Jesus Coming Again ~ 20201227 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
12/27 Jesus in His Own Words; Coming Again/Coming Back; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20201227_jesus-coming-again.mp3
We’ve been looking this Christmas season at Jesus in his own words; what he said about himself, about his coming.
We looked at why he came. Jesus said that he came for sinners (Mk.2:17). He came to seek and to save the lost (Lk.19:10). He came to give his life as a ransom for many (Mk.10:45). He came to lay down his life for his sheep (Jn.10:10-11). Jesus came because we had gone astray. He came because we were that bad; to pursue us and rescue us, to forgive our sins. He came to pay our price.
Jesus came. But Jesus claimed to have come differently from anyone else. He claimed to have come from above, to have been sent by his Father, who he claimed is the God we worship. He claimed to have existed from before creation, sharing his Father’s glory. Jesus claimed to be the I AM. Jesus who created all things humbled himself and became human in order to rescue us, to save us from our sins by taking our punishment on the cross.
Advent – Coming
Christmas is all about Jesus, his coming. Traditionally, this season is called Advent, from the Latin adventus which means coming. Jesus came. We celebrate his coming at advent. But Jesus also said that he is coming again; that he is coming back for us. Advent looks back to the coming of Jesus in the manger at Bethlehem. But Advent also looks forward with anticipation to the promise of his coming.
Jesus talked a lot about his coming. Today we will look at a few of the things Jesus said about his coming.
I Will Come Again and Take You to Myself; John 14, 17
At the last Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus told them that he was going away. Jesus said ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” (Jn.13:33, 36). At first, Peter didn’t understand. But he was beginning to realize that Jesus was talking about his death, so he said he was willing to follow Jesus anywhere, even to lay down his life for him.
The disciples were grieving because Jesus said he was going away. They didn’t want him to leave. He said:
You cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward. I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. Jesus promises that he will come again for us, to take us to be with him.
In fact, in John 17, Jesus’ prayer to his Father, he says:
Jesus is praying for the unity of his followers,
And he is praying not only for his original disciples, but he explicitly mentions us, you and me, today.
Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us to be with him forever. He will come again to take us to himself. We have his word on it.
This could be the word Paul has in mind when he writes to encourage the Thessalonians and correct their misunderstandings:
The Lord himself is coming back for us. He went to prepare a place for us. Dead or alive at his coming, we will be raised to meet him in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Jesus is coming again!
Matthew 24; Don’t be Alarmed; Don’t be Led Astray
In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted that the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed,(as it was in 70 AD). His disciples asked “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Mt.24:3).
He warned that false christs would come to lead many astray. There would be wars and rumors of wars. Wars between nations and kingdoms, famines and earthquakes. Jesus said:
He told his followers that they would be hated and persecuted, even executed. Did you know that this year around 3,000 of our brothers and sisters were killed because of their faith in Jesus? That’s at least 8 every day [OpenDoors WWL2020].
Jesus said many would fall away and betray one another. False prophets would lead many astray. Lawlessness will increase, and the love of many will grow cold.
According to the Joshua Project, there are 7,413 people groups unreached with the gospel; that’s 3.23 billion people, 41.6% of the world’s population. Friends, we have a lot of work left to do.
Jesus said the false christs and false prophets would perform great signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. He warned not to believe it if they claim to have found the Christ.
This teaching was no doubt the basis for Paul’s instructions to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 2:
Jesus is coming back for us. Don’t be shaken in mind. Don’t be alarmed. Don’t be deceived. It hasn’t happened yet. You haven’t missed it.
Stay Awake, Be Ready, Watch
Jesus encouraged us to be aware of the signs that indicate his coming is near, but he warned that no one but the Father knows the day or the hour (Mt.24:33-36).
Jesus uses the illustration of servants left in charge of their master’s household, and he gives us this encouragement:
In Matthew 25, Jesus uses the illustration of young women awaiting the bridegroom, some who were prepared, and some who were not.
Jesus compared it to a master leaving for a journey, and entrusting to his servants his property. They were expected to invest wisely and multiply their master’s property.
To those that invested and multiplied their master’s resources,
But the one who perceived the master to be hard and unjust, he said ‘you wicked and slothful servant!’
Stay awake! Be ready! Be faithful, be busy serving others. Invest wisely what he has entrusted to your care.
As You Did It to One of the Least of These My Brothers
Jesus says of his coming in Matthew 25:31
Love for the brothers is evidence of love for the Lord. The gospel reminds us that the righteous aren’t righteous because they do good; they do good because they have been made righteous through the finished work of Christ. The righteous are not even aware of their own good deeds, because they naturally flow out of a transformed heart. The works are evidence of an inward change. Come, you who are blessed by my Father. The kingdom was prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Seek his Kingdom and He will Serve You
In Luke 12, Jesus tells us not to be anxious or worried, but instead to seek the kingdom of God. Then he says:
And he gives us this startling encouragement.
Be ready, be watching, be waiting, be awake, be anticipating his coming. Be ready to serve. And when the Master comes, he turns the tables. He will give you a place at his table, and he will serve you. Because the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Mk.10:45). We are to be waiting, be alert, to anticipate his coming and be ready to serve, but it is ultimately he who serves us, not we who serve him.
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. This is our King! Our king who humbled himself and became obedient even to death, even death on a cross. Our King is preparing a place for us to be with him. He promised that he is coming back for us. This is our king. Our King is coming! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org