Sledding February 15When I was sixteen I started working at the Piggly Wiggly grocery in the town where I grew up. During the five years that I worked there we carried out groceries for anyone who got more than they could carry in their hands. The job was considered carry-out/stock-boy. That meant on top of carrying out everyone’s groceries we were also responsible for stocking shelves. That included putting out milk and bread. It was actually a pretty good job for a teenager, but the recent weather in East Tennessee has brought back some not so pleasant memories.

As most everyone knows by now, anytime the weatherman calls for snow or ice there will be a huge rush to the store to stock up on milk and bread (I was pretty certain my boss was in a conspiracy with the local weather men). The recent weather system was no exception. A couple weeks ago the forecast was calling for as much as eight to ten inches of snow along with three quarters an inch of ice. I saw reports on local news stations that many stores were sold completely out of milk and bread. Hardware stores were also sold out of generators and kerosene heaters, and some stations had lines of people waiting to get kerosene.

No doubt the recent weather conditions have been dangerous, and it is always good to be prepared. After all ice could knock out the power in rural areas for several days. The combination of snow and ice make roads difficult to navigate. I even saw reports on the news of the rare case of people losing their lives to the extreme weather conditions. Some were traffic fatalities, and at least one was hypothermia due to loss of power at a man’s residence. These conditions make for scary times. There is no wonder people rush to make preparations.

The only surprising thing to me is that there is a forecast that has been given that is much scarier, yet few are rushing to make preparations. In Second Thessalonians chapter one Paul said that Jesus would be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in a flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:6-10). Some may think that God is slack concerning this promise, but Peter warned that people would think such (2 Pet. 3:9). Peter also describes this day as a day of fire (2 Pet. 3:7). In his description, Peter said that the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat (2 Pet. 3:12). Did you get that, not snow and ice, but a flaming fire? Which is scarier?

The difference with this forecast is that only the Father in heaven knows the day and time (Matt. 24:36). This is not really a forecast but a guarantee. It will be a day that comes on us as a thief in the night (2 Pet. 3:10). Therefore, the only way to be prepared for this day is to always be ready. Can you imagine what it would look like on Sunday morning if people prepared for this event the way they do for bad weather? There would not be an empty seat on any pew in any church building. Yet, most buildings do well to be half full. It makes you wonder if people think that God is lying about his promise. What do you think? Do you truly believe in God? Do you know God? Have you obeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8)? Are you ready for today to be your last? Are you ready for this to be your last hour, your last minute on earth? Are you ready?