Summary: This sermon deals with being prepared for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
You’ve Got A Date
12/5/99 Eccl. 11-9-12:14 2 Corinthians 5:8-12
When someone asks you for a date, there are usually three things you have to consider. First, do I want to be with this person. Second, do I want to do what this person wants to do. Third can I get prepared in time to be available at the time of the date.
If the answer to the first question is No, then a flat out no should be given when asked out. If the answer to the first question is yes, but the answer to the second question is no, then a "not this time but maybe some other time" should be given. If the answer to the first question is definitely, and the answer to the second is yes, but the answer to the third question is no, then you need to see if you can readjust something in your life to get prepared to make the date.
Let’s suppose Tracy and David are going to go to the prom together. Tracy has spent money getting her hair done just right, and she has on a beautiful dress. Their colors are blue and white. All her friends and family members are at the house waiting for her date to arrive. Her dad has the video camera out, and her Mom has some professional photographer waiting to take a picture of her and her guest.
Finally up comes a beautiful blue car with David driving it arrives. David steps out of the car, with a white T-shirt and his favorite pair of blue jeans with the holes just below the butt in the back, and the knees torn out. David has a big smile on his face. But how do you think those who have been waiting for Dave to arrive are going to react to his appearance?
Well, Tracy bursts into tears and runs back into the house. Tracy’s father walks over and says, "boy how in the world could you show up wearing this on a date?." David says, "the colors were blue and white, and this outfit was the most comfortable thing I had. Tracy has seen me in it many times. I had planned to get a haircut but I ran out of time."
We celebrate Advent because it is the time in which we look forward to the coming of Christ. Unlike David, Christ is going to come prepared for the occasion. God has set two dates with the world. God promised to send a savior into the world which is the reason we celebrate Christmas. God also promised to come back and judge the world, which is why we as Christians look forward to the second coming of Christ. God has one other special date for followers of Christ alone and that date is known as the rapture.
One reason for setting a date is to build up the excitement of what’s going to happen when the person arrives. Sometimes thinking about the date is actually more exciting than what actually happens on the date. The other reason for setting a date is to have sufficient time to get oneself prepared for the date. Very few of us want our date showing up early, and we have not yet even begun to get ready for the outing.
The only thing we have to do as believers to get ready for our date that God has set for us is to live for Jesus 24/7. God never called anybody to be a part time Christian. Yet amazingly there are many people who are convinced, they could have this part of their life as Christian, and that part over there as something God has absolutely nothing to do with because they are in control. Somehow they think they can fool God into thinking they are obedient when in fact they are not. Partial obedience is always disobedience.
We have a dog by the name of Hope. Hope knows that she is not to get on the bed in the blue room. If Hope is in the Blue room, when she hears or sees me coming, she will be sitting on the floor with a smile on her face as I enter the room. But the dent she left behind on the bed, lets me know she has not been on the floor very long. Now Jesus knew that some of us would live our Christian lives like Hope. As long as somebody is watching me, I’ll obey Christ, but the moment nobody knows I’m suppose to be a Christian, look out.
To help us keep honest in our journey, Jesus decided to make a surprise date with all pretenders. It will not be a surprise to those who are living for Him because they are always living under the thought, Jesus might come in just a few minutes. Whereas the second coming of Jesus into the world will be accompanied by the sky lighting up around the world, angels marching from heaven in formation behind Jesus, and great destruction coming upon the earth with earthquakes and floods and the like, the rapture is going to be totally different.