Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A lesson on the fragility of life with reference to the attacks of September 11th. Asks how we can be better prepared to meet eternity. Includes lyrics from "Meet Me in the Stairwell."



I. Read lyrics from popular song:

Meet Me in the Stairwell

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news, September 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say "Good-Bye". I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK... I am ready to go". I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children.

I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized that he wasn’t coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell on the 23rd floor when a women cried out to me for help. "I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!" I said. "Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now."

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there. Comforting and assuring them that their Faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Kansas, Mississippi, London, Quebec, Seattle. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me? I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though they did NOT all know Me. Some met me for the first time on the 100th floor. Some sought me out in their last breath. Some couldn’t hear me calling to them through the smoke and flames. "Come to Me... This way.... Take my hand."

Some chose, for the final time, to ignore me. But I WAS THERE.

Most of you were not in the TOWERS that day. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me? Would you have heard My call to follow me?

September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go".

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments. Meet me there.

We are not promised an opportunity to dedicate our lives to Christ beyond this very moment. Even if we have become Christians, are we ready to meet our Lord?

II. Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 … read

Matthew 24:36-25:46 (esp.24:36-44 … read)

1 John 2:28

III. Discussion:

We’ve discussed the Rapture and the obsession with end times, the rapture, Armageddon, Tribulation, Millenium, etc. However, ignoring for the moment the futility and distraction of these doctrines, we are far more likely to meet our physical death before we face judgment. Our lives are SO fragile … in a moment it can be extinguished. Whether by

a head-on car wreck;

heart attack;

lightning strike;

a fall down the stairs;

plane crash or

terrorist attack. The end may come slowly just as easily but can we ever count on having life ten minutes from now? NEVER! We must be prepared.

American Poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ’It might have been!’"

In order to experience the tranquility God wants us to have, we must surrender our lives to Him. Then, when our earthly existence is being snuffed-out, we have no reason to fear. WHAT PEACE!

One time when 20th Century Fox advertised in the New York papers to fill a vacancy in its sales force, one applicant replied: "I am at present selling furniture at the address below. You may judge my ability as a saleman if you will stop in to see me at anytime, pretending that you are interested in buying furniture. When you come in, you can identify me by my red hair. And I will have no way of identifying you. Such salesmanship as I exhibit during your visit, therefore, will be no more than my usual workday approach and not a special effort to impress a prospective employer." From among more than 1500 applicants, this guy got the job. Jesus wants us ready like that. We don’t know when He’s coming back, so be prepared all the time

Discussion Questions:

1. What does it take to be “ready” for Christ’s return?

2. What prevents us from really knowing that each day could be our last?

3. What can we do to be better prepared for our death?

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