Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Letter From Dan Preston - December 3, 2021

Letter From Dan Preston

December 3, 2021

Greetings and Happy Sabbath!  I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday as much as we did.  We had 14 together in Gatlinburg and enjoyed the time with family as well as the beautiful scenery.

Getting ready

One of the most challenging things about our gathering this year was the fact that it was not at anyone's home.  Why is that challenging?  If you run out of something, you can't just run to the pantry and get it!

Because of this, the family had a shared document online where we assembled menus, grocery and supply lists.  As each of us gathered something, we would check it off the list so everyone else knew it was taken care of.  I'm glad to say it worked out well and we had (almost) everything we needed!

Are you ready?

While this gathering and the subsequent supply lists were for a few days in the mountains with family, I think there's a parallel to be seen.  Are you ready for your upcoming trip?  

'What trip?' you might ask. While ultimately our journey is to the kingdom of God, we must recognize we will face some rough roads between here and there.  This time, often referred to as the great tribulation and the time of Jacob's trouble, is a time that the Bible shows most will not be prepared for.

Get it together

As you've no doubt seen, it's getting more challenging to find things on store shelves or even online.  And while we shouldn't go out and hoard supplies, it would be wise to do a certain amount of stocking up for our physical needs such as food, water and personal hygiene.

More importantly than that, we need to be spiritually prepared for challenging times.  The day we run of food to eat is NOT the day to draw close to God.  Isaiah 55:6 tells us, "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near."  While some mistakenly interpret this verse to mean draw close to God before He abandons you, a much more appropriate understanding is that we should draw close to Him while He is near in our hearts.  Not when times get hard, and we begin to wonder if He has forsaken us.  

Once again, are you ready?

While you may or may not use a physical checklist as you prepare for end-time tribulation, there are some appropriate questions to ask yourself.  Do I really understand how difficult things could get?  Am I up for the mental and emotional strain?  What if I can't go to the grocery store for a week? I think COVID opened a lot of our eyes to that last one...

But more importantly than any of those things, the question you have to ask is: Do I trust God?  Will He protect me from violence, disease and famine?  And if He chooses not to, do I trust He will bring me back to life in a body where those things are no longer a concern? 

Heavy questions to be sure, but ones we must have no doubt of.  Above all physical and mental preparation you might do, don't forget to draw close to God so that when tough times appear, your faith in your creator will carry you through any circumstances you might face!