Summary: Eight sermons that deal with eight unique characteristics of Jesus. Got the idea from Joe Causey.
“Eight Unique Characteristics of Jesus”
There’s a story about a lady who married a banker. He died and left her some money. She was looking for a little fun, so she married an actor, but he died a few years later. Then, she met a preacher and married him. She commented to a friend that if her current husband ever died that she was planning on marrying an undertaker next. Her friend, said, “You’ve been married to a banker, then an actor, and now a preacher. Why would you want to marry an undertaker?” She said, “Simple. One for the money; two for the show; three to get ready; and four to go!”
Jesus is coming back, and I’m here to tell you to get ready! Jesus Christ came to planet earth 2,000 years ago and He promised He would come again. Today’s scripture announces: “Ready or not–Here He Comes!” and it’s a serious call for us to prepare for eternity. Read Luke 12:35-40.
Not all Christians agree on the sequence of the events of the Second Coming. Here’s what I believe will happen. The next thing to happen on God’s prophetic calendar will be the rapture of the church. Jesus will come back in the clouds and in the twinkling of an eye, all Christians will disappear to be with Christ. Those who are not saved will be left behind. Then there will be seven years of tribulation on the earth, and then Christ will return at the Battle of Armageddon, defeat the Antichrist and his forces. Then Jesus will set up a literal thousand-year kingdom on planet earth, based in Jerusalem. After the thousand years, there will be the Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20. You don’t have to agree with me about the sequence of these events, and I can still love you. You go your way and I’ll go His way!
Don’t get hung up on the details. Our main job is to be ready for His return. But people have always been more interested in trying to figure out when Jesus is going to return than being ready. In the 1980s NASA engineer Edgar Wisenhut used his mathematical skills to determine that Jesus would return in 1988. He wrote a book entitled, “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Take Place in 1988.” He was so certain the rapture would happen on September 10, 1988, that he said, “If I’m wrong, then the scripture is mistaken.” He was wrong, but there’s nothing wrong with the scripture. Then in 1992, Harold Camping wrote a book entitled “1994” in which he predicted Jesus would return in 1994. The next year, he wrote another book entitled, “Much More Evidence That 1994 Could Be the End of the World.” Wrong again. Who can forget the whole Y2K mania? Wrong again. Can you guess who made these statements?
This fascination of setting dates is nothing new. In fact, the new day for Christ to return is December 21, 2012, because that’s the date that the Mayan calendar ends with. But Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Anytime you hear someone start setting a date, you know immediately that they are off track. As I’ve said before, when it comes to the Second Coming, I’m not on the scheduling team, I’m on the welcoming team! In our passage today, Jesus shares three mini-parables that teach us the importance of being ready for His return. You should:
I. WATCH FOR THE BRIDEGROOM.
In Bible times Jewish weddings were wonderful celebrations. After a period of betrothal, the groom would sneak into the bride’s house and try to slip away with her without anyone seeing him–it almost became a game. Then he would take her back to his father’s house for a celebration. The wedding would include a great feast, much music, dancing and laughter. Our weddings are really somber and sad compared to a Jewish wedding.
In most of the New Testament we are seen as the Bride of Christ, the church. Jesus is coming to sneak away with us and take us to His Father’s house. He said He was going to prepare a place for us, and that He would return to take us to be with him. (See John 14:1). In this parable however, we play the role of servants, so as you think about it, ask yourself a couple of questions:
1. Am I excited about Jesus’ return? In this parable, the bridegroom has slipped away to get his bride, and we must wait for him to return to the house. We don’t know when he’s coming back, so we must stay dressed up and keep our lamps burning so we can welcome him when he appears. For sure, the servants of the bridegroom would have been anxiously waiting and watching. They would be filled with joyous anticipation. Is that the way you feel about the Second Coming? Are you excited about it, or is it something that makes you afraid to think about?