Summary: We should strive to be ready for the coming of Christ Jesus by repenting of our sins daily.
Matthew 24: 36 – 44 / Ready
Intro: David Peterson, former pastor of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Spokane, WA told about a time when he was preparing his sermon. His daughter came in and said, “Daddy, can we play?” He answered that he was very busy and in about an hour they would play. To which his daughter answered, “When you’re finished, I’m going to give you a great big hug.” With that she went to the door and then she made a U-turn and came back and gave him a chiropractic, bone-breaking hug. David said to her, “You said you were GOING to give me a hug AFTER I finished.” She answered, “Daddy, I just wanted you to know what you have to look forward to!”
I. This Sunday we enter into a new church year as we do the first Sunday in advent every year.
A. The word ADVENT come fro the latin ADVENTUS = “coming.” The Latin Bible (Vulgate) uses this word to translate the Greek word “PAROUSIA” which means “coming or presence” and more likely than not refers to the eschatological coming of the Lord Jesus.
B. In Acts 7:52 in the Latin Bible (Vulgate), ADVENTUS translates the Greek word ELEUSIS and there refers to the first advent of Christ.
C. The season of Advent begins the 4th Sunday before Christmas and focuses on the past, the coming of Christ as the INCARNATION and on the future, his coming as judge at the PAROUSIA.
II. Some would say that the Christmas season officially begins with BLACK FRIDAY, the Friday after Thanksgiving
A. That is the traditional day when all the hectic spending, wrapping, decorating and preparation frenzy starts.
B. This year, I have noticed that the BLACK FRIDAY sales have started even earlier. I even saw Christmas decorations in the stores alongside Halloween costumes and pumpkins.
C. We know that December 25th, Christmas, is just 27 days away! So you better get ready! It will be here sooner than you think! However, there are some hearty souls who wait until Dec. 24th to do their shopping and decorating. They go about their normal routine until the very last minute.
III. Vs. 30 – “and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the son of Man.”
A. In this passage, Jesus tells us that most people won’t be ready. Why?
B. In the time of Noah, the people saw Noah preparing by building an ark. What did they do? They laughed and joked and called him crazy, I’m sure. They had no relationship with god. Their entire lives revolved around earthly things and nothing else.
C. Advent is a time or preparation and the one preparation we can do is repentance. Take off the dirty old self and put on the clean new self. Repentance is the act of turning away from our sins to live a new life in Christ.
Conclu: Ian Macpherson tells a story about a little girl on a train to London shortly after WW2. She had been evacuated from the city and had not seen her mother for a long time. A fellow-passenger asked her, “What if your mother doesn’t recognize you?” The little girl thought for a moment and said, “it will be ok. Mummy made this dress and if she doesn’t know me by myself, she’ll know me by my dress.” --- God will know us by the white clothes of repentance we wear when we repent. C. S. Lewis once said, “A Christian is not one who never goes wrong, but one who is enabled to repent and begin over again after each stumble---because of the inner working of Christ.” --- Jesus says, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Vs. 44