Summary: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). The Sleepers (vs 13-15).

(2). The Sorrowful (vs 13 & 14).

(3). The Survivors (vs 15-18).



• Two brothers were sitting around in the kitchen;

• The older brother said to the younger.

• “I’ll give you a pound if you let me break three of these on your head,”

• “Promise?” asked the younger. “I promise!” replied the older brother.

• Then enthusiastically, the older boy broke two eggs over his brother’s head.

• Standing stiff for fear the gooey mess would get all over him, the little boy asked,

• “When is the third egg coming?”

• “It’s not,” replied the brother. “That would cost me a pound!”

• TRANSITION: I guess humans we have all made promises and failed to keep them;

• Be encouraged this morning that God has never ever broken a promise!

• He has never had to use the words; “Ah well, promises are meant to be broken!”

• God keeps his word!

• He will not tell us one thing and do another!

• God traffics in truth! What he says he will do!

• If you believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God,

• Then the second coming of Jesus is a fact in future history;

• It is not a question of ‘WILL HE’ come again but ‘WHEN WILL HE’ come again!


Biblical promises/prophecy:

• Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent,

• i.e. In 72 days we will be celebrating the fact that God kept his promise & sent Jesus!

• (That’s right 72 days till Christmas Day!)

• So just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent

• So both Testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ.

• In fact for every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent,

• There are 8 which look forward to His second!


• One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references;

• To Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament,

• Where 17 books give it prominence.

• In the 260 chapters of the New Testament,

• There are 318 references to the second advent of Christ;

• That means an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses.

• And 23 out of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event.

• That Jesus Christ is coming a second time to planet earth.

• So if we take this book seriously (and I hope we do):

• Then we can be confident, certain that the Lord is coming again!


• In fact even the very last words of the Bible say:

• “He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”.

These verses in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 are often called;

• The great hope of the Christian.

• They are a great encouragement especially when we are facing difficult times.

These verses were originally written as a response to a misunderstanding:


• A woman had volunteered to work for a few months serving God in Kenya;

• On her final visit to a remote township she was taken to a medical clinic.

• As the Maasai women there began to sing;

• She found herself deeply moved by their beautiful harmonies.

• She wanted always to remember this moment;

• And try to share it with friends when she returned home to the UK.

• With tears flowing down her cheeks;

• She turned to her friend and asked;

• “Can you please translate he words of the song they are singing?”

• Her friend looked at her and with a smile said:

• “They are singing, ‘if you boil the water, you won’t get dysentery’”


• Sometimes misunderstandings can be humours;

• Sometimes a simple misunderstanding can cause great anxiety.

• Sometimes misunderstandings can cause confusion and trouble:

• A theological misunderstanding had caused;

• Confusion and grief to these new Christians at Thessalonica.

• Paul the apostle had personally taught this Church;

• But a few months after he had left the city of Thessalonica,

• To go to Athens and then go on to Corinth in the south of Greece.

• It was then, shortly after the apostle Paul’s departure;

• That a misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Second Coming arose among the Church.

The cause of the sadness was that a number of Christians in the Church had died;

• And this caused a problem for them.

• They did not know if this meant that those who had died;

• Would miss out on the celebrations when Christ returned.


• Remember before they came to faith in Christ;

• These believers at Thessalonica had been pagans.

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