Message Delivered week of May 15 - 21, 2011

“Watch and Wait”

       Greetings my Friends. I'm Pastor Don Guthrie and I would like to thank you for joining me today as we look into
God’s Holy Word to learn how we can become more faithful followers of Christ, and a better witnesses to the world.

       Heavenly Father, I come before you, in the name of Jesus. Speak though me, and open our heart and our ears
to receive your word. AMEN

       Without a doubt, I believe that Jesus is coming soon. Just how soon he will be coming is something only God the
father knows, but in the bible we have been given signs to show us when the time is approaching. From what I can
discover in my studies, I am convinced that the time of His coming is going to be in not to distant future. Everything I
can find that must take place before Jesus comes, has taken place already, and all thats left is for him to come and
rapture the church away.   

       We are living in exciting times. Although there are many disturbing things  taking place, and much evil transpiring
in the world, one must take into consideration that these things are signs that the time is near. Even the problems in
the church, the falling away of God’s people, the weakening of their faith, and the acceptance of sin into the body,
are all a part of what God told us would happen before he sent Jesus to gather His followers to him. Whether you
believe he is coming soon, or choose not to believe the signs we have been given, the fact remains, if you want to
see Jesus; if you want to make it to heaven; you need to prepare your heart, follow his word and start watching and
waiting for his coming.

       Today, I want to speak to you about watching, waiting and having your heart and your life prepared for Jesus
when he comes. The scripture I will be reading comes from Matthew 24:32-45. Listen to these words:

Mt 24:32-45
32. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer
     
is nigh:
33. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until

     
the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief  would come, he would have

     
watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in

     
due season?
46. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

       Here in Matthew twenty-four, we find the words of Jesus warning us to be prepares and to be watching for his
coming. He said and I quote, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father
only.” In other words, no man, no woman, not even the angels in heaven, know when Jesus is coming to take his
bride, the church home with him to heaven. According to Jesus only God the Father knows and someday in the
future, he will tell Jesus to go and Jesus will come.

       In the meantime, It is our duty to live our lives like we intend to go when he comes. We must  prepare our heart,
and watch and wait for his coming, in order that we do not  miss him. I for one would hate to wake up one morning
and realize Christ had come, and I was left behind. I cannot imagine living in a world without the influence of Jesus in
it. I cannot imagine living in a world without the power of the Holy Spirits with us, but that's exactly what's going to
happen when Christ takes the Church out of the world. When He does,  great and terrible things are going to start
happening on the earth. Satan will have a field day with those who are left behind. Then God will pour out his wrath
on the wicked, and things will start happening that's worse than anything that has happened since the world began.

       I'm not going to get into those things today because I want to talk to you about being prepared and ready, and
about having assurance in your heart that you will be among those who are going, and not be left behind. Not only do
I want to talk to you about being ready, I want to urge you to start living like a Christian ought to be living. I want to
encourage you to watch and wait, and while you are watching and waiting, not to be discouraged. Believe me, it's
going to be worth the wait, and it's going to be worth anything we might be forced to endure as we wait.

       I found a check list that can help you determine if the things you are doing is what you should be doing. There
are five questions that I would like you to ask yourself, and five questions one should ask there self before doing
anything. Listen carefully to them, then apply them to your life

       Is this thing I am doing according to the Word of God?

       Does what I am thinking or doing violate any principles of Scripture?

       Can I do what I am doing or what I am about to do to the glory of God?

       Can I ask God's blessings upon what I am doing?

       Would I like to be found doing this thing, or be in this place if Jesus were to come?

       Five simple questions, yet they are questions that can help us determine if we are living and doing what Christ
would want us to do.

       Lets take a few moments and delve into each of then. Number one on the list is: “Is this thing I am doing
according to the Word of God?"

       It is in God's word that we find directions to live. It is in His Word that we find the plan of salvation and the key to
heaven. The words written therein should be cherished, read, listened too, and believed. They are the Spirit inspired
words of God himself and they hold the answers to all of life's questions, but to find them, one must study the word,
and seek the help of the Holy Spirit so they can understand.

       Secondly, the Word is the final authority. There is no new prophecy to be had, no new scriptures to be studied,
and no scientific evidence to disprove what God said. As Billy Graham once said, “God said it, I believe it and that's
that.”

       When one has the attitude of believing the bible and following what it says, than one can ask themselves without
any guilt - "Is this thing I am doing according to the Word of God?" If is is not, then you need to change what you are
doing and start doing what God desires you to do. If you refuse to change, you are in danger of being left behind
when Christ comes and not making it into heaven.

       Unfortunately, there are many today who no longer believe what God says in his Holy Word. They discredit the
bible, and say it cannot be believed. The moment they close their eyes in death, and see the horrors of hell, they will
believe, but unfortunately, it will be too late. When they awaken some day and Christ has come to take his bride
home, and they are left, they will believe, but again, it will be too late. Today is the time to determine if what you are
doing is according to the Word of God, tomorrow may be too late.

       Number two on our list is “Does what I am thinking or doing violate any principles of Scripture?” Again, one
study the scripture in order to learn if they are violating it, but making it to heaven is well worth the effort. I don't think
that when one stands before God  after living a life of sinfulness, and their telling him, “I didn't know” is going to be
much of a defense. We have bibles in our homes, and Churches that preach the truth. Oh, it's much easier to not
read and not know what's expected of us, but by not reading and not studying, or if you cannot read, listening to the
word of God, is saying to God, I simply don't care.

       If you don't care what the word of God says, you don't care where you are going to spend your eternity. That my
friends is frightening. We need to know if  “what we are thinking or doing violates any principles of Scripture. When
we stand before the Lord to be judged it will be too late to learn.

       Number three on our list says “Can I do what I am doing or what I am about to do to the glory of God?” Number
three also requires bible study and learning what the bible says. How else will you know if the things you are doing
will glorify God, or if it is against the precepts God has laid down for us.

       I see so many people today asking others if something is right or wrong. The problem with this is that people
justify sins in their heart, and determine that they can do them, without knowing what God says, and without
bothering to look in his Word or ask Him. When you go to others, you get their thoughts, when you go to God, you get
his. Now I ask you, which one will give you the best advice. The answer is God. Can you do what you are doing or
what you are about to do to the glory of God? Will he be pleased with you? Will he say well done?

       Number four on our list is: “Can I ask God's blessings upon what I am doing?” Can you stand before God, and
tell him what you are doing or what you are about to do, and than ask him to bless it? Can you do this thing with no
guilt, without hiding it from anyone, including God? Are you willing to do whatever it is, in front of your husband, wife,
mother or father, or for that matter do it in front of the whole church? If not, will God bless it?

       Many years ago a book was written that taught the principle of “What would Jesus do” “WWJD.” Some of you
may have read the book, and most of you are familiar with this saying or have seen the bracelets and so on. The
principle is exactly what I am saying here. Is what you are doing what Jesus would have done in the same situation?
If not, than we should not do it either for God will not bless it nor can we ask his blessings on it. In everything you do
ask “Can I ask God's blessings on this?”

       The fifth and last item on our list is “Would I like to be found doing this thing, or be in this place if Jesus were to
come?” Would you want Jesus find you in the arms of another man's wife or another woman's husband? Would you
want to be sitting in a bar drinking, cursing, and getting drunk when Christ came? Would you want to be found
practicing homosexual acts with someone of the same gender as yourself?. Would you want to be found looking at
pornography, or watching dirty movies? Would you want to be found fishing on Sunday morning when you ought to
be in church? Would you want to be found lying, telling a dirty joke or speaking in a vulgar way? Or, would you rather
be found studying Gods word, praying, and watching for his coming with anticipation, desiring to go home with him to
heaven where you will live eternally?

Matthew 24:38-42 says
38. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until
     
the day that Noe enter into the ark,
39. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

       I believe in this passage, Jesus was talking about death, two together and one is taken and one left, but he may
also have been talking about the rapture. Either way, when the time comes, it comes, and there is no time to make
amends or change ones heart. It happens in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye. There will be no two minute
warning, no letter telling you that this will be the day. When your time comes whether it is in the rapture or at your
death, you will be here one instant, and the next you will be gone to begin your eternity. The moment you are gone,
you will not be able to choose, for the fact is, you choose while you were living, while you were waiting. You choose
by the things you believed, and the way you live your life.

       Verse forty-two says “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”  
       
       We can not know when Jesus is coming, It could be today, tonight, tomorrow, of many years from now. Even so,
if we desire to go to heaven we must be prepared and ready for him when he comes.

       Have you made Jesus your personal Saviour?

       Have you asked him to forgive your sins?

       Have you asked him into your heart, and made him the lord of your life?

       Are you watching and waiting for his coming?
  
       I hope so, for I want to see you in heaven some day. I want to sit with you at the marriage supper of the lamb.
But most of all, I want to see Jesus.

       Until next time, Live your life like you want to go to heaven. Read and study your bible to determine the way and
search your heart to determine if you are living and acting like God desires that you do. AMEN



Don Guthrie
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