(If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click Here – 47 The Promise of the Messiah’s Return)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
June 29, 2008
The Promise of the Messiah’s Return
Last week we saw that Jesus’ ministry did not end with His resurrection and ascension to heaven but continued on through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who empowered the Apostles in being His “witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost all the disciples present were empowered to be witness of Christ. The apostles that had been so afraid after the death of Jesus became bold in proclaiming the gospel even to those that had crucified Christ and had put them in jail. As more people became believers, they too became witnesses of Christ to others. As the gospel message was spread, new churches were planted all over. The barrier between Jews and Samaritans was broken and then the great gulf between Jews and Gentiles was bridged. While the book of Acts focuses on the ministries of Peter, John and Paul, traditions tell us that the other apostles took the gospel to other places in Europe, into Africa, Asia minor, India and the areas north of the Black Sea.
What enabled the early church to accomplish so much so quickly while withstanding the persecution that came against it? Primarily it was the Holy Spirit empowering them to obey the Lord’s commands. That is the theological answer because without the Holy Spirit even the Christian who is bold by temperament will accomplish little for God. Secondary, it is what they came to believe about Jesus Christ that gave them a hope that transcended the things of this world. That is the psychological side and it is secondary because it is the Holy Spirit that enabled them to believe. What exactly did they come to believe about Jesus?
First, that Jesus was who He claimed to be, the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Second, that Jesus Christ died as the payment for their sins so that they could be forgiven, have a proper relationship with God the Father, and be given eternal life. Third, that Jesus Christ rose from the dead proving His claims to be true and that His promises will be fulfilled. Fourth, among the promises to be fulfilled is that Jesus Christ will return. All these things gave them a confident assurance for their eternal future even when the present circumstances were difficult. They had a hope that transcended the present and gave them an eternal purpose beyond just a temporal existence. It is this last belief that I want to concentrate on today.
Jesus’ Stated Promises of Return
Jesus made many statements that referred to a future beyond His earthly ministry. A reoccurring theme in His teaching was the promise of eternal life for those that believe in Him. The most often quoted verse about this is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Other verses record Jesus saying similar things such as John 6:40, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
The concept of eternal life, which encompasses not just an unending length of time but also the quality of living in holiness in the presence of God, is a future blessing. Related to this is the corresponding blessing in not being condemned by God. Jesus said in John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” and in John 10:27-28 He said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”
However, the opposite is true for those that do not believe. While most people seem to know John 3:16, very few seem to know John 3:18-19, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. “
Jesus actually made a lot of statements regarding the future Judgment of the wicked and blessings for the righteous related to His future return. In His explanation of the Parable of the Tares in Matthew 13:37-43 Jesus explained that at the end of the age. 41 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” In Matthew 16:24-27 Jesus explained the importance of self-denial and following Him for “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.”
This future return will not be a hidden event but will be evident to all. This is an important point because there are those that teach that a future return of Jesus will be only spiritual in nature with some claiming that they have special hidden knowledge that He has already done so. Such claims are in direct contrast to what Jesus Himself said about it in Matthew 24:30f, “and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Also Mark 13:24f & Luke 21:25f). Jesus spoke of His return in Luke 17:22-37 and described it in verse 24, “For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day.” At His trial Jesus even told Caiaphas when questioned about whether He was the Christ, the Son of God, responded, “You have said it [yourself]; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Also Mark 14:62 & Luke 22:69). Jesus’ return will not be secretive or hidden. Revelation 1:7 says, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.”
Those making such false claims may find themselves in the wrong group in the Judgment that occurs when He does return. Jesus explained this Judgment in Matthew 25:31-46, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 “And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” The passage continues to explain the difference between the sheep and goats and the consequences of the actions of the lives concluding in verse 46, “And these [the goats] will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous [the sheep] into eternal life.”
Back in John 14:1-3 Jesus prepared His disciples for what was to come telling them, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, [there] you may be also.” How well they understood this at the time is questionable considering their response of fear after Jesus’ crucifixion. However, Jesus gave them additional instructions in the forty days after His resurrection and prior to His ascension, and Acts 1:10-11 tells that while “. . . they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” The proof that they did understand and believe after this is seen in their response of boldness in proclaiming Jesus Christ to others and their teaching on the subject of Jesus’ promised return.
The Apostle’s Predictions of Jesus’ Return
Jesus’ return or a promise related to it is mentioned in some manner in nearly all of the epistles written by James, John, Peter, Jude and Paul (except for 1 & 2 John, Galatians & Philemon). Sometimes there is a direct reference to Jesus returning and sometimes it is an inference to His return because the passage is dealing with something that occurs at or after His return.
Peter is the first to refer to Jesus’ return using it in his second sermon as a basis for hope for those that would repent (Acts 3:19-21). In his epistles Peter refers to the return of Christ as the basis for both warning and comfort. Peter begins his first letter with a reminder that God mercifully caused them to be born to a living hope with an imperishable and undefiled inheritance reserved in heaven for them and they were protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). In 1 Peter 4:13 he encouraged sharing in the sufferings of Christ to “keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.” He added in 1 Peter 5:10 that the suffering would only be for a little while and that “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen [and] establish you.” He encouraged those who labor as church leaders that “. . . when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4). The believer’s hope in the Lord’s return and all that accompanies it is reason to rejoice.
Peter also used the return of Christ as a warning to both believers and unbelievers. He said in 1 Peter 4:5, 7, “but they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead . . . 7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober [spirit] for the purpose of prayer. He warns the false teachers while comforting the believers in 2 Peter 2:9, “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,”
Peter is even stronger in his warnings in 2 Peter 3 as he addressed those who mock saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For [ever] since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (vs. 4). Peter points out they were wrong for God judged the world earlier by a flood (vs. 5,6) and that the “present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (vs. 7). He then goes on in verses 10-12 to describe that future event in the Day of the Lord in which the heavens and the earth would be destroyed by burning before new heavens and a new earth would be created. He then concludes with the charge 14 “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord [to be] salvation.”
James uses the return of Jesus as motivation for believers to be patient and not complain, “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door” (5:7-9)
John uses the promise of the Lord’s return as motivation to faithfulness and purity writing in 1 John 2:28, “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” He adds in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope [fixed] on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. “
Paul also uses the promise of the Lord’s return in the same way as Peter, James and John. It is a warning to the wicked; a motivation for the righteous, and a comfort for believers.
Paul’s strongest statement of warning is in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, “For after all it is [only] just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and [to give] relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed– for our testimony to you was believed.” Jesus return will bring severe Judgment upon the wicked and especially on those that have persecuted the righteous.
Paul also uses the Lord’s return as a motivation to believers to develop their Christian character. In Titus 2:11-13 Paul writes, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” He prayed that the Philippians would abound in love, in real knowledge and discernment so that they might “approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9,10). He also charged them to be “holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Philippians 2:16) and to “Let your forbearing [spirit] be known to all men. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). In a similar way he charged Timothy to “keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:14). Being reminded of Jesus’ return helps us to keep a proper focus on our behavior and developing our character.
Paul used the promises related to the Lord’s return to encourage and comfort. In Philippians 3:20-21 he said, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” We look forward to putting off these frail and sinful bodies and receiving immortal and holy bodies. Paul told the Thessalonians that this would happen at His return for both those presently alive and those who had already “fallen asleep.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of [the] archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
The Prophecies of the Messiah’s Coming & Reign
Some people have the mistaken idea that the promises of Jesus return are only in the New Testament and only concern those who are part of the church. This is especially true in those systems of theology in which the church has replaced the nation of Israel instead of just being grafted into the root as Romans 11:17-24 explains. However, the Old Testament is clear that the return of the Messiah is related to the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people.
Going back to God’s covenant with Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 we find that it includes promises concerning land, becoming a great nation, being blessed, having a great name and being a blessing to all nations. The restatement of the covenant in Genesis 13:14-15 clarifies the promise concerning the land with God telling Abram, 15 “for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.” The sealing of the covenant in Genesis 15:13-29 in which God makes unilateral and unconditional promises to Abram also specifically included giving the land to Abram and his descendants. That covenant was repeated to Isaac in Genesis 26:2-5 and to Jacob in Genesis 35:9-12. I make this point simply because the nation of Israel living in the land is integral to the promises made to the patriarchs and to the revelations given to the Old Testament prophets.
In 2 Samuel 7:8-17 God makes a covenant with David. Included in the covenant are promises related to a future descendant. Verse 12, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” . . . 16 “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”. A future descendant of David, the Messiah, would rule over Israel forever.
The prophet Isaiah spoke about this future king in Isaiah 9:6,7, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of [His] government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” There is no doubt this is speaking of the Messiah for His names include Mighty God and Eternal Father. Note as well that He will reign on the throne of David forevermore.
The prophet Jeremiah also spoke about this issue. Jeremiah 33:15-18 states, ‘”in those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. 16 ‘In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell in safety; and this is [the name] by which she shall be called: the Lord is our righteousness.’ 17 “For thus says the Lord, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to prepare sacrifices continually.’ “ Again we find this is talking about the Messiah reigning on David’s throne with Judah and Jerusalem dwelling in safety. This is a physical reign in a physical place over a physical people; not a spiritual reign over a mystical place and people.
The prophecies of Zechariah 12-14 concern the future return of the Lord and the establishment of His kingdom in Jerusalem. Zechariah 12 speaks of a future battle over Jerusalem during which the Lord returns with verse 10 saying, “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.” Revelation 1:7 parallels this saying, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.”
Zechariah 14 continues the story telling us the Lord would fight on that day and that when His feet stood on the Mount of Olives it would “split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south“ (vs. 4). The Lord would then be “king over all the earth” (vs. 9), and that people will live in Jerusalem “and there will be no more curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security” (vs. 11).
Isaiah also spoke of this same time period saying of the Lord, (Isaiah 2:4) “And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.”
These are only a few of the many Old Testament prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled concerning the future of the nation of Israel and the reign of the Messiah on David’s throne in Jerusalem. I point them out simply to demonstrate that all these things are still future and that they correspond to what the apostles wrote in the New Testament. Jesus, the Messiah, is coming back to both judge and reward.
The Prophecies of Revelation
The book of Revelation details much of the Judgment that will take place on the wicked and before Israel repents at the return of the Messiah. Revelation 19 describes Jesus’ return as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It perfectly fits with the Old Testament prophecies. Revelation 20 lays out the fact of the future Millennium with Satan bound for a thousand years and the reign of Christ for a thousand years. Much of the Old Testament prophecy speaks of this particular time period. Revelation 20 also briefly speaks of the release of Satan at the end of that period resulting in one final revolt that is destroyed by fire from God and Satan is then cast into the lake of fire. This is then followed by the Great White Throne Judgment in which death, Hades and all those whose names are not written in the book of life are thrown into the lake of fire. That is the final Judgment of the wicked.
Revelation 21 & 22 then describe the new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem in which the righteous will dwell before the face of God which will illumine them. There will no longer be any curse.
Be Ready & Alert
The return of the Lord Jesus Christ is a certainty. It is spoken of by the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles, and more importantly, Jesus promised it Himself. He will return as the conquering King who will reign on earth upon David’s throne in Jerusalem. His return will be accompanied by a series of events in which the wicked will be judged and the righteous will be blessed.
The promise of Jesus’ return is a warning to the wicked to repent before it is too late and they are condemned for eternity. It is a motivation for the righteous to live a holy life in anticipation of His return. It is also a comfort and encouragement to believers as they consider the blessings that will come upon them with Jesus’ return.
One last thing to consider are the many statements made by Jesus and throughout the epistles to be ready now and not put it off. That is the point of the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. It is a warning to “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” Jesus used the analogy of the coming of a thief to warn, “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Luke 12:39-40 & also Matthew 24:44). Paul and Peter both used the same analogy of a thief to describe the sudden and unexpected coming of the day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:4 & 2 Peter 3:10).
James 5:8,9 tells us “the coming of the Lord is at hand . . . behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” Paul says in Philippians 4:5 that we are to let our “forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. “ 1 Peter 1:13 says we are to gird our minds for action, keep sober in spirit and fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought at the revelation of Jesus Christ. That takes concentration and anticipation of the event coming quickly. Similar statements are made in the Old Testament about the Day of the Lord being near (Isaiah 13:6; Ezekiel 30:3; Joel 3:14; Zephaniah 1:7,14).
Paul uses the term and concept of anticipation and eagerly awaiting the Lord’s return in many passages. In Romans 8:19 he says, “creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” adding in Romans 8:23 that we wait “eagerly for [our] adoption as sons” and “with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom. 8:25). In Philippians 3:20-21 Paul says that because our citizenship is in heaven, we eagerly wait for [our] Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ to return from there and transform our bodies from their humble state into conformity with the body of His glory. He said the Corinthians were awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:7-8), and he called all believers to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” There has to be an anticipation to be looking for something to happen. Hebrews 9:28 tells us that Jesus “shall appear a second time for salvation without [reference to] sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
There are also many statements in Revelation in which Jesus calls us to anticipate and be ready for He will come “like a thief” (Rev. 3:3; 16:15) and He is “coming quickly” (Revelation 2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12 & 20).
The question that remains this morning is are you ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? If you are not, then what needs to change in your life so that you are ready? I challenge you to do it. If His return would condemn you, then talk with any of our church leaders today about how you can have your sins forgiven and be right with God. If you are not walking in the holiness and purity that you should, then make a plan and ask someone to hold you accountable to make the changes necessary so that you abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming (1 John 2:28).
If you are ready? Then share your hope and joy with others so that they can also be ready.
Sermon Notes – 6/29/2008
The Promise of the Messiah’s Return – Selected Scriptures
Jesus’ ministry continued on through the __________ empowering the church to begin, expand and spread
The Holy Spirit enabled people to _________and ______ the Lord’s commands
Their belief’s concerning Christ gave them a _______ that transcended the things of this world
Jesus’ promise to return gave them hope for the future and an eternal __________ for their existence.
Jesus’ Stated Promises of Return
John 3:16; 6:40 – The idea of eternal life encompasses length of life & ________ of life in living with God
John 5:24; 10:27-28 – No __________ on those who believe. They shall never _________.
John 3:18-19 – Those who do not believe will be __________
Matthew 13:37-43; 16:24-27 – Jesus return brings Judgment on the wicked and ________to the righteous
Matthew 25:31-46 – The Sheep & Goat Judgment. The wicked sent to _____; the righteous to _________
John 14:1-3 – Jesus’ promise to prepare a place for them and to __________ to take them there
Acts 1:10-11 – The Angel confirmed Jesus would _________ in the same manner in which He left.
The previously fearful disciples became ________ in their proclamation of the gospel and Jesus’ return.
The Apostle’s Predictions of Jesus’ Return
All the Epistles except 1 & 2 John, Galatians & Philemon mention or allude to _______________.
Peter: Acts 3:19-21 – Peter’s second sermon – a basis for __________ for those that would repent
1 Peter 1:5; 4:13; 5:4, 10 – A basis for encouragement and ___________
James 5:7-9 – motivation for believers to be __________ and not complain
John – A motivation for believers to faithfulness and _________ – 1 John 2:28; 3:2
Paul – 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 – a strong warning of severe ___________upon the wicked at Jesus’ return
Titus 2:11-13; Phil. 1:9,10; 2:16; 4:5; A motivation to believers to develop their Christian ___________
The Prophecies of the Messiah’s Coming & Reign
God’s covenant with Abram includes specific ____to his descendants forever (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:14-15; 15:13-29)
2 Samuel 7:8-17 – The Davidic covenant includes a future descendant of David ruling over ____________.
Isaiah 9:6,7 – The future Messiah will reign on the throne of __________.
Jeremiah 33:15-18 – The Messiah will reign on David’s throne with Judah & Jerusalem dwelling in _____
Zechariah 12-14 – The future return of the Lord and the establishment of His kingdom in _____________
The Mount of Olives will ________ when the Lord’s feet touch it. There will be no more ________
Isaiah 2:4 – The Lord will _________ between nations – they will never again learn of ________
There are many O.T. prophecies concerning the reign of Messiah that are yet to be _________
The Prophecies of Revelation
Revelation 19 describes _________ return as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Revelation 20 – ________ bound for a thousand years and ________ reigning for a thousand years
_________is released at the end of the Millennium and his final rebellion is destroyed by _______by fire
The Great White Throne Judgment – Satan, death, Hades & unbelievers throne into the _____________
Revelation 21 & 22 – description of the new heaven, ______and Jerusalem. Believers dwelling with _____
Be Ready & Alert
Jesus’ return will be accompanied by Judgments upon the __________and blessings upon the _________
We are warned to be ready and alert ________ for His coming – Matthew 25:1-13.
James 5:8,9 – He is a at _______, the Judge __________ right at the door.
Philippians 4:5 – The Lord is ________
He is coming like a ________ (Rev. 3:3; 16:15).
He is coming ___________(Rev. 2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12 & 20)
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the return of the Lord is mentioned. 2) Discuss with your parents the importance of Jesus return to them and to you.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. How did Jesus’ ministry continue after His resurrection and ascension? What barriers had to be broken in taking the gospel to the world? What enabled the church to grow and spread despite persecution against it? What did the disciples believer about Jesus, what He accomplished for them and what He would do in the future? What effect did this have on their behavior? What does it mean to have eternal life (cf. John 3:16, etc.)? What do those who believe in Jesus avoid in the future? What will happen to those that do not believe? Will Jesus return be hidden & secretive or open and public – explain? Who will see it? When does the Sheep & Goat Judgment take place (Matthew 25:31-46). What happens to the goats? The sheep? Why did Jesus say He would go away and what would He do while He was gone (John 14:1-3)? What did the angel tell the disciples at Jesus’ ascension (Acts 1:9-11)? How does Peter comfort or encourage believer in the following passages – Acts 3:19-21; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:10; 1 Peter 5:4? What warnings does he give in the following passages: 1 Peter 4:5, 7; 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:3-15? How does James 5:7-9? use the return of Christ as a motivation? What comfort and encouragement do 1 John 2:28 & 3:2 give? What warning is given to the wicked in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10? How does Paul use the return of Jesus to motivate development of Christian character in each of the following passages: Titus 2:11-13; Philippians 1:9,10; 2:16; 4:5; 1 Timothy 6:14? What encouragement and comfort to believers is given in Philippians 3:20-21 & 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18? What is so important about a particular land being part of the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-15; 15:13-29; 26:2-5; 35:9-12)? What covenant did God make with David concerning one of his future descendants (2 Samuel 7:8-17)? How are the prophecies of Isaiah 9:6-7 and Jeremiah 33:15-18 related to this? What does Zechariah 12-14 speak about? Has its prophecies been fulfilled? What about those of Isaiah 2:4? What happens in each of the following chapters of Revelation – 19? 20? 21& 22? Why do we need to be ready and alert for the Lord’ return now? Are you ready? If not, how will you get prepared?
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