WHEN JESUS RETURNS, WILL YOU BE LEFT BEHIND?
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download this audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Discuss the new movie Left Behind, the books the movie’s based on, and increasing interest everywhere with people wanting to learn about the end times.
Discuss: “88 Reasons Jesus Will Return in 1988”, Y2K/Year 2000, 2012 End of the World
THE BIG IDEA: Because of all of the false teaching about the end times in the world today, it’s important to go to the Bible for ourselves to learn about the second coming of Jesus.
1. JESUS DESCRIBES THE END TIMES: (Matthew 24:3-14).
“3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
- SPIRITUAL DECEPTION – many false religions and teachings.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
- POLITICAL UNREST: nations are races/people groups and kingdoms are countries.
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
- NATURAL DISASTERS – famines, earthquakes, tsunamis – happening every day.
9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
- RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION – millions of Christians are persecuted in the world today.
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
- RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWNS – this is definitely increasing today!
- Note: all of these things: spiritual deception, political unrest, natural disasters, religious persecution and relationships breakdowns have been happening all throughout history.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:3-14).
- THE KINGDOM PREACHED INTO THE WORLD = the final sign
2. THE TIMING OF THE SECOND COMING:
“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. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31).
- There is much debate about the timing of the second coming and the rapture, and especially two topics called the ‘seven year tribulation’ and the ‘millennium’.
- In this passage, we see the second coming of Jesus connected to the rapture.
“36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:36-44).
- No one knows when Jesus will return, so beware of anyone who sets dates!
- The important thing is: Jesus is coming soon, and we need to WATCH & BE READY!
3. THE RAPTURE: CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS:
“13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18).
- God wants us to comfort each other with these words, especially in troubled times!
- Teaching about the end times shouldn’t bring fear or worry, but hope and encouragement
- This is an event many people call the rapture, when Jesus takes us home to Heaven.
- Although the word ‘rapture’ is not in the Bible, the concept is.
- Three main views of the millennium: premillennial, postmillennial and amillenial.
- To learn more about this, see our “Revelation 2012” series!
CLOSING: IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE:
- “51 But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. 53 For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. 54 When this happens — when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die — then at last the Scriptures will come true: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord! 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (1 Cor. 15:51-58, NLT).
- Jesus is coming back soon, and our job is to be strong and steady – to BE READY!
- When Jesus returns, will you be left behind? That’s up to YOU!
The superintendent of a large Christian school was concerned about the mess he found in so many classrooms he visited. Papers were everywhere, and the students’ desks were cluttered. Feeling strongly that learning could not take place in such an untidy environment, he took action. He chose one classroom for an experiment, introduced himself and made this proposition:
“Your teacher, principal and I provide a well-equipped classroom for you to enjoy but we need your help in keeping your desks and the classroom orderly. I would like each of you to clean out your desk today and begin keep it clean this school year. One day I will return and inspect your desks and the person with the neatest desk will be given this $100 bill. I won’t tell you which day it will be. It will be a surprise. Not even your teacher or the principal will know the day.”
The children squealed with excitement and began immediately pulling things from their desks, filling the trash baskets with crumpled papers, stacking their books neatly inside their desks, and neatly lining up their pencils and pens. Every morning for the first week, every student checked his or her desk to make sure it was in perfect condition, confident that today would be the day the superintendent returned. The next week, a few boys grew weary of the exercise and returned to their old habits. By the third week, several students said, “I doubt if he’ll come back at all. He just said that to make us keep our desks clean.”
After two months, no one in the classroom bothered to inspect their desks. Except for one girl. Dutifully, she checked her desk every day, making sure things were in proper order. For months, she was teased by the other students. “He’s not coming back! Why do you keep looking for him? You look stupid believing that promise.” Still, she kept her desk in perfect condition and waited.
Near the end of the school year, there was a knock on the door and the superintendent entered. Quickly, the students began frantically to clean their desks. But the superintendent held up his hand for them to stop and the superintendent inspected each desk. One after another, he rejected them for being messy. One boy tried giving excuses but to no avail. Another blamed the teacher for not reminding them. Another blamed the superintendent for making them wait so long.
Finally, the superintendent arrived at the desk of the little girl who confidently displayed her well-kept desk. After inspecting it, he took her by the hand to the front of the classroom and awarded her the $100 bill. “Boys and girls,” he said kindly, “this girl never stopped believing I would return so she kept her desk in perfect order. She didn’t need to worry about what day or even what time of day I would arrive because she was always ready. Always.” (Source: Sermoncentral.com).
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/