Summary: The second coming of Christ gives us hope for eternity and encouragement to live holy here and now.
ANTICIPATING CHRIST'S RETURN
Text: 1 Jn 2:28-3:3
1. Illustration: Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ--an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second! (Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 27).
2. The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years (From the Statement of Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God, #14).
3. The doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ gives us hope, peace and a future. However, it is also an encouragement to live a godly life here and now.
4. The Apostle John tells us that the second coming makes us...
5. Let's stand together today, out of respect for the Word of God, as we read 1 John 2:28-3:3.
Proposition: The second coming of Christ gives us hope for eternity and encouragement to live holy here and now.
Transition: First of all the second coming makes us...
I. Confident (28-29).
A. Full Of Courage
1. In their song entitled, "Glorious Day," Casting Crowns says this about the second coming of Jesus, "
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day
Oh glorious day
2. In v. 28, John gives us both hope and encouragement when he says, "And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame."
A. Remaining faithful in Christ is the antidote to false belief, and John encourages his readers to remain faithful by reminding them of the second coming of Christ.
B. Although the time of his coming is unknown the fact is his coming is without doubt.
C. John is making two points here. First, he is talking about the invisible becoming real.
D. The first coming of Jesus was the unveiling of the previously hidden Word of God in human form, so that those with eyes could see and confess, "we have seen the glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
E. Now he is once again hidden from view, although he is spiritually present with us today.
F. The second thing John wants us to understand is the idea of his return.
G. The word that he uses here is a word that was used to describe the visit of a King to his subjects.
H. Now while we have become accustomed to seeing Presidents and Monarchs on TV and social media, people will still turn out in great numbers to see them in person.
I. However, in John’s day this was a major event, even the event of a lifetime.
J. This is the idea that John is trying to convey with the idea of the second coming of Christ.
K. For the Christian the second coming is associated with the resurrection of the dead, where his people will be with him forever.
L. That is the idea that John is conveying here. Jesus is coming and his return brings hope and encouragement for his people, but its possible that some of his people may not be so excited to see him.
M. Imagine if you will Jesus returning, as the Scripture explains it, "in the blinking of an eye," and you are in the middle of doing something you know is wrong.
N. In that situation, would you be excited to see him?
O. However, John tells us that we can be confident in his coming and not have to shrink back or be ashamed. Would you be ashamed or confident? (Marshall, 165-167).
3. John then tells us that while we await his coming our main objective should be to follow the example of Christ in how we live. In v. 29, he says, "Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are Gods children."