Summary: A sermon from a series about how God warns us against sin, but he also readies us for the second coming.
Let’s pray. God, we give you our attention. We take our eyes and our focus off of the distractions of this day and this week. You have our attention. Our thoughts, our concerns—they are not with the food that we’ll eat or the game that we’ll watch; they are on you. God, I know that it is not an accident that we sit here in this room today, that the message that you have today for us is the most important message that we can hear and respond to in this life. God, would you give us ears to hear? Lord, I know there are some in this room who don’t really even want to be here. Church, for them, is kind of a chore. They’re here because they feel like they have to be here. Would you speak to them today, God? Would the wind of your Holy Spirit, Father, please blow strongly within these walls? You have our attention. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
It’s a Thursday evening and, like most Thursdays, you turn on the late night news. It’s pretty depressing really. The economy has gotten worse. There is news of yet another earthquake and with it a tsunami warning. This one looks like it’ll be worse than the one before. The images of death and destruction from wars being waged around the world begin to show on your television, but you’ve grown accustomed to them by now. You barely…you barely even blink. Just before going to commercial, the anchorman promises to update you on the latest pandemic that is sweeping the planet. You think about getting up, grabbing something to eat during the commercial, but you just don’t have the energy. And it’s during the commercial that you hear a noise. It doesn’t start off loud at first but quickly it grows to a deafening sound. Your mind tries to identify, “What is that noise? What is it?” You hit mute on the television. You yell for your family, but you can’t even hear the sound of your own voice. That’s how loud it is. Is it a tornado siren? It’s too loud for that. The house alarm? No. The sound system from somewhere? No, it doesn’t seem to be coming from any one direction. It seems to be everywhere. It’s as if you are surrounded by thousands of trumpets. You rush to the window and you look outside, and, as you do, you see your neighbor across the street come out into his yard. He falls to his knees as he looks up into the sky, and he is shaking his head “no” and he’s yelling something, but it’s too loud. What is he looking at?
You rush out the front door. Cars have come to a stop in the street. Adults and children…your neighbors have poured out of their houses…and you look with them and with the rest of the planet up into the sky to see what has never been seen before. Though it is nighttime, the light is bright and it is blinding. You open your eyes wider. You strain to see. What is it? You look away from the light trying to get your eyes to adjust and you look back up and the skies part. And then you see it! Great white horse and on the horse a King. This is no baby Jesus. His eyes are ablaze with fire. On His head He wears a crown. Coming behind Him are the armies of heaven, each one on their own white horse. The angels have filled the sky. In unison they are repeating, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!” This can’t be real and yet it is. This is not a movie. This is not science-fiction. These are not special effects. Jesus has returned…and in that moment nothing else matters. You don’t realize it but the rest of your family has come out on the front lawn with you. You join your family and your neighbors, and you join every entertainer, every athlete, every ruler, every king, every politician, every president, every CEO, every man, woman and child on the planet Earth and you fall to your knees before the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Jesus has returned!