Summary: Christ’s return is inevitable. We need to be ready for His return.
SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”
TEXT: ACTS 1:1-11
TITLE: ‘GETTING READY”
INTRODUCTION: A. A fresh graduate from Bible college was in the pulpit in his first church. He was
extremely nervous because he was attempting to preach without notes. About 10
minutes into the sermon, his mind went blank. He remembered what they had taught
him in homiletics class if something like this happened: just repeat your last statement
and often it would help you recall your next point. So he thought he’d give it a try.
He had just quoted Rev. 3:11where Jesus says, “I am coming soon…” so he
repeated it. His mind was still blank. He thought he’d try it again. “I am coming
soon…” Still nothing.
He stepped out from behind the pulpit and tried it again. This time he said it with
so much force that he stumbled forward, tripped over a flower pot, and fell into the lap
of a little old lady on the front row.
The young preacher apologized as profusely as he could and tried to explain what
happened. The little old lady said, “That’s all right, young man. It was my fault. I
should have gotten out of the way. You told me plenty of times you were coming.”
B. The Bible makes it very plain: Jesus is coming again and it’s going to be soon!
1. The word used here can mean “shortly; without delay” and “suddenly”
2. When I went to school at Milligan, there was a burger place in Elizabethton, TN
that was called “Pal’s Sudden Service”. Now I never ate there. I understand they
had pretty good food but the “sudden service” thing kind of bothered me. I didn’t
know what to expect. I was afraid they’d throw the food at me when I wasn’t
3. “Suddenly” certainly gives us a good picture of how the Bible describes the time-
line of Jesus’ return.
a. 1 Thess. 5:2-3 – “for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like
a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction
will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will
b. Lk. 12:39-40 – “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at
what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you
do not expect him."
C. Jesus came once (as we just celebrated at Christmas time) but He will come again
1. It is a doctrine of scripture that we must understand
a. I think there is entirely too much speculation on this issue
--We try to define, re-define, and over-define the scriptural teaching about this
b. My basic millenial stance has two parts:
(1). I’m pro-millennial
--I’m all for it
(2). I’m also pan-millennial
--It will all “pan out” in the end
c. The rest of those things make for interesting theological debate but the thing
we have to truly grasp is that it is going to happen!
2. Acts 1:11 – “‘Men of Galilee’, they said, ‘why do you stand there looking into the
sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, WILL COME
BACK in the same way you have seen him go.”
D. Since Jesus is coming back, we need to get ready
1. Several of Jesus’ parables deal with topic of the master leaving his business or
household in the hands of servants. In each one, the master left for a while but
promised that he would return at an unspecified time. The task of the servants was
to be faithful in handling the duties left behind by the master or face the
consequences. They were warned to be ready.
2. Getting ready is not an easy job
--Just getting ready to come to church can be difficult at my house. We have two
adults and two children and getting ready to leave is hard unless we’re prepared.
We have to schedule who is going to be in the bathroom at what times, clothes
have to ironed and ready to wear, the dogs have to be let out, watered, and fed,
etc. Unless we’ve prepared things ahead of time and a plan laid out, we’d
never be ready.
E. Jesus challenges us to get ready for His return
1. I believe a study of the book of Acts will help us accomplish the readiness process.
2. We’re going to do that together and try to model our preparation for Jesus’ return
along the model established by the apostles and taught to the 1st century church.
3. In our text, I see several things that we need to do to help us get ready