Summary: Message dealing with the greatest event to take place in the future... the Rapture of the Church. Deals with the importance of being ready.
Confident When He Comes
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)
Throughout the history of this country, there have been many events that have produced bold headlines in our newspapers.
The World Trade Towers being hit on 9/11 - The bombing of Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of the Second World War, the assassination of President Kennedy, the assassination of Martin Luther King, and more recently the outbreak of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
These are all headline making stories that have impacted millions of people. None of us lives in isolation and certain events shape us all.
There is one event, however, which will impact everyone on this planet.
No, I’m not talking about the coming of the Second Ice Age. And I am not talking about some gigantic meteor striking the earth.
I am talking about the single future event towards which all history moves. I’m talking about the Second Coming of Christ. That event will be more than a headline making event, it will be both the most joyous and the most traumatic event in history.
One real question that you must answer is: Are you ready for His return? Indeed, this is the question everyone here today should be asking.
When I look at the current state of the world, I wonder just how much longer our civilization can exist. Many of us are concerned about the continual slide into moral corruption. Just this past week (11/05/03) President Bush signed into law the act that outlaws Partial Birth Abortion. A procedure that even many abortion advocates thinks goes too far, but already the courts are attempting a block of the ban due to the possibility of it being “unconstitutional”.
Add to that the increase in violence and the systematic exclusion of God from all public life and it seems to me that we are certainly setting ourselves up for impending judgement.
Now, I do not want to be a prophet of doom, but it does seem to me that the time is drawing near. It reminds me of the old farmer who heard his grandfather clock chime at midnight — thirteen times. He woke up his wife and said, "Get up, honey, it’s later than its ever been." It may indeed be later than we think.
Our text today directs our attention to the Second Coming of Christ. And it gives us a prescription that will enable us to be ready when He does come. In fact, we can be more than ready, we can be confident.
First of all today, we look at:
I. The Certainty of His Coming
The first thing we must be aware of is the certainty of His coming. One thing is for sure – He will come!
This is what the Bible clearly teaches.
This is one of the fundamentals of our faith.
The Bible predicted His first coming and it predicts His second as well. Jesus Himself said in John 14:3: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." And ever since Jesus ascended into the clouds after His resurrection, we have been looking for His return. No, we don’t walk around with our heads in the clouds all the time, but we do have an expectancy that just any day the Lord will be coming.
Now there have certainly been many doubters over the years. There have even been many scoffers who cynically mock Christians who believe in a certain and sure return of Christ.
The apostle Peter speaks of these people in one of his letters. In 2 Peter 3:3-4 we read: "First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this "coming" he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’"
Friend, don’t be stunned when all the world doesn’t respond to your pleas, and in fact even mocks you at times for your faith in God, and belief that Jesus will soon return.
Of course, one of the marks of our age is that people think that all this talk about Jesus’ return is really foolishness.
There are many prideful people who scoff at those things we hold to be holy and those doctrines we hold to be true. This is the prideful thinking that Peter points out. He describes the situation that exalts the intellect and reason. Because of man’s reliance upon reason alone, he dismisses all of this talk about the supernatural. He scoffs at the concept of all history, as we know it, coming to an end.