Summary: This sermon illustrates the unexpected nature of Christ’s return, along with the urgency of making proper preparations for it. The style is that of story-telling.
(Note: In this sermon, your goal is to describe this community in a believable, relateable way. You can change the names around to make sure you don’t step make anyone think you’re referring to them. I tried to take several of the attitudes Jesus taught against, then create characters based on them. I also have tried to create a feeling of suspense by continually referring to "it" and "being prepared", without saying specifically what "it" is until "it" comes later in the story.)
-There was a man named Joshua who lived all of his life in a small town.
-The people who made up the town had all sorts of personalities and dispositions, and thanks to Joshua, everyone in the entire town had at least been told that it was coming.
Granted, the news of it was not really new, but Joshua would regularly make his way through the town, reminding people that it was coming sooner or later, and they needed to be prepared.
-Joshua didn’t discriminate in the people he told…he went to everyone who would offer him an ear, and reminded them again and again…make sure you’re prepared!
One particular day, Joshua woke up, and since he had worked hard at his job all week, and made time to speak to his many friends, he ate his simple breakfast, making time to be thankful to God, then he set out on his way.
First he decided to go by and pay a visit to Edward. At this point in his life, Edward was old and cynical, but he hadn’t always been so. Early in his life, Edward had been an upstanding citizen, respected by everyone in the town. He was engaged to a beautiful girl, and everyone expected great things from his life. He had started out preparing well, but as time went on, the longer he waited for it, the more he felt he could put off preparations until later.
-He started drinking casually, then soon progressed to harder liquor. He took up gambling; first small bets, and then a little larger and a little larger.
-Where Edward should have been comfortably retired, able to encourage others around him, Edward had gambled his money away, and was known as the town drunk.
-As Joshua approached his small shack that he called a house, Edward appeared to be in a state half way between consciousness and sleep. His hair and beard were unkept and dirty. His clothes were worn and ragged. He looked much older than he actually was. There was nothing appealing about him, but Joshua wanted to make sure everyone had the chance to prepare, regardless of what others thought of them, so he approached Edward.
“Edward, I know you’re not happy with how your life has turned out, and you’ve made some mistakes, but you KNOW that it’s coming, and you’ve still got to prepare for it!”
To Edward, this speech was familiar, and he quickly dismissed the idea before it became any less comfortable for him. He snapped back at Joshua, “Who are you to tell me how to live? For a lot of my life, I prepared. I thought if I stopped preparing, something might happen to me. Well, I do whatever I want.…nothing has happened, and I for one think it’s all just a bunch of gibberish anyways. If I decide to, I’ll have plenty of time later; I’ve got some years left! Whenever I decide I’m ready, I can change and do whatever I want, but don’t bother me now.”
Joshua was saddened as he left Edward, but just because Edward was stubborn didn’t mean everyone else would be.
Joshua then went to talk to Silas. Silas had turned out drastically different from Edward.
-He had started off as a farmer, without any more means than anyone else.
-For several seasons there had been a great crop, but where the other farmers and landowners would waste their increase on celebrations and various hobbies, Silas was careful to save and invest.
-Soon some very dry seasons came along, and the crops were few and poor.
-It got so drastic that many of the farmers had to sell their land to make ends meet.
-Silas had been shrewd, though, and was able to buy much of the property around him from his neighbors.
-Once the droughts had gone and the crops started flourishing again, Silas quickly became the wealthiest person in town.
-Farmers who used to own the land around him soon became his employees.
-He had ONE lovely daughter who was destined to be wealthy because of what she would one day inherit from her father. Every young man in the town wanted to marry her.
-He enjoyed visiting with Joshua whenever he came by, so today as Joshua approached, he quickly had his wife prepare some refreshments for the two of them.