Watch out for the things that make you unready — indolence and self-gratification. And then put on what’s going to protect you and keep you sane and stable in a world full of stress.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You doin’ alright today? I trust everything’s alright at your house. You know trouble seems to come in clusters, have you ever noticed that? The refrigerator’ll break down, the plumbing breaks, the dog runs away or the cat stays out all night, or junior gets the chicken pox. Why did he have to get that just now, you say? And father comes home and says he had a rough time at the job and he fears that he may be passed over by promotion, and you develop a ripping headache.
And everything seems to be going wrong. Isn’t that a profile of some of your days? Well I’ve been there. The fact is if you’ve struck a rough day you can always look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one.” Bible doesn’t say you have to enjoy it. It says, “In everything give thanks.” You can look up and worship your God and thank Him for what he’s doing in your life, yeah, while you’re going through things that aren’t particularly pleasant.
Dear friend of mine said to me the other day, “You know the Lord is burnishing me pretty hard.” (Laughs) Well I suppose God has to rub hard on some of us to, to bring out any kind of a shine. But it’s not very pleasant while the process is going on, is it? Remember they said of our Savior, “He hath done all things well.” Fanny Crosby sang about that, “Jesus doeth all things well. This is my song through endless ages, Jesus led me all the way.”
So trust Him, whatever you’re going through right now, you trust Him, and obey Him. The step of obedience opens the door to miracle. The priests try to get their feet wet before the waters of Jordan parted. They had to get thirsty before the miraculous supply of water was provided. They had to get hungry before God gave them the manna.
The step of obedience is, opens the door to miracle. The blind man sitting there begging, received from our Lord the command, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.” He had to go there and, and, and do what the master told him, so that he could come back having received his eyesight.” Oh I have to relearn that every day really, don’t you? Trust your Lord and dare to obey Him this very day, and He will open the door to God’s wonderful miracles for you.
We’ve been reviewing 1 Thessalonians, just sort of hitting the high spots as my father used to say. Come now to Chapter 5, which is living so as to be ready for the second coming of Christ. “Ye brethren you’re not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You’re to be ready. “You are all the children of light, and the children of the day. We’re not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.”
There, there is a couple of thoughts here that I wanted you to just pause on. One is your relationship to all of Bible prophecy is determined by what you are as, either as a child of God or as not being a child of God. You see? “You’re not of darkness,” he said, “you’re the children of light, you’re the children of the day; you’re not of the night, nor of darkness. You belong to the Lord, you belong to His family. And because you do, you have a different relationship then to all of the prophecies of the Bible, including this blessed prophecy of our Lord’s return to Earth again.”
Now there are two things that, that make you unready. One is it’s, says sleep, and the other is, “They that sleep, sleep in the night; they that be drunken, are drunken in the night.” Sleep has to do with, with self-indulgence so far as, as just not, not doing anything, not obeying anything, not accomplishing anything, just sleep. Solomon said, “Love not sleep, lest poverty come upon thee as an armored man.”
When the Bible speaks of sleep, almost always — well not always because it says, “He giveth His beloved sleep.” God does give us rest. Writer the Hebrews says, “There remaineth the rest for the people of God.” God gives you rest, and part of that is involved in the very human process of sleep. But oftentimes when the Bible speaks of sleep it speaks of, of indolence and laziness.
Our Lord Jesus was little sarcastic there in the Garden of Gethsemane when he came the third time and found these disciples sound asleep. The third time they fell asleep after he had waken them, in the interval between His praying. And so he said, “Sleep on, on, take your rest. You’d better get up, the people are at hand who are going to betray me.” Sleep on now, you know, is a little, a little sarcasm there, a little irony.
Well, He says, “Don’t sleep.” What does it mean? Does it mean you have nervously, constantly to be pacing back and forth in, in the desperate effort to do something for God? No, it means stay on the job, stay on the job. That’s, that’s what it really means. Don’t just sit around and, and let the world roll by. Stay on the job for God. There is never a time when you are off the job. Or to change the figure of speech, there is never a time when you’re not on stage. You’re always being watched by someone. Stay on the job. Indolence, and laziness, and sleepiness spiritually speaking, make you unready for His coming.
The other is, He says, “They that be drunken are drunken and they… that’s dissipation, that’s self-indulgence, that’s living it up, that’s taking advantage of, of the pleasures of the world. And that again makes you unready. People who do that are said by the apostle John to be the kind of folk who would shrink away from Christ at His coming. He said, “Little children abide in Him that, that we may have confidence before Him and not be ashamed away from Him at His coming.”
Now whenever you’re tempted to give in to your own desires, or to live on a selfish plane; as one man said to me some years ago, he said, “I’ve taken care of others all my life, now I’m going to take care of me; I’m going to have a good time.” And good time he had. But I think he paid a price for it. Whenever you do that, you cut the effectiveness of your testimony to others, a testimony which ought to say that Jesus is coming again; I know He means business with His promise. And I mean business in obeying His Word.
Don’t give in to selfishness, and self-indulgence, and sin. These are the things, Paul says, that make you unready. But he said, “Let us who are of the day be sober.” Now as I said to you when we were studying this in some detail, there are two words used for sober: one is a compound that means ‘a safe mind’; this one means ‘sane and stable’ — sane and stable, stable.
Stability is the mark of a of a person who is, is really serious about the things of eternity. You don’t wobble around. Paul says in Ephesians, “Be no more children tossed about with every wind of doctrine, and the slight of men, and cunningness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” You don’t have to be naÃ¯ve, you don’t have as my old boss Vic Cory used to say, “You don’t have to have a high ‘coefficient of gullibility’ to be spiritual”. No, he said, “Let’s, let’s be sane and stable; well founded and putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the hope of salvation.” Faith, hope, and love — have you heard that triad before? Yes you have. 1 Corinthians 13, “Now abideth faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love.” Breastplate of faith and love — that’s the bulletproof vest that’ll keep you from the, from the attack of the Evil One.
A helmet, ‘the hope of Salvation’. What keeps your head screwed on right, as the saying goes? What protects your head spiritually? He says, “The hope of salvation.” Jesus died and rose again. He ascended into heaven. He’s coming again. I’m going to see Him. And that makes a difference in my mental attitude toward everything else in life. How to be ready then, for the second coming? Well John says, “He that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as also he is pure.”
Make sure your heart and life are clean. And then make sure that you know that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. And watch out for the things that make you unready — indolence and self-gratification. And then put on what’s going to protect you and keep you sane and stable in a world full of stress.
Now why? “Because,” he says, “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation for, by our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is part of the purpose of God. When you think of the second coming of Christ, it’s not simply an isolated prophetic doctrine that you hang some place on the wall of your mind. He says, “God has appointed us not to wrath, but to obtain salvation.” Jesus is coming again. You’ll never have to see the judgment of the unsaved. You’ll never have to face God with your sins on you, for Jesus paid it all; and, “All to Him I owe.”
Obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us that whether we wake or sleep, whether we’re dead or alive, we should live together with Him. The presence of your blessed Lord — with Him. You know, honest, there’s some days I wake up and I don’t feel religious at all. Have you ever had that experience? People express some surprise when I identify myself as a very human, human being.
I have, I have days when I don’t feel spiritual, I don’t feel religious, I don’t feel like jumping up and down and shouting, “Hallelujah!” And when I face these microphones, very frequently I have to pray and seek God over a period of time until my heart is touched by His Holy Spirit so that I have something from God, to say.
And the secret of all of that is the presence of our living Lord. The Holy Spirit of God makes Jesus real in your life. The mystery we preach among the nations says, Paul is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Never be satisfied with any kind of Christian service unless you’re aware of the presence of your Lord with you. Moses said, “If thou go not with us, carry us not up hence. For how shall it be known that we are Thy people if thou goest not with us?”
Never be satisfied with any kind of Christian service unless you’re aware first of all, of the presence of your Lord. Then pile into it and you’re sure of success. And incidentally, you’ll be ready when your blessed Lord comes again, with Him. His presence makes the difference. “In Thy presence there’s fullness of joy at Thy right hand. There are our pleasures for evermore,” the psalmist said. Well, we’ll take a little more of this up the next time we get together.
Dear Father, may we live every moment of every day in such a way that we’re ready to meet our blessed Lord Jesus; even so come Lord Jesus. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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