Around many holidays, families gather to enjoy one another’s company, to reminisce about times gone by and to have a meal together. It is a great time for most. It takes planning and work to have such a gathering.
Many times, the ladies have worked hard to clean and cook. The men may have helped or cleaned up the yard or even the house, and there is always one or two who think everything just happens, and they do little or nothing to help.
While those who did the labor are tired, when the day arrives and the families are all gathered, the value of all that work is seen, and probably even forgotten.
These times should help one to see how it will be in heaven one day. Going home to God for the gathering of all the saved throughout eternity will be a great day. This event also means preparations have to take place. There are things God says in is word must be done in order to enjoy the greatest gathering ever.
And just like in the family gathering on earth, there will be those who think God has done everything and they will just get to enjoy the gathering having done no preparation.
God’s grace is given to man. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:4-10).
This passage is one that is often misunderstood, simply because of a lack of understanding of God’s grace. Grace is a gift of God.
He willingly has given this great gift for all mankind, but it is just like any gift, it has to be accepted. If man chooses not to accept this gift, God will not force man to do so.
God extends the gift, but it must be accepted. This is like the preparation for the family gathering.
The preparation for the heavenly gathering means keeping God’s commandments as they are given in the Bible (Jno. 14:15). Jesus taught this on more than one occasion.
Matthew recorded Jesus saying, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:21-13).
One must do as Jesus said and obey the will of God.
God teaches in his word that one must believe in Jesus that he is the Son of God, they must repent of their sins, and confess Jesus to be the Son of God and then be baptized for the remission of their sins.
Then one must live faithfully according to God’s word. All this preparation takes work, but it is well worth all the effort. Some might say well works should not be involved only faith.
These people need to listen to James as he said, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:19).
All need to prepare for the great gathering.