Summary: The end is near. What should we do?
INTRO.- ILL.- There was once an earthquake, which terrified residents. One couple sent their little boy to stay with an uncle in another town, explaining the reason for the nephew’s sudden visit. A day later the parents got an e-mail, which read, “AM RETURNING YOUR BOY. SEND THE EARTHQUAKE.”
We’ve all known a few children like that. While some children can be very irritating, earthquakes can be quite devastating. We do live in the New Madrid Fault, you know. I have read there is a possibility that the chance of a major earthquake could happen in the next 40 years. Are you afraid? Are you quaking from fear?
ILL.- If you fear, here are some EARTHQUAKE SAFETY TIPS.
- Those living in areas not prone to earthquakes can respond quickly to the plight of disaster victims in quake zones by complacently smirking and saying, "I told you so."
- To minimize loss and damage in a quake, try not to own things.
- A doorway is the safest place to be during a quake. Eat, sleep and work in doorways.
- Be sure to mail your house insurance payments a full five business days before a major earthquake strikes.
- In the event of a quake, get under something heavy, such as a desk, a table or your uncle.
- If you are caught in a major earthquake in Southern California and are part of the entertainment industry, take a moment or two to reflect on how grossly you’ve wasted your life.
The end may be near, but not by means of an earthquake. It could happen by death, which will some day come to all people.
Heb. 9:27 “…Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”
Death will come. When and by what means? We do not know. Only the Lord knows. I think we all know, however, that a person doesn’t have to be old to die.
ILL.- This obituary came from the Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, MO. Timothy Michael Jordan, 26, of Cape Girardeau died Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004, in an automobile accident on North West End Boulevard.
He was born Feb. 12, 1977, in Perryville, Mo., son of Dennis and Beverly Jordan. He and Cassie Ponder were married May 13, 2000, in Cape Girardeau. Jordan was employed at Tatmandu Tattoo. He was a member of Faith Baptist Temple.
Survivors include his wife; two sons, Dylan and Timothy Jordan; his mother; and a brother, Thomas Jordan, all of Cape Girardeau.
Death comes to all and at some very unexpected times and ages.
It is so sad in many ways to see life come to an end at such an early age. But often, death comes even earlier for some. I’ve had memorial services for babies, infants, small children, teens, young people and older adults.
Death is no respecter of age or person. Do you fear death? I think all people have a certain amount of fear for death. We don’t know when or how. This concerns us.
In our text, Paul said, “The Lord is near.” What does He mean by this? It is comforting to know that the Lord is near to us. If anybody loves us, cares about us and is with us through thick and thin, it’s the Lord. And He’s on our side! He is not against us like some people preach. The Lord is a lover of the human soul. His love is enduring, lasting, compassionate, gracious, etc. We all need to realize just how much the Lord is near us and loves us and is on our side.
THE LORD IS NEAR. Most commentators believe that Paul is talking about the Lord’s second coming.
I Thess. 4:13-18 “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
What a beautiful and powerful passage about the Lord’s return. AND HE WILL RETURN! Speculation will do us no good, but preparation will do a great deal of good.