Summary: Advent 3(A) - Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Wait watchfully. The Lord is near.
"BE PATIENT AND STAND FIRM…" (Outline)
December 13, 2009 -
ADVENT 3 -
INTRO: Soon and very soon the Lord Jesus Christ will return as the righteous Judge of the living and the dead. At times we grow impatient waiting for the end to all of the wickedness in this sinful world. We wonder, “How long?” Yet, we also always know that as the Lord has made his promise so he will some day fulfill that promise. Until that day when we will see him face-to-face we are to be patient. We are also to stand firm on God’s word and all of his promises. "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 CORINTHIANS 15:58).
"BE PATIENT AND STAND FIRM, BECAUSE THE LORD’S COMING IS NEAR".
I. Wait watchfully.
II. The Lord is near.
I. "BE PATIENT AND STAND FIRM…” WE WAIT WATCHFULLY
A. The book of James can be summed up with the theme: “A Call to Repentance”.
1. Chapter 5 begins with words of warning against the wickedness of the wealthy.
2. The wealthy were abusing their prosperity. They were cheating and mistreating others.
B. Verse 7a. The believers were to be patient with one another as they waited for the Lord’s return.
1. Verse 7b. Patience is defined and described. The farmer plants the see and waits, watchfully.
2. The farmer waits for the rains. The farmer waits for God to provide in his good time.
3. The farmer cannot change the weather. He cannot make it rain. He waits watchfully.
C. Verse 8. These believers would also wait watchfully. They stood firm in the knowledge of salvation.
D. Today believers still watch and wait and wait and watch. The Lord would have us remember to be patient, patient, patient. This is not always easy in our day and age. We live in a society that enjoys almost instant gratification. Microwaves heat up a cup of liquid to boiling in a minute. Sometimes that seems too long. The Internet connects us with the rest of the world. Messages can be sent, received, and read in seconds around the globe. Sometimes seconds seem too long. We look around and the wicked appear to prosper more than ever before. Our world seems to be upside down. God’s truth is called a lie. Man’s lie becomes the truth. "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes" (PSALM 37:7). God is still in control.
E. Why is our world so wicked? Why is our world seemingly so opposite of what is right and just? It is sin. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. They brought wickedness, rebellion, and sin into God’s perfect creation. Ever since that first sin the world continues in a downward spiral. Their son Cain kills Abel. How quickly sin infected the lives and hearts of humanity: Pride, disobedience, envy, anger, and murder. Our world will never get any better but only worse. Jesus taught how bad the world would be before his return on Judgment Day. "Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" (MATTHEW 24:11-13). Man’s love for God has grown cold. Then man’s love for his fellow man grows cold. Finally even man’s love for his own family grows cold. The patient, faithful will be saved.