Be Ready? How? (2 of 2)

Matthew 24 42-44 d

(Continued from yesterday)

2. On Guard
Acts 20:31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
• 1 Co 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
• 1 Pet 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The preceding context of Acts 20:31 is verse 30, in which Paul warned against false teachers drawing away disciples after them. The devil is also on the prowl seeking to devour those he can. So the second task is to be on guard, stand firm and be strong.

3. Preach
2 Tim 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
• 1 Pet 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

The third task is to preach, positively in the proclamation of the word, and negatively in the defense of the gospel. Preaching involves not just exhorting right beliefs and behavior, but reproving and rebuking wrong ideas and conduct. And defending is always to explain our hope, not just to win an argument.

4. Remind
Tit 3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,
• 2 Pet 1:12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.

The fourth task is to remind others to be ready for every good deed. Peter added that we should always be ready to remind others of “these things”, which are the same things we are to practice according to 2 Pet 1:10, and to call to mind according to v 15. They are also the same “these qualities” mentioned in verse 8 and 9, and listed in verses 5-7, viz. faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

So in addition to fulfilling our specific calling, if we pray, be on guard, preach, defend and remind ourselves and others, we will be ready when the Lord comes. Hope this helps.

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