Summary: End Time 2 (A) Ready or not here Christ comes! Sadly, many are not prepared. With wisdom we wait and we watch for the Lord’s return.
READY OR NOT…HERE CHRIST COMES (Outline)
November 11, 2007 -
END TIME 2 / LAST JUDGMENT -
INTRO: Do you remember some of your favorite childhood games? There was hide-and-seek or kick-the-can. Both involved someone being “it”. They had to count to give everyone a chance to find a safe place. The time ended with the phrase, “Ready or not, here I come!” The time was up. There was no more opportunity to hide or find a safe place. Such will be the case with the Last Day. Now is our time of grace to be found safe and secure in the hand of our loving Father. But the time will come when the Lord Jesus returns as the Judge. Ready or not, here Christ comes! Of course, this is not a game but the reality and truth of God’s word. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come"(MARK 13:32,33). The Lord wants us to be ready and be prepared. Our theme:
READY OR NOT…HERE CHRIST COMES!
I. Many are not prepared.
II. With wisdom we wait.
I. MANY ARE NOT PREPARD
A. Jesus’ parable here is a continuation of his teaching about the Last Day from chapter 24 (read).
1. Verse 1. The ten virgins, friends of the bride and groom get ready to meet the couple.
2. The bridegroom would go to the bride’s house. The short ceremony takes place.
3. The groom brings his new wife to his home. It is dark and they need light – ten virgins.
B. These friends look much alike. There is a big difference among the ten virgins, verse 2.
1. Foolish was a strong word to be used. We are told why they are foolish in verse 3.
2. The five foolish virgins were ready to celebrate. They were not prepared to provide light.
C. The ten virgins wait and wait and wait and sleep, verse 5. The call goes out the bridegroom comes.
1. Now the foolish realize they are not prepared, verse 8. They need oil. They go to buy some.
2. The wedding begins for all those prepared. The foolish return and want to enter, verse 11.
3. It is too late! Verse 12. They are left standing in the dark, the door is shut. Ready or not….
D. Ready or not…the bridegroom comes. Ready or not, here Christ comes! How is it that some will not be prepared!?! God’s word is clear. The Jesus will return. Christ will come as the judge of the living and the dead. Just like the five foolish virgins there will be many who think they are ready but they will not be prepared. This happens because we live in a world filled with earthly attractions and devilish distractions. Make no mistake many have made their little heaven here on earth. Many are unconcerned about an eternal future. "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation (wickedness), drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap"(LUKE 21:34).
E. To be prepared takes more than just thinking we are ready. Preparing for the Lord’s return means we are to be watching, waiting. One thing is certain the Last Day will come suddenly. We may not always be ready but we are to be prepared. Many are caught unaware simply because they are not watching. Please read chapter 24 of Matthew. Jesus describes the day to day living of people before the end. Jesus tells us that the love of most will grow cold. This is a fitting description of how man mistreats man today. "To those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good"(TITUS 1:15b, 16). Ready or not, here Christ comes.
F. Scripture reminds us that the Last Day is the Last Day. There will be no more time to repent. There will be no more chance to put off the inevitable. The Lord Jesus, our Bridegroom, comes. The wedding is ready. The door is shut. Many try to deny that there will be a judgment day. Many like to picture God as a grandfatherly type sitting in his rocking chair. Our God is our righteous God who promises blessings to those who keep his commands. Our God is also the righteous God who threatens to punish those who sin against him and his word. Many deny this truth and reject this truth. God’s word is still the truth. "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power"(2 THESSALONIANS 1:8,9). Hell is a real place with real eternal punishment.