PEOPLE GET READY!

25 03 2019

“Ready or not Jesus is coming

I have been preaching these days about being ready when Jesus comes back for us. The Bible gives us more than enough heads up about the truth that soon and very soon, we are going to see the King. While God will keep His promise about coming back to get us, there is a catch before “The Great Snatch.” Nobody knows the day nor the hour when it will all take place.

 

Now there have been many attempts to name the moment when the Second Coming of Christ will occur. Self-proclaimed Bible scholars have boasted ignorantly to have figured it all out and then proceeded to publicly announce what the Scriptures clearly teach could never be known. You couldn’t even bribe an angel to snitch on the sacred secret. Matthew 24:36 teaches, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” If Jesus hasn’t received the memo, I can guarantee you that some Preacher from Poughkeepsie has no clue what he is talking about.

 

Several years ago, I flew with Will Morey in his plane over our little area of Paradise here in South Jersey. I saw the beauty and at the same time I saw our vulnerability. Let’s face the fact, we are only one superstorm away to being obliterated! Now you and I still enjoy the daily blessings we experience by having our address here in Cape May County, but we can’t ever take the warning of a hurricane for granted. We should be ready that our world can change at any given moment. The same is true for Christians. We engage, live, move and have our being on planet Earth, but as Disciples of the Lord, our real citizenship is in Heaven. Knowing this, we should always live with an eye to the sky.

 

If we are believers in Jesus, we have nothing to worry about when it comes to dates and times. Our biggest responsibility is to just be ready. Christians should not react to the coming of our Savior as a negative thing. When a thief comes to our residence, we don’t celebrate our good fortune. We call the Police. If you aren’t looking forward to seeing Jesus burst through the clouds, it is probably because you aren’t expecting Him. God is coming back to get His kids! If you don’t join in with Him, then what He meant has a moment of divine rescue will only lead to a day of reckoning.

 

I’ve been watching lots of College Basketball this weekend and it is March Madness. As happens many times, you will see a player make a miraculous shot. The only problem was that the clock had already timed out. You made the basket, but you made it too late and what could have been a celebration is now a time of uncontrollable tears! The Gospel has made it possible for every man and woman to celebrate their union with Jesus not by achieving God’s love but by receiving the free gift of salvation. If I knew ahead of time that I win by being on the Lord’s team, why would I choose to wear any other uniform?    

 

I’m not going to lie to you. The price may be right in that Jesus paid it all but faith is not cheap. We are called to take up our cross, deny ourselves daily and follow Him obediently and faithfully. When people realize that Christianity is not about cramming God into their plans, many head for the exit. Another problem is that there are so many voices in everyone’s sphere of influence telling them to do the exact opposite of God’s will. There will always be an individual who will sell out and tell you what you want to hear. Only those who really love you will care enough to speak the truth, even when it hurts and especially when it helps. Finally, sin is easy. We do it with our eyes closed and we pull it off quite naturally. Nobody should fool themselves and pretend that sin isn’t fun. The real issue though is that the pleasure is temporary and passing. Again, it comes down to choosing between a quick fix or an eternal redemption! Many will forfeit Heaven because they decide to live like Hell. God has so much more for us. But the true treasure is when we allow the Lord to do so much more in us.

 

I love when God shows me new things in the Bible. Mark’s Gospel was actually influenced by the Apostle Peter. When I read this, I noticed in Chapter 13:35-37 these words, “Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Master is coming, in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster– or in the morning –lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say to you I say to all, ‘Watch!” Did you see it? Peter adds the unique addition of “the crowing of a rooster.” It was Peter who boldly declared that he was ready and prepared. He shot off his mouth in front of his peers that even if everyone else fell away, he was going to be with Jesus until the bitter end. What was the sound that proved Peter wasn’t ready to back up his talk? It was the crowing of a rooster! I wonder if Peter cringed every time he heard a rooster for the rest of his days? I do know that after the Day of Pentecost, Peter lived with his life on the line constantly. No rooster’s rap was going to stop him ever again.

 

D.L. Moody, the great evangelist, was preaching in Chicago on October 8, 1871. Before him was the largest congregation he had ever addressed in the city. He concluded his sermon with a blunder that he called the biggest mistake in his life, one he vowed he would give his right hand to take back.  D.L. Moody gave the people a week to decide for Christ. That night the great Chicago fire broke out and many of the people who were there were killed. Moody said that was the last time he ever told anyone to postpone a decision for Christ.

 

If you are reading this today, my biggest hope for you is not that you win the lottery or marry the person of your dreams. More than anything, I wish you to know and love Jesus. I invite you to open your heart to the Lord and let Him transform you from the inside out. I know many will be tempted to put it off, but please don’t. There’s no guarantee that you have another day, week, month or year! There are so many voices. Many of them are the words of the thief, who longs to steal, kill and destroy any life that God wants to plant within you. Ignore the liars and deceivers and false teachers, and run away from the temptation to sink even deeper into the chaos of sin and unbelief. On your own, you have no guarantee that you can be rescued from any of that. This is why the Bible says, “Today is the day of salvation.” Ready or not, Jesus is coming back. I want to see you in Heaven!

 


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