Summary: How do you prepare for death or the Lord’s coming? Paul tell us how to prepare. 1- Rejoice in the Lord 2- Be gentle toward all 3- Trust the Lord in prayer
INTRO.- Preparation is important in all of life.
ILL.- Some guy wrote: “One morning I went out to start car to go to church. Flat tire. Lucky I had a spare. I changed tire quickly and was on my way. I didn’t think to drop spare off to be fixed. I thought, "I’ll get around to it." Within five days I went out to car to go to school. I had another flat. Only this time I had no spare tire! I had to roll it to nearest station and wait while it was fixed.”
He said, “When something breaks, fix it now. Don’t wait until you need it and then don’t have it!” Good advice.
Preparation makes a difference in all realms of life whether it’s work, school, play, recreation, etc.
ILL.- Two years before his death, Mike Hanzas, who lived alone, began to make preparation for his demise. He bought a plot in the cemetery. Weekly, he visited the site where his remains would be interred. He planted grass there and mowed it regularly. On Memorial Day, he placed flowers on the grave site, for he said, “I want to see flowers there now. I won’t be able to see them when I’m gone!” A while later Mike went into a funeral home. “I want to buy the casket which will be my new home,” he said. Whenever he passed the funeral home he would go in. Standing beside the casket he would say, “That’s where I’m going to live someday!”
One day Mike invited a nephew and the rest of his family to come to see him. After a hearty meal, Mike began to dispense some canned goods and personal effects among his visitors. Then he handed his nephew his will. As he did this, he dropped dead of heart failure! Someone wrote, “So far as we know, Mike Hanzas had made every provision for his body but none for his soul.”
Matthew 16:26 “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”
This message is about preparation. The text speaks of the Lord’s coming but whether it’s His coming or our death, we must prepare to meet the Lord. While most people are only concerned about preparing for Christmas we should be concerned about preparing to meet the Lord!
There should be some obvious things we must do to prepare to meet the Lord, such as repent of our sins, confess Christ every chance, be baptized. And we must continue to walk with Him in life. If we walk with Him in life He will walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. Our text looks at preparing to meet the Lord in a different way.
PROP.- How do you prepare for death or the Lord’s coming?
Paul tell us how to prepare.
1- Rejoice in the Lord
2- Be gentle toward all
3- Trust the Lord in prayer
I. REJOICE IN THE LORD
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
ILL.- I like the old story about Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. who was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of "the greatest justice since John Marshall." At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers."