Sometime ago I was preaching on the coming of the Lord. A man came to me after the service and said, "I have heard this all my life. My father heard it all his life. And his father heard it all of his life."
I said, "Did you know the Bible says you would say that?" Then I turned in my Bible and read him this Scripture. He ended up getting saved.
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
People who have this attitude are mistaken. Jesus is coming back.
2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
In Matthew 24:35 Jesus said, Heaven and earth will pass away. In verse 36 of that chapter He also said of that day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels, only the Father.
He is coming. The Bible tells us over and over that the day of the Lord shall come. God has specific dates and appointed times for certain things to happen. When God declares it, it shall come to pass. It is on it's way.
Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
God sets times. He told Abraham in Genesis 15:13 that Israel would be in Egypt and be afflicted 400 years.
God had an appointed day for Israel and they had to be ready. They ate the Passover Lamb with their loins girded, shoes on their feet, staff in hand, and they ate it in haste. They were ready to go.
If I could make 2 words stick with you today they would be: BE READY!
Another time Moses came to the people with a message from the Lord. In Exodus 19:9-11, the Lord was about to visit the people and He sent this message:
Exodus 19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
Ex 19:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
Ex 19:11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
The important thing I want you to see is: God told them ahead of time to be ready.
Acts 17:30-31 says God has called men everywhere to repent.
Ac 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Ac 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
God has appointed a time and He has given us a time to prepare.
God appointed a time in Noah's day. Noah got ready.
God appointed a time for certain events in Israel. God told the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem and get ready for the Promise, before He sent the Holy Ghost.
Friend, God has notified us in writing and by His Spirit that this world is scheduled for demolition. It is going to be destroyed.
Are you ready?
Let me tell you this little truth. Whether you are a saint or a sinner, this world is not your home. Saint or sinner, you have an eternal home; either heaven or hell.
If you want hell to be your home all you need to do is nothing. But if you want heaven to be your home, you need to get ready now. Don't be caught by surprise.
Listen, Noah didn't know what day or hour the flood would come. He only knew God said it was coming, and by faith Noah prepared. He was expecting, watching the sky, alert for the 1st signs.
That's how we are to be about the coming of our Lord. Even though God hasn't disclosed to us the exact day or hour, according to the Bible, if we are alert, we will know the season.
In the Book of Revelation, the Lord spoke to the church at Sardis and told them they were not ready. Let's take time to read those 6 verses.
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Re 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Re 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Re 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Re 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Re 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
This church believed in God, but was not actively living out their faith.
A recent survey of Christians showed that 75% believed that personal Bible study was a necessary part of Christian life.
About 13% actually read their Bible on a regular basis.
The church at Sardis had become content with mediocrity. They had become inoffensive, complacent, and satisfied with going through the motions, (Does that sound like much of the modern church?) and the Lord said, "You are not ready."
Many of the people today who carry the name "Christian" are not ready to meet the Lord in the air.
There is going to be a meeting in the air. I don't want to miss it, do you?
The Lord told the church at Sardis 5 things to do to get ready.
1. Be watchful.
We are called as an army to be on high alert status, not to be complacent or lazy about the Gospel of Jesus.
2. Strengthen the things which remain but are about to die.
Is there a calling in your life?
Is there a dream?
Is there a vision, but it has all but died?
Has the zeal you had to witness for Jesus cooled to an ember?
Refire it. Refuel it. Renew it. Strengthen it. God said to.
3. Remember what you have received and heard.
Renew your mind to who you are in Christ and what you have received.
Greater is He that is in you. You have received the Spirit of Adoption. The same Spirit now dwells in you that raised Jesus from the dead.
Renew your mind to all that God has given, and a stirring of your faith will begin. Count your blessings.
Now once you have remembered what is yours in Christ:
4. Hold fast.
Don't let the devil, humanists, doctors, fancy preachers, religion, or anything else cause you to let go.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Hold fast! The reward is to the one that overcometh.
And last on the list, but not least in importance:
Make a decision not to let ourselves slip back into a state of complacency again, and be ready.
I have to ask you today, saint and sinner, search your heart, are you ready if Jesus steps out today to claim His own?
Are you prepared?
Where will your eternal home be?
Let me show you one more important fact as we give this call.
Revelation 3:1-6 was written to ones whose names were in the Book, but in danger of being blotted out.
Please don't end up like the man in the old song that said, "Please check the Book again. I thought my name was there."
Acts 2:38 tells us that we should repent, be baptized, then we shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Ac 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Repentance - Death
Baptism - Burial
Holy Ghost - Resurrection