I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6
Every Lutheran Hour Speaker has come to realize, due to the size of the audience, every time he preaches, for someone it will be the last sermon they will ever hear and for someone else, it will be the first time they learn of Jesus' blood-bought salvation.
Although I don't know when, I am sure the day is coming when you will hear a last sermon.
It's true. The day will also come when you will make your last phone call, when you will start your car for the last time, when you will give a last kiss to your spouse, when you will say a last goodbye to a friend or a parent. The day will come when you will wash your last dish, draw your last paycheck, and watch your last baseball game.
After death comes for you, there will be no more Thanksgiving turkeys, no more Christmas cards, no more scarlet sunsets. All earthly things which are precious and pretty, all earthly encounters, which are dark and dismal will be no more. All of this leads me to ask what should I say to people who may only have a short time to live?
Scripture tells me I should say this: be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when the day will come!
* So you could be ready -- so you could be saved -- is why Jesus left His high throne in heaven and was born in a Bethlehem stable.
* So you could be ready for that unknown hour, Jesus spent 33 years fulfilling every Old Testament prophecy that identified the promised Messiah.
* So you could be ready, so you could be saved, Jesus lived His life resisting every temptation common to humankind, and He kept every commandment we have broken.
* So you could be ready, so you could be saved, Jesus was betrayed by a friend. He was deserted by His disciples, was falsely accused by His church, and denied justice by His government. So that you could be ready, so that you could be saved, Jesus took your place. He was whipped for you. He was beaten for you. He was spit upon for you. He died for you.
Jesus' earthly life, from start to finish, is God's great gift of grace. Jesus' resurrection is God's seal that saves your soul, if you acknowledge the Christ as Savior and Lord. It says you shall never suffer in endless eternity.
Today, with nail-pierced hands, the Savior reaches out to sinful souls who live in a sinful world. His hands, which once were nailed to a cross, now reach out to drag you back from the brink of hell and reclaim you from the clutches of Satan.
Those hands, ripped apart for you, wish to take all the damning and disturbing things you have ever done wrong and brush them from your sorry soul.
That is what we need to hear from our Divine Lord. We need to hear, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I cannot see the future as You can. That is why I pray the Holy Spirit may keep me solidly in the faith of my Savior. When that unknown hour comes, may I be ready for Jesus' return and to be taken to the home in heaven, which He has given. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries