“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 
When I joined the Boy Scouts, one of the very first things I learned was the famous motto, “Be Prepared.” That is I memorized it. Whether I really learned the meaning of the motto is up for discussion. For the words of my mom are still immortalized in my brain, “Forget must be your middle name.”
Regardless of the position we take on the interpretation of this passage, there is no mistaking Jesus’ main challenge to all believers: Be prepared at all times. Do not let down your guard. Keep doing the work of the kingdom, preaching the gospel throughout the world. Do not become obsessed with the future but invest yourself in the present in order to be prepared when the future arrives and you stand before the king.
Our tendency in church circles is to get so enamored by some particular Bible teacher’s grasp on prophetic events that we forget the purpose of knowing how things in our world end up: To invest ourselves in the present, so we will be ready for the great future events.
Let’s invest ourselves today, to be ready for the future. Let’s be prepared!
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Mt 24:3–14). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.