“Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” —Amos 4:12
On happy Sabbaths when the atmosphere of your souls is clear, and the Sun of Righteousness shines forth with power, you dwell in the land Beulah, and behold so vividly the New Jerusalem and its royal Lord, that, as though an angel spoke, you hear the round, “Prepare to meet your God.” Often when the hymn is swelling up to heaven, you feel as if you could mount upon it and pass through the gate of pearl. At the holy supper table, bow loud is the call to come up higher into the excellent glory! Young as I am, and earthbound, to me, even to me, the communion table has made me unloose my cable, spread my sails, and long for that last voyage which shall make this world a foreign shore, and the glory land the harbour of our spirits. Surely, my aged brethren, it must be far more go with you who have so many friends across the water, so many of your best beloved on the other side of Jordan, your strength of experience and your weakness of body must both tend to give frequency to the message, “Prepare to meet thy God.” To you the tidings are happy; you are exiles and you long for home, you are children at school and you pine for your Father’s house.
But now I must pass on to notice that those words have not always that sweet ring of the silver bells about them. They are words of caution to the vast majority of men. “Prepare to meet thy God.” Alas! How many of you to whom I now speak are unprepared! It pains me to think of it…. Be thou ready, for in such an hour as thou thinkest not, the Son of Man will call for thee.” You have had sicknesses in your own body; you are not now the strong man you once were; you have already passed through many perils; what are all these but voices from the God of mercy saying, “Consider your ways”? You are not such a simpleton as to think that you shall never die— you know you will. Neither are you so insane as to think that when you die, your death will be that of a horse or a dog. You know there is a hereafter and a state of being in which men shall be judged according to the deeds that they have done in the body, whether they be good or whether they be evil; may I therefore press upon your earnest recollection, and your intense consideration at this present moment, the exhortation of the text, “Prepare to meet thy God!”
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, March 27, 1870
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 16, Sermon No. 923
“Prepare to Meet Thy God”