Summary: To convince audience we need to get serious about the second coming of Christ and always be ready.
“Beat the Clock”
Text: Matthew 24:36-44
Many of us older folks remember Bud Collyer hosting the television game show “Beat the Clock.” There have been at least four attempts to revive this show – the latest airing in 2002-2003. Contestants were given tasks to perform within time limits as the clock ticked down. If they succeeded, they “beat the clock.” While this was very entertaining family fun in the 1950’s, I’m afraid too many of us live our lives – hoping to beat God’s clock. Those familiar with our text from Matthew 24 understand that the end of time as we know it will come without warning. The second coming of Christ cannot be predicted because only God the Father knows when it will occur. But Jesus was warning His disciples to live their lives in constant preparation for His return. Then He tells a series of parables to emphasize our need to always be ready for His return. Notice the end of our text: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” I believe most of us intellectually understand this but live our lives hoping to beat the clock. What do I mean by this? We always plan to do more for the Lord and His church but…we’ll do it when the children grow up a little. We’ll do it when we retire. We’ll do it after this or after that but, truth be told, there’ll always be something that gets in the way. Many of us are trying to cram so many experiences into our lives that we scarcely have time to worship God. Has our bucket list become a higher priority than seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness? This has been a problem for disciples of Christ from the beginning. Remember the exchange in Luke 9:57-62? Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Following Jesus is often about making the tough choices. It may be between your child’s immediate happiness and Bible classes. It may be between a good paying job and a lesser paying one that allows you to attend worship services. It could be between letting your Prince Charming go and remaining chaste. It could be between improving your golf game and teaching an adult class. For the next few minutes, I want us to reflect on the way we’re living and the way God wants us to live. So, please open your Bibles to Romans 13:11-14 as we look at the importance of getting our lives ready for eternity.