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Summary: I call it my "Preparation H" Sermon: Preparing for Heaven. I hope you enjoy it! :)

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March 6th 2011 Sermon, “Preflight Instructions”

1Thes 4:16-17, For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

This is the blessed hope of the church…

? How many of you have made plans to be on this glorious flight?

Why don’t we pick up our flight manuals today and navigate to the book of… 2 Cor 13:15

When you’re a pilot and you’re getting ready to go on a flight, you always run through a checklist: to assess the air worthiness of the aircraft, and the conditions you’ll be flying in before you commits to the flight because all the weather information and every surface and instrument on the aircraft is very important to your overall safety.

The pilot is responsible for the overall safety of the flight and passengers, just as you men and women who are also heads of households must be responsible for the safety of your own family.

You are the captains of your households. Your decisions set the course of everyone else in your home.

That’s why the most important thing you check before “that great flight” is your SELF.

An acquaintance of mine used to say it all the time… He was a half baked ex-cocaine dealer turned produce clerk, and most of the stuff he said didn’t make any sense, but I do remember one thing he said every day that did make some sense. “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself… Ah, Ah…” I still don’t know what the “Ah, Ah” was all about, but that was the part that made it so unforgettable…

The most important thing you must check in preflight is – your SELF.

(Some of you are too busy checking each other when you should be checking yourself.)

The Bible says not to judge another man’s servant, Roman’s 14:4.

Examine your SELF FIRST…

If you’re not feeling “ready” for the flight, or you’re being oppressed by the influence of a drug or alcohol, if you are having a difficult time making RIGHT decisions, then you should check yourself. A good pilot would delay the flight till he was ready, because the souls are board are more important. Amen? You’re not just here today to save yourself…

2 Cor 13:5, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-- unless, of course, you fail the test?”

Jesus Christ is IN YOU – ON BOARD WITH YOU – unless, of course, you fail the test.

What test? Your personal self exam.

If you are personally unfit at this stage in your life, if you are spiritually blind, or lacking faith, if you are a “fair weather Christian”, if you are destined for Heaven but your own navigational skills have you pointed toward Hell, then you need to get JESUS on board with you before the Great Day comes. 2 Cor 13:5, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith;”

GET IN THE FAITH BECAUSE YOU NEED JESUS ON BOARD.

Look at your life Before Christ! Have your great decisions saved you from all your sorrows, or caused you deeper sorrow?

I: You need Jesus on board because you’re not very good at “Decision Making.”

ADM: Aeronautical Decision Making

July 16th, 1999 one of the most successful men in the world, John F. Kennedy Jr. plunged his little single-engine Piper into the heavy seas off Martha's Vineyard.

His airplane wasn’t the problem. It was his mind that killed him and his two passengers.

As he flew through the storm he lost visibility. He could no longer see where he was going, and with the wind and rain blowing him all over the place, he started to get mixed signals.

He was battling in panic against the contradictory signals of his inner ear and the aircraft instruments. When you’re flying without visibility, your reason and emotions are at war.

The inner ear is designed to measure your movement in relation to a fixed sensation of gravity. Gravity always acts as a vector pointing straight down to the center of the earth. The inner ear is equipped with tubes of liquid that shift in response to any movement while the mind compares these signals against this fixed sensation of gravity. This balancing apparatus signals the pilot's mind and says, “You are strapped into a seat that is now as level as if you were sitting squarely at the kitchen table.”

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