May 7, 2017     Luke 17:20–37

“When the CLOCK and CALENDAR Don’t Matter!”

The Kingdom of God is Not Coming – It is already here

  • God is King of kings and Lord of lords TODAY
  • He never stopped or took a vacation
  • This earth never stopped being God’s
  • What were they really asking?  When will the Messiah come?
  • They were literally asking the Messiah when He would be coming.
  • Today, we look forward to His return

Jesus Christ is coming back…..

  • This is settled and absolute
  • There will be a rapture, a tribulation, a millennial reign and a finality to this earth.
  • Theologians have battled for centuries about HOW this will happen and WHEN this reality will occur
    • But NONE doubt or argue that it WILL HAPPEN
  • I can tell you today EXACTLY how the “END TIMES” will play out in our reality
    • Exactly
    • Even with a timetable….
      • Ready?….
    • The Kingdom of God will come for you and me and for all creation….
      • Exactly WHEN, WHERE and HOW God says it will! Not sooner or later

The WORLD wants to get so concerned about the timing of armegeddon, the rapture, and more

  • Look here…Look there…
    • Post a billboard
    • Set a date
      • They have been proven WRONG each and every time!
    • Movies, books, cults, even religions and churches can make the timing of Christ’s return their major focus….and fundraiser
      • Don’t be consumed by this question
        • It will play out God’s way
          • Pre-trib, mid – trib, post -trib or amillennial
          • We argue, debate and fuss about something we DO NOT KNOW
        • Trust GOD with that time
          • Your time may come WAY BEFORE this event anyway

The TIMING is not for us to know right now

  • Maybe soon for some and longer for others
  • Maybe those of us gathered here will survive until the rapture of the church…
    • Maybe not..
  • Not YOUR business
    • Above your pay grade so to speak

The REALITY of the return of Jesus Christ is VERY MUCH our business!

  • Reguardless of God’s TIMING
    • We are called to BE READY!
      • Be SAVED
      • Be SERVING
    • You may be called to martyrdom
      • He who loses his life will keep it
      • Give Your life to God
        • It is His anyway
        • He gave it to you

But a fearful and weak faithed people want a sign

  • We have no need to fear
    • The examples in our text prove that God will protect His people
      • Noah and family safe on the Ark
      • Lot and MOST of his family safely removed from destruction
        • People of Israel’s Children saved by the Blood back at the very first Passover.
      • We do not need a SIGN!
    • Here’s Your Sign
      • Your daily life
        • Nothing else needs to happen prophetically for Christ to Return
        • No prophecy remains unfilled before the rapture occurs
        • The Kingdom of God could return for you…for us
          • Today!
          • NOW!
          • Or in 100 years or more

BE ready

  • We DO NOT need a sign…WE NEED JESUS!
    • John 3:16
    • John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ESV
  • This scripture tells us it will be like in the days of Noah before the flood and the days of Lot before the fire and brimstone
    • Normal days
    • Eating, drinking, sleeping
    • Working and playing
    • Building families and communities
    • A day just like every other day
      • UNTIL something UNUSUAL happens and changes everything.
    • Suddenly, quicker than the Flash or Superman
      • BOOM
      • People will be at home and BOOM some are gone and some are left
      • People will be working and BOOM some are gone and some are left
      • People will be doing what they do every day, living in their self imposed rut and routine and BOOM some will be gone and some will be left

When The Clock and the Calendar Don’t Matter

    • What DOES MATTER is a relationship
    • YOUR relationship with God through Jesus Christ
    • God is more important than time
    • DO NOT be left behind
      • Death is left behind everywhere
    • Choose life!
    • Be ready!

Ephesians 2:4-10 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”    ESV

Late night musings on the state of our body politic both locally and nationally
UNEDITED – “word puke”
We live in a beautiful community. We are blessed to live in a place rich in history with an amazing potential for the future. We are a hardworking and generous people who will come together to help one another. Our youth continue to exceed our expectations in all areas of their life! We have rolling hills, fruitful farmland, ranchland full of cattle and a wide and wonderful river with a bridge into our southern neighbor’s towns.
Great things are happening in Rio Grande City and Starr County thanks to the dedication of civic minded folks who hope to build better for their children. Sure, we have a few areas we need to improve like employment and graduation rates, but we are steadily improving in all areas.
Well, maybe not all areas. One area that seems to remain the same or even trend lower is how we treat each other around election time. We somehow decide this is the time to reach out and hurt each other with words and deeds.
We forget that the same children we want better lives for are watching and learning how to live in community with each other in the future.
We stain our heritage, our present and our future by our unnecessary crude behavior.
We teach them good sportsmanship in sports, but something quite different in our politics. We should learn the lessons their coaches are teaching our kids! Play hard. Play clean. Be humble in victory and in defeat. Work hard to improve your skills for the next contest.
People outside our community do not think about our historic buildings, rich heritage of growing economy when they hear the name “Rio Grande City!” They think corruption, and political battles. We bring shame on ourselves by our own behavior!!
It is all so unnecessary! It is all so crude and profane. It is a blight on our community. One thing I do admire in anyone that runs for public office here is their courage! They know what will be flung at them and their families, and they choose to run anyway.
There is not enough time to fuss over every little tidbit of minutia and still get things done. We don’t have time to hate.
We need unity and committed progress today. To delay only hurts our community. Life is far too short to waste it on gossip and backbiting! Life is too short for hate and destruction. Let us use our limited time constructively.
While we will never agree on everything and will have varying goals and methods, somewhere we need to come together on building a better community for everyone!
I worry about the character of our community. I pray for the unity of our community. The fracture that continues to be pried further and further apart by our political groups could be on the very verge of destruction.
Shame on us.
We deserve better.
We should demand better!
Those in elected office should hear that we expect you to act with honor, justice, honesty, integrity, loyalty and trust. We chose you to hold office to represent all of our families. We need you to hold the best interest of our community at the forefront of your time of service. Do the right things in the right ways for the right reasons. We will be watching.
Those running for office should hear that we need you to run campaigns that will build our community, not divide it! We understand that you will disagree with the methods or platforms of your opponents! Tell us your plans and goals. Lay out your vision for a stronger community. We will listen.
Your political opponent is your neighbor, a fellow citizen. They are not terrorists. There is no need for “scorched earth” politics.
We don’t need to treat each other with venom and attack! We live in the same community, drive the same streets, eat at the same restaurants, shop in the same stores and went to the same schools. We should be in harmony. Maybe not playing the same note, but all contributing our voice and coming together in harmony.
Life is too short for hate and destruction. Let us use our limited time constructively. We are better when we are building! Build unity.
To everyone involved in the process. Thank you for supporting your candidate! We know you will work hard as advocates for them.
Please, do not turn the process from one of debate and promotion to one of destruction. Tell us why you think we should vote for your person. We will listen.
Gossip, backbiting, plotting, lying, conniving and other types of dark politic are evil and unnecessary. The use of underhanded and divisive tactics tell us more about your character than the person you are trying to bring down. We will listen.
We have all heard the excuse, “that’s just the way it has always been.” We sigh with agreement while we know it can be better! It must be better.
We need a new normal.
Character matters. Method matters. Language matters.
Truth matters.
Love and unity matter.
I love this community and much of the political process hurts the heart of the community. We should be better and we should treat each other better.
I am proud of this community and the progress we have made in the past 16 years I have served here! I wonder how much further we could have come if we expended the energy wasted in fighting and bickering on moving forward?
Please be part of a process of constructive healing.