Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

 1-2-04

Title: The King Is Coming


Text: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32)


Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37


32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 

33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 

34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 

35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 

36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 

37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”


Pray


The King is coming!

The King is coming!

Praise God!  He’s coming for me!


Those are the words to a song by the Gaithers.  


It always sends a chill down my spine.  


Just imagine; Jesus is coming back for us!  


His return is a matter of prophesy, But Christianity is both History and prophesy.  


The most important event in human history occurred when the Son of God came to earth.  


His coming was prophesized accurately.  


Everything happened just as the Bible said it would.  


Each prophesy was fulfilled with meticulous exactness.


The very first mention of His coming is found in Genesis 3:15.  


There in the Garden of Eden, God spoke to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”  


Jesus is the seed of the woman, and it is Jesus Christ who bruises the head of Satan.  


He struck a mortal blow to his evil head at Calvary, and at His resurrection.  


The final deadly blow will come when He returns the second time.  


The apostle John was speaking of Jesus, when he said that He was “…born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).  


Jesus was born to a virgin; no man had anything to do with His birth.  


He was conceived, when the Holy Spirit overshadowed a young girl by the name of Mary.


Other scriptures attesting to His virgin birth are:

Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Matthew 1:23: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Luke 1:27: “To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.”

Galatians 4:4: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”


It is clear that the Old Testament said that the Savior would be born to a woman, who would be a virgin.  


And it is just as clear that the New Testament declares that the Son of God was born to a virgin.


Another prophesy said He would be born in the town of Bethlehem.  

Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

Luke 2:4: “Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.”

John 7:42: “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”


It is clear that the Old Testament said that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem.  


And it is just as clear that the New Testament declares that the Son of God was born in Bethlehem to a virgin.


Jesus came to us once, but Bible prophesies proclaim that He is coming back.  


In fact, Jesus promised that He would come back.  


John recorded that He said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).  


This is the first time in the Bible where you find a mention of God taking anyone off this earth to go out yonder to a place that He has prepared.  


But that’s God’s purpose, and He keeps moving toward that day, when Jesus will call all believers, living and dead, out of this world to be eternally with Him.  


When the disciples heard Jesus reveal that He was going to take His people off this earth, they were startled.  


This is the first time it was mentioned, but not the last.  


Paul talked about it, saying that the Lord Himself would descend from heaven with a shout.  


His voice will be like a trumpet and like the sound of an archangel.  


He is coming to call His own.  


The dead in Christ will rise first, and then those believers who are still alive will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.  


So shall we ever be with the Lord in that place He has prepared.  


It’s human nature to ask, “When is Jesus going to return?”  


Down through the ages, many have believed that they knew when, but they were wrong.  


God has not given us the date, but He says that we are to live expectantly, as if it can happen at any time.


Christ’s purpose is to take the believers to Himself.  


He said, “I will receive you to Myself.”  


He is referring to a particular time that is only known to the Father.  


But, when He comes, what ever time that is, His purpose will be to take the believers to Himself.


After He returns this second time, there will never again be separation between Christ and the believers.  


He promised, “That where I am, there you may be also.”  


We will live in a permanent state of being with Him.  


To be with Him, is all that a believer can ever desire.


After His resurrection, He again asserted that He was coming again.  


To Mary Magdalene He said, “Don’t keep on touching Me; I ascend unto My Father, and your Father and My God and your God.”  


He implied that after going to His Father, He would come back, and then Mary Magdalene and other believers would have the opportunity to be with Him forever.


 The angels also told of His return.  


As He ascended up to heaven, they appeared to His disciples and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).  


It was 40 days after His resurrection and Jesus was returning to His glory. 


The Ascension followed Jesus’ commission to the disciples to be His witnesses in the world. 


From somewhere on the Mount of Olives, Jesus was taken up into heaven as the disciples watched. 


At the same time, two men wearing white clothes spoke to them of Christ’s return, noting that He would return just as He had gone.


The Lord did not want His disciples to be scared of His coming again.  


Instead, He wanted them to rejoice in the expectation of the event.  


Paul said this of that great event, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13).  


He also said, “If in this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (I Corinthians 15:19). 


There is much more to come. 


Jesus is coming again and it will be the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. 


The blessed hope and glorious appearing is one and the same thing. 


The one true hope and expectation of the believer is seeing Jesus as He is and being like Him. 


How the heart of the believer longs for that day. 


The One who is coming is the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, and they are one and the same person. 


This is a strong statement of the deity of Christ. 


Jesus is God, not simply like God or godly, but He is God.  


In 1 Thessalonians, we are given some specific information about what happens, when He returns.


“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1Thessalonians 4:15-17) 


The living have no advantage over the dead at the coming of the Lord. 


Paul makes that clear by giving the order of events step by step. 


First, the Lord himself shall descend, accompanied by an archangel’s voice, and a trumpet blast. 


Second, the dead in Christ shall rise first. 


That means that the bodies of believers who have died will be resurrected.  


This resurrection occurs right before the Rapture.  


Then, the next thing in order after their resurrection is our great hope.   


We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them. 


At this time, the whole church, including those who have died prior to this event, as well as those who are still alive, are caught up together. 


There is no advantage either way. 


The phrase “caught up” means “snatched,” or “seized,” and refers to a sudden and violent taking away. 


The word pictures being “swept off” into the air as if by a tornado. 


The result of this sweeping away, of course, is that we meet the Lord. 


This is something to really look for ward to.


I am not sure of what the disciples understood about His return, but it appears they were more fixated upon the immediate establishment of the kingdom, than anything else.  


They misunderstood His request to wait in Jerusalem after His resurrection.  


Just before He was taken up into heaven, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.   


He said, “…John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4-5).  


They didn’t realize that this was His promise of baptism by the Holy Spirit.  


Instead, they took His promise to mean that He would establish His Kingdom and restore power to Israel. 


But Jesus told them to return to Jerusalem and wait.  


This was meant to raise their expectations of something very great to come from their Redeemer. 


At that time, the Holy Ghost would be poured out upon them more plentifully than ever before. 


They had already been breathed upon with the Holy Ghost, but now they would have even more of His gifts, His graces, and His comforts, and even be baptized with them.


Now, I want to pause for a moment to speak about some specific aspects of this gift of the Holy Spirit:


First, The Spirit was given because of a promise.  


It was a great promise; as great as the promise of the Messiah was before, and as great as the promise of eternal life is now. 


This promise is received by grace, and it is a peculiar grace that is received by faith.  


The way we receive the Spirit is just like we receive Christ; by faith.


Secondly, it was the promise of the Father.  


If our Father will give us the adoption of sons, He will certainly give us the Spirit of adoption. 


Thirdly, this promise from the Father is one they had heard from Christ many times, especially in the farewell sermon he preached to them a little before he died, where he assured them, again and again, that the Comforter would come.


Fourthly, there was the prediction of John the Baptist. 


He had this to say to those he baptized in the Jordan, “I indeed baptize you with water, but he that comes after me shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost’’ (Matthew 3:11). 


We read in Acts 1:6, “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 


Even after the resurrection of our Lord, the disciples were still confused about His true purpose in coming to live among them. 


Jesus did not answer the apostles’ question concerning the precise time when God would restore the kingdom of Israel, but He did promise them something far more important in those seconds prior to the ascension.  


They thought Christ would restore the kingdom to Israel, that is, that he would make the nation of the Jews as great among the nations of the world as it was in the days of David and Solomon.  


But we can see by their question that they were impatient for Him to set up that kingdom in which He promised them a share.  


Christ had told them that they would sit on thrones.  


But when He was on earth, Jesus was interested in the souls of men, not in kingdoms.


It’s been about 2100 years since Jesus left the earth, but so far He has not elected to establish His Kingdom.  


Therefore, when a believer dies, it is his soul that goes to be with the Lord, and the body is placed in the grave to wait for the Rapture.  


It’s the desire of every believer to be with the Lord.  


That is why Paul said, “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23).  


It is far better for the Christian to be liberated from the bondage of their present body.


And the best state for us to be in, is to be clothed with a resurrection body or to have our present body changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).  


We have no reason to give up, because Jesus has conquered sin and death.  


Some Christians will not even face death, because if they are alive at the Rapture they will be caught up with Him.  


But those who are dead will be raised first to meet Him in the air.  


If you believe this, and return to Jesus, then for you the best is yet to come, so let’s give Him our best now.


When Jesus came the first time, it was to save.  


But when He comes the second time, He will come as King and Judge.  


Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the New Testament, and Daniel in the Old Testament, deal with the Tribulation period, which will last seven years.  


There will be believers who will be saved during this period, because God will not close the door to salvation until the very end.  


It is to those saved during the Tribulation that Jesus addressed what we have labeled our Lord’s Olivet Discourse.  


The Lord knew that this period of the Great Tribulation will be hard to take and therefore He assured these believers that it will not be long.  


He told them, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). 


The terrible suffering of that time will be shortened by the sudden return of Christ.  




He told them this, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).


Jesus’ birth was relatively quiet and uneventful. 


Only a few witnessed the unusual events: Mary and Joseph had angelic visits; a group of shepherds heard an angelic choir; wise men from another nation saw an unusual star. 


Jesus came as the Lamb of God to make peace between God and man. 


When He comes again to set up His kingdom, heaven and earth will dramatically announce Him, and everyone will see the display. 


He will come as King in power and glory and declare war against His enemies.


No one knows when this will take place. 


Jesus said that it was not even for Him to know while He was on earth as Redeemer. 


But I believe He knows now.  


Since He has returned victoriously to the Father, I believe that He knows all things, even this.  


He knows, otherwise, how would He know when to come? 


But no man knows, no one, not a single person, not a created being.


But when Jesus is going to return is not important.  


The important thing is that He will return.  


And we must be ready to meet Him.  


Then, the question becomes, “What do we need to do to be prepared?”  


It’s very simple.  


You must believe.  


You must believe the Gospel: Believe that Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose again three days later.  


If you believe that, and confess your sins to God in Prayer, God has promised you salvation and eternal life.  


I hope you are ready to meet Jesus! 


Amen.



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