Pastor Doug's message this morning deals with the return of our Lord. The scripture lesson is from I Thessalonians 4:13 -18.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
Jesus is coming back. He may come for you individually at any time; He may come for all His followers this very day.
Seven words/phrases that help us understand the Return of Christ.
- faith --we believe that Jesus died and rose again (v.14) Faith is believing as fact what we cannot see.
- declaration --according to the Lord's own word, we tell you-- (v.15)
parable of talents. The point: the Master returns. Be ready.
parable of the ten virgins. The point: the Bridegroom returns. Be ready.
parable of the sheep and goats. The point: there will be a separation. Be ready.
parable of farmer hiring at different times of day. The point: be ready at end of the day.
3. taken/left Matthew 24:40-41 in Jesus' words. Don't be left.
4. No one knows the time of His return. Be ready (Mt 24:36)
5. As in the days of Noah salvation too late when the door is closed. Be ready. (vv.38,39)
6. Keep watch Stay awake. Be ready. (v. 42)
7. Encourage (v. 18) Jesus is coming. Be ready.
(Pastor did not quote the following scripture, but I include it as a reminder and encouragement. Jesus is coming. Be ready.)
"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 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." 2 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)