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Summary: When the bodies of believers are raptured, they will become like the resurrected body of Jesus.

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INTRODUCTION

A nervous young preacher was preaching his first sermon. His topic was the Second Coming of Christ. He quoted from Revelation 22. He ran toward the edge of the platform and said with great enthusiasm, “Behold, I come quickly!” But he lost his train of thought and didn’t know what to say next. So he just ran forward again and said, “Behold, I come quickly!” He still couldn’t remember what to say next so he tried it again, but with more force. He stepped forward and said, “Behold, I come quickly!” But he tripped on a cord and lost his balance. He fell right into the lap of an old deacon who was sitting on the first pew. The young preacher said, “Sir, I’m so sorry!” The deacon said, “Don’t worry about it, son. You warned me three times that you were coming.”

Did you know newspapers have a certain size font they use only for mega-events? It’s called Second Coming type. It was used to announce the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Second Coming type was used to announce the assassination of JFK, and it was used on September 12, 2001 after the Muslim terrorist attacks on America. This font is so large the words jump off the page and say, “Read me!” It’s interesting they don’t call it “Major events type,” or “Breaking News Type.” They call it Second Coming type. Why? Because there is no larger event that will ever occur than the return of Christ.

Somebody put together a list of how different newspapers and magazines might report the second coming.

Sports Illustrated: GAME OVER!

U.S.A. Today: WE’RE DEAD!

The Wall Street Journal: DOW PLUMMETS AS WORLD ENDS!

National Inquirer: SPACE ALIENS INVADE!

Microsoft Systems Journal: APPLE LOSES MARKET SHARE

Rolling Stone Magazine: THE GRATEFUL DEAD REUNION TOUR

Ladies Home Journal: LOSE 10 POUNDS BY JUDGMENT DAY WITH OUR NEW ARMAGEDDON DIET!

New York Times: MILLIONS DISAPPEAR: OBAMA BLAMES BUSH ADMINISTRATION ;

Mad Magazine: YES, ME WORRY

People Magazine: BRAD AND ANGELINA FINALLY MARRY!

Christianity Today: SEE, WE TOLD YOU!

Some people think we’re crazy to believe in the Second Coming of Christ. I like what Adrian Rogers used to say: “I may be a nut, but I’m fastened to a good bolt—the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Apostle Paul believed in the Second Coming. Let’s see how he described it in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

“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. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and 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. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”

After Jesus was resurrected, He spent forty more days with His disciples. The Bible says over 500 people saw Him in His resurrection body. Then Jesus gathered His disciples on the top of the Mount of Olives and He began to float up into the air. We call this the ascension of Christ. As He was floating up into the sky, can’t you just see the disciples gazing at Him for as long as they could see Him?

If you’re ever in New York City, and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can view this unusual painting by the German Artist Hans von Kulmbach. There are many paintings of the ascension of Christ, but in this one, the artist portrayed only the feet and lower legs of Jesus as He floats out of the picture. You can see the nail holes in His feet. Kulmbach portrayed the disciples and Mary watching Jesus rise toward the sky. He also painted a couple of men dressed in white. That’s true to scripture because Acts 1:11 says there were two angels there and they said, “Men of Galilee, 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 into heaven.” Did you catch that? Just as Jesus rose up through the clouds, that’s what’s going to happen when He returns. Let’s learn three exciting truths about the second coming.

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