Summary: This sermon is about the 2nd Coming of Jesus. What can we expect and will we be ready for it?
Jesus Is Coming
When our daughter Samantha was a little girl, she and I watched hours and hours of Sesame Street. One of the characters that shook fear in the heart of other puppet characters was Bad Bart. The mere mention of his name had them shaking. Bad Bart lived in the days of the Old Western movies where people gathered at the bar and tied up their horses outside. Cowboys carried their guns in their belts. Bad Bart had silver guns on both sides of holster ready to draw them and shoot you with his deadly accuracy.
A group of the puppets were inside the bar laughing and joking, until another puppet came to the double swinging doors and shouted, “Bad Bart is coming in on the noon train and when he gets here, he says he is going to give somebody what they deserve.” Everybody gets scared. At noon, you hear the train whistle and everyone gets nervous.
The music background changes and Bad Bart comes to the saloon. Some people are hiding under tables, others hiding behind the bar. Bad Bart looks at those who are standing, and announces, “I am looking to give somebody what they deserve. and he calls out one fellow, “You, come over here.”
The fellow comes over shaking in his boots. Bad Bart says, “Aren’t you the fellow that was in here two weeks ago, when I tripped, hit your table and spilled your drink, and some of it got on my favorite shirt.” The muppett, shaking in fear, says, “Yesss”.
Bad Bart says, “Partner, I’m going to give you what you deserve.” Bad Bart reaches down toward his gun and into his pocket and pulls out a coin and says. “Here, this ought to be enough to pay for your drink that I spilled. I’m sorry it took me so long to give it to you. I told you I was going to give somebody what they deserved.” With those words he left the saloon.
My friends I want you to know, that there is somebody that’s bigger and badder than Bad Bart. He is coming back to this planet’ and when he gets here, he intends to give everyone what they deserve. What is that you think you will deserve when Jesus returns?
Isn’t it strange that for hundreds of years people looked forward to the birth of Jesus coming into the world, and yet when it happened less than 15 people were there to witness the event. There was Mary, Joseph, some shepherds and a few wise men showed up some time later with some gifts.
But for most of the world, Jesus’ first coming was a non-event, and people went on about their business as though nothing significant had happened. Jesus wasn’t in the newspaper the next day, nobody sought to interview his parents, and even the innkeeper was probably only interested in knowing whether or not they would be checking out or paying for another night.
Sure that night the shepherds went out into the streets and told people what the angels had said about the child being born. But if those people had been like us, they would have wanted to know, what did the angels look like? How many were there? How big were they? Did they wear clothes? Very few of them would have taken off to look for a couple who had a baby born in a barn. You could see a baby any day, but to see some angels, that was worth going to see.
When Jesus grew up and was at the height of his ministry in terms of popularity, preaching and doing miracles, he kept telling his disciples that he would be killed and would be raised from the dead after three days. This happened exactly as Jesus told them it would. The other thing Jesus told his disciples that was going to happen was one day he was going to come back, and the whole world would see him, and he was coming to judge the nations. The first time Jesus came, he came as a babe in a manger to die for our sins. The second time Jesus comes, he comes as a warrior and a judge to deal with us for our sin.
Now when Jesus told the disciples he would be rising in three days, they were totally unprepared for it to happen. They genuinely did not believe it was going to happen. After the resurrection, when the women came and told them, we have seen Jesus for ourselves, they thought the women were out of their minds. It was not until Jesus showed up to them inside a locked room where they were hiding’ that they finally believed. Even then he had to show them his hands and his side.