Sep 302013
“Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” Amos 4(12)

There is a God; few in our times deny this. Science cannot satisfactorily account for nature without Him. He may be termed the Unknown and the Unknowable; but whatever He is, He is. He revealed Himself wonderfully in the history of Israel; hence He is spoken of as Israel’s God. Most calamitous events happened to Israel because of their hardness of heart and rebellion against God, and because of the judgment, God calls on them to prepare to meet Him. There are urgent reasons why sinners today as well as Israel of old, should prepare to meet God. Think on some of them; they should prepare to meet God because…

I. He is their God.

The object of a man’s supreme love is the god to whom he gives his life. That object may be wealth or pleasure. But whatever be the god that engages the thought and heart of man, it is ever true that the God of the heavens is his only true God. He is his God; and that fact cannot be altered. A man may deny the existence of a Divine being; but his denial does not destroy this fact. A man may say he will have nothing to do with God; yet he cannot shake off or destroy the relationship. As easy for a man to pull down the pillars of the universe, or quench the stars, as to destroy this fact.

Every man must meet this God. We may meet Him in life when we least expect His appearing. We will meet Him at death, and at the judgment. To meet earth’s great ones there is a preparation required; so, there is also preparation to meet God.

II. They are not prepared to meet Him.

Sinners are unclean; they are unjust; they are rebels; they are base ingrates; all these relations they hold to God.

The thought of meeting Him fills them with fear. How unprepared they are to meet their King, their Judge!

III. They must meet Him.

It is not optional with man whether he will meet his God or not. Nor is there any way by which he can escape from meeting Him. There is no hiding place, from which He cannot compel us into His presence. We cannot escape His messengers whom He sends after us. Troubles, trials, judgments seize hold upon us; much less can we escape Him who sends them!

IV. There will be no excuse for unpreparedness.

What excuse could a soul make to God when it meets Him, if unprepared?

Would difficulty of preparation be an excuse?

Would ignorance of the way to prepare be an excuse?

Would disgust at the conduct of some Christians be an excuse?

Would absorption in business be an excuse?

If all the circumstances of life were searched by you, you could not find an excuse before your God for not being prepared to meet Him.

V. He is most desirous that they should prepare.

He has made it possible for us to prepare to meet Him. By doing so He has displayed His heart as nature nowhere reveals it. He wants us to meet Him gladly. He wants us to meet Him as His children, and riot as culprits. He wants to meet us as a Father Who has been awaiting His children’s return from their school of discipline, to take them to His eternal home.

VI. When they meet Him, there will be no chance for preparation.

Men of large hearts, or of unscriptural views of God, may argue for an “eternal hope” for man; but in the Scriptures there is not to be found a ray of hope for the finally impenitent. How fared it with the five foolish virgins when the Bridegroom came? What became of the man who had not on the wedding garment when the King came into the feast? Be not deceived; the truth that stands out most plainly on the Divine page is that now and now only is the time to prepare to meet God.

VII.  If unprepared, meeting Him will be terrible.

What tongue can tell, what pen depict the awful state of him who, unprepared, shall meet his God?

The man in beggar’s garb may, as he stands before his king, elicit his sympathy and help; but for a man to appear before God in the rags of sin, is to expose himself to the wrath of Him from before the awful majesty of Whose countenance the heavens and the earth shall fly away.

1904 Jan “20th Century Pastor”
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