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Summary: Last Judgment (A) - Mankind needs to be ready for the Lord's return on the Last Day. Those dwelling in darkness face destruction. Those living in light have deliverance.

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BE READY FOR THE LORD’S RETURN (Outline)

November 7, 2010 -

Last Judgment -

1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-11

INTRO: Are you ready? How often do you hear or say these words each day? Every day we get ready for one thing or another. We wake up and get ready to greet the day. We get ready for breakfast. We get ready to go to work. We get ready for school. We get ready for the noon meal. We get ready to come back home. We get ready to read the mail, watch the news, and relax before we get ready for bed. We get ready for a good night’s rest in order to get up and get ready for the next day. Our daily getting ready often focuses only on the present. We really do not know what will happen tomorrow or the next day, month, or year. As believers we get ready for the Lord’s return. The Lord God Almighty has guaranteed our eternal future. "However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’-- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit" (1 COR. 2:9,10a).

May the Spirit guide us as we strive to BE READY FOR THE LORD’S RETURN.

I. Those in the dark face destruction. II. Those in the light have deliverance.

I. THOSE LIVING IN THE DARK FACE DESTRUCTION.

A. Paul writes to the believers in Thessalonica. This is a large city of about 200,000 people.

1. Verse 1a. Paul calls them “brothers”. They are united by their faith in Christ, the Savior.

2. Verses 1, 2. The Lord Jesus will return on Judgment Day. It will come suddenly.

B. Verse 3. Many people will not be expecting the Lord’s return. None will escape. Jesus will return.

1. Verse 5b. Now comes the comparison of those in the dark with believers who live in light.

2. Verse 7. Sin and evil abounds in the dark. Wickedness likes darkness. God will expose all.

C. Verse 9a. Here is God’s warning for those who live in darkness. They will “suffer wrath” – God’s.

1. God’s judgment will come upon the wicked swiftly and without warning.

2. Those living in the dark have no clue about Jesus’ return. They live life not ready for the Lord.

D. Judgment Day, the Last Day, will come and many will be unprepared. The Lord Jesus will return as Judge. The time for repentance will have slipped away. Sadly it seems as if many more will be lost than ready for the Lord’s return. Consider Sodom and Gomorrah. These cities (plus the cities of the plain) were destroyed with fire and brimstone because of their wickedness. Only Lot and his daughters were saved from among thousands. Think of the flood. People were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. The rains came and almost everyone still lived on as if nothing would ever change. In their wickedness millions were unprepared. "… and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" (MATTHEW 24:39). Only eight were saved out of the entire world. Those living in the dark will face destruction.

E. Generally speaking most people want to spend eternity in heaven. Why is it that so many still chose to live in the darkness of wickedness? Why do so many turn away from God? We need to remember that sin is part of human nature. We are born into this world as sinners. We are called the enemies of God. Such is the attitude of our sinful, human nature. Our hearts are only wicked all the time. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (JOHN 3:19, 20). Take time to read John chapters 1 and 3. Christ is the Light but is rejected.

F. Every believer throughout this world live in this sin-darkened world. We need to be aware that the temptations around us try to dull our Christian senses. We become accustomed to the world’s view. All too often the world’s view directly opposes God’s will. The elections have come and gone. Some voted on the legality of same-sex marriage. Others voted on the use of marijuana. Imagine. Sadly, there is no voting concerning the rights of unborn children. Millions of innocent children are ripped out of mothers’ wombs for the sake of convenience. This is shameful and utterly disgraceful. "’Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,’ declares the LORD" (JEREMIAH 23:12). Darkness brings destruction.

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