I asked two questions last week, the first being:Q. What was the ‘secret’ power of the church that enabled it to endure difficulties and persecutions and over a period of 300 years allowed it to overtake the Roman Empire?And it was the strong belief in the early church in Jesus imminent return.The question I left you with at the end of the morning was:
The question I left you with last week.Historically, we are very nearly 2,000 years after the life death and resurrection of Jesus.When it comes to the assertion that Jesus will return … there is a very big issue to face into … and it’s this … do you really believe it?
20130414 Patient Faith
Patient Faith [James 5:7-11] (12/14) 14th April 2013
James 5: 7-9Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until theLord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the landto yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for theautumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient andstand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’tgrumble against one another, brothers and sisters, oryou will be judged. The Judge is standing at thedoor!
James 5: 10-11Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience inthe face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke inthe name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count asblessed those who have persevered. You have heardof Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lordfinally brought about. The Lord is full of compassionand mercy.
AND FINALLY…Jesus IS coming back … … what do you think about that?
The return of Christ … Will Jesus return within 40 years?1. Will he ? YES!2. How? 17% 23% Yes, Definitely3. When? Yes, Probably Dont Know4. Why the delay? 28% 18% No, Probably No, Definitely5. What about us? 14% Pew Research 2010
How will Jesus return?Acts 1: 11 ‘This same Jesus, who has been takenfrom you into heaven, will come back in the sameway you have seen him go into heaven.’Matthew 24: 30 And then all the peoples of theearth will mourn when they see the Son of Mancoming on the clouds of heaven, with power andgreat glory.
How will Jesus return?Revelation 19: 11-14 I saw heaven standing open andthere before me was a white horse, whose rider is calledFaithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are manycrowns. He has a name written on him that no one knowsbut he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped inblood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies ofheaven were following him, riding on white horses anddressed in fine linen, white and clean.
When will Jesus return?Acts 1: 7 ‘It is not for you to know the times or datesthe Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you willreceive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in allJudea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
When will Jesus return?Mark 13: 32-37 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, noteven the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be onguard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s likea man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants incharge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door tokeep watch.35 ‘Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner ofthe house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, orwhen the cock crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not lethim find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone:“Watch!”’
Why the delay?2 Peter 3: 3-4; 8-9 Above all, you must understand that in thelast days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evildesires. 4 They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Eversince our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since thebeginning of creation.’ …8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day islike a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord isnot slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, buteveryone to come to repentance.
What about us?1. Live … to his glory2. Love … for his pleasure3. Give … through his grace