Proper Attitudes Toward Our Lord’s Return
Proper Attitudes Toward Our Lord’s Return
Text: Heb.9:26-28 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him the second time, shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation."
Intro: I am so glad, as a boy coming up in church, that I was privileged to hear preachers who preach the return of Christ to this world for His own.
I am looking for Jesus to come. I believe in the bodily, imminent, personal, visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth. The angels were right when they said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven"(Acts 1:11).
Jesus said in Jn. 14:2-3, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."
This doctrine has become a vital part of my ministry. Any church that is going to be a lighthouse for the Lord Jesus Christ must grasp this wonderful truth of the imminent return of our Savior for His own. As we serve the Lord here together, it is only for a while. All the time we should be looking for Christ to come in the clouds of glory. It should be a vital part of our personal lives and our church lives. He is going to come again!
When Jesus comes, he will catch some church members unprepared and unaware. If I did not remind you of the coming of the Son of God, I would be a traitor to the gospel and the Word of God. Are you living every day expecting Jesus to come at any moment? At any time he could come on the clouds of glory and receive the saints up into Heaven to be with Him in the air. What are we to do in view of the coming of the Lord? The Bible tells us several things we are to do.
- PREACH HIS COMING
In Titus 2 verse 13-15 we are told to look constantly for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Then down in verse 15 he says, "These things speak."
Titus was written to a young preacher. Paul the aged minister of the gospel, writes to one of his ministerial students. He tells the young preacher to always look for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Then he says in verse 15, "Speak ye." It is a command from God to preach on the second coming of the Lord Jesus.
We also today are commanded to preach the coming of Jesus. You would be surprised how many people in American who are born again, God fearing, Christ loving people, who know about the virgin birth, the new birth, the story of Bethlehem and the manger, and other things in the Bible, but know little or nothing about the truth of the return of Christ in the air. Why? The message is not coming forth from the pulpits of America as it should. Many teachers and preachers have taken certain Bible truths and have either neglected them or perverted them.
Two preachers were talking. One believed that Jesus would return and the other one did not. One preacher said to another, "The difference in you and me is that I just don’t preach on the coming of Christ and you do."
The other preacher replied quickly saying, " No sir. That isn’t the difference in you and me. The difference is that I am doing what God has told me to do and you are not.
God says to preachers, "These things speak." One who does not point to Christ’s coming is living in disobedience to Almighty God.
- PREACH HIS COMING
- LOOK FOR HIS COMING
Heb. 9:28 says, "Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." To them that what? To them that "look." Look actually means to gaze or stare. We are to constantly be on the look for Jesus to come back. We are to look constantly, expectantly, lovingly, wishfully toward the skies. Look behind every cloud to see if Jesus is behind the cloud that you see. Look for Him!
Illustration: There was a preacher of years gone by called Bishop Steed. Before he went to bed every evening, he went to his bedroom window, lifted up the shade, raised the window, and looked up to see if Jesus was coming. The first thing he did in the morning was rise up to go to the window, lift the shade, raise the window, and look out to see if Jesus was coming that morning. That, no doubt, is loving the appearing of Christ.
If you want you life to be clean, look for Him..
If you want to give up some sin, look for Him.
If you want to go places that will honor Jesus, look for Him.
Do you want to watch what you read? Look for Him.
Do you want to be careful about you habits? Look for Him.
If you look for Christ to come, you will do what the Bible says.
Gaze and fix your eyes upon the sky. He may not come today, but He might come tomorrow.
Let’s keep our eyes heavenward. Look, and then look some more for Him.
PREACH HIS COMING
LOOK FOR HIS COMING
III. PRAY FOR HIS COMING
Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father which are in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come."
Have you noticed how excited people get when a presidential election is about to take place? Each party has their conventions. Side taking forms and the nominations are about to be finalized. There is such overwhelming excitement at those televised conventions! They shout, scream and holler. But if many of those same people came to church and someone gave a little grunt of an "amen" they would say that he was nothing more than a fanatic. They would think there was a screw loose in his brain. They would say he shouldn’t act like that in the church house.
We ought to be able to get more stirred about Christ and his coming kingdom that people can get over who is going to sit in the Oval Office for the next four years.
If we manifested more expectancy of the Lord’s coming, then folks will believe what we preach and believe what we say.
Our country is dying for Christians who will constantly feel as citizens of Christ’s kingdom that we pray, "Thy kingdom come."
Several times in my years of ministry, I have preached on Rev. 22:17 which says, "And the Spirit and the bride say come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." That verses actually means that the Spirit of God says, "Come to Jesus," the bride says, "Come to Jesus," and those who hear say, "Come to Jesus."
But think about this:
The Book of the Revelation is a book about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the book is closed is says in Ch. 22:20: "Even so come Lord Jesus." The Holy Spirit says "Come Jesus," the Holy Ghost says, "Come Jesus," and him that hears says, "Come Jesus." We join that heavenly chant and say, "Come Jesus, come Jesus, come Jesus."
The last prayer found in the Bible consists of these words, "Even so come Lord Jesus."
The last prayer in the Bible is not now I lay me down to sleep, or praying for the Holy Ghost, not praying for daily bread, not praying for strength in temptation, but it is this, "Even so, come Lord Jesus." We are to pray for His coming. Preach it! Look for it!Pray for it!
- LOVE IT
2 TIM 4:7-8
Paul says, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
He knows his race is about over, battling is almost finished for him, and he is about to receive heavenly reward. He says, "I am going to get a crown of righteousness, and you can have one too Timothy, if you will love Jesus’ appearing."
There two main words in the Bible for love:
Phileo: which means like you love to eat, love to sleep, love to come to church, love to take a nap, love to rest, or love to read a book. It means an affectionate love.
Agape: is a word for love which means a deep yearning, heart kind of love, heartthrob, or heartbeat love. The word here in Timothy is agapae love. It is a love that is deep in their souls for His appearing.
- BE COMFORTED BY THOUGHTS OF IT
1Thess.4 says, "The dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." The verse immediately following this verse says, "Wherefore (since the resurrection is true) comfort one another with these words."
- BE PREPARED FOR HIS COMING
1 Jn. 3:1-3 says, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should becalled the sons of God. It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as he is.
Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure."
Why do people have dirty lives? Not looking for Jesus to come.
THE REALITY IS THAT JESUS COULD SHOUT, THE TRUMP OF GOD COULD SOUND, THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL COULD ECHO THROUGHOUT THE HEAVENS, AND THE GRAVES COULD OPEN. THE DEAD IN CHRIST COULD RISE AND JESUS COULD COME.
Do you know why I come to church on Wednesday nights, and come on Sunday morning and Sunday evening? I would not want Jesus to find me sitting at home watching tv, watching a prize fight, or watching the Superbowl, when I ought to be in His house with His people. Would you not be embarrassed if you were sitting at home watching a movie, when you should have been at church, and Jesus returned? That would be worse that being caught with your hand in the forbidden cookie jar.
Let us be prepared for the coming of Christ. Let folks call us fanatics, nit-wits, crazy.
The world laughs at us because of our lack of dedication to something that we say we believe so strongly. Mahatma Gandhi could have turned a third of the world to Christ but he made this statement: "I would have become a Christian had it not been for Christians."
We do not need more Baptists, but better Baptists. When we become better Baptists, we will have more Baptists.
The story is told of a lord of an estate who called his fool in and said, "Fool, I believe you are the biggest fool I have ever seen. Here, take my rod and circle the world. If you find a bigger fool than yourself, give my rod to that fool. But if you come back after your trip and you still have the rod, I will know that you are the biggest fool of all."
The comedian or fool began his trip and looked around the world for a fool bigger than himself but he could find not one who was a better fool than him. He returned after a while to his lord. He still had the rod. When he went into the estate, he heard that the master was seriously ill. The fool went into his room and the lord was about to die. The doctor said he could not live.
The fool walked in, rod in hand, and said, "My lord, someone said you are ill." He said, "That is right. Fool, I am going to take a trip." The fool said, "Are you ready to take the trip?" The man said, "Fool, I am not ready to take the trip. I am going to die, but I am not ready."
The fool looked at him, placed the rod in his master’s hand, and said, "Here master, if you are going to die and are not ready, you are the biggest fool of all."
If Jesus is going to come, and He is, and you are not making preparation to meet Him, then you are foolish.
Just suppose Jesus were to come back this Monday night, would you be embarrassed for Him to know where you were and what you were doing, last Monday night? You should live every day so that Christ would be pleased if He came and found us in our condition presently.
Scan the skies--the promise is nigh--He is coming. Look for him today, tomorrow and in the days ahead.