Summary: This sermon compels the listener to ask the question, "If Jesus returns today am I ready?" It talks about our fears and that we as Christians really have nothing to fear
(Ask this question loudly before beginning sermon Intro)Are You Ready? I didn’t hear you, Are You Ready?? I don’t think you’re hearing me ARE YOU READY???
Be ready is a motto that I lived by when I was on the fire department. We all knew the best way to be prepared for whatever we encountered each shift was to Be Ready when the call came in, once the tones went off it was too late to get ready, it was time to take action. From having our gear placed beside the truck ready to jump into, to having the hose-lines and tools loaded properly we made it a point to be ready. When the call came in our minds, our attitudes and our equipment had to be ready for whatever danger we might face.
Today as we begin the season of Advent I want you to ask yourself this question. Am I ready? If Jesus should come today are your bags packed or do you have some loose ends that need to be tied up?
In the Scripture today that has a heading in my Bible as “The Apocalyptic Discourse” I think that if Jesus is telling us anything He is telling us to Be Ready, (Read Luke 21:5-7) verses 20 -24 came to pass in about 70 AD. And verses 8-19 as well as our text for today speak of the time just before the second coming of Christ. (Read Luke 21: 25-36)
People in Jesus’ time were fearful and worried about the uncertainty of things that were going on. The truth is the scripture for today sounds like it could have come from this week’s news headlines. World leaders aren’t in agreement about anything, people don’t feel safe in their own communities and towns, people worry about the safety of their children even when they are at school or other public places, there is just a sense of fear in peoples mind that used to never be there.
Not only are there mass shootings and rioting in the streets and at the borders, there are natural disasters happening like we have never seen them before. Add all of these things to the stress we already live in with our fast paced life and we can begin to identify with what Jesus was talking about. We may even be thinking already; What If? What if it happens in my community, what if it happens in my workplace, what if…? Am I ready, is the school prepared what if?
Jesus is asking us today what if... What if I come back are you ready? Have you prepared? I’ve already given the warning and sounded the alarm be ready. Jesus says that when these perilous times are upon us that we should stand up, and lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near.
Then Jesus breaks it down for us, he says we know that summer is near when the leaves began to come out on the trees. We know summer is close when the daffodils start to bloom and the leaves begin to bud out on the trees. Just like when we see the things that let us know summer is near, when we see the things happening that Jesus has told us would be signs of the end we as Christians should know that the Kingdom of God is near, that Jesus is on the way and that we need to be ready.
You would think that folks could look around and see the writing on the wall, especially church folk, but sadly they don’t. It’s just like Christmas day when we celebrate the birth of Christ, when Christmas comes some people aren’t ready, thy are still shopping and preparing for Christmas day on Dec.24th. You know what’s even worse they will say “Wow Christmas snuck up on me this year” Helloooo Christmas is December 25th every year it doesn’t sneak up on you, sometimes we just fail to Be Ready. There will be a lot of people trying to pack their bags when it’s too late, they will say , Lord I didn’t know I thought I had more time, why didn’t you give me a call and let me know you were on the way?
Jesus has told us He was coming back, events have been unfolding and continue to unfold, the signs are there as clear as leaves on the trees in springtime, Be Ready!!! Jesus hasn’t left us with a spirit of fear and uncertainty, he has told us what we need to do in versus 34-36 I like the way it reads in The Message Bible
But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.