Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 24:15-31
Jesus came once to save all of us. Jesus will come again to reward the faithful. When we recite the Apostolic Creed we confess about Jesus as follows:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
When Jesus came first time, his purpose was to die on the Cross to set up a universal forgiveness for all of us. Once Jesus defeated the power of sin and death, the eternal life and abundant life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit is available to everyone who believes in it. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God has given us blank check singed by Jesus and we can cash it to use it. Some people just laugh at it and throw the check in a garbage can!
That is exactly why Jesus comes again second time. Jesus will come to see how well we use the check that Jesus signed for us. Jesus will ask two questions:
1) Did you tell others that there is a check available to others also? (Evangelism)
2) Did you use the check to serve others and God? (Mission and Ministry)
So, when we wait for the second coming of Jesus, we want to be prepared to answer those two questions. Yes, Lord, we have shared the Good News with our family members, with our neighbors, and with everybody that we encounter in our lives. Yes, Lord, we spent our time, money, and talent to serve others and YOU!
However, there have been people who have scorned and laughed at Jesus and his saving works. Daniel (more than 500 years before) already prophesized that “abomination” would be set up in the Temple. First the Roman emperors put a pig head and blood in the temple to insult God and the people of God. When they did that they also destroyed the temple as Jesus told 40 years before and persecution started. That means we have been already living in the “end time” since then. Jesus can come any time! That is why we have to faithfully witness to Jesus and do our good deeds till Jesus comes second time. As long as we are doing faithful works we do not have to worry about the judgment! As long as we are going within a speed limit, we do not worry about the police! Let us focus on the reward that we are going to get! “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21)
1) Who are you going to invite to our church this Christmas?
2) What are you going to do to serve others this Christmas time?