Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sermon--Mission Victorious--Second Coming of Christ

The Christmas Season is One in which we Celebrate His first Coming. His Coming and everything about it is His Mission—Mission Initiated—I’m going to save that one until the 23rd.

As we’ve been going through the Letters to the Churches in Revelation—we wrapped up last week considering the Encouragements, the Corrections & the Promises that could be made to us today.

In fact, we’re going to be working backward—starting with the Mission Victorious

Warren Wiersbe tells a story of when he was a young man preaching on the last days with all the events of prophecy clearly laid out and perfectly planned. At the end of the service an older gentleman came up to him and whispered in his ear, “I used to have the Lord’s return planned out to the last detail, but years ago I moved from the planning committee to the welcoming committee.”

Mission Victorious—The Return of Christ is a much debated and Controversial topic.

What the World is Saying
If He’s Even Real—From Bertrand Russell, to the Jesus Seminar and philosophers from as far back as the 1800’s—more and more vocal and embittered scholars are attempting to make the case that Jesus never existed at all. In a lawsuit against the Vatican, the Church was accused of inventing the story of Jesus' existence. Although the case was thrown out of court in February, 2006, the plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, has appealed.

The argument against Jesus' existence was made public on a national TV broadcast on CNN with the following startling statement: “Well, I’m here to give the reality point of view, I guess,” declared Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists. “Because the reality is, there is not one shred of secular evidence there ever was a Jesus Christ.

In most circles such claims are not given much credibility—but it’s still being said in an increasing manner. If Jesus never existed, there’s no way He could ever Return.

As if He’s Even Alive—if Jesus did really exist then many more are unwilling to believe He’s still alive—within the last year—even famous movie director James Cameron tried to convince the world that a team of archaeologists had found the burial box of Jesus

As if He’ll Return— It’s been so long since the life of Jesus—that even more and more Christians are beginning to disbelieve the second coming. People are Scoffing
2 Peter 3:3-4—“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, "Where is this `coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

Several years ago Johnny Carson had Billy Graham as a guest on The Tonight Show. At one point there was a lull in the conversation and Johnny said, “You know what, Billy? I bet if Jesus ever came back to earth, we’d do Him in again!”

Billy Graham leaned forward in his seat, and said, “In the Bible we read that Jesus WILL someday return to earth again. The first time He came in love. The next time, He’ll come in power. And no one will do Him in!”

Scripture teaches the reality of the Second Coming—of the Mission Victorious
Even Angels Testify—Acts 1:10-11—“They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

What Jesus has Said
“I Will Come”—John 14:1-3—“"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Mark 14:61-62-- Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" MK 14:62 "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Revelation 22:7, 12, 20—“Behold, I Am Coming Soon”
Jesus speaks of a certainty—of an absolute fact.

He’s not coming back with His Messianic nature veiled but revealed. Jesus In Victory
To Forever do away with Sin & Death—they have been defeated by the Resurrection Power
To Restore All of Creation to it’s Intended State –Romans 8—“liberated from its bondage to decay”
To Establish His Kingdom—where Revelation 19 describes Him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
To Claim His Bride—the Bride, which is the Believing Church, which He died for
To Receive the Willing Worship of His People
In this coming there will be no possibility of doubt, no possibility of missing it, no denying it, no secret coming, no ignoring it—instead at the name of Jesus—“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, PHP 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This is the Victory that is in our Future!
What is He Waiting For? When Will His Mission be Established in Victory?

Mercy is Patient—2 Peter 3:9—“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

We are Waiting from a Word from the Father

“I Won’t Come Yet—not while there’s still more—more who need to hear—more who will believe.” When the last person has heard, when the last person has believed, when the last one who will ever make a decision to follow Jesus has made it—when the fields that are white to the harvest have been reaped—The Word Will Be Given!
When we as the People of God—ambassadors for Christ—foreign missionaries—every one of us—because this world is not our home—we have been sent—when We have fulfilled our Mission—taking the Good news to every Tribe & Tongue--Jesus will return to Finalize in Victory His Mission--

Matthew 24:14—“and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Mark 13:10—“And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.”

What Should We Be Saying?
EPH 6:19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

It is my belief in and our love for the Second Coming that should keep us proclaiming the Name of Jesus—the forgiveness His death on the Cross purchased—the Hope that is ours in the Resurrection

Christmas is about Hope—if He came the first time—He’ll come a second time.

The Gospel, the Good News must be Proclaimed to those who so desperately need to hear it
Be His Witnesses

Live as If Christ died 3 days ago, Rose this Morning and is Coming Again Tomorrow—that is a life of victory.

invest your gift—fulfill your mission—love greatly—anticipate that Victorious Return.

Luke 21:28—“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

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