"Ready...or not?"

29/11/2015 12:46

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Date: 29 November, 2015

Text:  Luke 12:35-48

 

Introduction:

The prophet Amos warned Israel to repent. God had chastened them and yet he would chasten them no more. They needed to get their house in order because their time was up.

Am 4:12  Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

 

 

King Hezekiah when being told about his death is commanded to be prepared.

Isa 38:1  In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.

 

He needed to get both his physical and spiritual house "in order" and be ready to face God.

 

Jesus gives a similar warning in our passage this morning. WE NEED TO BE READY TO FACE OUR GOD. ARE YOU READY TO STAND BEFORE JESUS THE JUDGE OF ALL THE EARTH?

 

35  Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

exp. The loins girded is the idea of belting up long flowing garments so that you can move quickly. The lights burning has to do with our obligation to be pure and faithful illuminators for Jesus.

Pr 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 

Are you loins girded is your light burning? Are you ready to for the return of Jesus?

 

We need to get ready ...

 

I.  Because His coming is certain!

      A. Is there anything you need to do before opening the door?

36  And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

exp.  The door was to be thrown open at the return of the master. Is there anything you have to take care of before opening the door?

ill.  Mom coming up stairs - my climbing up the door frame and my saying, "Goodnight Mommy."  Her saying, "Benjamin what is that smell?" as I tried to block the doorway. She found out that I was melting rubber bands on the radiator.

exp. I was ashamed and didn't want my mom to discover my disobedience. When Jesus knocks on your door will you open immediately or have to work hard to hide something which can not be hid?

Re 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

app.  If you can't throw the door open to Jesus, get rid of whatever is making you keep the door closed! Are you trying to make excuse for closing the door to Jesus when He has come to meet with you?        1Jo 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

      B. Are you focused upon His return?

37  Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

exp. How precious to be waiting and watching for Jesus. Jesus is going to put on the servants garbs again and feed his servants.

ill. Remember the Father of the prodigal? How he anticipated and hoped for the coming of His Son. That is a picture of God's love for the sinner. God was waiting for us and hoping for our coming.

app. The role is now reversed. God has waited for us - are we waiting for Him? How sad if he loved us so much that He earnestly desired us and yet we can't wait and watch for him.

He is coming! Matthew 13: 31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

      C. Do you watch even though He is late in coming?

38  And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

exp.  The second watch was from 9-midnight and the third watch was from midnight-3.

ill. Have you ever waited for someone who was supposed to have arrived but was much later than they anticipated. (Back in the day you would wait in suspense, we now have mobiles which allows for us to notify people if we are running late.) It's not easy to be patient and you would be tempted to do your own thing instead of waiting.

app. God doesn't want us to do our own things? He wants us to be constantly ready for His return! He is coming. Hab 2:3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

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II. Because His coming is soon!

      A. Only fools will be suprised!

39  And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

exp. What idiot home owner would sleep soundly when the police have knocked on his door and told him that a burglar had plans to rob his home that evening? Only a fool slumbers when everything of value - perhaps including his life - is in jeapardy.

headlines: "Thief notifies owner 24 hours before robbery and finds home unlocked and unguarded!"

app. When you know that Jesus is coming back and will hold you accountable - why would you not be diligently preparing for His coming? Only a fool takes that information and puts it under his pillow and goes to sleep! HEAVEN'S HEADLING! "Christians surprised to find that Jesus kept His word and returned as promised to find them sleeping!"

      B. You don't know when Jesus will come - so be ready!

40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

exp. Nobody knows when Jesus will return except God the Father. So YOU ARE TO BE READY! "Be ye therefore ready also"

Mr 13:32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

ill. There are best seller books which claim to know exactly when Jesus is coming again. The Bible would save people a lot of money in buying those books. NOBODY knows when Jesus is coming. In fact, just when  you think he will not come  - He will come.

1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

app. When you don't think that Jesus is coming, it is more likely that He is. Not bothered? Fine, that is just what the Word of God says. It doesn't prove that you are right. It just proves that YOU AREN'T READY! His coming is soon. Joe 1:15  Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

 

Transition:

41 ¶  Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

note: This question is answered under the next two points.

 

III. Because His reward is with Him!

      A. Who will Jesus reward?

42  And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

answer: The faithful and wise steward.

exp. He will eat with Jesus at the wedding feast. He will be given a position of authority perhaps during the millenial reign of Christ.

question: Are you a faithful and wise steward? How do you use what God has entrusted to you?

children's song - "Will you give what God gives you, money, time and talents too?"

Luke 16:10  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

11  If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

12  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

app. Have you been faithful in that which is least? How faithful are you with much?

      B. Who does the work of Jesus? The faithful and wise steward.

43  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

exp. The master makes a suprise return and the work is being done. He came at an unusual hour. Only a true servant would be working for the master at this unusual time - demonstrating that this servant is INDEED faithful.

ill.  Hearing kids beating up one another and suddenly entering the room and them acting as if they are just wrestling. They may be able to fake it. But....

app. You won't be able to fake it when Jesus comes. Half hearted occassional service for Jesus is no service at all. He would have us full committed to His work!

saying: "All work is sacred work and all ground is holy ground for the believer." 1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

      C. Who will Jesus put into authority? The faithful and wise steward.

44  Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

exp. There is future ministry in God's heavenly kingdom for those who are faithful on earth. app. But it is ONLY for the faithful and wise servants!

 

IV. Because He knows who serves Him!

      A. This person calls him Lord but does not do His will.

45  But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

question: How could a TRUE servant of God persecute God's servants and disobey His commands?

Lu 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Mt 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

ill. tares: (in biblical use) an injurious weed resembling corn when young 

Mt 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

app. Just because a person professes Christ - does not mean that He is Christ's. If truly God's servant, there will be a measure of faithfulnes and preparedness for His return.

question: How do I know that .....

      B. This person is an unbeliever.

46  The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

illustration: Matthew 25:

41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

app. A person who does nothing like what Jesus does is no child of God's! God knows who is serving him today. You can't fake your way into Heaven. Get ready - because only servants will be rewarded. Those who are not born again will be judged.

 

V. Because you are accountable at His coming!

      A. You are accountable for what you know.

47  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.

exp. The saddest case is the person who knew that Jesus was coming and did not get ready. It is more understandable though not acceptible that someone who had less knowledge is not ready.

ill. When the Tsunami happened in Sri Lanka the waters receded. Many people without knowledge went out to marvel at the sight and were killed by the onrushing waters when they returned in power. Some people out there had perhaps heard the warning and knew about tsunami's but wanted to play on the beach anyway.

app. All those who have heard even this short message this morning, have been warned. If this was the only warning God ever gave you in your life, it would hold you to great accountability at the coming of the Lord!

      B. Knowledge brings accountability.

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

exp. There is a hotter place in the fires of hell (apparently) for those who were warned. Perhaps the greatest part of their torment would be that they could have been saved so many times but that they neglected to accept God's gift of salvation.

ill. Imagine the torment of a man who was warned multiple times to get off the beach by those who were fleeing the tsunami. As he is swept away by the rushing waters he would be briefly tormented by the fact that he could have saved his life but instead was lost. Those in hell will be tormented for ALL ETERNITY with the knowledge that they could have been saved.

ill. Judas - Mr 14:21  The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

 

conclusion:  Are you prepared to meet God? Amos warned Israel to get ready because that day was fast approaching? Are your loins girded is your light burning.

 

You need to get ready!

 

Because His coming is certain.

Because His coming is soon.

Because His reward is with Him.

Because He knows who serves Him.

Because you are accountable at His coming.