Summary: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour”. (Matthew 25:13)
Theme: Prepare for the day of the Lord
Text: Amos 5:18-24; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Matt. 25:1-13
A common problem in the world is that of procrastination. Procrastination is simply defined as putting off what needs to be done or hoping to do tomorrow what should have been done yesterday. It is waiting to do what is necessary till it is too late. It is waiting for the deadline till the deadline is passed. It is not taking advantage of the available time. Procrastination affects every age group. It affects children, it affects the youth and it also affects adults. Procrastination can be dangerous and putting off a visit to the doctor long enough can cause a lot of pain and suffering and even death. Many relationships have been destroyed because those involved have been putting off spending time with each other. The greatest danger of procrastination however is when it affects our eternal destiny. Putting off a relationship with Christ until it is too late will lead to eternal separation from God. We often deceive ourselves into thinking that we are smarter than everyone else and will make our decision to follow Christ before it is too late. We want to believe that we can control the future when we do not even know what is going to happen today. No one knows the day of the Lord’s return so let us prepare for the day of the Lord now.
There are many signs pointing to the return of the Lord. The birth of the state of Israel is the greatest sign pointing to Christ’s return. Israel became a nation on 14th May, 1948 after going through the holocaust during the rule of the Nazis in Germany. A nation that was destroyed and ceased to exist in AD 70 became a nation again under miraculous conditions 2000 years later. They even revived the Hebrew language that had been lost and had not been spoken for 2000 years. The state of the world today is also pointing to the approaching day of the Lord. The frequency and destructions caused by earthquakes and tsunamis, diseases, terrorism and wars are unprecedented in our times. Aids, Ebola, Boko Haram, Al Shabab and ISIL are names known around the world. Sexual immorality, pornography, sexual slavery and all forms of depravity are common all around the world today. The sufferings and deaths seem to be increasing every day. The prophet Joel prophesied of these times saying “And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day”. (Acts 2:19-20) This year we have seen 2 lunar eclipses with the moon turning the colour of blood on 2 feast days of the Lord, on Passover and on the Feast of Tabernacles. This is expected to be repeated in 2015 which significantly will be heralding in the year of Jubilee.
Christ has promised He will return and we can be certain that He will and all signs are pointing to His return. We are the generation that are aware of the fulfilment of prophecies concerning His death and resurrection, His ascension to heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are the generation that are witnessing the fulfilment of prophecies concerning His return. Are we also prepared for His return? When the trumpet sounds will we rise from the dead to be with Him or will we be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord? The day of the Lord is near and there is still time to access the grace of God by believing that our Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood to pay the penalty for sin.
The day of the Lord is reminding us to be ready by accepting God’s provision for the forgiveness of sin. All of us inherited Adams sinful nature for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Christ died to pay the penalty of sin that we might be forgiven and saved. Our salvation does not depend on anything we have done but on what Christ has done for “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8) When Christ took our sinful position He gave us His righteous position. We received a new, holy, and perfect spirit and became a new creation. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer confirms that the spirit of the believer is holy and perfect since the Holy Spirit will not live in any other place. Christ died to make us righteous and give us eternal life “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom 6:23) “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. For whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God”. (John 3:17-18)