Sermon – Pentecost 23 – November 17th, 2019
Text: Luke 21:5-28 – “The End is Drawing Near”
The End is Coming
The End is coming. The Advent, the “coming” of The End is drawing near.
We all know the saying “all good things must come to an end.” Life and living are good. The World God created is good. God says so over and over in Genesis, the history of the creation of the world, that what He makes is good. Therefore, these good things, the world God created, is good and therefore the end is coming.
We have been told, “the end is coming by the one who is bringing The End.” God is all-powerful. Jesus is God. Jesus has told us “the end is coming… and these are the signs.”
Signs tell us what is ahead. A construction sign tells us there is construction ahead – and we better slow down. A car that sputters and backfires is a sign that tells us something is wrong with the engine – and we should get it checked out. A memory that constantly forgets things to a disruptive degree is a sign that dementia is starting – and we should prepare for how to adjust our life to accommodate for it. On and on the list goes of all the signs we have in our lives which tell us of what is ahead for us and how we should act.
Here Are The Signs
Jesus does not give us one, or two signs, for The End. Jesus gives us a whole smattering of signs which tell us The End is coming. Here are the signs: People claiming to be Jesus and telling them to follow them! Wars and chaos on the earth. Earthquakes, hunger, virus’ and disease killing people ruthlessly. Great and terrifying sights from the sky. Christians persecuted and brought before rulers and governments. Christians betrayed by their family and put to death. Christians hated by all for being Christian and listening to Jesus’ exclusivist claims. Distress upon the earth and wrath against Christians until the time of non-Christian’s is fulfilled. Signs in sun, moon, and stars. Confusion over the chaos of the oceans. Fear and fainting over what is happening to the earth.
These are the signs of The End. This is what tells us The End is coming. Have you seen any of these signs? Wars? People claiming to be Jesus and leading people to follow them instead of what Jesus has actually said? Natural disasters? Christians being persecuted?
Be Mentally and Spiritually Prepared
What do we do with all this information? What do we do when we see the signs of the times and see the Advent of The End? We can be mentally and spiritually prepared.
It’s always good to be prepared for something. If your whole family suddenly comes over for Christmas dinner and is expecting you to put on a big Christmas dinner for them, it would be better to have known and have been prepared beforehand so they’re not just eating crackers out of the top shelf of your cupboard. If somebody’s about to toss you a hole-punch to help with what you are working on at your desk, it’s better for them to tell you they’re about to throw it so you can be prepared.
Just like it is always good to be prepared for things before they happen, it is a mercy from God that He tells us The End is coming so we too can be prepared.
We can be prepared and guard ourselves against false prophets. When we hear about wars and chaos we do not need to be terrified because we know God knows – and it is not out of His knowledge or control. We are not terrified when we experience wars and chaos. We are not terrified about what to say when we are brought before the government for being a Christian because God will give us the words to say. God will give us the endurance we need and we will “gain our lives” be enduring. By being prepared we know that God knows about all of these terrible signs of The End and He is still in control of it all. We know that it is all part of His plan of salvation for us.
Your Redemption is Drawing Near
We are mentally and spiritually prepared to endure trusting in God’s promises of forgiveness of sins, even sins that contribute to these awful signs, and His promise of everlasting life.
After all of these horrifying signs, when the Son of Man comes in a cloud with power and glory and the whole earth shakes because of His coming and they all hide and scatter like cockroaches under the light, we know we can stand tall, straighten up, and raise our heads, because our Lord and King who has won for us life, A Beginning after The End is drawing near. There’s another saying like “all good things must come to an end” it’s “every ending is a new beginning.”
Through Jesus’ own end (death) and beginning (resurrection) our redemption, a new beginning with God in a new heavens and new earth, with new bodies is what is drawing near. May God stay true to His promises of this new life and ever keep us in His care with His Word and Sacraments as we endure The End and prepare to meet Him face-to-face on that glorious day.