December 9, 2012

Readiness Training – The Day of the Lord

Passage: Matthew 24
Service Type:

Bible Text: Matthew 24 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: New Beginnings
Matthew 24:6-8 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Current World Map of National Conflicts and Wars
Matthew 24:36-44 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away…
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there… do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord… you must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the Lord your God forbids you to do such things.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
What are the basic Biblical viewpoints for a disaster?
God is always sovereign
Some events are the result of natural progression of creation and the result of living in a “fallen” world
Some events are the result of the consequence of sin: our sin or that of other’s sin.
The Day of the Lord
Matthew 24:37-41 When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day.  In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat.  People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left.  Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
Matthew 24:42-43 So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
Expect God to do the Unexpected
Matthew 16:1-4 One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus’ claims by asking him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven. He replied, “You know the saying, Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow, red sky in the morning means foul weather all day. You are good at reading the weather signs in the sky, but you can’t read the obvious signs of the times! Only an evil, faithless generation would ask for a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.Then Jesus left them and went away.
Matthew 12:39-40 …Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Matthew 24:43-44 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
What does it mean to “be ready?”
Luke 12:35-40 Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.
Matthew 24:45-51 A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns.
But what if the servant is evil and thinks, My master won’t be back for a while, and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Every believer is a servant of Jesus Christ and therefore obligated to serve Him in every way.
Trust Him – Turn to God always
Submit to Him – Seek the Lord to do what He wills
Obey Him – Do what God tells you to do.
Every believer has been given a divine stewardship and responsibility in the work of Christ on earth.
Spiritual Procrastination Leads to Death
Revelation 14:15-16 Then another angel came from the Temple and shouted to the one sitting on the cloud, Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe.  So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the whole earth was harvested.
Romans 11:25-26 I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved.
God is Always on Time
2 Peter 3:8-10 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief…
The Word of God teaches us:
God will never abandon us; His plan is intervention for us
The presence of evil is not a prelude to destruction but the hope of re-creation
God’s judgment is coming but so is God’s new creation.
Romans 13:11-14 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
1 Corinthians 1:7 Await eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ
Philippians 3:20 Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
James 5:8 Be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand
1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirited for the purpose of prayer.
Revelation 22:20 Yes, I am coming quickly

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