Summary: This sermon is about preparing for the return of Jesus Christ
Intro: I, like many of you have viewed hours of television this past week concerning the destruction in New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama. They say this is now the worst natural disaster in American history. One question that has been posed is this, with a giant storm barreling down on this area, why wasn’t everyone ready when it arrived. Today, that is the biggest question about the approaching storm, why aren’t people ready.
The Approaching Storm
Luke 12: 54-56
For today’s sermon I have taken a few responses that I heard about why people didn’t leave these areas when they knew the storm was approaching.
Before we preach, let me give you these responses:
a. We have heard these same predictions before, but they never happened, so we didn’t think it would happen this time.
b. We thought maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as it was
c. We thought we had more time than we did
d. We listened to people who were giving the report that it might miss us.
I. We have heard this all before: one of the classic excuses for missing the rapture of Jesus Christ is this: we have heard this all before, but it never happened.
· Today I want you to know this: even if you have heard preaching on Christ’s return a thousand times, you better be ready because there is a storm on the horizon that we all can see.
· It is amazing that the last 4-5 people that I have talked to about the return of Jesus Christ all have had the exact same response: preachers have been preaching this ever since I was a child.
Ill) a young preacher forget his sermon and remembered that at seminary they said, repeat your last point and it will cause you to remember your next point. So he repeated, I am coming soon, be ready. He still couldn’t remember, so he said again, I am coming soon, be ready. On the third time, he really put all his emotions and said, I am coming soon, be ready, and tripped over a cord, fell off the platform, and landed in an elderly ladies lap. He apologized to her, she said, sonny, it’s my fault, you told be three times you were coming, and I still wasn’t ready.
II. We didn’t think it would be as bad as it was: a lot of the people were not prepared because they didn’t believe the magnitude of the approaching storm. Today, let me warn you, the end time scenario is worst than you can imagine.
· When this world is turned over to the Anti-Christ, it will be worse than you can imagine. The best left behind movie cannot even scratch the surface of how awful this demon possessed world will be.
· If you can’t live for God today, why would anyone think they will live for God in tribulation.
· This past week we have seen the best in people, but also the worst. When the church is taken out of the world, the worst of the worst spirit’s will be in control. It will be 1000 times more awful than downtown New Orleans at night.
Ill) years ago there were groups who taught that the church would go through the entire tribulation. Many of them moved to remote areas, dug wells, planted gardens, bought generators and stored 7 years of can goods and other supplies. To me, these are people who don’t understand the magnitude of the storm.
III. We thought we had more time than we did: if you have ever tried to witness to anyone, this is the greatest excuse for not surrendering to Christ there is: they say, I just need a little more time.
Ill) it reminds me of the blind date of Jeff and Janel I read about: for some reason Jeff was two hours late. Janel figured she had been stood up, so she took off her make-up, put on her pajamas, put in a video, made some popcorn for her and her dog. When Jeff knocked on the door, she answered the door. His response was: I am two hours late and you’re still not ready?
· One excuse that is common: I need a little more time to work a few things out in my life. I am planning on giving it all to God someday.
· Now isn’t a good time, I am young, I have got a lot of living to do, and I will surrender to God when I am older and settled down.
Ill) there have been two times in my life that proves this is wrong thinking on anyone’s part. When I was 14, a friend of mine name Alan came by an played basketball for a few hours. He left for supper, and the next morning I heard the news. On the way home on his bike he was hit by a truck and killed instantly. The other event: I talked with two brothers who were lifting weights at the Warrior field house, on the way home they hit a patch of ice, the younger brother was killed instantly, the older brother was in a coma for weeks.