Summary: This sermon deals with being ready for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The Master Thief

8/20/95 Psalm 24:1-10 Luke 12:35-48 Text 1 Thessalonians 5:1-12

What makes for a really good thief. A good thief has an eye for good merchandise. What would you think of a thief who’d break in and steal someone’s dirty laundry and smelly garbage bag?. A good thief has a mind for scheduling. The good thief knows when it is you go out and when it is you will come back home. What would you think of a thief who went down the street just randomly choosing houses to go in and steal from? Chances are the thief will be caught very quickly. A good thief does not announce his approach. What would you think of the thief who called up his victim to announce, I’ll be over in hour to steal your money in your safe?

One of the best weapons that a thief has at his or her disposal is the element of surprise. A good thief knows how to wait for that right moment to strike. I recall when we first got our alarm system in our Taurus, I wouldn’t cross the street without pushing in the button and locking it up. Something happened as time went on, and it became bother to have to reach and unlock the lock everytime I wanted to drive.

So then I only began to use the lock sometimes. I must confess that in all of 1994 and 1995, I have not used that special lock designed to protect my car from the thieves. Even though I have a perfectly good working kill switch in my car, a thief could easily come and get it, kill switch and all, because I no longer value protecting what I own.

It’s strange that the same thing happens to us spiritually. When we first come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we realize that God has deposited something very valuable in our lives and that we should protect it at all costs. We realize immediately, that there are somethings that we need to avoid, and other things that we need to plunge right into if we are to become what God has for us.

God imparts to us His word that can produce all kinds of changes in the way we live, in the way we see things, in the way we react toward others. It shows us how to avoid a lot of pain and hurt in life. And at first we value it, because we know the key to having a life worth living is wrapped up in those words. Our spirits which were once dead in sin, are now alive and responding to the word of God and people see a change, and we feel a change.

Only we forget, that somebody is not happy with the way we’ve chosen to live. The Bible says that Satan is a thief and it is his intent to steal that which God puts in our hearts. In the parable of the farmer planting seeds, there were some seeds that fell on hard ground, and immediately the birds of the air came and ate them up. Jesus said, " those seeds are like those who hear the word of God and do not understand it, and the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts."

Satan steals from us every time we come to church or Bible study or pick up the scriptures to read. The Spirit of God convicts our hearts to do, or to not do something and before we can get the change in place, the devil has removed the thought from our minds and convinced us that God never said such and such a thing.

The devil is a good thief. He watches us closely to learn our weaknesses. He knows what our schedules are. He looks carefully to see where we place our treasures. He’s patient, in that he does not feel as though if he doesn’t break in and get your spirit today, it will forever be lost to him. Just like I stopped locking my car, he knows that we will start leaving things unlocked in our spiritual lives that will make it that much easier for him to come in and get what he wants.

If he can get us to steal a pencil or bag of chips or dollar today, he knows he can get us to steal a lot more tomorrow. He’s not worried about us not committing adultery or having sex with someone else today, he knows if he can just get us to want to see the movie, or read the book, or look at the pictures today, he’s got us a little further down the line. He doesn’t get upset if we don’t swear in front of other Christians, he’s content with his swearing just when nobody else is around, because he’s already got us in the long run. He doesn’t mind if we didn’t kill that person that did us wrong, if he can just get us to start to hate him, he’s happy because we’re in his camp.

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