Below is an excerpt from the sermon, “Are You Prepared?” that I gave at All Nations Christian Fellowship International Church on December 6th, 2009. It’s a little different than most sermons as I presented it from the viewpoint of Forrest Gump, with the best rendition of a Forrest Gump accent that I could muster. I hope you find it both heart warming and meaningful.
Earlier today, Li’l Forrest asked me when we were going to start to get ready for Christmas. He wanted to make sure we had everything we needed to be prepared for Christmas Day. I think li’l Forrest was concerned with making sure we had the typical things that many people throughout the world associate with Christmas. Like having a Christmas tree, havin’ the house decorated, makin’ sure we had Christmas cards to friends and relatives written and mailed, gettin’ gifts for all the relatives, bakin’ Christmas cookies, and havin’ our stockings hung with care, as Santa will soon be here.
I tried to explain to li’l Forrest that while these things are all fun to do, we need to be prepared for Christmas every day, not just during Advent. Li’l Forrest asked me what I meant by that. I told him that Jesus told us in the Bible, that he is coming back to earth again one day and that while no one knows when that will be, except our Heavenly Father, we need to be prepared for his second coming or we will not be able to spend eternity with God in Heaven. We also have to be prepared that in the case that we die before Jesus returns, that we are ready to go to heaven at a moments notice.
I explained to li’l Forrest that people make and break a lot of appointments – doctor appointments, dentist appointments, appointments to have their hair cut, and to get their cars fixed. But there is One appointment that we are All goin’ have to keep. Doesn’t matter who you are, or what kind of name you have in this foolish world. Everybody is go’na show up for this appointment. From the richest woman in the world to the poorest man in the world. From the wisest man in the world to the biggest fool in the world. From the most famous man in the world to the most obsure and unknown woman in the world. The best lookin’ man, your daddy, to the best lookin’ woman, your momma, everybody is going to die one day and face judgment day. I recently read the between 150,000 to 300,000 people keep this appointment every day now. Mama always said, dying was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't, but it is.
27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9: 27-28
Li’l Forrest said to me, “But Daddy, I’m a good boy, Jesus will look upon me kindly on Judgment Day won’t he?” I said to li’l Forrest, “Yes, you are a good boy. You don’t steal, and you don’t lie very often, and you say your prayers each night before you go to bed, but that is still not good enough. We are all sinners in one way or another, even you li’l Forrest. I asked him if he knew what the greatest commandment in the WHOLE Bible is? He stared at me and said “What is it Daddy?” I told him that Jesus said this in Mark, Chapter 12:
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'[f] 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[g]There is no commandment greater than these."
I asked Li’l Forrest if Jesus was the number one thought in his head? Did he wake up with him on his mind? Did he seek to do God’s will everyday? Did he worship Him? Did he keep his commandment of loving him and loving others? God wants us to Love Him and he wants us to want to spend eternity with him.