Summary: The Bible tells of a man kept in suspense all his life -- waiting for the moment Jesus would come. Since we're waiting like he did, there's a lot of lessons we can learn from him; why God chose him, how he waited daily, and what happened when he saw Jesus
A. HUMOR: SUSPENSE JOKE
1. A man came to the border of a country on his bike. He had three large sacks in the basket. The border guard asked him, "What's in the sacks?" "Sand." The guard searched through the sand and couldn't find anything.
2. A week later, the same thing happened. The border guard asks, "What do you have?" "Sand." The guard searched the sacks and couldn't find the contraband.
3. This sequence repeated for three years. Then one day, the guy stopped showing up. The border guard met him in a restaurant.
4. "Hey, buddy," the official said. "I know you were smuggling something. It's driving me crazy. I've never been able to figure it out. Just between you and me, what were you smuggling?"
5. "Bikes!" the guy said.
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
1. I've heard that the Russian people spend 37 billion hours waiting in lines each year for their necessities! They must be a very patient people.
2. In today's text, we read about a man who’d been kept in suspense all his life -- waiting for the moment Jesus would come. Since we're waiting like he did, there's a lot of lessons we can learn from him.
3. The title of this message is, "Rapture Suspense."
I. SIMEON’S EXPECTATION
A. OTHER’S EXPECTATIONS OF THE MESSIAH
1. Eve looked for the Christ.
Gen. 3:15 "her (the woman's) seed shall bruise your (the serpent's) head."
Gen. 4:1 "I have gotten a man from the Lord." (Cain)
2. Abraham looked for Christ (Mt. Moriah)
Gen. 22:8 "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb."
3. Jacob looked for Christ.
Gen. 49:10 "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet."
4. Moses looked for Christ.
Deut. 18:18 "I will raise them up a prophet... like unto thee."
5. Others of the prophets saw Christ’s glory and spoke of Him -- Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. They looked for the Messiah, straining their eyes through the dim mists of the future.
6. They perceived ever more clearly the purposes and nearness of the Christ.
B. SIMEON’S ANTICIPATION
He believed the Messiah would come in his day.
1. Date of Messiah's Death given as 28 A.D.
Daniel 9:25-26a = 457 B.C.; 7 weeks = 49 years;
62 weeks = 434 years. Total = 483 years.
2. Messiah would be Born. Isaiah 7:14, 9:6.
3. Messiah would be the divine Son of God –Ps. 2:7
4. The Messiah would suffer for sins -- Isaiah 53.
5. The Lord would suddenly come to His Temple -- Malachi 3:1B.
C. DO WE HAVE ANY LESS REASON TO ANTICIPATE THE LORD’S SECOND COMING?
**Do we have any less reason to believe the Lord could come in our lifetimes?
1. Israel back in her own country and Jerusalem again in Jewish hands -- Luke 21:24.
2. Rise of Russia, China, and hostile Arab neighbors.
3. Rise of the European Union -- the Revived Roman Empire -- Daniel 2.
4. The Great Missions Movement of the last 150 years -- a fulfillment of Mt. 24:14, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all nations..."
a. The last few people-groups are being penetrated.
b. When that happens, I believe the Rapture will happen, because 2 Peter 3:9 will be fulfilled; “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
5. Nearness of the Rebuilding of the Jewish Temple.
II. SIMEON: READY TO MEET JESUS
A. WHY WAS SIMEON CHOSEN?
1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if YOU knew that you wouldn't have to die, but would live until the Rapture? You'd see it!
2. That's what God told SIMEON -- you'll live to see the Messiah! Why?
B. SIMEON WAS READY TO MEET THE LORD!