Summary: Jesus makes the same promise that MacArthur made when he left the Philippines. One day He will return, what will that day be like?
I SHALL RETURN
Text: 2 Peter 3:3-10
1. Most of us remember the famous statement by General Douglas Macarthur when defeated in the Philippines, "I shall return"
2. In some ways people have made a parallel between Macarthur and Jesus Christ
a. Jesus came here and will return, so in that manner the parallel is accurate, but there is where it stops
b. Macarthur’s return was prompted by his failure to accomplish his mission the first time and need to return to complete it
c. Jesus was successful in accomplishing His task the first time (John 19:30) and will return as a reward or punishment for us on earth awaiting Him
3. Some would say that Jesus failed in His first attempt and that His second coming would be to establish the kingdom on earth that He was unable to set up the first time
4. With the creative and destructive power of the universe at His fingertips to have failed He would have to be an idiot and I am not able to call the God of the universe an idiot
5. His return will end the world and not begin a reign
6. Three things to look at regarding the return of Christ
a. Time before His return
b. Time during His return
c. Time after His return
7. When we see just how the Bible describes the return of Jesus we will see that the timing and resources for an earthly reign will be gone
TRANSITION: First though notice:
I. The time before His return
A. Some will mock
1. Where is your Lord’s return?
2. Things keep on ticking and life keeps on happening, since the beginning of time nothing has happened
3. If your Lord is coming, where is He?
4. The continued progression of the earth will cause some to doubt the Lord’s coming
B. Noah probably had this problem
1. He preached for 100 years of the earth’s destruction
a. Destruction by God had never taken place
b. Rain had never fallen, much less a catastrophic flood to destroy all of man
c. People probably stood with their hands out asking, "Where’s this water from the sky you warned about Noah?"
2. Psalm 119:90-91, "Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you established the earth, and it abides. 91 They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants"
a. All the elements that the mockers mock continue do so because of God’s control
b. The reason the moon follows the sun is God
c. The reason day follows night every day for a week is God
d. The progression from day to night to week to month to season to year to decade to century to millennium is because of God
3. Those who stand in judgment of God based on this progression do so to their own peril
a. They wish to see all these things end to prove them wrong
b. But God controls all of these things and keeps them going for the safety of those people
c. He delays His coming based on compassion for those who are lost to give them an opportunity to be saved
d. He does not want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance so He waits, but His waiting will end
TRANSITION: So let’s look at:
II. Time during His return
A. These events will have fire, trumpets and shouts
1. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first"
2. The day of the Lord will begin with the trumpet and shout of the voice of the archangel
a. Maybe as marching orders to the angels
b. Maybe as instructions to people
c. But definitely an unmistakable event and spectacle will unfold before us
B. Fire is reserved for the earth during this
1. 2 Peter 3:7, "But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men"
2. 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up"
a. On the day of the Lord’s return the earth will be burned up at the elemental level
b. Where will be the location for an earthly throne and 1000 year reign on earth?
c. How can Jesus accomplish establishing an earthly kingdom, which was supposedly His failure the first time, if there is no earth to reign?