Sunday, February 25, 2007

February 25, 2007--The REAL Inconvenient Truth

Note--Posts taken from loose outline notes of pastor sermon. No video available.

Scripture: Matthew 24:36; Matthew 25:13; Revelation 16:15

Tonight the Hollwood secularists and humanists will gather in Hollywood to worship one another and hand out awards. One of the movies up for award is former Vice President Al Gore's "documentary" 'An Inconvenient Truth.' It is about global warming and climate change. The real inconvenient truth has nothing to do with global warming. In many cases, to us, the true inconvenient truth is that Christ is coming again.

Let's stick with an acting theme. In many ways, we are the actors in a play. We all have plans and scripts and lines we want to follow. However, we think we are the ones writing the script. We think we know where we are going and what is going to happen.

You know, I am not a Shakespeare fan, but here is something I read about a character in the play King Lear:
In King Lear there is a man who is such a minor character that Shakespeare has not given him a name, merely "first servant." All the characters around him are named and have fine long term plans. They think they know how the story is going to end, and they are quite wrong. The servant has no such delusions. However, he does understand the present scene. he sees an abomination(the blinding of old Gloucester)taking place. he will not stand for it. His sword is out and pointed at his master in a moment: then Regan stabs him dead from behind. That is his whole part: eight lines all told But if it were real life and not a play, that is the part it would be best to have acted.

The Second Coming teaches us we do not and cannot know when the world drama will end. Any moment the curtain could fall. This eems toi some people terribly irritating, and as stated above, inconvenient. So many things would be interrupted, and we have so much important things. What? Christ is comng? He can't come now...I have a movie to see, I have the grass to mow...Perhaps you were going to get married, perhaps you were going to get a raise, perhaps you were working on that new invention to make you rich and change the world....Surely no good and wise God would be so unreasonable as to cut this short? Um...wrong...what about ending the suffering, ending the wait for Christ...well, but you don't understand, I have plans.

We think this because we keep on assuming that we know the play. We don't. We don't know which act we are in. Only the Author knows. The audience (if the heavenly host and the fallen angels and such can be called that) might have an idea. But we, never seeing it from the outside, never knowing any other characters except those "on" at the same time as we are, we cannot tell at what moment the end ought to come. That it will come when it should, we can be sure; but we waste our time in guessing when it will be. That it has meaning we can be sure, but we cannot see it totally. When it is over, we may be told. We are led to expect that the Author will have something to say on how we played the parts. What matters most is playing it well.

Which brings me to another point. Like Hollywood actors, we spend way too much time listening to what the 'critics' think. Actors are obsessed with critics, even as they say they don't know what they are talking about. However, they check out what Ebert has to say all the time. However, we should only care how well we are playing out what the Author of the drama has set before us. That is all that matters.

The Second Coming is a doctrine that needs more frequent meditation, not because it is meant to make us fear, but in reality it is meant to make us think a bit more about how we are playing the part, and to realize it is not the costuming, it is not the scenery, it is not the critics. Rather, it is about how the parts are played and how we choose to play them either as the Author intended, or we choose what we think we know and in the end the only review that matters, the Author's is a thumbs down. The Second Coming, really, is the medicine our condition needs. It is the only way to complete the cycle, to end the holes in our hearts. However, so often we don't think about it, well, because we have plans. However, our plans are but as specks to the Author, and I would much rather do it His way and get a "well done good and faithful servant," than to worry about what the neighbors, the bosses, or whoever thinks.

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