Summary: Last in this series on the life of Jesus. Sorry, no date-setting, or even a strong position on pre,post, mid, stuff.
The Life of Christ
Part 5 - He’s Coming Back!
April 18, 2005
Today we wrap up our series about the life of Christ. So far we’ve looked at the fact that Jesus lived, and that he lived to glorify God and bring people into his kingdom.
We’ve also looked at his teaching, and how he taught on a lot of different subjects using lots of different teaching methods, so he could communicate the truth to people in ways they could understand.
The point of those first two messages was to find ways we can model Jesus in how he lived and communicated.
Then we looked at Jesus’ death - what it accomplished and why he did it. On Easter, we discussed his resurrection (big surprise, huh?), and today we’re looking at the fact that he’s coming back someday.
"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
Jesus will return someday - physically, with glory, through the sky.
It didn’t end at Calvary, and it didn’t even end at Easter. Folks, he’s coming again!
And today I want us to look at three questions that people generally have when studying this very important topic: when will he return, why will he return, and how should I prepare for his return?
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: There are people who spend their lives trying to figure out all there is to know about the coming of Christ. I’m not one of them.
These people have charts, graphs, they’ve practically memorized all the passages of Scripture involved, and they’ll tell you that they’ve got it figured out. And plenty of them are willing to sell you their information, for the right price. I’m not one of them, either.
In fact, I’ll be flat-out honest with you here. I don’t have it all figured out. I can’t tell you what all’s going to happen when he returns.
But the bottom-line fact of the matter is that the Bible says he will return. And while I don’t know all there might be to know about it, I also don’t want to be completely ignorant about it, either. And I don’t want you to be.
My intention today isn’t so much to give information as it is to try and build some anticipation. I hope you’ll leave here today excited about the fact that Jesus is coming back someday. I know I am.
So let’s look at these three questions. First...
When will He return?
Answer: We don’t know.
"You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
From the time of the early church until now, there has been a tremendous amount of speculation about when Jesus will return.
Will he return on such and such a date? Let me tell you what I think. If someone comes to you with the date they think Jesus is returning, it’s almost guaranteed to be wrong! We don’t know the date. And if I’m reading Jesus correctly here, it’s really none of our business.
Some ask if it will it be before the Great Tribulation, in which the believers in Jesus will be persecuted like never before? Will it be after that? Will it be during that?
Folks, men and women of God have been debating that question for centuries, and they will continue to debate it until Jesus actually returns.
We simply don’t know. And I think we need to be careful about living in theological arrogance about one certain position about that or another.
I’m certainly not against someone having a strong belief one way or another about this. My caution is to make sure you understand that you might be wrong (gasp!) and the other guy may be right (gasp!). Or you might both be wrong (gasp gasp!!).
Are you strong enough for that?
But one thing we need to stress, and that is the fact that when he comes, there will be no mistaking it or missing it.
"At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory."
Jesus isn’t going to sneak back to earth. The whole world’s gonna see it.
When Jesus returns, everyone will know about it. Why is this important? Because even as I speak there are men out there claiming to be Jesus, returning from the Father.
But listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:26-27 -