Last week, I promised at the end of my post that this week I’d write about this question – are we prepared for Christ when He comes again?
It’s a question I’ve been thinking about for a while, even before I made that promise last week, and I knew it was something I’d want to write about here on the blog. I spent some time brainstorming what people prepared for Christ are and do, and I ended up with 22 traits of people who are prepared for Christ.
My plan was to make this post a list of all 22 traits. But as I was setting up the post, I had one thought come to mind –
A people prepared FOR Christ are a people who have been prepared BY Christ.
And after thinking about that for a few minutes, I scrapped the list of 22 traits. I might share them on social media sometime (after General Conference, probably), but I felt that now wasn’t the time to address the traits of people prepared for Christ.
Because, yes, we could work toward developing those traits and become great people as a result. Chances are that working toward developing those traits would prepare us for Christ.
But without first building a base, those traits don’t have a lot to stand on. And unless our efforts to develop those traits are centered on our relationship with Christ and a desire to become like Him, we won’t truly be prepared to meet Christ when He returns to earth in glory.
After all, all of the traits on that list I came up with are traits exhibited by Jesus Christ Himself.
So how do we become people prepared for Christ, by Christ, before working on our individual traits? Let’s look at our role in this – and remember, these things aren’t steps; these are things that continually build on each other throughout our lives.
Choose Christ as Your Full-Time Partner
If we want to be prepared by Christ, we need to accept Him as our partner. The fact is, if we don’t turn to Him and work with Him in every aspect of our lives, we can’t be fully prepared by Him or for Him.
This seems like such a simple thing, but friends, this can be a real challenge.
We have so many distractions in our lives. We face a lot of uncertainty, fear, and questions every single day.
Maybe it’s hard to believe that simply trusting in one person completely will be enough to see us through every day of our lives.
We might be tempted to trust money more because it gives us security and comfort. We might trust social media more because we can reach out to a lot of people at once. We might trust politicians more because they’re the ones who determine our legal freedoms.
Or we might not trust anyone because who in this messed up world could possibly have the answers to everything in our lives?
It can seem impossible that someone, anyone, can really understand us and help us. It can be hard to believe that we matter.
And yet, Christ is that person. He’s the One who always cares about us, no matter what we’ve done. He’s the One who understands us because He’s made the sacrifice necessary to do so. He has all the answers we’re looking for, and He’s the one who’s made us truly free.
When you choose to turn to Jesus Christ as your partner, your full-time partner, you have all the security, assurance, love, understanding, purpose, and answers you could possibly need.
Unbelievable as it might seem, it’s true.
And that’s why we need to risk having the faith to choose Him as our partner. If we really want to be prepared for Christ, we need to turn to Him every day.
Learn Everything You Can About Christ
The more we know Christ, the easier it is to trust Him. And the more we trust Him, the more He can prepare us and strengthen us.
And yes, part of learning about Christ is studying the scriptures. Studying the scriptures teaches us both the basics and the depths of Christ’s character and works. These things help us know Him, and what’s more, they help us recognize Him in other places.
Because we can learn about Him in more ways than by reading the scriptures.
There are, of course, countless books written about Christ. And sometimes you can find Christ in the most unlikely of books, even fantasy books. These books might not teach perfect doctrine, but when you look for Christ, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn about Him in unlikely places. Those unlikely places aren’t limited to books either. Keep Him in mind as you observe everything in the world around you. The Holy Spirit will teach you about Christ as you do this.
It’s also important to learn about Christ by observing the people around you. You’ll see people who reach out to others, serve, love, comfort, and more – all things that Christ does.
And act on those things as well. One of the best ways to learn something is by doing, and I don’t think there’s a better way to understand Christ than by stepping into His shoes for a moment to serve the way He would.
There are so many ways to learn about our Savior and to get to know Him personally. Our job is to keep Him front of mind so we can take every opportunity to learn of Him.
Obey Christ’s Commandments
We can’t expect to work as partners with Christ if we aren’t doing our work as a partner. Partnering with Christ doesn’t mean He does everything for us. It means we work together to accomplish God’s work.
But because Christ is the one who made this partnership possible, He gets to set the rules of the partnership. And we can either choose to follow those rules – or not. If we don’t, the partnership kind of falls apart until we decide to follow the rules and return to doing our part in the partnership.
Obeying God’s commandments is one of the most repeated pleas in the scriptures, if not the most repeated plea. Christ wants to partner with us. He’s sacrificed everything, paid the price, so we can be partners with Him and return together to our Father in Heaven.
But it’s our choice to obey or not. And until we do, there can’t really be a partnership.
And really, do we think we can be prepared to meet Christ when He comes again if we aren’t obeying His commandments?
This is a plea we need to take seriously. Commandments are not guidelines or suggestions. They’re a major part of our role in God’s work, and until we choose to obey them, we can’t really be a part of God’s work.
Become Familiar with Christ’s Atonement
Finally, as we partner with Christ, we need to become as familiar as possible with His Atonement. It has so many facets that we need to understand for two reasons:
First, when we understand the Atonement, we can know how to apply it in our lives. And second, when we understand the Atonement, we can teach and help others to understand it better as well.
These two reasons are key to God’s plan and work. We need to be familiar with how the Atonement helps us repent, how it comforts us, how we can face each day with faith, how we can keep trying in the face of our weaknesses, how the Atonement exhibits God’s love for us, and so many other things about it. Christ’s Atonement is infinite, which means it can be applied to our lives in an infinite number of ways.
We may never have a perfect understanding of Christ’s Atonement, but the more we understand it and Christ, the more Christ can prepare us for when He comes to earth again.