Summary: EMBRACING THE SACRED WORLD OF THE INVISIBLE GOD ANTICIPATES THE RETURN OF CHRIST.
Something is Out There:
Rumors of the Invisible World of the Sacred God
3/29 Looking for the Day of The Living Dead
Published in 1995 -- 2007, ’Left Behind’ is a series of 16 best-selling novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, dealing with Christian dispensationalist End Times: pretribulation, premillennial, Christian eschatological viewpoint of the end of the world.
As a result many people became fascinated with the return of Christ. What would it be like, when would it happen, were the books and movies an accurate portrayal of the events? While much of the fervor has settled down, the questions remain. In this invisible world of the sacred God, Is there a second coming? And if there is how should we late to it?
This morning I want us to look at the day of the living dead, the day when the dead in Christ rise, the day of the Forgiver’s return. What do we know for certain and how should we then live.
T.S. This morning we are going to focus on this truth. . .
EMBRACING THE SACRED WORLD OF THE INVISIBLE GOD ANTICIPATES THE RETURN OF CHRIST.
I. Anticipate His return with confident joy
1 Thess 4:13-18
13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.
A. The return of the Lord is a sure truth.
The Apostle Paul ties trusting in a second coming to the same confidence that we have when it comes to believing that Jesus was raised from the dead.
14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
1. Because it is like how he was raised we believe it is physical, not just spiritual event.
2. Because it has a specific point in time fulfillment we believe his second return will have a specific point in time fulfillment.
Appl: If we believe he was raised form the dead, then we should also be assured that he will come again.
B. The return of the Lord is an encouraging truth
18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.
It’s interesting that return of Jesus was to be a source of encouragement for the believers.
One of my struggles with the left behind series and other end time’s literature is that they are often used as scare tactics.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s church held evangelistic events where they showed one of the moves for the Thief in the Night Series.
The entire series includes:
A Thief in the Night (1972)
A Distant Thunder (1977)
Image of the Beast (1980)
The Prodigal Planet (1983)
Their strategy was this. Let’s invite our pagan friends our unchruched neighbors to see this movie. Scare them really good and about the pending end times and get them to accept Jesus. I was invited to just such and event. I was actually a little offended. First I felt set up, manipulated and appalled. I was already a follower of Jesus. Okay, I still had all the baggage the forgiver was working on but I was a believer.
Appl: The return of the Lord was to be more of a joyous encouragement to us, than a fear tactic in persuading others to come to Christ. Jesus is coming back, but it was not to be help over people’s heads in fear as a reason to begin a relationship with him. Jesus is going to return, and that is truth to be embraced with joy, not truth to be used a big hammer to coerce others to Christ.
ABC news recently reported that a new study reported that people who were never married tend not to live as long as those who were married. That is a truth. But imagine using it as the only rational for a person to get married. Imagine pointing your finger at you single friends and saying, you better get married or you will die early.