Summary: Easter Message relating Christ’s promise to return again!
“I Shall Return”
March 11, 1942. Corregidor, in the Philippines. I’m sure most of the WWII veterans in the congregation today can tell you what happened that day.
The Japanese forces were invading the Philippines, and on a day that marked the beginning of a dark chapter for the American and Filipino forces, General Douglas MacArthur prepared to leave, uttering what was to become probably his most famous statement: “I shall return.”
When he made the promise to return, many thought he was crazy. But his determination to free the Philippines from Japanese occupation would not be drowned by criticism and doubt.
Roughly 2 ½ years later, Gen. MacArthur landed once again on Philippine soil with the words, “People of the Philippines, I have returned!”
But we are not here to celebrate MacArthur. We are here to celebrate Someone else, who said He would return.
We are not celebrating a mighty general, we are here to celebrate the Conquering King of Glory, who died and rose from the grave so you and I could have eternal life!
The Bible tells us that if Christ were not raised from the dead, we are of all men most to be pitied. But we do not need to be pitied!
My purpose today is to point you to the ultimate Victor, who defeated death and hell by rising from the grave, and who will return someday to free His people once and for all.
To do that, I want to look at 3 promises of God made possible by the resurrection of Christ.
I. The Promise of the Holy Spirit.
Please turn with me in your Bibles to John 14. This is on page _____ of the Bibles in the racks in front of you.
-“If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Couselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him or knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”-
Skip down to verse 25:
-“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”-
We are not in this alone, folks! We have the Holy Spirit with us every moment, indwelling us, guiding us, and comforting us.
When I tell people about the life they can have in Christ, I don’t give them some smokescreen about a trouble-free life in Jesus, because Jesus didn’t promise that. In fact, He promised trial and persecution. But He also promised a full and abundant life.
I tell them that their problems probably aren’t going to go away just because they accept Christ. But now they have help they never had before: the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit gives us the motivation and the POWER to overcome sin and live for Him. It is the power of God Himself, not our own. Left to ourselves, no one in here would choose godliness – rather, we would choose to continue to wallow in sin.
One of the key ways the Spirit helps us is in the area of prayer.
Please listen as I read Romans 8:26-27
-In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.-
That’s great, isn’t it?
But allow me to point out something about the Spirit by reading from John 16. You can turn there if you wish, but I will read it quickly.
-“But I tell you the truth: It is for your own good that I am going away. Unless I go away (meaning back to the Father after the resurrection), the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.-
Here is what I want to point out: because of the resurrection and ascension of Christ, we have the Holy Spirit.
II. The Promise of a Home in Heaven.
The next promise I want to look at is found back in John 14:1-3
Follow as I read these verses:
-“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with Me that you may be where I am.”-