Summary: A sermon examining the reality of Christ's return.
Believe It Or Not...Christ Will Return!!!
In 1980, a man named Harry Randall Truman refused to evacuate his home amidst the volcanic activity preceding the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Truman stated that he believed reports of the danger of a massive eruption were exaggerated. He said "I don't have any idea whether it will blow or not". (it may happen) but I don't believe it to the point that I'm going to pack up and leave. He went on to say "If the mountain goes, I'm going with it." "This area is heavily timbered, Spirit Lake is in between me and the mountain, and the mountain is a mile away, (that volcano) ain't gonna hurt me". On May 18th, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted scorched 230 square miles of forest. Truman hasn't been seen since. (source: wikipedia)
History records the tragic tales of many who were warned of calamity, and instead of heeding the warning, took their chances. And many have paid a great price.
When Jesus ascended He left us with a promise that one day He would return. Many people proclaim that they believe that He is coming. But when you look at their lives there is little evidence that they really anticipate His arrival. Jesus said that this would be the case - Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
As Noah prepared the Ark and preached of the impending judgment, the people continued to live their lives with no fear of what was on the horizon. Not only did they continue going about their lives, they scoffed at Noah's warning.
There is no doubt....Jesus is coming back! He warned of this in - Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
In our selected text, Peter tells of those who ridiculed the idea of a literal return of Jesus. Man's denial will not change the fact that Jesus is coming back. The prophets said that the Messiah would come the first time... some didn't believe it, BUT HE DID!! Jesus said He would rise from the grave on the 3rd day... some didn't believe it, BUT HE DID!! Jesus said that He would return...many don't believe it, BUT HE WILL!! I would like to look at these verses and preach on the thought "Believe It Or Not...Christ Will Return!"
There are two main points that we will draw from this passage 1) Jesus Is Coming. 2) Judgment Is Coming. These are two indisputable facts that will impact every person on the face of the earth. Let's begin by examining the irrefutable reality that:
I. Jesus Is Coming - This is a fact that should bring great hope and excitement for those who are a part of the "bride of Christ". But this is a fact that should bring great fear for those who are not prepared. Peter's second epistle was written to born again believers. His intention was to remind them that Christ indeed will return some day. As your pastor, that is my desire today! Notice in verse 1:
A. Christians Must Remember The Promise Of Christ's Return - v1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
Peter states that his intention with this 2nd letter is to "stir up their minds". "Stir up" literally means to "fan the flames". It has the idea of rekindling a fire. The only reason to rekindle a fire is that it has begun to burn out. Maybe these Christians had forgotten what they had been taught about Christ's return. Perhaps some of them had been influenced by the scoffers and false teachers of that day. Whatever the reason, Peter felt it necessary to remind them that their Savior was coming back one day!
It is important that this fact is at the forefront of our minds. Especially considering that we are almost 2,000 years closer than the original recipients of this letter. If you have forgotten that Jesus is coming back, it is a safe assumption that you have not been in your bible! Because if you spend time in God's Word you will be reminded. Consider:
1) We Are Reminded Of The Second Coming In The Scriptures - The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies about the first coming of the Messiah. But the Old Testament also contains numerous referenced to the Second Coming as well. Likewise, In the 27 books of the New Testament there are over 380 references to the Second Coming. 1 out of every 25 verses in the New Testament refer to the Second Coming of the Savior. For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are 8 on Christ's second coming."