An eager‑to‑win‑souls barber had a rather curious way of beginning evangelistic conversations with his clients. As he laid his customer back in the chair and soaped his face, he would then strop his razor and place its honed edge to the man’s neck as he asked, “Are you ready to die?” You can understand why several such customers fled from the barber’s chair still smocked and lathered! The poor barber lacked a sense of timing, but you have to appreciate his interest in influencing others to be ready for death.

Jesus told a parable about ten virgins ‑‑ five wise and five foolish ‑‑ and the point of the story was that men need to be ready to meet Him. Matthew 25:1‑13 is a study in the foolishness of not being ready to meet Jesus. Of course, one need not die to meet Him, for some will be alive when He returns (1 Thess. 4:15). But most people do not prepare for death, because they are not thinking about eternity at all. Now, they may make funeral arrangements but this is not the same as preparing for death. Consider that in the parable Jesus told, all of the virgins were looking for the coming of the bridegroom. Even the foolish ones knew he was going to arrive sometime. But they were ill‑prepared. If they were considered foolish, how utterly stupid people must be who are neither anticipating the Lord’s return, nor preparing their souls for death. So we soberly ask, “Are you ready to die?”