Now, last Friday, that is September the 30th, before leaving his office for the weekend, California Governor Pete Wilson vetoed nine bills.
That was the last he had. He had till midnight that night, Friday night, and he vetoed nine bills. He announced to the press that he had vetoed the bills and then he went off for the weekend. Well, when he came back in the office Monday morning on October the 3rd, he was informed by the clerk of the assembly in the Senate in California that indeed he had not vetoed the bills because the original of the bills with his veto on it never reached the clerk by midnight Friday night. Well, the governor said, that's crazy.
I sent him over there myself. Come to find out what happened is one of the staff members from the governor's office had run the bills over to the capitol but had accidentally laid them on the copying machine where he made copies of them and never gave them to the clerk and they sat on the copying machine all weekend. So according to California law, the nine bills all became law even though the governor had intended to veto them and there's nothing he can do about it now. Well, the Washington Post said and I quote, Wilson's error is unprecedented.
No one in California politics can ever remember a similar gubernatorial goof and the post quotes Wilson's secretary is simply saying the governor is not happy about it. He doesn't like surprises. How about you? You like surprises? Does your boss like surprises? Surprise your boss enough and guess what? You find a new job, right? Surprise him once like this and you probably find a new job. I don't know if that guy even got to go back and pack it up.
They probably sent it to him in the mail. But regardless of that, most people don't like surprises, right? Now what Jesus is going to talk about here in Luke 17 is he's going to talk about his second coming and he's going to tell us that for many, many people, the second coming of Christ is going to be a big surprise. Now the reason it's going to be a big surprise is not because Jesus has not told us very clearly in the Bible that he's planning to come back. The reason it's going to be a big surprise is because there's an awful lot of people who've paid absolutely no attention to what he tells us in the Bible. They haven't believed it.
They've made absolutely no accommodation for it and when it really happens, they're going to be pretty shocked. Now for those of us who believe Jesus is coming back, it ought not be a surprise to us but rather something that we can't wait for and we ought to be making preparation for it so that when he comes, we're ready. Now these are the things I want to talk to you about today and I want us to begin right here in Luke 17. I'm going to kind of give you a crash course in what the Bible says about the return of Christ. I don't have time to give it all to you but if you'll go up to our tape area, you can get a tape that I did a few years ago called The Return of Christ. It's part 10 in Spiritual Boot Camp and by the way, you ought to buy all of Spiritual Boot Camp because it's really good but if you only want part 10, you can get part 10 and it's about 50 minutes on the teaching about the return of Christ and you'll get a whole lot more than I'm going to give you this morning.
I'm just going to kind of give you the crash course, okay? So let's look at it. Verse 22, Luke chapter 17. Then Jesus said to his disciples, he'd been asked, well now tell us, what about the kingdom of God? When is it going to happen here? Verse 22, he said to his disciples, the time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and you won't see it.
And men will tell you, there he is or here he is but don't go running after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like lightning which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other but first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also it will be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage to the day that Noah entered the ark and then the flood came suddenly and boom, they were all destroyed. And it was the same thing in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building but the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven suddenly surprised them all and destroyed them all. Look at verse 30. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one is on the roof of his house with his goods inside, should go down to get them.
Likewise nobody in the field ought to go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife? Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you on that night two people will be in one bed, one will be taken, the other left.
Two women will be grinding grain together, one will be taken and the other left. Now I don't know about you but when I look at what Jesus says here about his coming, there's one element that really strikes me the most and that's the element of surprise. Notice he says in verse 26, Noah warned the people over and over and over again that the flood was coming, they didn't pay any attention, they completely blew him off. Boom, what happened? Flood came, gone, too late.
And in Lot's day, anybody could have left the city with Lot if they'd have wanted to but they didn't. They said everything's fine, everything's fine, all of a sudden boom and it was too late. Jesus said it's gonna be the same when I come back, verse 30. There'll be two people in the field, one will be gone, one will still be here. There'll be two people in the bed, one will be gone, one will still be here.
It's gonna catch a lot of people by surprise. Now how can we understand what Jesus says here in Luke 17 and fit it in to everything else we know in the Bible about the return of Christ? Well, let's see if we can put this all in perspective, okay? Let's go back into the Old Testament first. When the Old Testament spoke about the coming of the Messiah, the Old Testament seemed to be talking out of both sides of its mouth at the same time. For example, there are passages in the Old Testament where the Bible seems to be talking about a suffering Messiah like Isaiah 53, like Psalm 22. There are other passages in the Old Testament where the Bible seems to be presenting us with a conquering Messiah like Isaiah 63, like Zechariah 14. In fact, this was so confusing to the rabbis just before the time of Christ that they actually came up with the notion that there were two messiahs, one who would come and suffer and then a second one who would come after him and conquer. Now 2,000 years later, looking back, we know that there are not gonna be two messiahs. We know that the answer to this is there's actually one messiah, but he's coming what?
Two times. The first time he came 2,000 years ago to be the suffering Messiah, dying on the cross, shedding his blood on the cross, fulfilling all of those prophecies about him suffering. Then he was raised from the dead. Then he went back to heaven. But he said, I'm coming back. And when I come back, I'm coming back not as a suffering messiah, but as a conquering king.
And I'll fulfill all those prophecies that said I would come in that way. And so when Jesus left, he left us with an absolute promise that he's coming back. But in looking at his return, there are really kind of three events that are rolled into what we often think of as the second coming of Christ.
They span about a seven to 10 year period. They are number one, the rapture, which I'll talk to you about in a minute. Number two, the great tribulation period, a period of seven years during which there is intense suffering, particularly among the Jewish people. It's a time when God now turns back to the Jewish people as the central focus of his plan for the ages. For the last 2,000 years, he's been working with Christians and working with the church as his central focus. Now he goes back to the nation of Israel. God didn't cast his people off, Romans 11 said. He just put them on the back burner for a while.
He's coming back. And during this tribulation period, the purpose of which is to regather and purify Israel and bring Israel to faith in Christ. During that time, there's going to be enormous suffering and hardship for Israel. Two thirds of all the Jews living when the tribulation period starts will be dead before it ends, the Bible teaches.
But the third that are still alive at the end will come to personal faith in Christ. And the reason they will will be because of a great battle at the end of the tribulation period called the Battle of Armageddon. You've heard of it, which will be fought in the Valley of Megiddo, just north of the city of Jerusalem, where the Antichrist will have all of his armies there be moving on Jerusalem for what he thinks is the final solution. He's got them all holed up there, and he's going to wipe them out once and for all, except that a slightly unexpected thing happens, which is Jesus Christ shows up to rescue his people. And then the third event, not only the rapture and the great tribulation, but the third event is Jesus Christ will actually touch down on earth for the first time in over 2000 years. The Bible says he'll touch down Zechariah 14 on the Mount of Olives and blow it to smithereens. I mean, they talk about the big one in California.
Well, I'm telling you, the big one in California is going to be a burp compared to this. And he's going to touch down on the Mount of Olives, blow it to smithereens, rescue his people and establish a 1000 year kingdom on earth called the Millennial Kingdom, where he himself will rule and reign for 1000 years. Now, those three events together are rolled into what we think of as the return of Jesus Christ. Which of them is in view here in Luke 17? Well, it's the first one I believe, the rapture.
Let me show you why. I want you to turn back with me to 1 Thessalonians chapter four. And if you're using our copy of the Bible, it's page 837. 1 Thessalonians chapter four. And this is the most complete explanation of the rapture anywhere in the Bible. Now let's look at it and see if it isn't what Jesus is talking about in Luke 17. Here we go, verse 16 of 1 Thessalonians chapter four. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command with the voice of the archangel with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Okay, let's stop there. Christ comes in the air. Notice he never touches the ground here. He's in the air with his angels with a great trumpet call and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Meaning if you're dead and you were a believer when you died in Christ, your soul went to be with the Lord. And by the way, your soul will be with him. You'll be one of those people with him, but your body is still in the grave or in the ocean or wherever.
In a pot on grandma's mantle if they cremated you, wherever you are. And the Bible says that God is going to take your body and raise it from the dead and he's going to recondition it and make it a glorified body like the body he had after his resurrection. The Bible says Philippians chapter three, that he will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
And first John chapter three says that when he appears, we will be like him. Now what will this body look like? Well, remember what his body looked like. It was immortal. It was incorruptible.
There was no sin nature in it. He could fly. I mean, you won't even need an airline ticket folks. You know what? If airlines mess up, you won't have to worry about that. You can fly. It'll be fit to spend eternity with God in heaven.
It will have no pain, no sickness, no disease, no decay, no depression, no seizures, no old age, no wearing out. You remember that cat Apostolion? You remember him from history?
You go, Apostolion. He discovered something, didn't he? Yeah, he was looking for the fountain of youth.
Remember that? And he found Florida. A lot of people from New York think it's the fountain of youth because they all move there, but you know, and if you drive there, you know, I saw a bumper sticker said, when we get old, we're going to move to New York. Y'all don't get that. Well, you're not Floridians.
That's funny if you live in Florida, but it's obviously not funny here. All right, well forget that. Anyway, he found Florida, but what he was looking for was Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is going to give you and me if we're believers in him, a body that knows the fountain of youth. And so this is the first thing that's going to happen when the rapture happens. He's going to raise bodies from the dead and off we go to be reunited. If your soul is with him, he's going to be reunited with your body for all eternity. Now that raises some interesting questions, doesn't it?
Like for example, let's say you lost 50 pounds at some point in your life. Will you get your fat body or your skinny body for eternity? I don't know. Will you get your bald body or the one that had hair? I don't know. If a person died as a child, do they get a child's body for all eternity or a grown up body? If you had a nose job on earth, which nose do you get in heaven? I don't know.
If you worked out when you got to 30 years old and suddenly got trim in 50, you get your flabby body or your nice in shape body. You say, well, Lon, what are the answer to those questions? I don't know.
I have no idea. The Bible doesn't say, except to say, whatever body you get for eternity, I'll bet you you're going to be real happy with it. I don't think you're going to have any complaints about it. I think you'll like it.
You'll like it. Now that's the first part. You say there's more.
Oh yeah. Look, verse 17. And after that, you say, whoa, that's enough. Yeah, but after that, we who are still alive and are left. In other words, believers who are still here on the earth, the real reason for the rapture is to snatch us away. That's what the word rapture means.
It's a Latin word and it means to snatch away or to catch away. The point is to catch us away so we don't have to go through the great tribulation. We who are alive and left, we are going to have something happen to us that's a little bit different. So if you're out today at hot shops or you're watching Redskins game tonight or you're at Roy Rogers this afternoon and the rapture happens, what's going to happen to you? Your body's not in the grave. Although if you keep eating at Roy Rogers, it's going to be, but what's going to happen to you? Well, look, it says we will be caught up together with them.
With who? Well, with all these dead people that are coming out of the graves to meet the Lord in the clouds and so we will ever be with the Lord. Whoa, now that's going to be something, huh? We're going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and the bonus is that on the way up, we're going to be changed just like that and given glorified bodies. What a rush that's going to be. We won't even go into the grave and out again. We'll skip the grave. It's like being on a freight train that's an express that goes by the station marked death and goes right and docks into the first resurrection.
That's what this is called. What a ride that's going to be. First Corinthians 15, listen to the way Paul puts it in First Corinthians 15. We will not all die, but we will all be changed in a flash in the twinkling of an eye.
Listen, for the trumpet will sound. Isn't that what it says right here in verse 16? And the dead will be raised imperishable, verse 16, and we who are alive will be changed instantaneously. Verse 17. Jesus himself said it. John 11. I am the resurrection and the life, Jesus said. He said the one who believes in me, even though that person dies physically, yet that person is still going to live.
Why? Because verse 16 says you're coming out the grave again and whoever is living and believing in me, that is when I return, will never physically die, Jesus said. Now this is the rapture. And would you notice, as I said, Jesus never touches the ground.
We go up to meet him in the air. And this is the same event I believe that Luke 17 is talking about because of how sudden it is. Look at chapter 5, verse 1.
Now brothers, about the times and dates, we don't need to write you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. And while people are saying peace and safety, isn't that what they were saying in Lot's day? Isn't that what they were saying in Noah's day? Didn't Jesus say it would be just like that when he came?
When people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them, look at the next word, suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. See, the rapture is going to happen in a nanosecond, folks, and then it's over. I mean, there'll be a guy sitting at the desk next to you, boom, gone. There'll be a lady in the aerobic class next to you, boom, gone. There'll be somebody sitting in class next to you, boom, they'll be gone. I mean, people will disappear out of the line at McDonald's.
Well, that'd be nice. People will disappear out the line at the bank. People will disappear out of hospital beds. All of a sudden, cars on the beltway won't have any drivers in them. Ooh, that'll be interesting. Although I'm not sure it'll be a whole lot different than it is now, huh?
I'm convinced I see people like that all the time out there. But the point here is that God has been faithfully telling us, this is coming, this is coming, this is coming, this is coming. And just as in Noah's day, just as in Lot's day, so in our day, most of the world out there is not paying the slightest bit of attention, are they? Is it going to hit them as a surprise?
You bet it is. And the really tragic part is, once it happens, there's no time to get ready for it once it happens. We see once Noah entered into the boat and closed the door, and then they realized the flood was coming, could anybody change their destiny at that point? No. Once Lot had left the city and the fire started falling from heaven, could anybody in Sodom change their destiny? No. And once the rapture happens and we're gone, can people who go, oops, can they change their destiny then?
No. That's the tragic part. Now, that's our passage for today, but it leaves us with the really important question, and you know the question, don't you?
What is it? So what? Right. Now let me show you the so what. I want you to look right here in 1 Thessalonians 5, verse 4. Remember it said in verse 3, it's going to come on people suddenly, catch them like a thief in the night, catch them completely by surprise.
Look at verse 4. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, so this day should surprise you like a thief. If you know Christ, this day should not surprise us. Will we be happy to see it? Yeah. Will we be excited that it came? Yeah. Will we pinch ourselves on the way up and go, is this really happening?
Yeah. But should it shock us? Will it surprise us?
It shouldn't. God's been telling us it's happening. We as Christians should be like Noah.
We as Christians should be like Lot. We know God, we know God tells the truth, and if God says it's going to happen, we know it's going to happen. And in response, we ought to be making preparations for it right now so that it won't catch us by surprise. That's the so what. And so I want to close my message by telling you four ways in which we ought to prepare ourselves so that we're ready, whether the rapture happens today or five years from now or 15 years from now, so that we're ready.
Here they are. Number one, if you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, preparation number one is you need to do that ASAP. Remember I told you that Christ came the first time as a suffering Messiah, that he died on the cross and shed his blood. The reason that he did that, my dear friends, is because sin is so serious is the best word I've got in the sight of Almighty God, that it took the very death of the Messiah to pay for sin.
Jesus said, this is my blood, which I'm shedding for the forgiveness of sin. And some of us here have yet to come to grips with what Jesus did in his first coming. Friend, there's no way you and I can get prepared for the second coming if we haven't even come to grips with what he did in the first coming. You understand what I'm saying? You got to come to grips first with what he did the first time he came.
And that is we have to admit our sinfulness and admit our helplessness and make the decision to trust Christ as our real and personal savior. You ever play Monopoly? Sure, everybody plays Monopoly. I hate Monopoly. It's too long. I want a short game. In fact, I got this for the computer. You know, you get Monopoly for the Mac, and you put a time limit on it.
This is great. At the end of the time minute, like 15 minutes, the game stops itself, totals up everybody's money and declares a winner. What a great game.
Otherwise, you play all day. That's stupid game. Anyway, Monopoly. You remember Monopoly that there's a get out of jail free card that you can get? Well, I'd like to suggest to you that the whole purpose of Jesus coming the first time was to give us a get out of hell free card called his blood shed on the cross. And smart people grab a hold of it and make sure they keep it in their pocket at all times just in case he happens to show up.
Now, you know, obviously, you don't keep a real card in your pocket. But the point is, when Jesus came the first time, it was to make sure that our sin was paid for and we were delivered from hell. Some of us have never taken Christ up on his first coming and availed ourself of it. The first thing you and I need to do to prepare for his second coming is make sure we've taken advantage of his first coming.
Second, for those of us who've done that, I have a second suggestion. And that is we can prepare for his second coming by laying up treasure in heaven. Remember when Jesus said, Luke chapter 17, remember Lot's wife?
What was the problem with Lot's wife? Well, when they left the city, they were going on to a new future. They were going on to a new beginning. And God said, don't look back. There's nothing in Sodom for you.
Don't look back. And she did. And the Bible says that she was turned into a pillar of salt.
But the point is, she should have been looking forward. And in the same way, I believe that Jesus by saying, remember Lot's wife is trying to tell us don't be like her. Look forward to what you've got in heaven. Look forward to eternity being with me. You ought to have treasure up there that you're looking forward to. Don't be looking back at treasure left here on the earth. Now, how are we going to get in that position? Well, you got to transfer treasure while you're here. You know, you have that opportunity. Every time you give to the Lord, either time, energy, money, talent, whatever, you're transferring treasure.
I've told you that many times. Well, smart people who know Christ is coming back to get them and who believe they're going to heaven are transferring as much as they possibly can. I have a friend who comes to our church. He has come for many years. But years ago, when Campus Crusade started this big nationwide evangelistic outreach, he owned a house here in Washington. He was single at the time. And he sold his house.
And he took all of the equity in his house, and he gave it to Campus Crusade to use for this evangelistic effort and he moved in an apartment and lived in an apartment for a number of years. Now, when I heard about that, I said to myself, this is a man who understands what Jesus said when he said remember Lot's wife. Don't be looking back at treasure here. Be transferring as much of it as you can to the other side so you got a lot there to look forward to. You say, Lon, are you suggesting we all go sell our houses and give all our equity the work of God?
No, I'm not suggesting that. But what I am suggesting is that you and I ought to give very careful consideration to how much treasure we're holding onto down here and how much we're transferring to the other side. And I look at a lot of Christians and I look at the way we live and I'll tell you, we've got so much treasure stored up on earth and so little in heaven. I sometimes wonder if we as Christians really believe that heaven exists and whether we really believe we're going there.
I wonder about that sometime because if you really believe that you're going there, man, you're going to want as much treasure over there as you can possibly get. Number three, if we want to be prepared when Jesus Christ shows up, I'd like to suggest number three, that we get serious about personal holiness, that we get serious about personal holiness. Titus chapter two, denying ungodliness and worldly passions, we should live self-controlled upright and godly lives in this present age since we are waiting for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 John 2, now as Christians, let us continue to live lives that please him so that when he appears, we may be confident and unashamed at his coming. If you're married, you can relate to this perhaps and even if you're not, I mean, when you have guests over your house, you know, does your wife ever go on a like a cleaning blitz? You know what I'm trying to say? When we're having guests coming over, you know, Brenda just goes on to, I mean, the only word I could use to describe it is the word frenzy. Everything's got to be clean. We run, we clean the bathrooms, we vacuum all the floors and you can always tell when that's done because the lines are fresh on the floor when you walk in.
It means they just did it. And when I come to your house, I'm always looking to see if the lines are there and they always are because you did it just before I came and I know that we're all the same way. We go behind the doors and pick up all the dust balls, you know, and throw them away. And Brenda even sends me out to edge the yard, edge the yard. Yeah, I want the yard looking nice when people show up, edge the yard.
They're going to be here in an hour. Go edge the yard. So I go out there and edge the yard. That's the only time I ever do it. So Brenda invites people over at least once a month to make sure that the yard gets edged because I don't do it otherwise. I see we guys, we're different. You know, it's kind of like, hey man, come on in, grab a pillow, sit on the floor, just push that mess aside.
But not ladies. And it's taken me 20 years to fully understand this and I'm not sure I do yet, but Brenda's helping me with it. And that is that when somebody comes in a woman's house, if that house isn't clean and if it doesn't look right, she's ashamed.
She's embarrassed. She wants that house looking right. Well, hey, how about when Jesus Christ comes to get you and visit your house? Isn't it true that whether you're a man or a woman, we want our house looking right when he shows up so we're not ashamed to face him?
I think so. And that means that we're going to have to live a certain way here on the earth so we can look him in the eyeballs when he shows up and not be ashamed. Now, let's be honest, we're all going to be ashamed a little bit because nobody can live it perfectly down here.
But I would sure like to meet him being ashamed about as little as possible. And that means we're going to have to live a certain way. It means that we're going to have to have sexual purity in our lives. It means that we're going to have to have moral integrity in our lives.
It means that when we tell somebody we're sending them a check, we're really sending them a check. It means that we're going to have to have honest dealings with people, that we're going to have to show fidelity to our spouse and faithfulness to our family and godly behavior in every situation in life. So when Jesus Christ visits our house and comes to get us, we're not ashamed to face him.
That's what you call getting prepared to meet him. Fourth and finally, if we want to prepare to meet Christ when he comes, I believe that one of the ways we get prepared is by continuing to tell people that they need Jesus Christ right now. You see, second Peter three says that God is delaying in his coming so that everybody everywhere gets a chance to come to repentance. Friends, Jesus Christ is coming back. That's no joke. People outside of Christ are going to hell forever.
That's no joke. And Jesus would have come back already if it isn't for the fact that he loves these people deeply who are outside of Christ and wants to give them time to get their life straight so they can go with us to heaven. But sooner or later, he's coming back. And then all bets are off.
It's over. And I believe God wants us to have a passion to go after lost people and urge them to come to Christ so they can come with us to heaven before it's too late. I don't want to go up to meet Christ in the air and have to say to him when he says to me, Oh, look at all those people that aren't coming for me to say to him yet.
I didn't do a thing to try to reach him. I'm sorry, God. I don't think that's getting prepared. We've got a great opportunity coming up here for you. Andre Cole, a great magician, but also one of the most effective communicators of the gospel in America today is coming here in three weeks.
He'll be right at Langley High School. We're sponsoring it. Who are you bringing? Say, well, I'm not bringing anybody. Well, why not? I don't know. Too much trouble to invite him.
Well, aren't you glad somebody didn't say it was too much trouble to talk to you about Christ if you're Christian today? Well, Lon, I mean, they wouldn't even come. If I ask them, they wouldn't come. How do you know?
Did you ask them? I don't have any friends that don't know Christ. Right. Right.
You don't have a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, a relative anywhere that doesn't know Christ? Come on. Too expensive.
It's only a few bucks, guys. Skip a pizza. Isn't a soul worth skipping a pizza? Listen, I don't want to look Jesus in the eyeballs and say, God, I didn't do anything to reach those people, but I'm sure glad to be here.
I don't think he'd be real happy with that. And I don't think that that's preparing to meet the Lord when he comes. I think God wants us to have such a passion for lost people that while we're on our way through the roof and up, we'll still be looking back down at our friends going, you need to give your life to Christ.
That's a passion for lost people. Well, four ways to get ready to meet him. Number one, make sure you've taken advantage of the first coming and that you know Christ in a real impersonal way. Number two, transfer all that you can to heaven so that you're looking forward, looking backwards. Number three, live a life of personal holiness so you're not ashamed to meet him. And number four, try to get everybody you can to come with you. Some won't, but I got some great news for you.
Some will if you'll talk to them. Well, I want to close by telling you about one of the greatest movies ever made. You go, oh no, not Ben Hur again. No, not Ben Hur. I want to talk to you about Robin Hood. You love Robin Hood? How many people seen Robin Hood? Not the new one. I'm talking about the good one with Errol Flynn. King Richard the Lionhearted, the guy with all the red lines on his front there, goes off to fight at the crusades and he gets taken captive in Austria or some weird place like that. And then there's a ransom. So Prince John, his brother says he's never coming back.
Doesn't matter. He promised he was coming back. He's not going to make it.
He's going to die in Austria. And Prince John started doing all kinds of mean and nasty things. You remember that? And then there's Robin Hood. God bless Robin Hood.
He went out in the forest and lived with his merry men and defended the poor and stole from the rich and all that good stuff. You know, and he was convinced Richard is coming back. Richard said he's coming back. Richard is coming back. And I'm going to live for Richard so when he gets back I won't be ashamed to meet him. And then of course on the day when John was about ready to crown himself king, you know, King Richard shows up. You remember that scene? He's got the brown robe on there out in the woods and he strips the robe off and the music swells and there's all the red lions all down the front of him, you know. And they all drop to their knees, all Robin Hood's men, and I cry.
I do. And I know how the movie ends and I cry. I mean I've seen this thing 20 times but it's so touching, you know, to think Robin Hood, the price he paid and all the years of struggle and agony that he put in in loyalty, just believing Richard was going to come back, believing Richard was going to come back and here's Richard.
And Richard rewards him, you know, and he gets to marry maid Marian and they live happily ever after and they don't need a counselor. You know how that works. I mean it's a great story. It's a great story. And so when I see that story you know what I think about?
I think about us and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ said I'm coming back, I'm coming back, I'm coming back, I'm coming back and there's a lot of Prince John's out there who don't believe it. But hey, God's looking for some Robin Hood's, friends. Some people who are going to say it may not look real likely and everything may not be pointing to it but I believe it's going to happen and I'm going to live in such a way that when it does I'm going to be proud to stand there with him. It's going to cost me something in the short run but hey in the long run I'm going to be better for it. God's looking for Robin Hood's and folks you're either a Prince John or a Robin Hood.
There's no middle ground. You're either living for Christ now, believing he's coming back or you're not. And if you're a Christian you'll still go with him if you're really a Christian. Even if you live like Prince John but it will not be, I don't think, the greatest meeting in the world if you've been living like Prince John to have Richard show back up. So are you going to live like a Robin Hood or aren't you? Will it cost you something?
You bet, absolutely. But there's a great song that says, it will be worth it all when we see Jesus and it will. May God help you live that way now so when you meet Christ you'll be happy you paid the price now.
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, I want to thank you so much for the truth of the Bible that Jesus Christ is coming back. And although there may be millions of people out there who don't believe it, Lord those of us who know you know that you don't ever make a promise that you don't keep. You kept your promise to Noah's generation. You kept your promise to the city of Sodom and you're going to keep your promise to us that you're coming back. Father, I pray that you would make us like Robin Hood who believes you to the point that we're willing to suffer now. We're willing to pay the price now. We're willing to give up things now in order to be prepared for when you fulfill your promise and come back.
And Lord, it may be unseen, but it's not unreal. And I pray that you would give us the kind of lifestyle and the kind of commitment to live like Robin Hood so that when you come back you can reward us and you'd be proud of us. And we won't be ashamed to meet you in that day. Take the word of God and change the kind of life we're living because of our contact with your Word this morning. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-04 08:27:52 / 2023-09-04 08:43:04 / 15