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Summary: God will judge the living and the dead. What must we do? 1- We must preach the Word 2- We must correct the incorrect 3- We must discharge the duties

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INTRO.- ILL.- Just before takeoff one day, a flight attendant approached Muhammad Ali and asked that he fasten his seat belt. "Superman don’t need no seat belt," Ali growled. "Well, Superman," the stewardess replied, "don’t need no airplane!"

Did you ever meet Muhammad Ali in person? My son-in-law met him in the Chicago airport one time. He did take a picture of him but otherwise, I’m not sure my son-in-law was overly impressed with him. He did say Ali was very friendly toward the people.

If you could meet someone famous, who would it be? An actor or actress? Or a famous sports figure?

In my lifetime, however, I’ve seen John F. Kennedy, actor Dennis Weaver, singer Barry Manilow, Heavyweight boxer Smokin’ Joe Frazier, and President Ronald Reagan. And frankly, none of these people overly impressed me. I thought and still think that Barry Manilow is a great singer. And I enjoyed actually visiting with Joe Frazier who said he would attend my church if he’d stayed in town on Sunday but he didn’t.

Otherwise, these famous people did little to enhance my life or move me to do anything different or better in life. I can’t sing. I can’t fight. I can’t act. I can’t and won’t get into politics. And none of these people moved me to want to serve my fellow man any more or better in life.

BUT there is one person who moves me more and more every day. GUESS WHO? I’m sure you know.

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead. In the presence of God.

We are living in the presence of God here on Sunday and on Monday. And someday we will be in His presence, face-to-face. At one funeral I said, “I would hate to leave this world and enter into eternity, meet God and have Him say, ’I don’t believe I know you.’” WOULD YOU WANT THAT TO HAPPEN?

We are living in His presence. We must live in His presence in order to prepare for the next life. This life is but a preparation for the next and the next will last trillions and trillions of years!

There is nothing you do or say that escapes His notice. And living in His presence should do something positive to you or for you! Living in the presence of God should motivate you to action!

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead....

Some day God will judge the living and the dead. However, because we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we will not be judged in regard to our sins because Christ paid for our sins. We will have no sins to account for! But what about other people? What about people who don’t know God or Christ? What will happen to them? If we fear for them eternally then we must do something.

PROP.- God will judge the living and the dead. What must we do?

1- We must preach the Word

2- We must correct the incorrect

3- We must discharge the duties

I. WE MUST PREACH THE WORD

2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

ILL.- One preacher never prepared his sermon during the week, and then on Sunday morning he’d sit on the platform while the church was singing the hymns desperately praying, "Lord, give your message, Lord, give me your message."

One Sunday, while desperately praying for God’s message, he heard the Lord say, "Ralph, here’s my message. You’re lazy!"

I’ve met some preachers like that: too lazy to study, too lazy to do their homework, too lazy to work. Period.

I probably spend more time preparing my sermons than ever before in my life. And why would I do this since I’ll be 67 years old in December and near retirement? Why would I spend more time than ever before? HERE’S WHY.

Because I realize more than ever that I am living in the presence of God and I want to please Him more than ever before! I owe it to God to do my best.

I also realize that my time is running out. I’m on the downhill slide as far as this life is concerned. And I don’t want to rust out. I prefer to burn out!

Are you too lazy to preach the Word? Huh? How’s that? You might say, “Hey, I can’t preach!” But you do preach whether you realize it or not. You preach every day. And some people are listening.

ILL.- I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day,

I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way;

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