I found this sermon to be both powerful and thought provoking. The pastor is right when he begins the sermon with the words, we do not live in normal times. If you have any doubt all you have to do is turn on the TV news and in a few seconds it will become crystal clear that something terrible is going on as violence, fear, natural disaster, the loss of love for our fellow humans overflows from the airwaves with startling rapidity. It seems like everyday the world is doing the impossible by sinking lower and lower even though it seems that it must have reached the bottom.
But we were warned that the end would be like this. A fearful mixture of the days of Lot and Noah, a frightful dash of the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah, that would culminate in reenactment of the plain of Dura where once again God’s servants will have to decide to bow the knee and win the praise of man, or stand firm to God and face the modern equivalent of the fiery furnace.
As we see the spiraling world around us, the Spirit of God is speaking to our hearts desperately trying to wake us up to our danger, desperately seeking to wake us up to the fact that the midnight hour is at the door. The clock is only seconds away from striking midnight when the door of mercy will forever close. When Jesus will rise and declare he that has clean hands let him be clean and he that is filthy let him be filthy still.
Oh how fearful to know that so very soon our case will be forever decided. That in a few more weeks, a few more days, maybe even a few more hours, our name will be called. Our case will be brought before the righteous judge.
My heart was stirred as I thought that even now, as I am swallowed up with the minutia of daily cares, as I am stirred by the hopes and dreams of this world, my name might even now be being called in the heavenly courts. That this very moment, while my attention is swallowed by this life, my eternal destiny could be forever decided.
While my heart rejoices at the thought that the journey is almost over, that very soon the heavens will be filled with a host of angels shouting the victory shout, ready to welcome God’s faithful servants home, it is a solemn time. A time of reviewing ones life and asking the all important question, have I fully given my heart to Jesus or am I holding part back? Am I truly ready to meet a holy God?
Because as I listened to this sermon I realized with startling force that all to often I have let the trivial matters of this fast fading life swallow my attention. That I have been guilty of taking my eyes off of Jesus and focusing on my selfish desires. And oh how it saddens my heart to think of the precious hours that I have wasted, to think of all the lost opportunities to share the truth with others. And my heart was brought to tears as I realized how little I have valued the wondrous gift of eternal life. How little value I have placed upon the wondrous honor of hearing the King of Kings call my name and then placing a victory crown upon my brow.
Because if I valued it as I should, nothing this world had to offer; no fear or honor, would sway me from shouting with urgent voice, get ready, get ready for the bridegroom cometh. Get ready because the final hour is even now at hand. We are no longer twenty, fifteen, ten, or five minutes to midnight, but seconds away from the most important event in this words history, and there is not a moment to spare. In a few more months, a few more days, oh in a few more hours, the door of probation will forever close and scenes of fearful wonder will take place as the last battle between good and evil deluges this world in the final birth pang, before the heavens open and the King of King comes to take His servants home.