November 8, 2020 – The Urgency of the Gospel Message

Posted on November 10, 2020

Home Sermon November 8, 2020 – The Urgency of the Gospel Message

November 8, 2020 – The Urgency of the Gospel Message

When you read through the four Gospels you discover that there is a great sense of urgency to Jesus’ message.

Remember the four Gospels in the Bible are the first four books of the New Testament:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The word Gospel that is used in the Bible refers to the good news of Jesus Christ.

So when you read through the four Gospels, which hold the words of Jesus, you hear over and over again this repeated message:

We must not only respond to Jesus’ message but we must also understand the great urgency of the message.

For Jesus it is absolutely essential that we hear his message and then live that message with our lives right now.

There is no time to delay!

Today’s Gospel message speaks to this great sense of urgency.

In the parable of the bridesmaids we see how important it is to be awake to Jesus.

We must not be asleep.

As it states in the Hymn of the Day:

“We are to keep our lamps trimmed and burning.”

We are to be awake to the saving, life-giving work of God in our lives.

A Bible verse that comes to mind when thinking about this parable comes from Hebrews chapter two verse three:

“How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”

The point of the parable is that God offers us saving grace but we are to be eager in our acceptance of that grace.

The word salvation refers to being saved from that which does not give life.

We are saved from sin, evil, and all the forces that oppose God.

In Christ’s gift of salvation we are saved for an abundant life with God.

Now what does this mean for our day to day lives?

To begin with what do you need saving from in your life?

What sin?

What temptation?

What evil?

And then what do you need to be saved for?

What peace?

What joy?

What love?

God’s salvation is too great for us to neglect or to not be ready for.

With that in mind how then are we to live like the five wise bridesmaids.

When the time came these five had plenty of oil to light their lamps.

They were ready.

How too can we be ready and how can we apply the message of this parable to our lives?

First, responding to the urgency of the Gospel requires of us to have repentant hearts.

We first turn from our will and our understanding to leaning on God’s will and God’s understanding.

We confess our sins to God and receive God’s saving grace and mercy poured out to us in Christ.

This is where we humble ourselves before the awesomeness of God.

We acknowledge that we are not God and that there is nothing that we can do to save ourselves.

We are saved because God chooses out of great love to save us.

Secondly, with confession, repentance, and a change of heart comes an awakening.

After repentance the Holy Spirit changes our hearts and we are empowered to live as disciples.

As disciples of Jesus we take the message of Jesus to heart.

We know how urgent the Gospel message is to our lives.

Daily we seek to read Scripture and to be in prayer to God.

We let God’s Word fill our minds and our souls.

I can recall that the evangelist Billy Graham once said,

“Don’t let anything come in the way of daily, regular Scripture reading.”

There are many things that compete with our time and our energy.

Don’t let those other things in your life take over in such a way that you fall asleep to reading Scripture.

In fact, take your Bible and put it in a prominent place in our home.

Put it in a place where you will see it every day.

Put it in the living room and then from time to time grab your Bible instead of your remote to your television.

I am not saying don’t ever watch TV.

I like watching TV and good movies just as much as anyone else.

But for at least some of our time can we reach for our Bibles instead of for our remotes or for our phones.

Also, keep a Bible near your bed and before the day is over take your Bible and read a Psalm or two before you fall asleep.

I know for myself I always seem to sleep better when I end my day in the Word of God.

You could also try this –

Purchase the Bible on CD or from Audible Books and then listen each day to a few chapters of Scripture on your daily commute.

Find a way to take Jesus’ message to heart.

He has an urgent message for us to hear and to respond to.

Let’s not miss it!

Can we hear it?

Are we awake to it?

And lastly, we are to be prepared.

Some things in life take preparation.

Our faith is one such thing.

There is the story of a man who was dying.

A hospital chaplain came to meet with him to talk to him about salvation.

After he shared the Gospel message with the man the man replied with,

“Sir, I have not left my faith to this hour.”

This man of faith knew the wisdom of not being late.

While there is always grace for us in Christ at any hour of our lives true spiritual preparation though is a lifelong process.

Spiritual preparation takes time.

Give yourself that time.

Give yourself time to live a Gospel life.

When you give yourself time to prepare you will then be ready for the day of our Lord which will come at a time that we do not expect.

God will save God’s people but we must take the warning seriously that we hear from today’s parable.

Again as it says in Hebrews 2:3:

“How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”

The five foolish bridesmaids had neglected the work that they were to do so that when the time came they were not ready.

Let us not neglect the work of Christ in our lives.

Let us not neglect God’s saving grace in our lives.

Let us not neglect the gift of God’s promise of eternal life given for us through Jesus.

God has given us a great salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We will keep our lamps trimmed and burning and see together what God has done, is doing, and will do for us.

Amen.

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