The End Of The World And I Feel Fine

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 and Matthew 25:1-13
In the name of Jesus: Amen.
It seems like everybody wants a time machine, some contraption that allows a person to go forward or backward throughout time. The reason why? Everybody is fascinated with the future.  Everybody wants to know what their future will entail, what their fate will be. 
So, we make Hollywood science fiction movies about time sleds, time displacement spheres, phone booths, and DeLorean cars that mysteriously take Hollywood actors throughout time into different eras.  And as we watch these movies, we dream what it would be like to flip a switch and go forward five years or 10 years or even 50 years into the future.  What will things be like in the future?  What will we be like in the future?  Will we be better or worse than we are right now?  Will things be better or worse than they are right now in our state?  How will the economy or country be?    
As soon as we realize that we cannot create a time machine and that time travel is just impossible, we resort to the next best thing; we try to forecast our future.  Some people will foolishly summon demons through tarot cards, fortune tellers, and Ouija boards to know the future.  Others will try to know their future through silly fortune cookies or trivial horoscopes.  Some will look to financial future markets to predict the future economy.  And others will look to genetic predisposition tests to determine which possible future diseases they may have to battle someday. 
While people may have some success in predicting, forecasting, or guessing what the immediate future holds for them, we must be honest this morning that none of us – yes, none of us – know the day or the hour of the last great Day of Judgment.  I am not talking about our unpredictable death, but I am referring to the last day of history – the day that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to judge all individuals. 
It is true that none of us can know when we will breathe our last breath and it is especially true that none of us can know when the last day will come.  Make no mistake about it; this last day is coming – it is always coming. 
It is most certainly true, the great judgment, the end of history, the end of the world is unknown to us at this time.  It is the only unfulfilled item in the Apostle’s Creed.  Even though there will be signs showing that the end of time is near, nobody though knows the day or the hour.  In fact, right before the great and powerful Day of Judgment, the pagan world will be talking about peace and security.    Like in the days of Noah, unbelievers will be saying, “peace and security.”  They will be trying to convince themselves that all is well when there is really no peace and safety at all.  And then, like a thief in the night, the Last Day will come upon the whole world with suddenness.  Indeed, when the world least expects it, the last Day of Judgment will spring upon the world – surprising the world that is living in false peace and false security.  It is almost like everyone is in the dark and the last Day of Judgement will come and flip the lights on surprising and blinding the entire world! 
Now, this may cause us to be a little alarmed today.  It may cause us to wish that we had a time machine to look forward into the future to ascertain when the Day of Judgment will happen so that we will not be surprised or caught off guard.  In other words, today, our feathers may be a bit ruffled, and we may feel a bit of discomfort in thinking about the end of the world – the great Day of Judgment.  However, dear Baptized Saints, you are not in darkness.  You do not belong to the night.  You are not a pagan.  But rather, because of Christ Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for you, you are children of the light – you are children of the day.  What this means is that you do not need a time machine.  You do not need to try and forecast the future.  You do not need to seek to estimate through calendars and guesses when the last day will be.  Oh, no!  The reason why?  You already know – as God’s children – what the future entails.  
Now, it is true that we do not know about all the future events which are before us.  We do not know about the future of our jobs.  We do not know about the future of the economy.  We do not know about the future of our country or our world.  We do not know about the future of our health, and we do not know about the timing of our death.  These things have been hidden from our view.  Even though we do not know about all of these future events in our lives, that does not mean that we are in the dark; it is not to say that we are na├»ve or fools.  Oh, no, as Christians we are not like the world in how we understand the future, for we do know the future – the ultimate future.  We know that Christ Jesus will come again, even though we do not know the exact time. 
Dear Baptized Saints, we know that the one who was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven will indeed come back and judge the living and the dead on the last day of history – Judgment Day.  We are not in darkness concerning the future.  We are not unprepared for the end of history.  We know all of this because God’s Word has promised this.  We hear from the Word of God that the Lord Himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet will descend from heaven, and those who are dead in Christ and those of us alive in Christ will be raised up into the clouds to meet the Lord.  Yes, we joyfully recognize the last Judgment Day for what it is.  We know that the end of history is where every tear will be wiped away.  We know it is a time where there will be no more death or no more mourning or crying or pain. 
Baptized Saints, you and I will not be caught off guard at the great last day.  Certainly not!  The last day will not be like a thief coming to surprise us and stealing everything away from us, for we are not unaware, we are not asleep.  In fact, it is quite the opposite! We believe, teach, and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to judge the living and the dead – we confess this every single Sunday and are aware of this right here and right now.
Dear friends, you belong to Jesus.  You are a child of the light.   We are not like the world that is asleep and spiritually lethargic and ignorant about the end of the world.  In fact, it is quite the opposite. 
When hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, famines, floods, and individual death strikes, the world quickly cleans up the rubble, bandages the wounds, mourns swiftly, and then says, “Peace and security, all is well!” 
You Baptized Saints are not like this.  You are sober.  You are not in the darkness. You understand and know about the great Day of Judgment.  Therefore, when hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, famines, floods, and individual death strikes, we can see these events and say, “Come Lord Jesus Come!” and then work to bandage wounds, clean the rubble, and love those who mourn, knowing in a sure and certain hope that the Lord God has not appointed us to wrath in the last day, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Dear friends, do you realize what this means?  It means that we do not fear the end of the world.  We do not fear the Day of Judgment!  How can we fear the end, for Jesus has been judged for our sin already on the cross!  Yes, judgment of our sin has already occurred on Christ.  Therefore, you who are in Christ will not and cannot be judged at that great last day.  You have not been appointed for wrath and judgment, but salvation.
All of this is why we can be of sober mind in thinking about the Day of Judgment – the end of history.  We shall not fear it.  We shall not deny it.  We shall not be negligent about it.  No, we are attentive and aware and awake about the reality that the last Day of Judgment is coming.  We draw closer to it with each breath that we take and we draw close to it not in fear but with confidence; confidence that whatever our future holds that we shall live together with the Lord forever and ever. 
No need for a time machine; no need to forecast; no need to fear, for we know very well that the Day of the Lord is coming and we anticipate this day with hope and joy.  We expect it while encouraging one another in the sure and certain hope of the Lord’s salvation, which is most certainly for you and for me – salvation that is forever and ever.   
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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