Summary: Whether we live to see the second coming of the Lord or are called home to Him at the end of our lives, we do not know the day or the hour of His return and we need to live in readiness, looking toward the appearing of the Lord.
First month of 2008 almost over- 1/12th of year gone.
Prophetically- across differing streams of ministry- there is a serious about the season in which we live
Local pastors- sense that God is beginning to move in a special way- dream Pastor Merton Clark had.
Important- understand this season/what God is doing.
This season- in some ways is different, but in many ways- similar- to the time Jesus walked the earth.
In the larger sense, both then and now, we are in the same period of time called- the End of the Age.
God is doing specific things in our time, but it must be understood in the context- bigger season we live in
I want to examine some Red Words in our Bible.
We will be looking at … Lk 12:35-59
Be in Readiness (title in my Bible)
We can look at verses from two perspectives, in the -
larger picture- prepare ourselves- 2nd coming
1 Thes 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. NASU
smaller picture- prepare ourselves- meet God
Heb 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,
Our opportunities here on earth to prepare ourselves
for the coming of the Lord, or
being called home to Him,
will end at sometime- finite period.
Lk 12:35-38 Read
Dressed in readiness- KJV- loins be girded about.
Long robes- hindered work- gather them up under their belt/girdle, so they could work.
In other words- do not be caught w/your pants down.
Keep your lamps lit- the lamps used in the east were cotton wick floating in a bowl of oil.
The wick had to be kept trimmed and the bowl constantly filled with oil- required attention.
It would not burn indefinitely w/o being attended to.
We need to attend to our lives in light of God’s return.
In the east the groom would go to a wedding supper to claim his bride at her home.
The servants of the groom were expected to be dressed, ready for work, lamps lit, for his return.
Be like men who are waiting- wait- to look for so as to receive favorably, to look w/expectation.
They were to be looking so as to receive their master.
On the alert- alert- watchful, vigilant, to keep awake w/expectancy as opposed to being indifference.
Many live w/indifference concerning God’s return.
Four night watches- 2nd- 9pm-12am, 3rd- 12am-3am.
Do not be lulled asleep by God’s delay in returning.
1 Pet 3:18-20
The people in Noah’s day misunderstood the Lord’s delay and were caught by surprise and destroyed.
When the picture changes to a thief- to emphasize the element of the unexpected appearance of the Lord.
1 Thes 5:2 For you yourselves know full well that the
day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. NASU (Lk 21:34-36)
Be ready- be prepared
Preparation in both the …
active sense of making ready and
in the passive sense of readiness.
We do not know when God will call us home or when eternity will invade time and the Lord will return.
If Jesus exhorted men to be prepared 2000 years ago, how much more today?
How do we want God to find us when He returns?
1. Completed Work
Life is filled with loose ends, many things undone, half-done, put off, not even attempted.
Jn 17:4 "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. NASU
As disciples- work diligently- to complete His work.
We need to avoid putting things off, leaving things half-done, or not attempting things God has for us.
2. Be at Peace with Men
It would be painful to leave this world with bitterness and resentment in our heart toward other people.
Eph 4:26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
We do not know when …
the last sun will go down on our lives and
we will stand in the presence of the Son of God.
3. Be at Peace with God
We can never experience the peace of God in our lives until we have peace with God.
Rom 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, NASU
Peace with God comes when we reconcile w/God.
When the argument is over- except life on His terms.
Once we have made peace with God we can experience the peace of God.
Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. NASU