Summary: Today's sermon ends our series on what we believe as it looks at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. In this sermon we look at Jesus return, along with the Rapture.
What We Believe
The Second Coming of Christ
If there is a subject that has been historically near and dear to the hearts of believers it is the return of Jesus Christ. And without a doubt the return of Christ is going to be an exciting event! However, throughout the years there’s been a lot of debate surrounding it. There’s been false Christ’s, false prophecies, false teachings, and false dates, and they’re all wrong. I guess that’s why they are false.
Some people spend their entire lives trying to find out everything they can about the end times and the second coming of Christ. They’ve got charts and graphs. They can tell you who the two witnesses will be, who the Antichrist is, and where he lives, and what the menu’s going to be at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Just kidding, but I’m sure Angel Food Cake will be served).
I also enjoy reading and studying what the Scriptures say about the return of Christ, because there’s nothing in this world that gives hope to an exhausted heart like the return of Christ. There’s nothing that stirs the soul like knowing that one day we’ll be with Jesus!
So today, I’d like to stir up your anticipation at this most precious of promises, and to get you excited about the second coming.
There are a lot of places in the Bible that speaks about Jesus’s return, but I think Paul’s statement to the Thessalonian Church helps explain it the best. Paul is saying that he wants us to understand the importance of this event. Actually, he says he doesn’t want us to be ignorant about it, but I’m putting a positive spin to his admonition.
In this section Paul is responding to a misunderstanding that has caused a lot of grief to the church in Thessalonica. Paul had taught that Jesus was coming again to gather His people, that is, the church, in order to be with Him forever. It is a wonderful promise that has brought comfort to these Christians who were living in a world that was hostile towards them.
But after some time had past, and Jesus not returning as soon as they hoped He would, a few of them started to die. And so they mourned wondering what was going to happen to their loved ones who had died. Were they going to miss the Second Coming?
It’s clear that they misunderstood what Paul taught, that they should be ready for the Lord’s return at any time, and because of this misunderstanding they worried themselves sick. So you can imagine how Paul must have felt. He was heartbroken. Therefore, he wrote to them in order to bring comfort. So let’s take a moment and read what the Apostle Paul wrote concerning this most precious promise.
Here Paul launches out into one of the great fundamental truths of the Christian faith, the “Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”
When Jesus died on the cross, the vast majority of the Jews and the religious establishment thought they’d seen the last of Him, but those who’d witnessed His resurrection and ascension knew better.
They recalled Jesus’s teaching of His coming kingdom and it became absolutely clear to them that the next event in God’s calendar was Jesus’s Second Coming in great glory. You see, when Jesus ascended into heaven the angelic messengers 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.” (Acts 1:11 NIV)
There could be no doubt. It was a statement of fact still to be realized. It was this hope that sustained them through the many trials they faced. What I would like to do today is to then look at four things Paul says about this wondrous event.
1. The Return
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16a NKJV)
Jesus, in His resurrected body will descend from heaven, and it will be a physical, personal, dramatic, public, and unmistakable.
His first coming was in humility to accomplish for us what we could never hope to accomplish for ourselves, and that is our salvation, and the forgiveness of our sins. This He accomplished when he died upon the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. But His return will be full of glory, in might and in power, and everyone will not only hear about it, they will see it as well.
Now there is something that I need everyone to know and to understand, and that is, this world we live in is doomed. The scent of death is upon it. This world is committing suicide and nothing can save it. All the noble efforts of humanity have failed to usher in the paradise they promised.