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CrossPointe Community Church
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Chippewa Lake, OH 44215
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
The government will rest on His shoulders.
And He will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!
Out of the stump of David’s family[a] will grow a shoot—Isaiah 11:1-9
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of His word,
and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.
In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
and a little child will lead them all.
The cow will graze near the bear.
The cub and the calf will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.
Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Matthew 24:32-51
Come Lord Jesus
So, was Isaiah’s prediction about the “Prince of Peace,” and His government of peace that will never end, wrong?
We need to understand that Isaiah’s prophecy is one of those now and not yet prophesies when in the same breath, he speaks about things occurring in two different time periods. In other words, in Isaiah 9, the author refers to both the first and the second coming of the Prince of Peace. For this is the season of celebrating that “a child was born to us, that a son was given.” But it’s obvious that His government of unending peace has yet to come.
However; I am here today to remind us that someday, the peace of which Isaiah speaks will come to pass, when, “the lion and the lamb will lie down together, cattle will graze among bears, the leopard and the goat will live in peace,” and wonder of all wonders God will transform us into sanctified beasts who will dwell together in peace.
I am speaking today about that enigmatic day on which Jesus, the Christ, will indeed return to this earth in a most awesome and dramatic way, when, as Jesus said, “all the peoples of the earth will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory” (Matthew 24:30). We refer to this as the Second Coming of Christ.
The first thing I want to note about the second coming of Christ, when truth shall come and peace will reign, is that it is a very important Biblical concept.
Perhaps more so than we think. For would you believe that for every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first coming as a baby, there are eight which look forward to His second as King!
According to one biblical scholar, there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second
coming in the 39 books of the Old Testament and 318 references in the 27 books of the New. 3
Dr. John Walvoord, who served as President of Dallas Theological Seminary for 34 years and wrote more than 30 books most of which focused on what we collectively refer to as end-time events writes, “The revelation of the second coming of Christ is one of the most important and most frequently mentioned doctrines of the New Testament. One out of every twenty-five verses in the New Testament refers either to the rapture of the church or to Christ’s coming to reign over the world.” 4
Perhaps, if one of every 25 verses talks about the second coming, I should preach on it once in every 25 sermons?
Point: the second coming of Jesus deserves our attention.
The 2nd thing I note about the 2nd coming is that the day of His return is a SECRET!
“No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows” (Matthew 24:36).
Did you hear that lads and lassies?
Throughout church history, many have gone out on a limb to predict when this event would occur. One of the early church fathers, Ignatius, in 110 AD wrote:
“The last days are upon us. Weigh carefully the times. Look for Him who is above all time, eternal and invisible.” 5
In the year 236 AD, a church leader named Hippolytus predicted that Christ was
sure to return by 500 AD. 6
The years prior to 1000 were filled with predictions of the coming of Christ, and some people were so sure of the Lord’s coming they didn’t even plant crops.
In the 1500s Martin Luther wrote, “We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse; this world won’t last any longer.” 7
The year 1666 saw an explosion in end-times speculation. One pastor wrote in his journal, “Every time a storm hit this year the church would fill up with people waiting for Jesus.” 8
I listen to a considerable number of Billy Graham sermons on satellite radio and heard him say many times in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s that the Lord was going to return certainly by the end of the century.
Well-meaning pastors and devoted Christians continue to this day to predict the soon coming of the Lord. Recent events in the Middle East have prompted many followers of Jesus to proclaim that the time is at hand.
For over 2,000 years of history, thousands of sincere, devout, Christians have seen the end as about to happen but they have all been wrong. All of these people had or will have, one thing in common. They either missed or disregarded the text we read today. Jesus said that no man knows the day and the hour.
I realize Jesus said to His inquisitive disciples, “When you see all these things, you can know His return is very near” (Matthew 24:33). The problem comes with having a complete understanding of what He meant by “all these things.”
And the point of Jesus teaching here was not to know when He’s coming again, But, rather, to make that when He does come, we are ready! For the 3rd aspect of the 2nd advent is to realize that it will be a day of SELECTION.
“Two men will be working together in the field, one will be taken and the other left, two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken and the other left” (Matthew 24:40-41).
I think it interesting to note that these people are involved in the same activities whether they are taken or left. I would’ve said, “One man was at a prayer meeting and the other was at a casino;” “One woman was home cooking dinner and the other was out on the town.” But Jesus says here are two outwardly identical people; one is selected, and one is not.
Which begs the question, what is the selection based upon? Simple, the people selected at the second coming of Jesus are those who have trusted in the work Jesus accomplished at His first coming.
And what was that? “He died for our sins according to the scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3).
You and I have a sin problem; this propensity to live our lives the way we wish with no thought of how God might want us to live our lives. It is the human condition into which we are born and will accompany us till we die. The unfortunate thing about our sinful human condition is that it disqualifies us to be with God.
Some of us have fallen into the trap of thinking we can play games with God. Some of us play, Let’s Make A Deal; ‘Okay God I blew it, I know it was wrong I know You’re like an elephant You’ve got it marked in Your ledger, so let’s make a deal for every bad thing I do I’ll make up for it with a good deed and in the end I know I will have more good deeds than bad ones and I’ll be in; right!?’
For example, one school of thought says that if we are going to be prepared to meet the Lord then we must give up, and I quote, “Colored clothes for one thing. Get rid of everything in your wardrobe that is not white. Stop sleeping on a soft pillow. Sell your musical instruments and don’t eat any more white bread. You cannot, if you are sincere about obeying Christ, take warm baths or shave your beard. To shave is to lie against Him who created us, to attempt to improve on His work.”
Don’t laugh too hard; that instruction comes from a textbook of a 2nd-century School of Theology. 9
But they had it all wrong!
The bible is so clear on this. There is no way, even if we perfectly keep God’s moral law that we can overcome the sin problem on our own.
Similar to playing Let’s Make a Deal, some of us play the game of Cover Up. ‘Yes God, I admit it, I sinned today, I lusted and I know You noticed. But I’ll tell You what, I’ll go to church Sunday. Or I’ll buy some Girl Scout cookies, and if You’ll allow that that good thing to cover up that bad thing, then in the end, everything will be hunky-dory; cool?
Not! The Bible is clear that the only thing sufficient to cover over sin is the blood of Christ.
And that is precisely why Jesus came the first time; “But now, once for all time, He (Jesus) has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by His own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him” (Hebrews 9:26b-28).
Are you eagerly waiting for Him?
Don’t let it be for you like it was in Noah’s time. “In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:38-39).
C. S. Lewis wrote, “When the author walks onto the stage at the end of the play, you know the play is over.” 10 Christ is someday going to walk out onto the stage, a moment in time so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or fear into every human heart! But it will be too late then; the play will be over, the selection will have been made, and there will be no other chances.
So I have to ask you, have you un-wrapped the gift by having faith in the death of Christ for the forgiveness of your sin? Have you un-wrapped the gift Christ offers?
And if you have, if you are already a Christian, then please realize that for you waiting eagerly for the Lord does not imply sitting around twiddling your thumbs.
For the 2nd Advent of Christ is meant to motivate Christians to action!
At the height of WWII, Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned for taking a stand against Hitler. Yet he continued to urge fellow believers to resist Nazi tyranny. A group of Christians, believing that Hitler was the Antichrist, asked him “Why do you expose yourself to all this danger? Jesus is coming soon and all your work and suffering will be for nothing.”
Bonhoeffer, “If Jesus returns tomorrow, then tomorrow I’ll rest from my labor. But today I have work to do, I must continue the struggle until it’s finished.” 11
Bonhoeffer was right. It is not for us to determine the “when” of the Lord’s coming it is for us to be expectant of His coming at any time that we might be found doing what the Master has called us to do.
When the Lord returns, I want Him to find me in the Lord’s house. If He comes on a Sunday morning, I want to be found with His people. I would want the Lord coming back to find me being supportive of what’s most important to Him on earth, and that is His Church. The NT says Jesus is the architect of His Church, the head of His church. He gave His life for His Church, He prays for His Church! His Church manifests His presence on this earth.
When He comes, I would want Jesus to find me, not just a spectator on the sidelines, but participating in His Church in some way appropriate to the gift, talents, and abilities He has given me.
There is a story told by Dr. Joseph Stowell, past President of Moody Bible Institute, as he visited a home for mentally handicapped children. While being given a tour of the facility, he noticed that most of the windows were covered with tiny little hand prints. He asked the director what they were all about. The director replied, “The children here love Jesus, and they’re so eager for Him to return that they lean against the windows as they look up to the sky.” 12
4 John Walvoord – Wikipedia
7 Ready Or Not Here I Come Sermon by Steven Pace, Matthew 24:36-51 – SermonCentral.com
8 A Well Known Christian Wrote, “the Last Days … – Shared by Sermon Central – Sermon Illustrations – SermonCentral.com
10 C. S. Lewis Quotes
11 Our Daily Bread, November, 10, 1991
12 Daily Devotions with Pastor Ed Rea