The Boy Who Cried Wolf

There was once a shepherd boy who minded a flock of sheep in the fields. By way of a joke, he would often shout: "Wolf! Wolf!" This caused the men working in the neighboring fields to run to the rescue, but after being deceived two or three times, they decided to take no notice of the boy's shouts. Soon after, a wolf really came, and the shepherd boy cried out in earnest. But no one took any notice of his shouts, and so some of his sheep were killed.

 

This story has survived until today, as a lesson for all. If we make a big fuss about something that is not very important, when something serious happens, no one will believe us.

 

There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth. Enough false alarms will have the same result.

1.      I fear that too many false alarms will cause God’s people to grow weary.

2.      False alarms and fear of impending doom often run rampant in the churches.

*   Y2K

*   Social security numbers

*   New money

*   Finger printing

*   Retinal scans

*   1844

*   Jim Jones

*   David Koresh

*   Global warming – Ozone layer

*   Global cooling – Volcanoes

*   Over population

*   Not enough food

*   Depletion of resources

*   Collisions with asteroids

*   Invasion by aliens

3.      Preparation is good.

*   We should plan as if Christ will not return in our lifetime.

*   We should live as if Christ will return today.

*   In fact, Christ is here today!

*   And in fact we should always be prepared.

4.      Let’s take a quick look at some pertinent scriptures

*   Matthew 24th and 25th chapters

*   Luke 12:15-40

*   Luke 21:33-36

*   (John 14:1-6 NIV)  "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. {4} You know the way to the place where I am going." {5} Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" {6} Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

*  

*   (Rom 15:13)  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

*   (Rom 8:15 NIV)  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

5.      Here are some questions about waiting and preparing that beg for definitive answers.

*   How should we live as we wait and watch?

*   What are we waiting and watching for?

*   What should we do as the time approaches?

*   How should we respond when key events seem to be unfolding?

*   What is the proper balance of the Spiritual and the Physical?

*   Here’s an important reminder or clue.

*   (Mat 16:24-27 NIV)  Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. {25} For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. {26} What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? {27} For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

6.      I believe there is a need in the Church for more study on these questions. It seems to me we spend way too much time on questions that are perhaps interesting but not nearly as serious, or practical, or as urgent as these questions of waiting and preparing. Here, in my opinion, are some examples of questions that get more attention than they deserve when compared to questions about waiting and preparing. Hair splitting!

*   Who is Melchizedek?

*   What is the importance of the Holy Name?

*   What is the formula for baptism?

*   When does Sabbath begin or end?

*   What does “Between the two evenings mean”?

*   Is Passover to be celebrated on the evening of the 14th or the 15th?

*   Should Christians vote or go to war?

*   How should a local church be organized?

*   What happened before the creation? Or, after the book of Revelations?

*   Did Adam or Eve have a belly button?

*   Can God make a rock so big that not even He can move it?

*   Give me a break!

7.      Here’s a challenge to you, the Church, let’s see if we can remember that the Lord’s Prayer, almost immediately, requests “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” And then rejoice at events that sometimes scare us because they are the events that declare His kingdom is about to be revealed to the world! Also remember the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.”

8.      My wife recently told me of an old black preacher that answers these questions simply yet elegantly. He said that the God that saw him though the war years of the 40s, the God that saw him through the threat of mutual destruction during the cold war of the 50s, the God that saw him through the radical cultural changes during the 60s and 70s, the same God that saw him through the 80s and 90s also, that God, our God, will see him through the new millennium as well. Our money says, “In God We Trust.” Let’s not forget that!