Summary: America has been attacked. Many Americans are filled with fear and uncertainty. How do we answer their questions, and calm their fears?
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
When Westinghouse first proposed to stop a huge railroad train with air brakes he was not taken seriously. People thought he was crazy and they dismissed his claim. They said it never would happen. Yet it did! When a man by the name of Edwards first proposed that disease could be prevented through vaccination, most people were skeptical. They said it
would never happen. But it did and the smallpox scourge was eliminated.When Alexander Graham Bell suggested that communication over great distances could occur by means of a telephone, people said it would never happen! When Robert Goddard began his pioneer work with rockets he said that man would someday land on the moon. Nobody believed him.
Many things from air travel to heart transplants have been dismissed by a skeptical public. Yet these things have all come to pass. Similarly, the public is quick to dismiss the promise of our Lord to someday bodily return to this earth.
Yet God has made it very clear in His Word that Christ will visibly return. It is going to happen; you can count on it. At the ascension of our Lord, the disciples were told by the accompanying angels that “THIS SAME JESUS, WHO HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM YOU
UP INTO HEAVEN, WILL COME BACK IN THE SAME WAY YOU HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN” (Acts 1:11). In Mark 14:62 Jesus said that someday He would “BE COMING BACK IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Matthew 24:27 declares that “AS LIGHTNING THAT COMES FROM THE EAST IS VISIBLE EVEN IN THE WEST, SO WILL BE THE COMING OF CHRIST.” Many today refuse to believe these incredible claims.
Scripture makes it very clear that the God of this universe is in control of human history.He will have the final say in things and life as we now know it will someday end but it will end according to His divine plan and not some evil terrorist’s diabolical scheme. Life on this earth will not end, as many fear with a nuclear accident. Neither will civilization be wiped out by some infectious and deadly disease. Life as we now know it on earth is not going to continue on forever. God’s Word makes that very clear. There is coming a day when God will intervene.He has promised to create a new heaven and earth. He will eradicate all sin, sorrow, suffering and sickness. He will make all things right. He has promised to do it through the return of Christ. This is referred to as the Second Coming.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN
Scripture makes it very clear that in spite of the evil that abounds, God is sovereign. He is in charge; He is in complete control of things. 1 Chronicles 29:12 declares “YOU ARE THE RULER OF ALL THINGS. IN YOUR HANDS ARE STRENGTH AND POWER…” Sovereignty means God is Lord, Master, Ruler and King. Everyone answers to Him. He answers to no one. He bows before no one. Everything depends upon Him; He depends upon no one. He has no needs, no limitations and no fears. He has everything under control. Nothing catches Him by surprise.”
In spite of the attack on America and the accompanying fear and uncertainty, God is still in control. He is in charge; He is sovereign. Nothing, be it an individual, a country or a massive network of terrorists can thwart or circumvent God’s plan.What God has planned in eternity will come to pass in its appointed time. In Isaiah 46:10 God says, “I MAKE KNOWN THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, FROM ANCIENT TIME, WHAT IS STILL TO COME… MY PURPOSE WILL STAND, AND I WILL DO ALL THAT I PLEASE.” God’s plan will come to pass. His plan is for Christ to return to this earth to usher in God’s Kingdom in all of its power and fullness. God is in control; He is sovereign; You can trust Him. What a source of comfort and peace in these troubled times.
Our text for this morning declares that someday “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. 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. THEREFORE, ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER WITH THESE WORDS.” God has a plan for His people and His creation. He has promised, through the return of Christ, to deal with the sin, evil and pollution that disrupts life here on earth. 2 Peter 3:13 says “….IN KEEPING WITH GOD’S PROMISE WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH, WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS.” There is coming a day when there will be no more sin, sorrow, sickness, or suffering.