Summary: This is my attempt at an inductive-style sermon dealing with the coming of Christ.
ILLUS: I have a friend that I respect a lot. Just this last week, he told me that he’s coming to see me. He says he’s coming soon!
-This is a person of high status, so I want to do my best to be ready for him,
so I asked, “When are you coming? What day” -
He said , “I can’t tell you that. It will be a surprise.”
-“I said, well could you at least tell me WHAT TIME OF DAY it will be?” And he said, “no”.
-“Well, could you at least call me on the day you’re coming?” And he said, “no”.
-“Could you send me an e-mail or a text message and give me a vague general idea?” And he said, “no”.
-But you definitely ARE coming, right? “yes.”
-“Well what if you get here while I’m eating lunch?” “Then you’ll need to be ready”
-“What if I’m busy taking a shower?” “You need to be ready before you get in the shower.”
-“What if I’m asleep when you come?” “You better prepare for my arrival BEFORE you go to bed!
-“What if I’m at church over in Rose Bud in the middle of preaching a sermon when you get here?”
He said, “you better be ready for me before you stand up there and start
-So I started getting a little flustered, because if an important person is coming, then you need to be ready, don’t you! I know I want to be ready!
-So I asked him, “Look, is there anything at all you can tell me about when you’ll be coming.”
-Jesus never would say exactly when he was coming. But in his Word, he has told us some things about that day.
Let me read to you from Luke 12:35-40
"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 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."
At the beginning of last week, I knew I would be preaching from our daily Bible reading, so on Tuesday I sat down in my office and opened my Bible to 1 Thessalonians.
-I prayed, “OK God. This coming Sunday, I’m going to have to preach from one of these two books. I want to be Biblical, but I want to make sure that the subject I talk about is something practical.
-These people have jobs, they have families, they have newborn babies. Some of them have been wrestling with their health, or with their children’s health.
Some of them have wrestled with changes in the weather.
-Some of them will probably have lost sleep this week over the elections.
-Some of them may get into arguments with other members of their family. Some of them may have even argued with someone else present in the room!
-For some, all they’ve been thinking about is the start of hunting season.
-For others, all they’ve thought about is Razorback football.
-Some will have a great week; some will have a depressing week.
-But despite all of this, I’ve got to stand there on Sunday morning, and I need to give them a lesson that SOMEHOW relates to ALL of these people and affects their lives in a meaningful and practical way.
-So, God, I need a good, practical passage from one of your letters to the Thessalonians.
I told Him I wanted something practical that all of you can practice in your daily life.
-You know, while I was reading through these letters, it seems like the only thing Paul wanted to talk about is the fact that JESUS IS COMING BACK.
-Is that practical?
-Jesus says he’s coming back. It will be soon, but we don’t know when. All we know is that it will be a surprise.
-What does that have to do with the rest of your life? Is that a practical thing to know?
-Paul seems to think it has at least SOMETHING to do with each of us!
He even said we ought to talk about Jesus coming back as a way to encourage each other!