Summary: Pack your bags, be ready for His return!
• SLIDE #1
• 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 on the safety patrol. We would get a badge and an orange flag. The safety patrol person would stand at the street corners at the school crossings and hold out the orange 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 in 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.
• Two weeks ago 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.
• Today we are going to learn why we need to pack our bag!
• Let us begin by looking at verses 1-3.
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ( ESV ) Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
• An important part of preparing for a trip is knowing when we are leaving!
• SLIDE #3
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, 2009, we most likely would not start packing our bags until the time for the trip gets closer.
• When are we going to go leave for our trip to heaven?
• In our text we are not given an exact time.
• 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.
• Our passage 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 no expectation of His return 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.
• 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.