Summary: It’s the last hour - recognize, remember, remain. 1- It’s the last hour - recognize the enemy 2- It’s the last hour - remember you’re united 3- It’s the last hour - remain in Christ
INTRO.- It’s the last hour. I don’t like the sound of these words: THE LAST HOUR!
ILL.- Three buddies die in a car crash, they go to heaven to an orientation. They are all asked, “When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning upon you, what would you like to hear them say about you?”
The first guy says, “I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time and a great family man.”
The second guy says, “I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow.”
The last guy replies, “I would like to hear them say, ’Look, he’s moving!” Most people are like that last guy.
Most people fear the last hour of life and there is only sure cure for that fear. It’s a growing relationship with Christ!
Hebrews 2:14-15 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."
Isn’t this great? Through Christ’s death we are free from the fear of death. How so? We know that He conquered the grave and He promised the same to us! PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM!
I John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
The more we grow in our love for the Lord, the less we’ll fear Him, death and the judgment. Love is better than fear!
ILL.- On his deathbed, British preacher Charles Simeon smiled brightly and asked the people gathered in his room, "What do you think especially gives me comfort at this time?"
When they all remained silent, he exclaimed, "The creation! I ask myself, ’Did God create the world or did I?’ He did! Now if He made the world and all the stars of the universe, He certainly can take care of me. Into Jesus’ hands I can safely commit my spirit!" WHAT FAITH HE HAD AND WHAT FAITH WE NEED!
The last hour of this text is not death, however. It’s the last dispensation of time (Christian dispensation) and John said that certain things would happen. Of course, some people might say, "Well, John wrote nearly 2000 years ago. If this is still the ‘last hour’ what’s the big deal?” This may well be what some people think. SO WHAT?!
ILL.- This may be like those two pilots who were supposedly playing on their laptop computers when they flew past their destination in Minneapolis, MN, by 150 miles, in October. They claimed to lose concentration while flying. Well, if this is true, they were really dumb and/or stupid. I CAN’T IMAGINE DOING SOMETHING LIKE THAT WHILE PILOTING A PLANE!
However, sometimes we do the same spiritually. We lose concentration as to what we’re supposed to be doing and then end up getting into trouble or else have a bad spiritual crash. And it can happen to anybody, to any Christian who isn’t keeping his or her spiritual eyes open and seeking the Lord’s will every day.
Brothers and sisters, it’s the last hour! We all need to be awake!
Romans 13:11-12 “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
PROP.- Because it’s the last hour leading up to eternity, what must we do? John gives us the lowdown in plain language.
It’s the last hour - recognize, remember, remain.
1- It’s the last hour - recognize the enemy
2- It’s the last hour - remember you’re united
3- It’s the last hour - remain in Christ
I. IT’S THE LAST HOUR - RECOGNIZE THE ENEMY
18Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
ILL.- A reporter was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday. "What are you most proud of?" he asked. "Well, " said the man, "I don’t have an enemy in the world." "What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!" said the reporter. "Yep," added the centenarian, "outlived every last one of them." I DOUBT IT!