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Summary: An Expository Sermon on Luke 12:35-48 concerning being prepared for Jesus return. Message #61 from Luke series.

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Luke Series #61 “Ready Or Not - Here I Come”

April 7, 2002

Introduction: Welcome to New life in Christ. Each week I bring you a message from a verse-by-verse teaching we are currently doing in the Gospel of Luke. I teach verse-by-verse because I believe that we need to hear everything that God speaks to us from the Bible and going verse-by-verse keeps me from focusing on pet subjects while ignoring or downplaying other less familiar or less popular passages or topics of Scripture. Today we will be continuing in Chapter twelve of the book of Luke.

Read Luke 12:35-48

Opening prayer

It is a common and wise practice in our society to prepare diligently for the most important or significant events in our lives. For example, we prepare for our wedding day with careful planning and rehearsals. We also prepare for retirement (if we are wise) with careful investments and savings. We prepare for natural disasters with the appropriate responses. These preparations are all prudent and good but it is rather ironic that we can be so careful about being prepared for these important events and not be ready or prepared for the most significant and life impacting event in history. I am, of course, referring to the return of Jesus Christ.

An event that is sometimes referred to in many ways: The Second Coming, The Rapture, The Second Advent, or the Parousia (which means arrival or presence.) Technically these terms do not all apply to the same exact event but I wanted you to be aware of them because people often use all of them to refer to Jesus coming in one fashion or another.

There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, and Christ’s return is mentioned no less than 318 times in those chapters. Statistically, one verse in twenty-five mentions the Lord’s return.

Source: Page 59 of Luke Volume Two, Preaching the Word commentary by R. Kent Hughes.

In fact the very last recorded word of Jesus are “I am coming soon!” (Revelation 22:20) It’s clear that Jesus return is a major topic in the Bible and as such should be a major concern for Christians.

This passage refers to the return of Jesus and the need to be prepared for that event. Now some of you are very familiar with what the Bible teaches about the return of Jesus but others may know little or nothing at all so I want to take a couple of minutes and share a little of what the Bible says about the return of Jesus.

It should be noted that all true Christians agree that Jesus will physically return and rein in power, but Christians do differ as to the timing and sequence of events regarding his return. At New life in Christ we hold to and teach the pretribulational and premillennial viewpoints. Do not be too concerned if these terms are unfamiliar to you. They simply mean that we believe the Bible teaches the following sequence of events concerning the Lord’s return. First we believe that the church, that is all true Christians, will be raptured (caught up) to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. Read 1Thessalonians 4: 16,17.

Now all orthodox Christians believe that this will take place but they differ about when it will take place. We believe that it will take place before the tribulation - hence we are pretribulational. The term tribulation usually refers to the last seven years of time, as we know it, when God will pour out judgment upon the whole Earth for their sins. These seven years are described in the Book of Revelation as a time of trouble and tragedy like has never been seen before. During this time a world leader will arise who is known in the Bible as the Antichrist. He will lead many astray so much so that people actually worship him.

At the end of the seven years and tribulations Jesus will return with his church. This is sort of like a stage two of the second coming. The first stage being the rapture of Christians. Jesus will destroy the Antichrist and set up his kingdom on earth to rule for 1000 years. This epoch of time is referred to as a millennium. Now we teach a premillennial viewpoint which means that we believe that Jesus literally comes back before (pre) the 1000 year reign. Some people believe that Jesus does not come back before the thousand year reign and some people believe that the millennium teaching is only figurative.

Any teaching on end time events is known as eschatology. You have just received a very short course in eschatology. I it was more helpful than confusing. I wanted you who may be unfamiliar with the Bible teachings on this subject to have some understanding before we dealt with today’s passage which deals with being prepared for the return of Jesus.

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