Faithlife
Faithlife

Soon Coming King

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Notes & Transcripts

The end of the world!

Our culture is captured by the unknown mysteries that surround the idea of the world ending. We have movies, books, video games…even end of the world insurance! We can’t help it. We wonder about what is next. Christians are no different. In the 1990’s the book series, “left behind” rampaged through the christian book stores. Many of us pondered what it would be like to rid ourselves of the cares and realities of this life, to imagine how we would fare in a post apocalyptic one. In the day of Jesus, the Jewish people were living under an occupation of a stronger, foreign government. Their culture longed for a strong king who would come and end this occupation, in a similar, but even more miraculous fashion than one of their most celebrated deliverances as a people, the deliverance out of Egypt which Moses led. Some of you have seen the movie, it wasn’t much like that…but that was another cinematic entertainment. The subject came up often, and Jesus was asked once by a group of very legalistic people called, Pharisees, after He had healed some people that this group didn’t believe deserved to be healed....

Pharisees

Contrary to popular belief, the pharisees were actually a fairly small group of religious extremists. They’ve been described as incredibly devout, but that’s not really the correct term for them, fanatical extremists is a better description. They believed not just in perfect adherence to the written laws of Moses…but an additional many, many laws given orally by God through their priests. At their height, it was believed that the extremist group was comprised of nearly 6,000 people. Though history becomes muddy near the destruction of Herod’s temple in 70AD, some people believe that the group evolved into the jewish religion of rabinic judaism. Let’s read one of these accounts of Jesus interacting with the Pharisees of His time.
Luke 17:20–21 NASB95
Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Luke 17:
This group was missing the point, as extremist and legalistic groups often do....Jesus was telling them…HERE I AM!!! Legalism and religiosity are like blinders, they prevent people from seeing the truth. Let’s read on, because Jesus turns to the group of people He is mentoring and explains further:
Luke 17:22–24 NASB95
And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. “They will say to you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them. “For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day.
Luke 17:22
Jesus is warning about not just extremists, who will miss the point entirely…but of other ideas and perspectives, false ones, that will distract people from the truth. He continues by explaining that His coming will not be an esoteric mystery only to be understood by the religious elite, or highly enlightened few…but rather ALL will see it, as it will be as obvious as lightning in the sky.

Jesus is coming back

Jesus told many people that he would return to bring in a new age. But He warned about people trying to foretell this return’s timing, in an effort to control and deceive others. He warned about this nearly every time He spoke about it. Usually it went something like this:
Matthew 12:36 NASB95
“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.
Matthew 24:36 NASB95
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

It isn’t a threat, it’s a promise

Has anyone ever heard that phrase? Jesus never threatens, he’s far cooler than Chuck Norris…he doesn’t have to threaten. The realization that Jesus will return and usher in a new age, is nothing to be scared of. His ways of love, are good for those who know Him. Don’t take that as a threat either…because it isn’t. Jesus is coming, and it is a good thing.

We don’t believe in the “Fire Insurance” threat

Has anyone heard that phrase before? Some people who call themselves Christians, have used this phrase to scare people into not just a belief in Christ…but to threaten the unbelievers…into a controllable position. I know some of us have potentially used the argument or phrase innocently…I’m not here to condemn, but ponder this thought....in the usage of threats, are we encouraging anyone, or merely trying to control them? God’s way is love, not threats. His ways are good, He doesn’t need us inventing ways to twist His word and heart to bring people to Him.

He is bringing good things

I’m not intending to do a study on Heaven, and the world after Jesus’ return…but here are some things we know from historical texts that Jesus said would happen after His return:
Matthew 19:28–30 NASB95
And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
Matthew 19:28-30
Jesus is answering Peter’s questions about heaven and what happens next. He says, there is promise that those who have lost, will be made whole. Those who are oppressed, marginalized, persecuted, and held back by others…will be vindicated. Basically…Jesus is saying that we should be prepared for the ways of earth as we’ve made it, will not be the ways of the forever age.

Jesus will usher in the new world

God created this world to be one without death, pain, suffering or oppression. Sin, death and destruction came because of a choice to leave God’s intentions for this world. It was before us, we didn’t choose it, and we can’t do anything to make it come to an end. What we can do, is choose as much life and love in this life, as possible. We can choose to be love, and compassion to others, and ourselves. We can choose to make things around us better. The ways of a Christ follower, are different from the ways of the world.

Choose Jesus

Choose Jesus now, choose to live for Him, today. Choose to learn how to treat others like He did, and prioritize choices as He did. This church is a safe place to walk that journey, no one becomes perfect. No one here is perfect. I can’t fix your problems, and you can’t fix mine. But I can share with you how Jesus changed my life, and how He loves me in every day practical and miraculously big ways. Others here can attest to what Jesus has done in their lives, my testimony is not the only one here. Let’s pray.
Matthew
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