Summary: Football's "Two Minute Warning" warns the game is almost over and the window to make a change is closing. It's an apt example of how God's warnings about our lives are serious and the time will come when reversal will be too late. (Msg good any time).
THE TWO MINUTE WARNING
1. ATLANTA JOKE
The Atlanta Falcons had just finished their daily practice session when a large turkey came strutting onto the field and demanded to be given a chance to play at tight end. Everyone watched with wonder as the turkey caught pass after pass and ran right through the defensive line. When the turkey returned to the sidelines, the coach said, “You’re superb. Sign up for the season, and I’ll see to it that you get a huge bonus.”
“Forget the bonus,” replied the turkey, “What I want to know is, does your season go past Thanksgiving Day?”
2. PATRIOTS JOKE
Bill Belichick looked over a new player and said, “You can’t play unless you can pass a basic arithmetic test. So concentrate hard and tell me the answer to this: What’s two plus two?” The player thought for a moment and then answered, “4?” “Did you say 4?” the coach exclaimed, excited that the player had actually got the right answer. Suddenly all the other players on the team began shouting, “Come on coach, give him another chance!”
B. THE NFL 2-MINUTE WARNING
1. Huge matchup between Matt Ryan & Tom Brady; it promises to be a very close game, with odds makers only seeing a 3 point difference.
2. This morning I want to talk about the NFL’s interesting custom of the “two-minute warning.”
3. It’s a moment when the referees stop the clock and let both teams know how much time remains in the game.
4. IT WARNS that the game will end soon, and that all-out efforts must be employed. It has become a strategic part of the game, helping teams focus, change the momentum.
5. A lot of teams have what they call a “2-minute drill.”
It's a bold, accelerated series of plays that are designed for those urgent moments when you realize the game is almost over and you’re behind.
6. Some teams who are losing come back to win; and others, winning, begin to lose. The 2-minute warning gives the 2 teams a chance to change the game.
C. 2 MINUTE WARNING IN SCRIPTURE
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. 2 While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way. 7 The king called out for the enchanters, astrologers and diviners to be brought….8 but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant. 9 So King Belshazzar became even more terrified….
[He sent for Daniel, who said,] 22 "But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself…. 23 But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. 26 "This is what these words mean: Mene : God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. 27 Tekel : You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. 28 Peres : Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." 30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain.” Daniel 5:1-30.
1. This morning I want us to realize that WE are down to the Two Minute Warning!
2. We’re going to look at how Belshazzar responded to his Warning, see 3 wakeup calls from God, and consider how we’re down to the closing moments of human history, and make the decision to take our Two Minute Warning seriously.
3. The title of this message is “The Two Minute Warning.”
I. BELSHAZZAR’S TWO MINUTE WARNING
A. IGNORING CIRCUMSTANCES
1. Often God tries to deal with us/get our attention, with circumstances. His purpose? Redemption.
Disaster had been banging at the gates of Babylon for years.
2. The year was 539 BC. King Nabonidus, co-ruler of the Babylonian empire, had been outside the city with his army defending it against the mighty army of the Medes and Persians under Cyrus and Darius.
3. His son, Belshazzar, was ruling inside the city. Just days before this party, the Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army outside the city. Babylon was now besieged.