Summary: When we live faithfully as followers of Christ we have nothing to fear at His return.
Is Today the Day?
The End Times is a hot ticket... always has been and likely will be until the end. We are inundated with Apocalypse scenarios… most recently film goers can catch Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse and currently you can catch TV episodes of Doomsday Castle, along with numerous other “Prepper” programming. The ironic and tragic aspect of these end time frenzies is the focus on surviving on earth with little or no thought of surviving for eternity.
Title: Living with Nothing to Fear
Text: Luke 12:35-40 (41-48)
Thesis: When we live faithfully as followers of Christ we have nothing to fear at His return.
I read an article this week about how slowly ketchup flows out of a glass bottle….028 miles per hour. The article said that a Galapagos tortoise moves at the rate of 0.16 miles per hour, in other words, six times faster than ketchup. Apparently there are some people working at MIT on a product called LiquiGlide. It’s a structured liquid, i.e., rigid like a solid, but lubricated as a liquid. The hope is that the ketchup industry will part with some of their $17 billion a year to get their hands on some LiquiGlide to line their ketchup bottles. They say that with LiquiGlide ketchup will slide out faster than a Galapagos tortoise. (“MIT Scientists Figure Out How to Get Ketchup Our of the Bottle,” Time.com, 5.22.12)
In the film “The Outlaw Josey Wales” there is a scene where two unscrupulous types get the drop on Josey Wales in a frontier trading post. While one opportunist waits to take Josey’s guns the other holds a gun on him and sneers, “When I say move, you move real slow, like molasses in wintertime.”
References to the Second Coming of Christ or the Return of Christ are numerous in Scripture. It has been two-thousand years since Jesus first promised his return. The slowness of Christ’s return has the feel of waiting for ketchup to slide out of a bottle or turtle slow or slower than molasses in the wintertime.
In II Peter 3 we are reminded that in the last days there will be scoffers who mock the truth about the return of Christ… they will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?” A few verses later Peter wrote, “The Lord really isn’t being slow about his promise, as some think. No he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief in the night.” II Peter 3:3-10
Our text today is one of those “meanwhile” or “in the interim” texts. Are we to be impatiently tapping on the neck of the eschatological ketchup bottle? Are we to be poking the eschatological turtle with a stick? Are we to be frustrated by the fact that end time things are unfolding slower than molasses in the wintertime? In our text today Jesus teaches us what to do while we wait for his slow return
I. Be Ready, Luke 12:35-40
I would guess that the little heading before this text in your bible says, “Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming.” This first section has to do with our being “Ready” for the Second Coming of Christ. The second section, 12:41-48 has to do with being “Faithful” while we wait for the Second Coming of Christ.
The first thing Jesus wants us to do is live in anticipation of his return.
A. Jesus wants us to live in anticipation, 35-36
“Be dressed for service and keep you lamps burning, as though you are waiting for the master to return from a wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door when he knocks…” Luke 12:35-36
These two verses tell us that waiting in anticipation means we will: (1.) Be dressed for service (2.) Keep our lamps lit and (3.) Be ready to open the door the moment he arrives.
I think the idea is that in the absence of the master/householder those left with the care of the master’s estate can get lazy and goof off, so to speak. Then when the master returns they have to really hustle to hopefully get the place spiffed up before he walks in the door… the alternative is to keep the estate ready so that the master finds his home as it should be found at any given time.
I think that is how we are to live our lives as Christians.... all of life. We do not separate and compartmentalize our lives as if there are spiritual things and secular things. Everything is spiritual. Everything is sacred.
The story is about a man who owned a large manor or estate in the Middle East. We might relate more to an English Country Manor or an old-money family estate in the east or the south. He has a bunch of servants who manage all the affairs of his estate. Whether he is at home or abroad… the work of the estate goes on just as if he were there.