Our scripture this week is Mark 13:24-37, taken today from the English Standard Version (ESV).
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
Jesus teaches that those who have made their lives ready for His return will go with Him. He said “And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven” (v. 27). No one knows when this day will come and that is why He warns us never to be caught unprepared.
Jesus want us all to choose Him here that He may choose us on the last day. When He speaks of “the elect” it refers to all who proclaim Him Lord and keep His commandments. Jesus doesn’t want to lose a single one of us!
We as individuals are the only ones who can make that choice. Christ came and died for us to take away our sin. He rose again and calls us all to accept the gift of salvation God offers. Make that choice and be ready to go with Him when He returns for us.
Gracious God, we are grateful for all Your many gifts to us, none more precious than Christ our Lord. Help us to follow the path He has shown us and be ready when that great day comes. Amen.