Summary: Jesus says in effect, “You can be certain I’ll return but you can’t predict when I’ll return.
This is the first sermon in a series of messages on Jesus’ vision of the last days. And it’s just in time for school to kick off both here and in Northwest ISD. What comes to mind when you think of the End of Time? Judgment, the Four Horsemen, the Antichrist, or perhaps even 666? People have an emotional reaction to the Bible’s teaching on the end times. Some say it’s scary while others believe it’s confusing. Whatever you might think, many of us would have to agree that there’s little understanding of Jesus’ vision of the end days.
There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, and Christ’s return is mentioned no less than 318 times. Statistically, one verse in twenty-five mentions Christ’s return. There’s only three books in all of the New Testament that do no refer to His return. So even a cursory reading of the New Testament highlights the importance of Jesus’ return.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I want you to feel the wonder and awe of the Bible’s teaching of Christ’s return. I want this truth to impact your Monday commute to work. I want the impact of Christ’s return to stir you with new affections for Christ. As a Christian believer, is the end of time really that important to my life? Does it really make a difference to how I live? I want to show you why Jesus’ return is important and His vision of the end times isn’t as confusing as many people make it.
Today, I want to give you at least two reasons why Jesus’ Return is Significant.
Today, we read a passage with one most telling and frankly surprising of metaphors Jesus uses to describe His return – a thief breaking into your home in the middle of the night. It’s page 1108 in the black pew Bible in front of you.
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:38-48)
The Bible is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Some think the Bible is a collection of random stories with little sense of cohesion. Instead, the Bible tells a story that makes sense of the smaller stories of each of our individual lives. The Bible is a single story. Here’s the Bible’s big story in just a few sentences… God made the world. The world itself was devastated because we turned away from Him. God reentered the world to rescue us from sin and death. And one day, God will remake the world – he’ll completely restore the world at the end.
The Bible tells one story. It begins with an innocent garden and it ends in a glorious garden city. And what you’ll discover is that we are living between the first and second coming of Jesus. We are living between God’s reentry where He rescued us from sin and death and His complete restoration of the world in the coming days.