Summary: Are we ready for death? If not what do we need to do.
Are you Ready??
There was a man went in for physical and got a call from the doctor a couple of days later. The Doctor said that he had bad and worse news. "Give me the bad" the man asked. "Your tests showed that you had 48 hours to live." replied the doctor. "That’s the bad news! That’s the worst thing I have ever heard! How can there be worse news that that?" The man asked. The doctor paused for a moment then replied, "Well, I’ve been trying to call you for 2 days now.”
Poor guy – nothing could prepare you for that sort of news. How would you react if you were told you had just days, weeks or even a couple of months to live. Would you be ready to die?
2 weeks ago, I was in Brisbane for 4 days attending some bible college lectures. It was being held at Gateway Baptist church and we were into day 2 of lectures. Our lecturer was Tim Hanna, the senior pastor at Gateway. Well about 11o’clock, our lectures were interrupted by their office secretary with a message. One of the young ladies at the church had just died. She was in her mid 20’s and had been married for less than a year. She was supposed to have come to church that morning to be involved in an outreach program to less well off ladies in their community, but she didn’t answer the door when her friends called for her. Strangely, she wasn’t at the church either and so her friends went back and managed to break into her house – only to find her dead in the bath tub. She was an epileptic and had a fit while having a bath – she’d drowned. Last Tuesday morning, a young lady, with her whole life ahead of her, so it seemed, passed from this life to the next. What a shock – to her husband, her parents, her friends, her church, us – who didn’t even know her. No one knew that Monday was going to be her last day alive on this earth. I wonder whether she was ready to die?
It might sound like a strange question, but let’s face it, one day each of us is going to die. There is absolutely nothing surer – each one of us will at some time breathe our last breathe. For many people, that is scary, but for the Christian, it should not be scary at all.
A little boy was once seen taking a short cut across a cemetery lot just about dark. He was later asked, aren’t you afraid. He answered, "No, I only cut through here to get home." Death or the grave is only a shortcut home. For a Christian, going to heaven is going home, it should not hold any fear, but it does – so often it does. And definitely, for those that don’t know Christ, there is a lot of fear.
Why is that? Why do people fear dying? What is it that we are scared of?
I want to suggest that one of the reasons people are scared of dying is because they are not ready for death. We are simply not prepared. Tonight I want to talk a bit about what it means to be ready for death – because, it could come any time for any one of us and we all need to be ready.
Jesus talked a lot about death. He also talked a lot about his second coming and he often didn’t differentiate between them. You see, Jesus’ second coming is that time when he returns to earth to take all those who believe in him to heaven. It is the end of a Christian’s life on this earth. Do you see now how it is like death? It is an event which marks the transition from Earth to eternity.
Tonight, I want to focus on one parable Jesus told which spoke of death and our need to be ready for either death or his second coming. We’re going to read from Luke 12:13
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Someone had a problem he wanted Jesus to solve it. It was common practice for people to bring their problems to rabbis/teachers for help. He apparently had a brother who had an inheritance and he wanted part of the pie. Now we don’t know whether it was a justifiable grievance or not – maybe this poor guy deserved some of the inheritance and was being cheated out of what was rightfully his. We don’t know - but we know that Jesus wanted no part of it. He said