Summary: In II Thess. 1, Paul writes about the three things that will take place when He returns.
OPEN: Back in the 1800’s R.A. Torrey was preaching on the 2nd coming of Christ before a crowd of nearly 3000. As he finished his sermon, Dr. Torrey felt carried away by his subject and climaxed saying:
“It may be that before we arise in the morning…
or that before we sleep tonight… or it may be that before we have finished our luncheon today … or, indeed it may be that before I finish this sermon - we shall hear the sound of the trump & the voice of the archangel announcing He is here!
At that moment there was a crash of thunder and a blinding flash of lightening from the sky outside filled the auditorium with white light.
Emotionally prepared for the 2nd coming of Jesus, and apparently believing that Jesus had come, the audience panicked. The crowd, stumbled from their seats and rushed to the doors.
All except Dwight L. Moody’s sister who sat in front. She just threw back her head and laughed. A little later she told Mr. Torrey, “I thought the Lord had come.” That was what everybody else had thought. But their response had been one of terror rather than joy.
APPLY: How do we respond to the idea that Jesus will come - Maybe today? Maybe while we eat lunch? Or maybe while I’m preaching this sermon?
How would you respond?
* "Oh no, not now…"
* "I’m not ready…"
* "Why didn’t I accept Jesus when I had a chance?"
* "It’s about time"
* "I’ve been looking for this day, I can hardly wait."
Personally, I’ve always believed that Jesus would come before I’m 50 years old... which gives Him about 2 years.
Paul is writing to the Thessalonians in this letter because they need to hear that Jesus is coming again.
They need the encouragement that this message can bring
AND Paul writes, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus WILL come, AND WHEN He comes, 3 things are going to happen:
I. When Jesus comes, He’ll be coming to receive His reward (vs. 10)
ILLUS: Several years ago Johnny Carson had Billy Graham as a guest on his show. At one point there was a lull in the conversation and Johnny said, "You know what Billy, I bet if Jesus ever came back to earth, I bet we’d do him in again!"
Billy Graham leaned forward in his seat, and said, "In the Bible we read that Jesus predicted that He would return to earth again. But the 1st time He came in love, the next time, He’ll come in power-no one will DO Him in!"
Philippians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When Jesus returns it won’t be in form of a mortal man but rather in the form of an immortal God
AND when He comes it will be an atmosphere of wonder and awe.
AND every knee shall bow and every tongue WILL confess that Jesus Christ is LORD
II. And When Jesus comes again, NOT only will He receive His glory BUT He will Retrieve His people
Look again at vss. 6-7 = When Jesus comes, He’s coming to "relieve those who are troubled"
He’s going to take them out of this world of trouble and toil … and take them away to His Father’s mansion.
John 14:1-2 (Jesus) "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 WHEN HE COMES BACK - it will be to take us to that place.
One of the most beautiful pictures in all of scripture is that of the Church, the Bride of Christ.
* In the Gospels Jesus tells parables of His being the groom - eagerly looking forward to coming back for bride
* In Revelation John describes Jesus as a groom
dressed in white coming in power… coming for His bride
ILLUSTRATION: AND SO, when I read this passage out of 2Thessalonians, it reminded me of an old movie. The Hero had fallen in love with a beautiful girl in a sweat shop and he said to her "come, let me take you away from all of this"