Unwilling To Prepare

Many people at the judgment will say to the Lord, “I’ve been a good person.” Many have
never been guilty of what they consider to be serious transgressions of God’s commands. They
think they should be admitted to heaven solely on the basis of their conduct. In Jesus’ day, the
Pharisees considered themselves good people.
In chapter 25 of Matthew, the end-of-time pictures Jesus paints were not about people
who had been bad. All of the pictures are about people who could have prepared for eternity, but
did not. They knew what they needed to do, but decided to leave those things undone. The five
foolish virgins should have known their lamps would likely go out, but instead of preparing for
that eventuality, they ignored it until it was too late (Matt. 25:1-13).
The one-talent man’s problem was that he was unwilling to work. He had been given an
amount of money that represented an opportunity which he hid in the ground. He was called
wicked, not because he was a bad person, but because he was afraid and didn’t want to work
(Matt. 25:14-30).
When Jesus judges the world in righteousness, some will be condemned because they
knew there was work to be done, but they just didn’t want to do it (Matt. 25:31-46). These
people were not bad; they just failed to do the things Jesus wanted. “I was hungry and you gave
Me no meat: I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me not in:
naked and you clothed Me not: sick and in prison and you visited Me not (Matt. 25:42-43).
Friends, there is more to being faithful than just avoiding those sins we think will
condemn us. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin (James
4:17). How many will be turned away from heaven who just are unwilling to prepare?

~ John Henson,
Forthright Magazine, Nov.16, 2012;
Harrisburg church of Christ, Harrisburg, IL