Summary: The return of Christ could be very near. Here we focus on the nature of His return and our need to be prepared for it.
Behold I Come Quickly
ILL. Preacher preaching on this passage. Behold I come quickly, forgot what to say, ran, hit pulpit, fell in lap of Sis. Sanctimonious….. "That’s all right preacher, you said you was a comin.
After 14 years of studying the Bible, William Miller (1782-1849)--a U.S. revivalist who predicted the second coming and earned a large but temporary following of 50,000-100,000--became convinced that Christ would return in 1843. When Miller announced April 3 as the day, some disciples went to mountaintops, hoping for a head start to heaven. Others were in graveyards, planning to ascend in reunion with their departed loved ones. Philadelphia society ladies clustered together outside town to avoid entering God’s kingdom amid the common herd. When April 4 dawned as usual the Millerites were disillusioned, but they took heart. Their leader had predicted a range of dates for Christ’s return. They still had until March 21, 1844. The devout continued to make ready, but again they were disappointed. A third date--October 22, 1844--was set, but it also passed.
I will not set a date. I will not make any guaranteed predictions. I do believe, based on a study of God’s Word, that Christ will return in my lifetime, if I live to the average age of a man living in the U.S.A.
I. A RETURN THAT IS GOING TO BE SUDDEN.
A) The word "Quickly" here means "Suddenly"
1) Matt 24:41-44 Describe Mill, suddenness, Unexpected---in mid sentence.
2) I Cor 15:51-57 In the Twinkling of an eye. This is the only place in Scripture that this Greek word is used. It means "a jerk or sudden, momentary, event."
B) There will be many Scoffers. II Peter 3:3-10
1) Nine-year-old Danny came bursting out of Sunday school like a wild stallion. His eyes were darting in every direction as he tried to locate either mom or dad. Finally, after a quick search, he grabbed his Daddy by the leg and yelled, "Man, that story of Moses and all those people crossing the Red Sea was great!" His father looked down, smiled, and asked the boy to tell him about it.
"Well, the Israelites got out of Egypt, but Pharaoh and his army chased after them. So the Jews ran as fast as they could until they got to the Red Sea. The Egyptian Army was gettin’ closer and closer. So Moses got on his walkie-talkie and told the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Egyptians. While that was happening, the Israeli Navy built a pontoon bridge so the people could cross over. They made it!
By now old dad was shocked. "Is THAT the way they taught you the story?"
Well, no, not exactly," Danny admitted, "but if I told you the way they told it to us, you’d never believe it, Dad."
With childlike innocence the little guy put his finger on the pulse of our sophisticated adult world where cool skepticism reigns supreme. It’s becoming increasing more popular to operate in the black-and-white world of facts. . .and, of course, to leave no space for the miraculous.
II. A RETURN THAT IS GOING TO BE REWARDING.
A) Jesus Said "and my reward is with me." Something to look forward to.
ILL. When I go on a trip "I will bring you something when I come back."
1) Some don’t like to talk about rewards because they think that is a poor motive.
a. True in a sense…..Reward should not be the only motive… Our love for Christ is our greatest motive.
b. But does God want us to realize his promise of reward.
"Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven…"
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Multiple passages in Scripture talk about specific crowns that will be given. There is the crown of life, righteousness, rejoicing, just to name a few.
B) Rewards will be determined by works that are tested by fire. I Cor 3:11-15
III. A RETURN THAT WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR. Rev 22:20
A) Ah, If I miss the rapture, I will just be saved during the tribulation. I know it will be harder but I could do it.
1) First of all, none of us can even come close to imagining the pain and suffering of the Great Tribulation.
2) II Thes 2:3-12
CONCL: If Christ came back today, what would it be like for you? Would you be left behind? Would you be taken but lose all at the Judgment seat of Christ? Can you say today, "Even so Lord, come quickly."