Summary: IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS (Part 1) As certainly as Jesus came the first time let there be no doubt HE WILL COME AGAIN! The same scriptures which told of His birth also boldly proclaim His Second Coming. Jesus’ first coming some 2,000
Thanksgiving has come and gone. In case you haven’t noticed “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” Of course I think it’s been that way for a long time at the mall; retailers give a whole new meaning to “Christmas in July.” The stores have been ready for Christmas for months, and now our countdown beings—only 27 shopping days left until Christmas!
Another song of the season says, “You better watch out, you better not pout; you better watch out I’m telling you why. Santa Clause is coming to town.” I don’t know what you and your family thinks about Santa, but I want you to remember something even more important this Christmas season. You better watch out, you better not pout; you better watch out I’m telling you why. Jesus Christ is coming again.
This morning we lit the Prophecy Candle on our advent wreath. It reminds us of the words spoken through the prophets foretelling the birth of our Savior Jesus. “The virgin will be with child . . . a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse . . . out of you [Bethlehem] will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (see: Isaiah 7:14; 11:1; Micah 5:2).
Jesus fulfilled the prophecies spoken about Him. While critics may question the divinity of Jesus no one questions the historical reality of Jesus Christ. Born to the Virgin Mary in the City of David—the little town of Bethlehem—Jesus was laid in a manger. He grew up in Nazareth, preached about the Kingdom of God, and was crucified under the Roman Governor Pontius Pilot.
As certainly as Jesus came the first time let there be no doubt HE WILL COME AGAIN! The same scriptures which told of His birth also boldly proclaim His Second Coming. Jesus’ first coming some 2,000 years ago is convincing evidence He will come again! Just as the prophetic word spoken about Him was fulfilled upon His first coming, prophecy will again be fulfilled when He returns the second time.
We are all making preparations for Christmas—December 25th will be upon us before we know it. This morning we are going to “Get Ready For That Day.” No we’re not preparing for Christmas; we’re getting ready for the day of Christ’s return.
• Matthew 24:36-44 (NIV)
 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  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.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
In these verses Jesus makes some things known about “that day”—that day being the Day of His return. What can we learn to help us get ready for that day?
(Advance) 1. The Day of Christ’s return is SECRET.
The day of Jesus return is unknown—it’s a mystery. Jesus said, “No on know about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (verse 36). Even though Jesus said that day is a secret people throughout the ages have tried to say when that day would come.
o In the year 375 AD an early Christian writer proclaimed: "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established in his early years and in a few years will achieve supreme power."
o As the end of the first millennium approached predictions were made of the coming of Christ in the year 1000. It was recorded that people were so sure of the Lord’s coming that they didn’t even plant their crops.
o In the 1500’s Martin Luther wrote, "We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse. This world won’t last any longer.”