Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #119
TEXT: Proverbs 6:6-11 / Hebrews 9:27
This week, those of us here in North Texas experienced a major storm: rain, thunder and golf-ball sized hail. Just a few miles from where I live, a tornado touched down. Six people were killed, over 100 were injured, and hundreds of homes were destroyed. I know that sometimes we seem to think that such tragedies will never happen to us. These kinds of events always seems to happen somewhere else, but God often reminds us that we are not special. It is only by His grace and mercy that we are still alive.
We all know that long before disaster strikes, we ought to be prepared. If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, then you ought to have a tornado shelter, and a plan for getting into it quickly. If you live in an area prone to flooding, then you may want your house to be built on stilts. If you live in an earthquake prone area, then you ought to know what to do when an earthquake strikes.
The Bible uses the example of the ant to show us how we must be prepared for future situations in life. The ant is a tiny but remarkable creature known for its foresight and industriousness. One commentary writes that “The agricultural ant, which resembles the ant of Palestine, not only stores up food, but even prepares the soil, kills the weeds, and finally reaps the harvest.” What is even more remarkable is that thousands of these tiny workers perform together in perfect harmony without a leader. The Bible uses the ant to help us to understand that we, too, need to be prepared for the situations that we will face in life. Proverbs specifically calls the sluggard, or lazy person who likes to sleep late, to get up and get to work or else he won’t have food to eat or a place to stay. The lesson we learn from the ant is that preparation is crucial in life. And there are some very important things that we would be wise to prepare for, and I want to talk about those things very briefly today.
1. We must prepare for death because death is coming. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die.” As we here in North Texas were reminded this week, and as people around the world are reminded every day, death is an ever present reality. People drive away from their houses every morning not knowing that that is going to be the last time they ever see that house. Parents drop their children off at school everyday, not knowing that that is going to be the last time they see their child alive. People go to sleep every night not knowing that that is going to be the last time they ever open their eyes on this world. Right now, people are out living their lives and they have no idea that they are going to be surprised by death.
2. We must prepare because judgment is coming. Hebrews 9:27 goes on to say, “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” Yes, each of us will face judgment from God. The Bible tells us that there will be two judgments — one for belivers in Jesus Christ, and one for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.
3. We must prepare because eternity is coming. Just as the ant prepares for the long, cold winter by storing up food, we must prepare for eternity. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 25:46, “These [the wicked] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Eternity is the everlasting state that our souls enter after death. John Tillotson said, “He who provides for this life, but takes no care for eternity, is wise for a moment, but a fool forever.” We must prepare for eternity.
+ Plus, listen to Paul S. Morton as he sings “Nothing But the Blood” and Shirley Caesar singing “Yes, Lord, Yes”.