Preparing for a celebration for our young graduates this week reminded me of something important that we also need to be prepared for. Remember the lesson on heaven? A place I love to talk about. In the same lesson we also talked about hell, a place I don’t enjoy talking about at all, but hell is very real. Remember also that we discussed our souls are created to live forever? God used this to convict me to talk on the last topic Jesus discussed before he ascended into heaven.
Jesus was instructing His people on the things that would happen after he ascended into heaven.
“42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
Jesus preached that we need to watch for the coming of the Lord and be ready for it! Young people, Jesus wants us to be ready each and every day for His coming. If we live our lives every day ready for Jesus to come, we are going to live a different life. We will think more about what we do or stop before we are tempted to tell that lie. We will tell the devil, “No! I am not going to tell that lie because I want to be ready!” In His last sermon, Jesus was challenging the people there to be ready for His return.
I remember a time in my life when I felt I was going to live forever. When we are young, we think that way. I remember those days when I felt strong every day. I felt nothing could defeat me. I had all the energy in the world, and I could stay up late at night and not feel tired the next day. Then one day my grandfather passed away; he was 80 years old. We were walking through a place called a cemetery, which is where they bury dead people. I was probably about 10 or 11 years old, and I started to read the headstones as I was walking through the cemetery. Then I noticed something that I had not noticed before. I saw headstones that described children who had passed away at an incredibly young age. One was two years old. I saw others of different ages buried in the cemetery. Then I saw one that described a person who was the same age as me! I began to understand that I was young, I had strength and energy, but I might not live forever. I understood we need to be ready.
Jesus thought this was so important that in His last message on earth he talked about being ready. The Apostle Paul thought this message was important as well and shared this warning when he preached on Mars Hill.
“22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
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.”
In his message, Paul told the people Jesus was the supreme judge of the world. He also told them that God governs the sun the moon, the stars, and even the dust. He told them further that one hair does not fall out of your head without the heavenly father knowing about it and that God is the supreme ruler of everything. As he was closing his message, he told the people that there is coming a day when God in the most public and solemn way will judge the whole world of mankind. Paul was preaching the same message Jesus preached early – we need to be ready for the day the Lord comes.
“13 Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”
“14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. For God will bring every work into judgment.”
Here the Ecclesiastes writer is talking about judgment and the day God will bring all we do into judgment. So, or you ready? The Bible teaches that everyone, rich or poor, high or low, president or citizen, will be brought together to be judged. They will be judged concerning all they did in this world. Those that openly denied God will be there. The Bible is teaching there is coming a day we are going o be judged. We need to live every day as if that day could be today.
Jesus gave the disciples an idea of what this day would be like.
“27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
Jesus was warning His disciples there is coming a day every man will be judged according to his works.
Jesus told His Apostles He was going to appear in the sky as He did when He ascended and disappeared. Here is what the Bible says that day will be like.”
“7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
Here the writer is talking about the day of judgment. He is going to appear suddenly.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
“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:”
The bodies who are alive shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
“51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Matthew 25:31, 32, 32
“31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”
Young people, can you see this day in your mind? The world, dead and alive will be there standing before God in judgment. My challenge to you is, are you ready? Because it does not matter if you are rich or poor, if you are smart or not so smart if you are handsome or not so handsome, or if you are beautiful or not so beautiful. On that day what you look like will not matter. What will matter is what you have done while you were here.
Give your heart to God today so you can be ready to meet God in the final judgment and hear Jesus say, “Enter in thy good and faithful servant.”