Summary: Waiting for Jesus
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. NRSV
He’ll be waiting
Introduction: We learn here that this John the Apostle, son of Zebedee, brother of James, called a “Son of Thunder.” Writing for the purpose to prove conclusively that Jesus is the Son of God and that all who believe in him will have eternal life.
Born during the 1880’s John Todd was 6 when his parents died. His aunt offered him a home, and when her servant Caesar went to get him the conversation went like this:
John: Will I like living there? Caesar: You’ll be in good hands.
John: Will she love me? Caesar: Yes, she’s got a big heart.
John: Will I have my own room and a puppy? Caesar: Everything’s all set.
John: Will she go to bed before I arrive? Caesar: No, she’ll be waiting for you.
Sure enough, as they were on there way, he saw a candle in the window and his aunt standing in the doorway. She kissed him and welcomed him. Todd eventually become a minister. His aunt was a true mother. So when her health failed she wrote to him about her impending death, wondering what would become of her. Todd wrote back saying, “ my Dear Aunt: Years ago I left a house of death not knowing where I was going, whether anyone cared, or if that was the end of me. The ride was long but your servant encouraged me. Finally I arrived to your warm embrace and a new home. I was welcomed: I felt safe. You did all this for me, now it’s your turn to go. I’m writing to let you know someone will be waiting up for you. Your room ready, the light on, the door open, and they’re expecting you. I know, because once, long age, I saw God standing in your doorway.” Good news: you don’t need to fear death because Jesus went ahead and He’ll be waiting for you.
· John 12:26 If any man serve me. Faith in Jesus involves a personal commitment to follow Him, keeping His teaching and be where He is. Following Jesus includes self-denial and taking up one’s cross
· John 14:3 I will come again. (1) As surely as Christ went to heaven, so He will return from his Father presence and take His followers to be with Him in heaven, to the place prepared for them. This was the hope of NT Christians, and is the hope of all believers today. The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s return is that believers may be with Him forever. (2) The words “receive you unto myself” refers to the Rapture, when all living believers “shall be caught up… the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thes 4:17). (3) Christ’s coming for His faithful will enable them to escape the future hour of trial that will come upon the world. (4) This glorious and eternal reunion is a comforting doctrine for all followers of Jesus who desire to forever “be with Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thes 4:17-18).
I. Christ Promises to Come Back
a. “And, behold I come quickly…” (Rev 22:12). This promise also occurs in Revelation 22:7, 20.
b. During his earthly life Christ explicitly promised His disciples He would come back for them. The verb in John 14:3 is exactly the same as in Revelation 22:7, 12, and 20. He did not say “I shall come,” but I am coming at any time and in more ways than one. The Lord never revealed exactly when He would return.
c. Nevertheless, the two angles who saw the Lord ascend into heaven in His resurrection body used the verb in the future indicative, He shall come (Acts 1:11). The idea indicated by, I am coming, of Revelation 22:7, 12, and 20 is that the Lord after His ascension will come in different ways and for different reasons, until His final coming. This is indicated in Acts 1:11, predicted by the two angels, and finalized when he will come to reign with His saints forever on earth and in heaven (Rev 20:4-6; 21:1-7, 9-21).
d. According to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Jesus will first come back to take the resurrected dead and transformed living believers to be with Him.
e. Next, He will come to smite the nations assembled against Him in order to prepare the way for His millennial reign on earth (Rev. 19:11-20:6).
f. Jesus will make His final appearance referred to in Revelation 22 when He returns for the Last Judgment (Matt. 25:31-46).