Though it was Ed Sullivan who made the phrase famous with his opening line “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have a re-e-e-l-l-l-y-y Big SHEW!” (I know that a whole bunch of millennial’s are right now going… Ed who?) But it was precisely that line that popped into my head as I drove home from church this past Sunday. Along U.S. 23 South I passed not one, not two but three pickup trucks loaded down with what appeared to be “really big” big screen television sets which were as large as the truck beds themselves! I believe it was after the 3rd one that it finally crossed my mind, “Hey wait a minute, isn’t this Super Bowl Sunday?” Why yes it was and if I figured correctly a number of man caves were about to get some “really big” upgrades! Talk about getting ready for the big show!
There is another big event coming up that everyone needs to be ready for. A well known Christian wrote, “The last days are upon us. Weigh carefully the times. Look for Him who is above all time, eternal and invisible.” That was not written by a modern expert in prophecy. It was written by a man named Ignatius about 110 A.D., just a couple of decades after the apostle John wrote The Book of Revelation. The years surrounding the year 1000 were filled with predictions about the imminent return of Christ, to the point where Christians didn’t plant crops for the next year, buildings weren’t repaired and the details of daily life were ignored. In the 1500’s, Martin Luther wrote, “We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse. This world will not last any longer … than another hundred years.” A little known fact of the life of Christopher Columbus is that he was a student of biblical prophecy. He wrote a volume called “The Book Of Prophecies,” in which he predicted that the world would end in the year 1656. The year 1666 saw an explosion in end time’s speculation. One pastor wrote in his journal that every time a storm hit that year, his people would go to the church building to await Christ’s second coming. Matthew and Mark both record Jesus words… “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” So with all this in mind here are a few relevant points to consider.
First, One needs to be spiritually ready. Spiritual readiness, preparation and growth does not just happen. It comes as a result of intentional habits built into one’s life. You cannot depend on a Sunday morning service to provide all your spiritual needs. You cannot depend on Christian fellowship to provide you with spiritual development. Secondly, No one can do it for you. No one can wear a parachute in your place. It doesn’t work that way. You need your own. William Barclay says, “We cannot always be living on the spiritual capital which others have amassed. There are certain things we must acquire for ourselves.” Thirdly, There is a time called “Too Late.” The experience of death is the great hope of the Christian and the great fear of the many in the world. Likewise the return to earth of Jesus Christ will bring great joy to some and great fear to many.
The Chicago Tribune years back carried a story titled “Man Electrocuted After Ignoring Warnings” Jason Grisham shouldn’t be alive. During his attempt to scale an electrical tower, the
22-year-old man received a shock that is usually fatal. Partway up the tower, 69,000 volts of electricity coursed through his body, knocking Grisham to the ground. Despite suffering burns to his chest and having his pants explode, the newspaper said the young man was admitted to the hospital in good condition. How did he get into such a predicament? One thing is for sure: it was no accident. A seven-foot-tall fence, topped with barbed wire, surrounded the electrical tower. Electric company spokeswoman Angeline Protegere said the spot where Grisham climbed over the fence was bracketed by signs saying “Danger/High Voltage!” The question is not just whether or not we have read the signs, but have we acted wisely on that information? In the end there will come a day in the eternity of every living soul where we will give an account of our stewardship of this life. And in that day just like at the end of tonight’s gargantuan contest there will be some who are thrilled at the outcome and there will be others who will be sorrowful beyond belief. What matters in the end… ARE YOU READY FOR THE BIG SHOW?