You know I was preparing a Sunday school lesson this past week on Godís coming wrath. It was two parts His wrath and the possibility of deliverance from it. The information was interesting and to be honest it was a very tough subject given it was based out of Revelation 15-16 and the last seven judgments. However, the part that really got my attention was the deliverance portion of the message. It was based in Daniel 12:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. Daniel 12:1 talks about what some call the Lambís Book of Life. 1 Thessalonians 5 though talks about the Day of the Lord and is what I want to share with you today.
1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, ďThere is peace and security,Ē then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (ESV)
Like many of you I have been told that Jesus is coming back my entire Christian walk and pretty much being in the South all my life. It has become the mantra for many movements around Christianity and has led to some strange and bizarre cults throughout the centuries. The problem is that it has also led to what I call coolness in the lives of those who call themselves Christian. Hearing it over and over again the church has become rather lazy or lackluster in its desire to evangelize the world. I know that there are very active churches involved in a lot of ministry but how many others have been lulled into a stupor because they decided that there was plenty of time. They are living the round-to-it life of Christ. You know this person; shoot many of us fall into this category from time to time me included.
The conversation goes like this:
Pastor: Well Good morning, so did you ever talk to your friend you asked me to be praying for.
Church Member: Well no pastor I just did not have time to get around-to-it this past week. I will try to do it next week.
Pastor: Well Ok I will continue to pray for you and your friend that God gives you a chance to talk to them.
Church Member: Well pastor thank you would you consider meeting us for lunch this week maybe you could talk to him. I really am not very comfortable doing it.
Pastor: Well I can look at my schedule and see if I can get around-to-it one day later this week. I am a little busy with all the stuff going on at church.
Church Member: Well I will call you or talk to you on Wednesday night and see when you are available.
Pastor: Well ok.
Monday morning phone call:
Church Member: Pastor I was just calling to tell you we wonít need to go to lunch this week. My friend died this weekend.
You know what it is all well and good to think we can look at what is going on in the world and think that God is coming soon. The reality though is He comes for people every minute of every day. Before you finish reading this someone has died in the world from any number of things. I believe that when they talk about the Lord coming like a thief in the night it has to become personal. Thieves donít generally break into a whole city at one time they work one house or business at a time stealing what they want and leaving the other stuff behind. If the church does not recognize the fact that while we are waiting for God to comeback for His bride people around us are falling away and into death. We are missing out on what we are here to do. Is it about time we stopped worrying less about the signs of His return and more about those who do not know Him that are dying all around us? You see at death your choice is made permanent and there is no second chance for salvation. I know that is hard to hear but today I am giving you your round-to-it lets get done what God has for us so that no one we know or love has to be separated from God for all eternity. Have a blessed day as you walk in the Light of His Word.