Summary: This sermon is a challenge concerning the need to be prepared for eternity
Are You Prepared?
I want to speak to you on the most serious subject about which one man can speak to another. This subject is of the utmost importance for you and my prayer is that you will listen carefully.
I want to speak to you about an appointment scheduled on the calendar of your existence. You have not scheduled this appointment, but it has been scheduled for you. In fact, you do not know the date or the hour for which it is scheduled. You cannot cancel this appointment. You cannot avoid this appointment. You say, "What is this appointment of which you speak?". This appointment is found in Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement'.
Every single person in this room has an appointment with death. We do not know the day or the hour,but we know that every day we live brings us one day closer to our appointment.Not only will we die, but we will also stand before God. Amos 4:12 says, "Prepare to meet thy God". You see no man knows the day or the hour of his death, yet we must prepare for it.
My friend, when death comes to knock on your door and you cannot shut him out, are you prepared? Are you prepared to meet God? Not are you prepared according to what you think, or according to what others have said, but are you prepared according to the Bible for ultimately that is all that really matters.
In Jesus' earthly ministry, He called one man a fool. He called a man a fool because that man had failed to prepare to meet God. In Luke 12, Jesus told of a rich man whose fields yielded him a large harvest. He began to plan to build larger barns and to eat, drink, and be merry. His only thought was for this life and Jesus said of Him in Luke 12:20, "Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee".
Jesus knew what that rich man did not know. That very night, death would hurry on his errand. Death would cross the fields of the rich man. It would steal past his barns and through the door of his stately mansion. Death would move down the halls lined with the finest furnishings, and death would stop and enter the room where the rich man lay dreaming of all his wealth. Death would put forth its icy hand and the rich man's heart would cease to beat, his life would be over. The rich didn't expect it, he didn't anticipate it, but death came anyway. And Jesus said the rich man was a fool because he made no preperation for that appointment, he had made no provision for his meeting with God.
May I say that death lingers not far from anyone of us. All that it would take is a drunk driver to cross the line, a robber to pull a gun, or a house to catch fire. Are we prepared to meet God?
You ask, "What is the big deal to stand before God? I mean God is love". That is true, but God is also holy. God is completely pure and without sin. He has no fault in Him and He dwells in perfection. The angels arround God's throne cry, "holy, holy, holy" day and night. Because God is holy, He cannot tolerate sin. He cannot overlook sin. His holiness requires that He judges sin, because sin is a transgression against a Holy God.
And there is the problem. We are not holy. We are not pure. In fact we are all sinners who have violated the laws of the Holy God. Romans 3:10 says, "There is none righteous, no not one". Romans 5:12 tells us that all have sinned. All of us have had wrong thoughts, said wrong things, and have committed wrong actions. We know in our hearts that we are sinners and that we must face a holy God.
But you say, "Wait a minute, I am o.k. after all I am religious". Jesus said to a religious man named Nicodemus in John 3, "Ye must be born again". Religion cannot take away our sin. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone man should boast'. It is possible to be religious but lost.
You might be trusting in the fact that you consider yourself a good person. Let me ask you a few questions to see if that is true. The 9th commandment tells us not to bear false witness. Have you ever told a lie? Of course. That makes you a liar. The 8th commandment tells us not to steal. Have you ever taken anything no matter how small that did not belong to you? If so you are a thief. The 7th commandment tells us not to committ adultery. Jesus said if we look at a woman to lust after her we have committed adultery in our heart. So out of only 3 of the 10 commandments we would have to admit we are a liar, or an adulterer, or a thief and in most cases all three. Jesus said that if we keep the whole law and yet offend in one point we are guilty of breaking it all.