Summary: Some people fear the end of the world. Others (even preachers) don’t believe Jesus is coming back. Why do some "Christians" think like this? And how should we feel when we think about Jesus’ 2nd coming?
There are days that can be scary. The sky gets dark, the wind whips through the trees and there is a feel of danger in the atmosphere around you. Have you ever seen a day like that?
Back in the Spring of 1780 the Connecticut House of Representatives was in session when suddenly the sky overhead was ominously dark. In fact the atmosphere became so scary that some of the representatives feared the end of the world was at hand. Some clamored for the assembly to adjourn immediately.
At that point - a Colonel Davenport rose from his seat and said these words,
"The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought."
APPLY: It’s interesting how people react to the idea that the end of the world was at hand. Back in 1780 some reacted in fear. And there are STILL people who react with fear to the idea of Jesus coming again.
ILLUS: About 5 years ago, NBC had a miniseries they called Revelations. It was advertised as a theological thriller where a nun named “Sister Jo” investigated strange phenomena that she thought might signify the Apocalypse (the 2nd coming). Executive producer of the miniseries David Seltzer told TV Guide (TVGuide March 27, 05, p. 18) “So many people believe we have to save our souls right now. Sister Jo believes in Revelations but she refuses not to have hope.
She feels that humankind can come together and forestall the end of days.”
She wanted to “forestall” the end of days!?
She wanted to do what she could to stop Jesus from coming!?
I don’t think you can do that.
I don’t think you can stop Jesus from coming – or even slow Him down.
And you have to wonder why a so-called Christian would even want to do that to begin with!
It helps to realize that NBC is NOT a theological organization. (You did know that didn’t you?) It’s a secular entertainment company. And when a secular organization starts thinking about the end of the world they tend to get worried. They tend to become afraid. Because – if Jesus is coming/ if He’s really coming – they could be in serious trouble. So the writers of that mini-series imposed on their actress – this “Sister Jo” - their fear of Christ’s 2nd Coming.
So there are some people who react to Jesus’ coming - with fear.
Then there are others who aren’t afraid.
They just don’t think it’s going to happen.
In Luke 18:8b Jesus said “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
ILLUS: Several years ago Charles Swindoll took a survey of people who’d graduated from theological seminaries and one of the questions he asked was: Do you think Jesus is coming again?
Only 3% believed Jesus was going to return.
ONLY 3% of seminary students believed Jesus was coming back!
You have to wonder what those seminaries were teaching.
John McArthur tells of the time he was part of a Protestant ministers convention in Evanston, IL
He was shocked to find that 90 % of those ministers had no expectation that Christ would ever return.
ILLUS: These guys seem like the theological version of the 4 year old boy who asked his mother "Mommy, when do I get to go to Heaven?"
And she responded, "Well, when you die or when Jesus comes back again."
The boy’s eyes got really big and he said, "Come back? You mean He was here before?"
(Celeste Gregg, California, Christianity.com 7/22/09)
It’s almost as if these theologians and preachers hadn’t realized He’d shown up the first time … and now they couldn’t believe He was coming the 2nd.
But there are theologians who reject the idea of a 2nd coming
There are preachers who don’t believe He’s coming back.
(PAUSE) But He is!
Jesus IS coming back!
Peter wrote “… 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.’
… But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” II Peter 3:3-4; 10
Peter is telling us the reason many so-called believers reject Christ’s coming is because they are following their own evil desires. They know the Bible says He’s coming – but they reject that possibility because it doesn’t fit their belief system. These kinds of “Christians” believe they can partake of the Bible the way they partake of a Smorgasbord – they put on their plate only the parts they really find appealing, and ignore the rest.