Summary: Jesus Himself talked about it the last night that He spent with His apostles before His arrest & crucifixion. Do you remember? (*PowerPoint available - #251)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
(Changed e-mail address: PowerPoint slides used in this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at email@example.com with your request - #251.)
ILL. The day before Thanksgiving a man in Phoenix called his son in New York & said to him, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother & I are divorcing; 45 years is enough. We’re sick of each other. So please call your sister in Chicago & tell her."
Frantic, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. "There’s no way they’re getting a divorce," she shouted, "I’ll take care of this." She immediately called Phoenix & said to her father. "You are NOT getting a divorce. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, & we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing. DO YOU HEAR ME?"
The man hung up his phone & turned to his wife. "Okay, honey. It’s done. The kids are coming for Thanksgiving, & this time they’re paying for their own flights." (Adapted from Aaron Burgess on Sermon Central)
APPL. Well, I guess that sometimes people do strange things or go to extraordinary lengths in order to accomplish their purposes. For example, think about “Surprise” parties or events & all the effort put into planning & putting them on & making sure that the guest or guests of honor are properly surprised. For those who are involved, such an event can turn out to be something really special & precious.
A. Folks, I’m anticipating a very special event, too. In fact, Jesus Himself talked about it the last night that He spent with His apostles before His arrest & crucifixion. Do you remember?
Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen to Him. He had told the apostles again & again that His kingdom was not of this world, & that the time would come when His enemies would kill Him, but that He would rise again. But somehow it just didn’t sink in. They couldn’t understand how that could possibly happen to Jesus, their Messiah & their Lord.
B. But on this last night, in the upper room, Jesus told them plainly that the time had come, & that one of them would betray Him. Jesus even went on to say, “You will all fall away.” That’s when Peter declared, “‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison & to death.’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.’” (Luke 22:33-34)
You can imagine the confusion & gloom that settled over them. And then Jesus began to speak some of the most familiar words in all the Bible:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God; trust also in me. 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. And if I go & prepare a place for you, I will come back & take you to be with me that you may also be where I am." (John 14:1-3)
I. JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!
Did you hear His promise? Jesus is coming again!
A. A few weeks later angels repeated that promise. Forty days after His resurrection Jesus met with His disciples on the Mt. of Olives for the very last time, & Luke says,
“They asked Him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; & you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, & in all Judea & Samaria, & to the ends of the earth.’
“After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, & a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go...’” (Acts 1:6-11).
It is true! Jesus is coming again!
B. Years later, the apostle Paul writes to the Christians in Thessalonica: “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope...
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, & with the trumpet of God, & the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive & are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).