daily biblical sermons

In what condition will the Lord find us when he comes?
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, Th.D.
Homily of Friday, 32nd Week of the Year, November 15, 2019
Wisdom 13:1-9, Psalm 18, Luke 17:26-37

Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version unless otherwise noted




“As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was in the days of Lot – they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and brimstone rained down from heaven and destroyed them all – so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).



What condition will the Lord Jesus Christ find us in when he returns in power and glory at his second coming to judge the living and the dead? We know that the Church, at the present time, is a mixed bag of saints and sinners, of wheat and weeds, of good fish and bad fish, all mixed together. But on that final day, when the Lord returns, the Church will no longer be a mixture of good and bad, for those who are right with God will be taken up for salvation, while those who are not right with God will be left behind for destruction.



“I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left” (Luke 17:34-35).



Now we are all together in the Church – both those who are right with the Lord and those who are not. But on the day of the Lord’s coming, those that are devoting themselves fully to the Lord, confessing their sins, repenting, and seeking to follow the Lord according to his will as he has manifested it to us in his normative biblically revealed moral law will no longer be mixed in with those who are negligent about these matters.



The problem is, though, that those who are negligent think that they are safe and that they still have plenty of time to repent before they die or before the Lord returns in glory to reward the good and punish the wicked. But the truth is that no one knows when the Lord will come to judge us or when we will die. The message that Jesus gives us today is that we should be prepared now, for when he comes there will be no time to get right with God. We will be judged simply for what we are at the instant that he comes, and he will come without warning.



We may feel safe even with this message, because we can look back and say, “Well, two thousand years have passed and he hasn’t come yet, so the chances are pretty good that he probably won’t come in my lifetime either. So what do I have to worry about?” The problem is that each one of us will die and that will be our meeting with the Lord and the time of our judgment, and none of us knows for sure when that will happen, and it could happen at any time, when we least expect it and are least prepared. And God will judge us for what we are at the moment of our death.



Besides, how can one live at peace with himself with the glory of the Lord’s righteousness shining in him if he has not repented of his sins and is not amending his life and cleaning up his ways? The only way to be at peace in this life is to have fully repented of our sins and been acquitted and justified by God, with the Lord reckoning to us Christ’s own righteousness, because of his merits in suffering on the cross our penalty for our sins for us. This is the only way that we can get right with God. But if people continue living an evil life, seeking and promoting wicked, evil, and sinful things, they will not be right with God. They will not have his inner peace that only he can give reigning in their hearts, and when they meet the Lord at his coming or at their death, they will be caught unprepared for judgment.



What were the people like in Noah’s day? The Lord himself tells us, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence, and God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth’” (Genesis 6:11-14).



As Noah built the ark he must surely have warned the people who asked him why he was building this huge boat in the middle of the land. But they paid no attention to his warnings that God would destroy the earth for their sinfulness. And what does Jesus tell us today that they were doing? He says, “They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27).



They were completely involved in their sins and ordinary life of eating and drinking and getting married etc. They should have been repenting and changing their lives. Since they didn’t, “the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27). Let that not happen to us!



Jesus also gives us the example of Sodom in the days of Lot. They were doing the same things that Noah’s generation was doing – eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. And what kind of people were they? They were homosexual predators and homosexual rapists. And so the Lord destroyed them all with fire and brimstone. Only Lot and his family escaped. Instead of just conducting their lives as though all were well, they should have been repenting and reforming their lives, but they paid no attention to this and so were caught suddenly by disaster and killed, for “on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and brimstone rained from heaven and destroyed them all – so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:29-30). When disaster hit them, they had no time or opportunity to repent and get right with God. And Jesus tells us that such will be the situation when the Son of man comes again.



In what condition will the Lord find us when he comes? In our country (the USA) we are preparing for a presidential election next year, and so we are constantly hearing on television and on the Internet speeches of the many candidates running for office. Those of the Democratic Party are proclaiming abortion from the housetops as a natural right of all women. They falsely call it women’s reproductive right that enables them to have sexual freedom and have sex with whomever they want whenever they want without worrying about getting pregnant and having unwanted children, for they can simply pay a nominal fee and have their children aborted without anyone even knowing that they were pregnant. So there are many candidates praising to the heights this wonderful “sacrament” of abortion, which is really murdering their children in their womb.



These same candidates of this party are also continuously proclaiming the goodness of homosexual relations, homosexual “marriages,” and homosexual civil unions as though this gravely sinful behavior were something good. And one of the candidates is himself involved in a homosexual “marriage.”



They are also proclaiming the right of everyone to choose and change their own gender by taking hormones of the opposite sex and even by submitting to a physical operation. Such depravity is no longer hidden and done in secret, but is openly and loudly proclaimed on television and in the newspapers for all to hear. This is how shameless large sectors of our society have become today, and many people will vote for these candidates because these are the values they approval of. They call this “tolerance of diversity,” but they don’t mention that some of this diversity is gravely sinful and offensive to God, as he himself has revealed in his word, which these candidates pay no attention to and rather contradict at every opportunity, thinking that this will get them elected as president of the United States of America. But there will be a day of reckoning for them, either at the Lord’s coming or at their own death.



We should meditate on Jesus’ description of his second coming. It will be a day of terror. “On that day, let him who is on the house top, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back” (Luke 17:31). On that day one will have to make a quick escape to survive. If he is on the roof and stops to go into his house and take some extra clothes and books and other prized belongings, how will he be able to flee quickly and escape the coming danger, carrying all these heavy objects. And if someone is in the field, let him not turn back to his house to collect anything, for he will be caught and killed. Rather, let him flee directly from his field to a safe place with only the clothes on his back.



Now, therefore, is the time to examine ourselves. How would we fare if the Lord were to come this very moment? Have we genuinely repented of and confessed all our sins, faults, and mistakes? Have we amended our ways and received God’s forgiveness and his justification now while we still have time so that when he comes he may find us rejoicing in his peace and grace and ready to welcome him with joy? Will we be wheat that he takes into his barn or weeds that he burns in the fire? Now is the time to reflect on these things and repent. When he comes there will be no more time to repent. We will simply be accepted or destroyed, depending on the condition that the Lord finds us in.


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