That’s Christmas, That’s Church! Ready

Isaiah 2:1-5    Psalm 122      Romans 13:11-14      Matthew 24:36-44 December 1, 2013

Are you ready for hope?  Are you ready for peace?  Are you ready for the Lord’s return?  Are you ready to put on the Lord Jesus Christ?  We know that we live in a dark world.  We need the light.  Putting on Jesus Christ is the light that helps us to live.

In church history, there is one man who was ready for something more.  St. Augustine struggled for many years to be better in his life as a Christian.  Yet, his past kept haunting him.  Augustine’s life was characterized by loose living and searching for answers.  He tried many philosophies, but none could satisfy him. While teaching rhetoric in Milan, Augustine went to hear Bishop Ambrose preach.  Augustine began to understand better.

One day while outdoors, Augustine heard a child’s voice say: “Pick it up and read.  Pick it up and read.”  Realizing this was not a child’s game, Augustine felt it was God speaking to him.  So, the first passage Augustine opened in the Bible was Romans 13:13-14!  He then turned immediately away from sin and was baptized on April 24, 387.[1]

Can something similar happen so that can we live until that day?  We are ready for it, or are we? We know that we can awaken to the salvation God has for us.  Is this salvation from God something of the past?  Or does God’s salvation point us toward the future?

The wonderful thing about Christmas is that we can remember some good memories about Christmases past.  I remember wanting the double-holstered six-guns, with the matching vest, and cowboy hat.  And I got them that Christmas.  I was in 7th heaven!  But being ready for the day of Christ’s return is not like remembering that Christmas of my childhood.  It is expecting something better, something holy to come our way. 

  1. The Son of Man will be coming! (Matthew 24:36-44)
    1. Life will be lived – up to that time
    2. Life was lived in Noah’s time – up to the flood
    3. One working with you may be taken – because they were not ready!
    4. The Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour
    5. For those of us who have known that we have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, it is getting closer to that day!  Yes, all things will be made knew again.  We will be given glorious bodies.  Creation itself will be new.  In the meantime, we are to be ready.

 

  1. We get ready for salvation to come! (Romans 13;11-14)
    1. Kairos – God’s time
    2. Wake from sleep!  – don’t be blindly going about life
    3. Lay aside the works of darkness
    4. Put on the armor of light
    5. Live honorably – put on the Lord Jesus Christ
    6. How we are not to live
      1. 4 ways many churches don’t know

–          Reveling – late night partying till the sun comes up

–          Drunkenness – Using strong drink more than the word of God

–          Debauchery – sexual intercourse w/anyone

–          Licentiousness – doing whatever you want with no restraint

  1. 2 ways that run rampant in some churches

–          Quarrelling – fighting because you don’t get your way or what you want

–          Jealousy – Coveting (power/$), envy

  1. When we put on the armor of light, we become light.  The Church becomes Christ for the world.
  2. This sounds like how we are to live as we wait for salvation to come.  We can be ready.  God is letting us know how we are to be ready.  But will we be ready? Augustine had a line in his prayer about his commitment to Jesus: “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

We need not be restless.  We need to be ready.  We do not know when the day of the Lord will happen.  But we are to be ready.  We now know how to be ready.

Are you ready for hope?  Are you ready for peace?  Are you ready for the Lord’s return?  Are you ready to put on the Lord Jesus Christ?  We know that we live in a dark world.  We need the light.  Putting on Jesus Christ is the light that helps us to live.

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