Summary: We are to always be ready for the coming of the Lord!
• Have you ever had a dream trip that finally was going to be a reality for you? Maybe you wanted to take that take a trip to Europe, or Disney World?
• For me the first dream trip for me was going to be a trip to Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals play.
• I was in 5th grade. At school I was also on the safety patrol. A safety patrol person a person who stood at the street corners at the school and held a flag out to stop traffic so that children to cross the street safely. Being selected to be on the safety patrol was an honor.
• One of the perks of being on the patrol was that if you worked x amount of days during the year that at the end of the school year, you would get to take a trip to a Cardinal game.
• To stay on the patrol, you had to be a good citizen and you had to keep your grades up. If your grades dropped below a certain level, you would be suspended from the patrol until you raised them, therefore making it harder to get in enough days to go on the trip.
• I was excited about going to a game and because I wanted to go, I tried to do all I could to keep myself on the patrol.
• Last week we spoke about eternal life and how when we have Jesus we have hope for the future.
• In Christ we know that we have a bright future, we know it is not over when we take our last breathe.
• There are expectations that come along with hope. For me to be able to go on my Cardinal trip I had to maintain a certain level of behavior and a certain grade level in all of my classes. For me getting ready for the trip meant I had to be ALWAYS preparing to go by doing these things.
• If we want to spend eternity with Jesus, if we want to have our hope realized, there are some things we need to do as that time approaches to make that happen. Today we will see why we need to keep our bags packed!
I. WHEN ARE WE LEAVING? 1-3
• When we are planning on going on a trip, we would like to know when we are leaving so that we can make the proper preparations.
• If we are going to take a trip to Washington D.C. on July 4, 2006, we most likely would no start packing our bags until the time for the trip gets closer.
• When are we going to go leave for our trip to heaven?
• READ VERSES 1-3
• This does not seem good; we do not know when we are going. We know we will pass on to the next life when we die, but, as to when Jesus is going to come back and get everyone is unknown.
• Jesus could return at any moment. Paul tells his readers that he does not have to address the time of the second coming because they have already been instructed that Jesus’ return will be a surprise.
• In 1988, Edgar Whisenant wrote a booklet proving that the world would come to an end in 1988, probably on September 12. When that failed to happen, Whisenant re-checked his mathematical calculations and found his error. The end was then predicted to be September 1, 1989. Like so many date-setters before him, Whisenant was wrong. Our Lord said no one would be able to predict the time of the Second Coming.
• There have been people throughout the ages who have tried to determine the date of the second coming.
• MATTHEW 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
• The Bible tells us the second coming of Jesus will be something unexpected, like a thief who comes in the night. IF we knew when a thief would come, we would take extra measures to protect ourselves.
• If we have not fear to thought of that happening, we will not be prepared. When I lived in Leonard, we would leave the house unlocked most of the time, we did not worry about locking things up because we did not worry about theft.
• The Day of the Lord will happen when God decides to send His Son back. A thief does not announce himself before he comes. If he did, he would meet resistance.
• God does not tell us the day because if He did, people would wait until that moment to accept Jesus, they would feel that they have plenty of time. People do this today; they are young and think that they can follow Jesus when they get a little older. Tell that to two of my 15-year-old classmates that did not see 16 because of a death and a suicide.