Summary: The last of the X-files sermons, looks at the rapture.

Mark 13:36-37

Where did they go? One minute they were there and the next minute there they were, gone. It happened all over the world, billions of people just disappeared. From every country and every social group. Politicians, movie stars, televisions personalities, authors, journalist, housewives, businessmen even lawyers.

The world was rife with rumors and grief, the confusion of the missing people was multiplied by the disasters brought about cars without drivers, planes without pilots and ships without captains. There was no area on the globe that hadn’t felt the ramifications of the event.

What do you do when billions of people just disappear? I mean who you gonna call? It would obviously be a case for Scully and Mulder, who would presumably still be here.

As I worked on this message I realized something: We as Christians have lost the vision of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. When I first became a Christian I used to get up every day with the thought, “This could be it, perhaps this will be the day that Christ calls his church home” It’s been awhile since I’ve woken up with those thoughts, although sometimes I find myself wishing, “I hope he comes back soon”

Now we all believe that Christ is coming again or at least we say we do, but are we waiting expectantly for the return of Jesus Christ, I mean really expectantly.

I’m no expert on biblical prophesy, but I do believe that we need to look into the scriptures to see just exactly what the Bible says concerning the return of Jesus Christ.

The experts tells us, and we all know what an expert is right, anyone more then fifty miles away from home. The experts tell us that there are over 1800 references to Christ second coming in the Old Testament alone, and that for every one prophecy concerning the first coming of Christ that there are eight prophecies concerning his second coming. We are also told by the same experts that there are over 300 references about Christ return in the New Testament, or approximately one every 30 verses.

1) The Reality of The Second Coming Biblical scholars tell us that the book of Mark was the first Gospel account put into writing. And according to Papias, who was one of the early Christian writers and a man who had known some of the apostles personally, Mark had acted as a scribe for Peter. Now taking that into account if we look into the book of Mark we see Christ making three direct statements referring to his return.

The first reference is found in Mark 8:38 If a person is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of my Father with the holy angels.”

The second was two days later, after Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem Mark 13:1

As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these tremendous buildings! Look at the massive stones in the walls!”

Boy it wasn’t hard to tell these guy’s were right off the boat. Talk about a bunch of hicks, Gawking around and staring. You can almost hear them, “Golly look at them buildings, aint got nothing like that in Galilee” Can’t say that I blame them, I have been all over Europe, North America and Australia and I still rubber neck in big cities.

A dozen years ago I was in Washington D.C. for a day, one lousy day. And the guy I was traveling with knew a lady in the city and so he asked her if she would show us around. She said no problem but it would have to be on her lunch hour. 45 minutes, why bother right. But we took her up on it. In that time we drove by the capital buildings, the white house, and the Washington memorial, bought a poster at the Lincoln memorial, walked the length of the Vietnam memorial and took a quick trip through the Smithsonian Aeronautics Exhibit. And let me tell, people would never have mistaken the two of us for natives of D.C.

So for a few minute the apostles stood in awe as they looked at the massive temple building in front of them., and then Jesus told them in the next verse Mark 13:2

Jesus replied, “These magnificent buildings will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another.”

Now the disciples didn’t say anything right off but when Peter, Andrew, James and John were on the Mount of Olives they asked Jesus when this would take place. “You know Jesus we don’t want to pester you about this, but when you said the temple was going to be destroyed, did you mean like this afternoon?” And in reply Jesus gave them a three part answer. The first part is given in Mark 13:5-13 when Jesus spoke of the tribulation that the Apostles would personally go through. The second part is found in verses 14-23 and Jesus told them about the tribulation that Jerusalem would go through. And in 70 AD Jerusalem was totally destroyed by the Romans. One contemporary source claimed that a man could plow from one corner of Jerusalem to the other without hitting a rock.

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