GOD’S PRECIOUS PROMISES Series
TEXT: 2 Peter 3:3-13 and John 14:1-3
TOPIC: A Promise for Christ’s Second Coming
Pastor Bobby Earls, FBC, Center Point, Alabama
July 19, 2009
(Message adapted from John Maxwell’s message from his series “Precious Promises from God’s Word.”)
When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians sometime around 56 or 57 A.D., many believe it was not only the first epistle Paul penned, but the first book of what would become the New Testament. There are some things we need to understand about these early believers in Thessalonica:
1. They were loyal. In spite of persecution.
2. They were doctrinally pure.
3. They were concerned. Concerned about those who had died. Would they miss the Lord’s return? What has happened to them?
1 Thessalonians presents the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ from Five Different Perspectives:
I. FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A NEW CHRISTIAN, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 (NKJV)
A. This represents the Changed life. “you turned to God from idols”
When they heard Christ was coming again, they turned, repented, they changed. There was a day when the preaching of the sure and certain return of the Lord Jesus Christ would strike fear in the hearts of those who were lost. They realized they would stand before the returning and reigning Christ without excuse and without hope. Many would be convicted of their sins and repent from their rebellion against God’s truth and turn to faith in Christ.
Some would say those days are long gone. That lost men and women, boys and girls no longer fear the Lord and the promise of His return. But I say there is still the need for men everywhere to repent and fall on their face in brokenness and repentance toward God!
B. This represents the Consecrated life. “to serve the living and true God.”
In the first few verses of chapter one of 1 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul refers to their changed lives as also being lives lived in service to others. Listen, 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NKJV)
This represents their service, their ministry. I wonder, does the message of Christ’s return move us to service for Christ? Are we serving Him faithfully, obediently? What are you doing for our Lord?
Someone once asked the great layman, D.L . Moody what he thought he might be doing if he knew the Lord would return that very day. His response is classic. He said, “I would be doing exactly what I plan to do.”
C. This represents the Contented life. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 “and to wait for His Son from heaven,”
This represents security, peace, contentment in life. Waiting in peace, security and contentment.
II. FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A CHRISTIAN SOUL WINNER, 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 (NKJV)
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
As a worker our crown is others who have come to know Christ.
When Jesus comes back, are you going to have any crowns to lay at His feet? The happiest people in heaven will be those who take somebody with them. The saddest person in heaven will be those who go empty handed.
Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV)
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
III. FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A CHRISTIAN BROTHER OR SISTER, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (NKJV)
12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
Two fold love: abound in love for one another and for all men.
1 John 4:20 (NKJV)
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
John 13:34 (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
IV. FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A GRIEVING CHRISTIAN, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, (NKJV)
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.
An inscription found in Thessalonica.
“After death, no reviving. After the grave, no meeting again.”
V. FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A PREPARED CHRISTIAN, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, (NKJV)
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, (NKJV)
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.