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Jesus IS returning ... be ready! (CC)

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First Sunday of Advent December 2, 2012 Sermon Text: LUKE 21:25-36 This morning's sermon text recorded for us in Luke's Gospel where we read from Chapter 21, beginning with Verse 25: "THERE WILL BE SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON AND STARS. ON THE EARTH, NATIONS WILL BE IN ANGUISH AND PERPLEXITY AT THE ROARING AND TOSSING OF THE SEA. MEN WILL FAINT FROM TERROR, APPREHENSIVE OF WHAT IS COMING ON THE WORLD, FOR THE HEAVENLY BODIES WILL BE SHAKEN. AT THAT TIME THEY WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY. WHEN THESE THINGS BEGIN TO TAKE PLACE, STAND UP AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS, BECAUSE YOUR REDEMPTION IS DRAWING NEAR." HE TOLD THEM THIS PARABLE: "LOOK AT THE FIG TREE AND ALL THE TREES. WHEN THEY SPROUT LEAVES, YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELVES AND KNOW THAT SUMMER IS NEAR. EVEN SO, WHEN YOU SEE THESE THINGS HAPPENING, YOU KNOW THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NEAR. "I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, THIS GENERATION WILL CERAINLY NOT PASS AWAY UNTIL ALL THESE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED. HEAVEN AND EARTH WILL PASS AWAY, BUT MY WORDS WILL NEVER PASS AWAY. "BE CAREFUL, OR YOUR HEARTS WILL BE WEIGHED DOWN WITH DISSIPATION, DRUNKENNESS AND THE ANXIETIES OF LIFE, AND THAT DAY WILL CLOSE ON YOU UNEXPECTEDLY LIKE A TRAP. FOR IT WILL COME UPON ALL THOSE WHO LIVE ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH. BE ALWAYS ON THE WATCH, AND PRAY THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ESCAPE ALL THAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN, AND THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO STAND BEFORE THE SON OF MAN." This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: I find it a little bit ironic, that people think the 12 days of Christmas is such a difficult thing to celebrate that historically the church spent up to 28 days of Advent preparing to celebrate Christmas. And then feasted and had a festival for 12 days. Nothing like that crazy song about what your true love gives to you on each of those days. But there's no reason why we can't as the children of God celebrate by giving 12 gifts to those people in our lives the abundance of what God has given to us ... showered upon us in His righteousness ... in His holiness. What a reason for us to rejoice and celebrate. I find it so ironic that there are people who think celebrating for the 12 days after Christmas is such a difficult thing when in July we start with Christmas sales. When in October, there are things that you can decorate with your house available everywhere for you to purchase. We have been celebrating and getting ready for Christmas for months! And I know that some of you are absolutely already sick and tired of it. And it's December 2nd. Some of you have just ignored it. Not gonna think about it. Not gonna look at it. Not gonna worry about it. And I think that sometimes as Christians we fall into that same trap with the fact that Christ is going to return. We hear about it. We read about it in Scriptures. We know that it is coming. But we just ignore it. Put it out of our minds. Not even worry about it. Don't be concerned. Then we need to come back and hear what our Savior says to us this morning: "BE CAREFUL ... be very, very careful. Because realize the signs of Christ's coming are all around us. They have been there since Jesus Himself talked about famines and wars and rumors of wars. The fact that the love of most people is going to grow cold. That husband is going to turn against wife. And there's going to be strife in the world. That there are going to be difficulties for the church; it will be persecuted. All of these things have happened! And it is a reminder to us to see those things. Jesus said to His disciples: Look at the fig tree. When you know its got leaves on it, you know that summer is coming. But that should also remind you that Christ is coming. When you go into that store in October and see those Christmas decorations, think Christmas is coming and remind yourself that Christ is going to return. That Christ is going to come and take His Church to be with Him. On that great and Last Day of Judgment, for us as the Church it's going to cause us to stand up and look to the sky. Raising our voices, praising God that He has fulfilled and kept His promises. That He has come to take His Church to live triumphantly with Him in heaven. But our sinful nature is always there. And it wants to put fear in our head. It wants to put doubt in our mind. It wants us to get sidetracked. It wants us to not be aware of what is happening around us. And that's why Jesus is so important to say: Be careful! Be watchful! Know what is going on and think about what is happening. Think about what is going on. And maybe we need to do that throughout this season of Advent, not just when Christ was returning, but what are you preparing to celebrate in a few short weeks? What is the reason for the hope that you have? It is Jesus Christ come into this world to save sinners. To save us! To offer Himself as that living sacrifice for my sins and for your sins and for the sins of the entire world. There IS our JOY! That is what causes us to sing with a heart filled and overflowing with love. And it is that same thought that we have for Christ in His return who is coming to save us and take the world ... take us out of this world of sin, and destruction, and chaos to our heavenly home that is filled with His holiness. And His perfection. And His order. We need to be careful so that we are not getting swept away in a current of thought that puts that in the back of our mind. It is something that we live with each and every day. Reminding ourselves to look for His returning. To pray for His returning. To stand on our confessional feet and say He is going to come. And all eyes will see Him; even those who pierced Him we're told in Scripture. He will come with all of His angels in the grace and gloriousness of who He is! To judge humanity. And those who believe in Jesus Christ will be told to come and take the inheritance of their heavenly Father. To live in the holy mansion of God for all eternity. That's what we look forward to. And that's what we should be concerned about these days. Praying for that as well. Praying each and every day that we can continue to live our faith. To grow in the knowledge of our faith. To study God's Word. To pray that God would comfort us with the knowledge that our sins have been forgiven. To realize that we stand in God's presence, not on the basis of how wonderful we are as individuals. But how grand and glorious is God's Son! That He has given to us His righteousness! He has shown us His love and we look at the prayer that Paul made for the church in Thessalonica that that love that was among them would continue to grow. Continue to be made strong for each other. To pray for each other. To pray for those who need to hear the Gospel. To pray for the fellow believers across the globe. What a wonderful opportunity we have as the children of God to do that for each other. To encourage our congregations across the world by praying for them. That God would bless their outreach efforts. That God would make them strong in the face of persecution. That God would come to us and make us strong and steadfast in our confession of what this season truly celebrates: The love of God in sending a Savior who saves sinners. That He has called us by name to be His own. What a tremendous blessing that is for us. It is a reason for us to rejoice. It is a reason for us to celebrate not just the 20-some days of Advent. Not just the 12 days of Christmas. Not just the high and holy festivals that the Church has set aside, but each and every morning with the rising of the sun to devote ourselves to our Lord and Savior. To pray to Him with thanksgiving for the blessings that come to us new every morning by His grace. To be careful to do that. To get back to truly what is important in our lives. What we enjoy in our lives. What supports us in our life of faith. To make those our top priorities each and every day. And all the rest will follow. All of those other blessings will come into our lives and we will have that joy. We will have the love of the people around us in the faith. We will see with our very eyes the signs of God's presence in our lives. And know that that is what our eternity is all about. There is gonna be a lot of celebrating coming up in the next few days. So be careful. Be watchful. Be mindful that our Savior is returning. That He is coming again. Spend some time in prayer to prepare yourself to receive Him as the Lord of lords and King of kings. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 36 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 55
Posted by: hischild on Dec 6, 2012

Be careful. See the signs. Watch and pray. Luke 21:25-36 is the text for Pastor Dave's 12-02-2012 sermon.

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