Saturday, November 30, 2013

Advent 1

Advent 1
1 December 2013
Matthew 24:37:44
Jesus, the one who is coming – will He surprise you?

INTRODUCTION: Remember the children’s game hide & seek?  Upon counting to the pre-determined number, and upon its completion, the child would call out, “ready or not here I come!” Today is the first Sunday of a new church year and a new season, the season of Advent. A countdown has begun – Christmas is in four weeks.

Yet, another countdown has begun – a countdown toward the end of the world – a countdown, which no one knows. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)  Advent reminds us that Jesus will return at the proper time and woe to him who is not ready. Today’s Gospel lessons asks us to recognize Jesus as the one who is coming, which begs a question, will He surprise you?

1.  There is the certainty of His coming

A.    For the coming of the Son of man will be just like the days of the Son of Man. “ …and the knew nothing about what would happen until the fold came and took them all away. This is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:39)

                1.  They lived each day as the one before; “eating, drinking, marrying and giving into marriage.”

                2.  Life seemed as if it would never change and never end.

B.            They did not understand until –

                1. The floodwaters came.

                2. And took them all away.

                3. So shall the coming of the Son of man be.

Transition: Jesus, whose birth we will soon celebrate, has promised a 2nd Advent. Will Christmas catch you off guard? Will Christ’s 2nd return catch people unaware?

2. He will come whether we are ready or not.

     A.       For these reasons you need to be ready too. “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Vs. 44)

                1. Read the sings of the times – earthquakes, famines, troubles, wars, rumors of war, the love of others running cold, etc.

                2. The only prediction as to the timing, “And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached as a testimony to the nations and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

  B.          For the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

                1. He is coming.

                2. But not according to man’s agenda or the conventional thinking of this age.

CONCLUSION:  From Thanksgiving through Christmas Day radio stations have Christmas carols playing 24/7. Mall Santa’s are putting in double shifts – displays are up inviting us to get ready for Christmas [yes, some have been up prior to Halloween!] I applaud them – for it is our duty to prepared not only for Christmas but ultimately for Christ’s final return – ready or not He will come – so once again the question – will His coming surprise you?

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