Summary: being prepared for Christ’ return
Intro: there are two types of people in this room, those who plan days before an event happens, and those who wait until the last minute. Here are some of those differences.
When taking a test in school, there are those who prepared all month for a test, those who tried to study for it on the bus to school that morning.
When taking a trip, some have everything packed a few days before, some a still going over the checklist as they are running back and forth from the car.
There are those who change the oil every 3000 miles, and those who wait for a red light to appear on the panel saying something is wrong.
Those who fill up their car when it hits half a tank, those who say, I’ve got at least 10 more miles before empty. You see them on the side of the road with the red tank 5 miles later.
There is a quote that says, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. The bible gives us a warning about the return of Christ with the words, be ready. Plan your life to be prepared for the rapture of the church.
Community: Are You Ready?
I am coming soon
The bible is very clear that when Jesus appears there will not be enough time to get ready, the five foolish virgins missed the midnight cry. You can’t get ready in a twinkling of an eye. Jesus said, if you knew a thief was going to break into your home, you would get prepared for that situation, He said, I will come like a thief in the night. This sermon was birth out of a conversation I had with a lady this past week. I was witnessing to her and asked her if she was ready for Christ’s return. What she said amazed me. She was a professed Christian, but she said her stance was, there is no heaven or hell, we live, we die, that is the end of the story. Today, that is not our doctrine, we must be prepared for the rapture.
I. Be Ready–Matthew 24:42–be ready for you don’t know what day the Lord will return. Over the years some have tried to pick the day of the Lord’s return and failed. Jesus isn’t going to give you a bulletin so that you can get ready, He will come when people least expect Him. In an hour that ye think not.
Ill) when someone who is terminally ill, like my Aunt Margie, they are told to set their house in order. They are given a time set for their departure. In essence the doctor tells them to make plans for death. But when it comes to the return of Jesus, you can’t make long term plans, you have to be ready every minute of every day.
Watching, Looking for the Lord’s return. Now that doesn’t mean staring up into the skies, but it is an attitude or an expectancy. It is called rapture conscious. Always living prepare for the Lord’s return. Years ago people were so rapture conscious that they didn’t want to be doing anything out of order because they didn’t want the Lord to return with them in the wrong situation. Today, very few live like that, it seems people are marrying and giving in marriage, eating and drinking and being marry, because tomorrow they die. But our theology says, we believe the day after you die, is the beginning of eternity.
II. Be Holy–2 Peter 3:11-12 Peter gives us the way in which to be ready for Christ’s return, live a holy life. If you are constantly walking with Lord, you will be like Enoch and walk all the way to heaven with Him.
Ill) when I was in college I learned a lesson that everyone here probably knows, it is better to wash your clothes all through the month, than let a month’s worth pile up. Of course I did the latter, my motto was, don’t wash until you need a pair of underwear, that was the warning sign.
Today, a consistent walk with the Lord is better than the big bang theory. The big bang theory is you live your life your way most of the time, and a few times a year come to church, cry at the altar, and try to make everything right.
III. Encourage Each Other–I Thessalonians 4:17-18, Hebrews 10:25–both of these verses say to encourage each other to be ready. This is a needed ministry in the world today, encourage people to live life on ready. If you see someone slacking in their walk with God, don’t chasten them, love them, encourage them.
Ill) years ago I learned this in weight lifting. When you were trying to lift a new top weight people would gather around and encourage you. Basically them would scream at you and say you were a whimp if you didn’t do it. So you gave it all you had to hit your goal.