Summary: Advent 1(A) - Are you ready? Judgment Day is approaching and all are always to be watching.
ARE YOU READY?
December 3, 2006 - ADVENT 1
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Dear Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
If you had a chance to look in the bulletin, our question, our theme for today is "Are you ready?" In our life we just know that very often we aren’t ready or aren’t prepared as much as we would want. Many of us started yesterday getting things ready for the potluck. This morning there were probably little details to take care of. Finally, we just had to come to get here on time even though we weren’t as prepared or as ready as we would want. It is an age-old problem that we struggle to have everything prepared and just the way we want it. So often it happens then we very often aren’t always ready or prepared. Writing a sermon is just like that. It is never ready because there is always some word you can change to make it better. An artist is never ready to display his painting, because he could always change some color, some scene.
These four weeks give us very little time to get ready for the birth of our Savior. Yet, we realize as believers, because God has put faith in our hearts, we are ready for the most important things. We are ready to welcome Christ into the world as the redeeming infant. We are also to be ready to welcome Christ when he returns as the Savior. This takes work and effort, because we can become easily distracted in this life. Our first quotation is from Peter: "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:13). This is why we are here today. We want to get ready and to prepare our minds for action, to look to the hope of the grace revealed in Christ. Today we ask:
ARE YOU READY?
I. Judgment Day is approaching, and
II. All are always to be watching.
I. JUDGMENT DAY IS APPROACHING
We have another very interesting section of Scripture. Chapter 24:3 the disciples ask Jesus about the signs of the end of the age. Tell us about the return of the Savior. In verse 37 Jesus is still giving his answer and still answers that question in chapter 25. Almost all of chapter 24 and all of 25 is the answer of Jesus to that simple question. We have a small portion of that today. Read chapters 24 and 25 to see the context for our verses. Jesus wanted to remind the disciples that the coming Day of the Lord would be unexpected. The example he uses is the example of Noah: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." They knew about Noah. They had learned it from their parents and grandparents and in synagogue school. During the time of Noah, the world was so wicked that only eight people survived in the Ark. Hundreds of thousands or millions were killed because of great wickedness.
What was it like in the days of Noah? "For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark." Jesus said, "Everything was going on just like it always had. People sat down for meals, drank, had weddings, celebrations, etc." Then the flood came. The translation here is not as strong as it could be. Verse 39: "And they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. They knew nothing. The flood came and took them all away. It wasn’t that they didn’t know anything. The people did not pay attention to anything. They did not listen. Noah did not just build the ark. Noah was known as a preacher of righteousness who proclaimed that God’s judgment was coming. The wicked world did not pay attention. They acted as if they knew nothing about God, and the flood came and took them all away.
As his conclusion he says: "That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." People will be doing whatever they are doing in this world, for this world, for themselves; and the end will come. They would act as if they knew nothing. The reality is they did not pay attention. Judgment Day will come unexpectedly, suddenly. Jesus gives this example: "Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left." The original is more like poetry, "forsaken." One would be taken, the other forsaken. God’s judgment comes. The sheep and goats are separated. This is the end. The goats, those left or forsaken, do not have time to repent. Judgment Day has come and gone. Some are taken, and others forsaken.