighty has promised us and is written in waterproof ink. This is the great gift of God, the inheritance of all the saints that we cherish and look forward to in the last days.

We are God’s children; not just subjects, soldiers, disciples. What a privilege.
But to become children we must be saved, born again, repent, believe and trust in Christ crucified and risen for the forgiveness of our sin. In Gethsemane Christ asked his Father if there was any other way whereby men may be saved. But there was no other way. So he offered himself as the perfect sacrifice.

      O the love that drew salvation’s plan,
      O the grace that brought it down to man,
      O the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.
      Mercy there was great and free
      Pardon there was multiplied to me,
      There my burdened soul found liberty - at Calvary.

In The Pilgrim’s Progress we are shown the many different ways that man has tried by his own endeavour to enter the Celestial City. But each one failed. Only by the way of the Cross can man find assurance of forgiveness and holiness.

After the Cross, the way of salvation leads to many trials: the Hill of Difficulty, the Valley of humiliation, the Castle of despair. But Christ walks with us all the way. We will surely need to persevere and endure persecution. Jesus warns his disciples of this. But he strengthens us and keeps our eyes fixed upon the sure and certain way to heaven. And every so often we hear the music and are shown the truth of the kingdom of God to which we journey. In the midst of the great tribulation there are times when our hearts are flooded with the sight of the saints rejoicing.  Rev 79-17 1115-19 141-5 152-4 191-10  and the finale of Rev 21 and 22.

At the heart of being ready is the truth
      that Jesus returns as King of a kingdom that is righteous and eternal.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!