We are on the final part of the Foursquare Gospel. Today we will be talking about the Soon-Coming King. We know that Jesus came to earth because of the love of the Father. He came to give His life as a ransom and to redeem us through salvation. As we have discussed these past few weeks, this is just part of the Gospel. Jesus still heals today and He baptizes us with His Holy Spirit so that we are empowered to fulfill the Great Commission. We must not forget that He is going to return for His bride, the church, one day and complete our redemption.
When we live in the mindset that the King is returning for us, we live like our citizenship is in heaven. We won’t be people who are caught up with the things of this world. Instead we will change this world through releasing the Kingdom of God everywhere we go. This does not mean that we are so focused on Jesus returning for us that we are not living as salt and light in this world.
Many people have tried to predict the end of the world. Here a few examples that have taken place in my lifetime:
- 1988 book about 88 reasons why God was returning in 1988.
- 12/21/12 - the Myian apocalypse
These predictions were all obviously wrong.
I. The Ascension of Christ
Acts 1:6-11: So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Jesus accomplished everything He set out to do through the cross. Now He was sending the Holy Spirit to empower the apostles to be witnesses to this work and to advance His Kingdom until He returns. They were staring into heaven and these angels assured them that He would return to them again!
II. Jesus paints a picture of the last days
Matthew 24:4-14: Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Does this sound like what we are seeing in our world today?
Matthew 24:26-27: “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.
There have been some who have claimed to be the Messiah. The passage even warns us that they will perform signs and wonders to help people convince us of that. We are told not to waste our time when we hear these claims. When Jesus does return, the whole world will know!
Matthew 24:30-36: And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. “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.
III. What are believers supposed to do when it comes to return of Jesus?
Matthew 24:42-51: “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.
God gives us this picture of a servant taking charge of His master's household. Managing his affairs the same as his master would. He wants us to be found faithful and reward us.
He gives this picture in a few parables:
- Matthew 25:14-30 - Parable of the Talents
- Luke 19:11-27 - Parable of the Ten Minas
- Matthew 25:1-13 - Parable of the Ten Virgins
God has entrusted each of us with the work of His Kingdom. We are responsible for our city, our workplace, our neighborhoods, our schools. If we are faithful with these things, He will add to our responsibilities. If we are not then He will take what we have from us.
We are all searching for our purpose. God is faithful to make those things clear to us. We can’t get caught up in what is or is not our responsibility. We just have to be faithful to do it. We can’t let our feelings of inadequacy keep us from stepping out in faith and walking out what God has called us to do. He has given us everything we need to accomplish His work.
Philippians 1:20-24: For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
If we love Jesus with all our hearts, we will live this way - longing to be with Jesus but loving people and doing everything to help them meet the Jesus we love.
Philippians 1:27: Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
Don’t get to attached to this world, because citizenship is in Heaven. Its okay to enjoy life and to have nice things, but don't let those things define you. Let Jesus define you and be willing to give up everything to follow Him.
2 Peter 3:8-9: But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
We all have people we love that we want to come to know Jesus. This verse is a great reminder that Jesus desires all to be saved and to keep praying and sharing the love of Christ. One day their eyes will be opened and they will surrender their lives to Christ.