Live Ready

by Duane Maust
Luke 21: 5-19
November 18, 2007

We do not often talk about end times. We are going to explore this area this morning. This passage that Marcus read is also mentioned in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. The disciples were curious as to what was going to happen in the future. Jesus told them he was coming back. So after Jesus left this world after his death and resurrection, his followers were expecting him to be coming back right away. Here we are 2000 years later, still waiting.

I am not going to talk about details about Jesus’ return. I assume I will know when the time comes, I will know what is happening.

The key to verses 8-11 is the last part of verse 9. “The end will not be at once.” Jesus warned against the tendency to see every striking event as a sign of the end. Specifically he warned against those who would come in his name and announce that “The time is at hand!” Wars and unrest are not signs that the end is at hand. Neither wars nor natural disasters are signs of a soon end. Many took place before this was written and many have taken place since then.

When we read verses like these this morning, we hear that Jesus is coming back sometime. We can be sure it is going to happen.

Then why not just wait it out? It must be soon. Don’t you think we may see Jesus come back soon?

Friday morning I come to church to the men’s prayer group and then go to the church office and get started on my sermon or do whatever needs to be done. Often I will check the news out on the computer first and go through my e-mails.

When I was checking the news I saw where this group in central Russia have locked themselves in a cave waiting for Jesus to return. This is a group of 29 adults and 4 children who are hidden inside a snow-covered hillside that they moved into November 7.

“They have covered the entrance and refuse to come out,” says the local prosecutor. They are thought to have food and fuel supplies with them. There they wait for Jesus to come.

“They are simple Christians,” a local priest told the local TV station. “They say: ‘the church is doing a bad job, the end of the world is coming and we are all saving ourselves.'”

Media reports said the cult members believed the world would end sometime in May next year. Police expect them to emerge when their supplies run out.

I am not going to encourage any of us to move into a cave and wait till Jesus comes back.

Matt 24:42 says, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

This is why Paul wrote what he did to the Thessalonians. In 2 Thess. 3: 6-14 Paul tells them to get off their backends and get to work. Some of the Thessalonians said that Jesus is coming soon, why work.

Let me read just verse 11-12.

Here Paul is dealing with the situation were they took the attitude of the Second Coming as being immediate. There were those in Thessalonica who had given up their work and had abandoned everyday house keeping to wait in “excited idleness” for Christ to come. Paul had no use for them.

Paul says, “If a man refuses to work, neither let him eat.” It is the refusal to work that is important. This has nothing to do with the unfortunate person who, through no fault of his own, can’t find work to do. This has been called “the golden rule of work.”

Well, I plan to go to the wood shop on Monday. I plan to make sure I have my life in order. If I hear a bunch of angels and a trumpet blaring on Monday, I plan to leave the saw running and not worry about it any more.

Matt. 24:31 – And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

What do you think God is telling us today?

1. Are each of us ready for Jesus to meet us? Do I have my life in order? Did I give him control of my life? Do I know Jesus as my personal Savior? I hope you can say yes.

2. If we have our personal things lined up, is there someone else that we can help find their way to Jesus? If Jesus would return tomorrow, who do you need to talk to this afternoon? Is it a family member or friend?

Read Luke 21: 36. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.

This is a good verse to close with.

Live ready.

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