Summary: Current events indicate that Jesus’ coming is near. This sermon emphasizes the importance of watching for His return.
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Prayer (Car covered in snow)
What better time to get away; Blizzards in the Midwest and Texas; Torrential rain and flooding in California. So, when the travel agent suggested a sunny beach resort far from the hustle and bustle of life, nothing could seem better.
You leave the down coats and snow boots and pack the Bermuda shorts and sun screen and head for the airport.
After a long, the plane lands, the doors open and a wave of hot moist air bursts in. You take the limo from the airport to the resort and check into your room. Just a couple of hours later, (Beach Picture) you are on a towel on top of the whitest sand you have ever seen looking at an ocean and blue and pristine as the day God spoke it into existence. (Sail Boat)
And then abruptly, without warning, (Water Coming In) the sound of children laughing stops and screams of panic fill the air. (More Water Rushing) The bright blue sky is replaced by a giant wall of water, not one of those beautiful waves curling over at the top, but a 4 story wall of water heading your way. (Aftermath)
At 9:00 am local time, (Clock) an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale violently shook the island of Sumatra. (Map) The quake was so strong that it caused the entire island, the size of California to permanently move 100 feet. The island on Monday was not where it used to be on Saturday. As the quake shifted the crust of the earth, shoving the island towards the continent of Asia, it displaced miles of ocean water and sent it barreling towards shore at 500 hundred of miles an hour causing one of the worst disasters in history.
At last count, the death toll is over 120,000 people, mostly children. (Grief)
Hurricanes hitting harder and more frequently. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. What is going on?
What is incredibly sobering to me, is that leading seismologists reported that with this earthquake in Asia, the earth literally wobbled on its axis. It shook the whole earth.
The earth is screaming out in pain and the world is caught sleeping.
But should we be surprised? Paul wrote of events like this in his first letter to the Thessalonians?
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
“The day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. They say, ‘Peace and safety,’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.”
All over the world people, not just religious people, but worldly people, secular people are asking the question, “Could the end of the world be near?”
The answer is obvious. It is a sure and resounding, “Yes!”
No one knows when a thief will break into their home. No one knows the exact moment that a woman will go into labor, but there are plenty of signs that labor will begin soon.
A friend of mine worked for a home health agency in Chattanooga. One of his co-workers was expecting. All of the staff had a pool going on to guess the date this woman would go into labor. Everyday when the mom to be would come into the office, the staff would ask a mid-wife who worked there if it would be today.
The midwife would study the mom’s face for a few minutes and then declare, “No, not today. She’s not ugly enough.” This routine repeated itself every morning up to the expected due date and on even after the mom passed her due date. Until one morning, the mom-to-be came in. the midwife took one look at her and said, “Ok. She’s ugly enough,” and within 24 hours a beautiful baby was born.
Turn on the news, open a paper, flip to CNN or Fox News and you will see that all of the world is keyed into the earth’s destruction and when it will happen.
We’re concerned, but this isn’t new.
Mat 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.