Summary: From a childs game of Hid and Go seek to you can’t hide from God... This sermon has people looking to the sky again.
Here I Come! Ready or Not!
When I was a kid one of my favorite games was hide-n-go-seek. I use to love that game. As a matter of fact, our youth and children at our church still love playing it. You know it is one of the simplest, yet the funniest games I have ever played. Hiding behind trees, in cellars, in ditches, and literally anywhere I thought that no one would find me.
You remember what it was like hiding behind that tree and hearing the person that was it… counting down to 20 Mississippi’s. One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, three Mississippi… Then He would scream out Ready or Not… Here I come.
In these days of uncertainty how many of you all have been looking to the sky’s again. Just wondering is today the day that the Lord will call us home. With Israel in war in the West Bank and the Middle East ready for battle… could this be the beginning of Armageddon? With wars and rumors of wars, in days when the world is still confused after what happened on the 11th of September. Some are looking in the sky again waiting for the glorious appearance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today’s text is found in the 24th chapter of the gospel of Matthew. The words that Jesus gave us concerning the His coming. I don’t want to frighten you as to the world coming to an end but I can tell you to be ready it could happen any time. After all James 4:14 reminds us, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
If you don’t believe me talk to the families of the over 3000 that lost their life in New York and Washington. Or the families of the victims of the suicide bombings in Israel. Life is short and Jesus say to each of us today Ready or Not Here I come….
So I have one question for you… Are you ready or Not?
Only you can answer that…
You will have to bare with me today I am suffering and have been for the past week with a cold… You know I heard a story the other day about a man who went to the doctors office with a nasty cold. The doctor told him to take a couple of aspirins and drink plenty of fluid and it should be gone in a couple of days. The man came back a couple of days latter still coughing and sneezing. He told the doctor that he did just what he told him to do but it didn’t help. The doc. Then told the man to take a hot shower and then throw open the window and let the cold winter’s breeze hit him in the face. The man said wait a minute doc. If I do that I will catch pneumonia.
The doctor told him well I can cure pneumonia.
The doctor couldn’t cure the common cold any more then you or I can set a date when Jesus will come back. Many throughout history have tried.
One of the early Christians wrote, “the last days are upon us. Weigh carefully the times. Look for Him who is about all time, eternal and invisible. Written only a couple of decades after John wrote Revelation. About 110 AD
Another Christian writer wrote in 375 AD There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established in his early years and in a few years will achieve supreme power.
Hippolytus wrote that Christ would come back in the year 500.
The year surrounding the year 1000 were filled with predictions of the coming of Christ… It was so well received that the people didn’t even plant their crops, buildings lay decaying, and people left starving.
In the 1500’s Martin Luther wrote, “We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse. This world won’t last any longer… then another 100 years.
A little know fact was that Christopher Columbus was a student of biblical prophecy. He wrote a volume called “The Book of Prophecies,” in, which he predicted that the world would end in 1556. He even wrote, “there is no doubt that the world must end in one hundred fifty five years.
The year 1666 saw an explosion in end times speculation. One pastor wrote in his journal, “every time a storm has hit this year the church was full of people waiting for Jesus.”
In 1800 William Miller predicted the return of Christ in 1844 they waited but nothing happened, then in 1992 Harold Camping predicted the end, again nothing happened and he changed his date to 1993 and then 1994. Today you can walk into any Christian book store and there are literally dozens of books telling us that the end is near.