Summary: The One whose coming I’m looking forward to this morning won’t be coming from the North Pole & riding in a sleigh. Instead, He’s coming from Heaven, & arriving on the clouds of the sky! (PowerPoint available - #183)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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A. It's Christmastime again! The countdown started well before Thanksgiving, & with each passing day the excitement & preparations are accelerating. Lights & decorations have been put up, stores are full, & music is filling the air.
A lot of people, especially children, are eagerly anticipating a very special event. Truly, it's a busy time of the year!
And what is it all about? Well, almost any child will tell you - "A visit from Santa Claus, of course!" And remember, "He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! You better not pout, you better not cry - you better watch out, I'm telling you why - Santa Claus is coming to town!"
B. Now that may be important to many people, but the One whose coming I'm looking forward to this morning won't be coming from the North Pole & riding in a sleigh. Instead, He's coming from Heaven, & arriving on the clouds of the sky!
No matter how you look at it, His arrival will be awesome, & the anticipation we feel is not ours alone. Millions of people in nations all over the world are eagerly awaiting His coming also.
And when He arrives, He'll be doing what the prophets have proclaimed - He'll be bringing gifts to men. But unlike Santa, His gifts will not be based upon our goodness - but upon His grace.
And because of His grace, I'm here today to tell you to prepare your hearts, & your minds to understand the significance of His coming which sets Him apart from all others. And to get us started, let me share with you from God's Word concerning His coming.
C. For example, here are the words of a wise man who lived long, long ago. Daniel was a man determined to serve the Lord. And every time the king had a dream or vision from God, Daniel was called upon to interpret it.
One night, Daniel was on his bed when he received a vision from God. Listen to what he wrote about it in Daniel 7:13-14. "In my vision at night I looked, & there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of Heaven.
"He approached the Ancient of Days & was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory & sovereign power; all nations & peoples of every language worshipped Him.
"His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, & His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."
Do you understand what he was saying? In a vision, Daniel says that he saw the Son of Man, that's Jesus, coming with the clouds of Heaven in glory & power. And the people of every nation worshipped Him!
And Daniel wasn't the only one who mentioned this event. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, "For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel & with the trumpet call 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."
Jesus is coming! And we need to be ready for that day. So let's take time this morning to consider this seriously, & to be excited about His coming & about the importance of having our hearts prepared for that day.
ILL. Isn't it fun to watch the excitement grow on the faces of little children as Christmas Day approaches? With each passing day the smiles increase, the adrenaline rises, & the expectation almost bursts forth from every pore.
Children are excited about the coming of a roly-poly man in a red suit with toys in his bag. But you & I should be even more excited than that! For we are awaiting the arrival of our King in all His glory, coming on the clouds of heaven.
Do you realize that we've been told to look forward to His coming? In 2 Peter 3:11-12, Peter asks a question, "What kind of people ought you to be?" Then Peter answers his own question by saying, "You ought to live holy & godly lives as you look forward to the day of God & speed its coming."
That anticipation was certainly a driving force for the early Christians. In the last verses of the last book in the Bible, John writes, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)