Summary: A deductive exposition of the text calling seekers to receive Christ and believers to grow in grace in order to meet him face to face without any shame when he returns.
Introduction: Does anyone here like to wait?
I know many of us struggle with procrastination at times, but do you really enjoy waiting? How many people here look for the longest slowest line when making a purchase at the store? Don’t we prefer to grumble and complain when the line we left for a shorter line moves ahead faster?
Americans hate to wait. We hate it when some one slows us down. I think we may have coined the sarcastic question: “What are you waiting for? Christmas?”
That raises a good question to consider. “What are you waiting for?” Some people are waiting for a better paying job. Some are waiting for retirement. Some of you are counting the days until you go to Florida for the winter.
Some parents are waiting for their child to be born. Some are looking forward to seeing their kids grow up and leave home. Some of us are waiting for them to come home for a while!
Some people are sitting at home waiting to recover from an illness. Others are sick and tired of living and are just waiting to die.
… the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Thesis: I’m not waiting for Christmas! As much as I enjoy celebrating Jesus’ birth, I’m not waiting for it. I’m waiting for JESUS to appear again.
Key Question: What makes Jesus’ return worth waiting for?
A. I have HOPE because I know Jesus is coming again.
I’m waiting for Jesus to come again so I have hope. I am well aware of all the reasons people put forward to crush our hopes. Terrorists may strike again at any moment. Pollution is poisoning the environment. The economy is down and unemployment is up. Anthrax may be in our mailboxes. And we could be on the verge of World War 3.
But looking for Jesus’ return gives a completely different perspective. The problems and trials of this world are temporary. They will not last forever. Wars and rumors of wars will cease when the Prince of Peace comes again. This polluted environment will be replaced with a new creation. On top of all that, God is working in our world right now to counteract the ravages of sin.
I’m waiting for Jesus to appear again, so I can have a positive outlook on the future. It gives me hope.
B. I know His next appearance will be just as PHYSICAL as the first one.
Over 2000 years ago, God stepped into history as a baby born in a stable. He was just as human as you or me. Jesus experienced all of life like us – in a body that finally bled and died on the Cross. The physical birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus “is the grace of God [that] has appeared to all men.”