Lest Ye Be Entangled
The affairs of this world can so entangle us that we will not be ready when our Lord comes!
By W. C. Moore
The great electromagnet will catch up all sorts of steel as it is operated around the metal piles. Loose steel scraps, nails, spikes, big chunks and slabs of iron and steel, rusty steel, oily steel, steel splinters, large pieces and small pieces are snatched up together.
But there is one kind of steel that does not rise to meet the magnet. Do you know what kind it is? It is real steel, too – the genuine steel article.
It is that piece of steel, large or small, or whatever shape, that is entangled with something that holds it down. For instance, a finely tempered steel nail is driven into a board. The wood holds it tightly clasped. It cannot respond to that mighty urge within that would send it flying through the air to meet the magnet. It is entangled; it is bound. If the board should catch on fire and burn away – then the steel nail would be released and respond to the magnet's pull.
So those Christians who are all wrapped up with earthly things, either cares or pleasures – let me repeat – either cares or pleasures will not be willing or able to "let go" quickly enough to be caught away when Jesus comes.
"If There Be First a Willing Mind"
The steel has no choice – but we do. It's up to us each one, individually, to choose whether or not we will be ready when Jesus comes. There is no respect of persons with God (1 Pet. 1:17). Unto every one that hath shall be given (Mark 4:25). "As thy days, so shall thy strength be" (Deut. 33:25). "If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not" (2 Cor. 8:12).
God is just (Zech. 9:9). "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (Jas. 4:8). Start sincerely and wholeheartedly toward God and He runs to meet you, just as the father whom Jesus tells about ran to meet his erring son when that weak and wicked young man really started back home (Luke 15:20).
Come unto Jesus and He will give you rest (Matt. 11:28-30). The only reason that you do not have rest and peace and victory is simply because you do not come with all your heart to Jesus and take time and make time to get His peace and victory and rest into your soul. "Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). This is an unbreakable truth of God.
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth" (Luke 21:34-35).
Here Jesus is speaking to His own disciples, implying that if they did not take warning and put their hearts into the doing of what He told them, they would be taken in the snare which would surprise the world of sinners and "that day" of Judgment would come upon them when they least expected it. "In such an hour as ye (disciples) think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:44).
"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11).
Jesus' Words Are for Us Now – Today
Jesus, the Son of God, is the Head of the church. His words are for us, now, today! He is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Testament) under the provisions of which we live now – today. He told His disciples to teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded them (Matt. 28:16-20). Surely the Heavenly Bridegroom Himself – Jesus – knows best what kind of preparation He would have His bride – the overcoming company of saints – to make that they may be ready when He comes for them.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36). That "ye" is for us, Christians! If we do not watch and pray always, how can we hope to escape "all these things" coming upon the earth?
It was the bidden guests who knew all about the coming great supper who grieved the heart of the great Host so that He said: "None of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper" (Luke 14:24). Why? Not because they had not at one time been instructed, and even prepared to sit at the Master's table, for they were indeed invited guests. But other things had engaged their attention, their interest, their love, to the extent that they were not willing to leave those things and come at the Master's call.
Not a Selfish Ambition
Jesus was not selfish, yet He promises to other overcomers: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne" (Rev. 3:21). Notice: "even as I also overcame."
Certainly no child of God in his right mind would ever think of Jesus as being selfish. Paul, that ardent, self-denying racer and battler for the cause of the Christ whom he loved so devotedly, says: "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14). Paul was not selfish. We cannot help others to be ready for the coming of the Lord unless we ourselves are pressing in to be ready. Jesus says, "He that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad" (Matt. 12:30).
We must forget past defeats lest we be discouraged. We must forget past victories lest we be taken up with pride and self-satisfaction. We are not living in the past. Why indulge in useless, self-indulgent remorse, or in idle dreaming? Every bit of strength and energy and skill and money and time we have is sorely and desperately needed right now to do the things our Heavenly Father has in mind for us to do. "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:16).
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:44). It is a direct and positive command for us, His disciples, to be ready! Jesus says, "If a man love Me, he will keep My words" (John 14:23). If we begin to be careless, self-indulgent, and to fight back at – "smite" – other Christians, we will not be ready for the coming of the Lord. We shall have our portion with the hypocrites – Jesus Himself being the authority for this statement (Matt. 24:48-51), "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
"Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). They who are with the Lamb of God are not only called, but also chosen and faithful (Rev. 17:14). "The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready" (Rev. 19:7).
Oh friends, let us lay aside every weight – not only positive sins, but everything, little or big, that hinders our preparation for Christ's coming or that makes us less efficient in helping others to be ready for that great day! (Heb. 12:1-2). Let us run "with patience." Not stop running, but be patient – joyfully enduring – while running the race. Not murmuring; not complaining; not finding fault with and picking to pieces other Christians, not smiting our fellow servants, but warning them night and day with tears (Acts 20:31); exhorting them, considering them to provoke them to love and to good works.
"Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:44).