Just two Sundays to go in this Church year as the three readings for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost are Malachi 4:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-13 and Luke 21:5-36. The sermon text is Luke 21:34, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.”
We probably understand that it’s not a good think for us to be carousing and drunk on the Day of Judgment. But not to have “cares of this life” is impossible. Who is not concerned and at times worried about events of life that leave us apparently helpless and with no power to change the past, present or future? Does that mean that no one–even believers in Jesus–who have cares about this life will be saved?
However, from a L&G point of view, the problem for those on Judgment Day is not simply that they may be carousing, drunk or worried about life. The problem is that because of these things “your hearts be weighed down.” What does that mean? It means that they are not taken to the LORD in prayer. You do not look to Him for help. There is no repentance. In other words, you are in a state of unbelief.
Jesus also was weighed down with those who deserted Him; with those who denied Him; with those who put Him to death. However, even His call from hell, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” revealed a faith in His Father that we would do well to imitate. Yes, we are beset by the world, our flesh and the devil. However, whether that translates into occasions of carousing, drunkenness and even cares of this life, we always have a Friend to whom we can turn in full assurance that our sins are forgiven, that we are dressed in the robe of righteousness and that no care of this life will come upon us to destroy us as we trust in Jesus as LORD and Savior.
Yes,we walk not by sight but by faith in the promises of the Gospel connected to the death and resurrection of Jesus. For those promises are many that He will never leave us nor forsake us; that all things will work to our good; that never will a temptation come upon us beyond God’s control as we turn to Him for help. Indeed on the Day of Judgment every believer will be a sinner deserving nothing but temporal and eternal punishment. But we have a God Who will not give us what we deserve but instead furnish us with His gracious attitude of the forgiveness of sins and robe of righteousness. In Jesus, we are prepared for that Day of Judgment!