When Jesus Returns to Earth

When Jesus Returns to Earth – The Day of the Lord

2 Peter 3

Sermon notes for EMC for Sunday, February 25, 2018 by Pastor Bill Hossler.  Small group questions at the end of this BLOG.

 

Much of Revelation we believe is focused on events during the Tribulation period.  Rev 11 describes the two witnesses; Rev. 12 is the woman and the dragon and the Ruler who will come; Rev 13 describes the Anti-Christ and false prophet who will try to rule during the tribulation; In Rev 14-16 you have a series of plagues; Rev 17 the rise and collapse of the world wider religious system and Rev 18 is the rise and fall of Babylon – the economic system.

But then we get a change of tone in Rev. 19 – Up to this point there has been much doom and gloom and trouble for believers, but in Rev 19 there is a victory celebration in heaven.  The winning team is about to take the field.  The conquerer is ready to descend to earth and reclaim His rightful position and put an end to the enemies work.

Rev. 19:1  “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:  HALLELUJAH!  SALVATION AND GLORY AND POWER BELONG TO OUR GOD.”

Not all Rev is necessarily sequential, but it appears that chapter 19 follows the events of the previous chapters of Revelation.  The anti-christ has poured out the most vile and slanderous sayings and acts against God he can.  He violated his covenant with Israel; and pours out his judgements against the offspring of the mother and child of Rev 11.

The armies of the world are gathered around Jerusalem in a place called Megiddo to fight to capture Jerusalem, but a major scene in history takes place.  Jesus comes back bodily with his righteous saints to fight against the enemies of God.  He feet touch down on the Mount of Olives which cause the mountain to split – half to the north ad half to the south – providing a pathway for the people in Jerusalem to flee.

Jude 1:14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Zech 14:1 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake[a] in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

Mark 13:24a NIV

“But in those days, after that Tribulation…”

Mark 13:24 NIV

“But in those days, after that Tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,”

Mark 13:26a ESV

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds…

Mark 13:26 ESV

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

Revelation 19:11 NIV

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.

Revelation 19:14 NIV

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

Heaven is the scene in Rev 19, but Peter talked about this day 1000s of years ago with followers in the early church.  They knew the day was coming, but not just sure when.  We know the day is coming but just not sure when.

And some of our details may not be exactly as it will be on the day it happens, but you can certainly get a thrust from Scripture.

2 Peter 3:The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 

1.  The blasphemy of scoffers

2.   The patience of salvation

3.  The certainty of the second coming

4.  The requirements of the Saints.

  1. The blasphemy of scoffers.  Vs 3-7

Scoffers will come.   “Where is the coming he promised?”

Scoff – to mock, to sport, jest, such as in the mockery of Christ. To ridicule.

The Christian needs to be prepared to be laughed at for the teaching of the gospel and the standards of the word. Some people are so blatant in their opposition to the truth.

Our doctrinal statement says we believe the second advent of Christ is the hope of the church and will be personal, bodily, visible, pre-millennial, and redemptive? We specify some of these things to distinguish between those who either don’t believe in his return at all or believe it is some kind of a spiritual return that happens in our hearts.

2.  Following there own evil desires vs 3b.

2 Peter 3:1  “Dear friends, I have written to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.”

In all the heretical doctrine, scoffing skepticism of the 2nd coming was most damaging.  It has an adverse affect on the moral life of the Christian community, encouraging a loosening of moral ties and sinful indulgence.  Jesus told several parables concerning those who became careless about their life-style: not expecting the Master to return.  The Master came while he was mistreating the servants and he was cast out.

The 2nd coming has been a motivating message for Godly living.

1 John 3:Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”

II.  The Patience for Salvation – vs 8,9

They think the Lord is not going to come?

  1. God counts time differently.  God is eternal, therefore, he doesn’t have to be in a hurry.  “A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.”

Time is a product of the physical properties.  god chose to step into time and space, but he is not controlled by time and space.

2.  Hs delay demonstrates his mercy.

God could and someday will declare that the eternal clock has reached the 12 o’clock hour.  time has run out.  But he has consent not to do that yet because of his great mercy.  He doesn’t want anyone to perish – He wants all to come to repentance.

 

Don’t mistake the reason for his delay or you will miss the heart of the gospel.

The heart of the gospel is salvation – not judgement.  He waits longingly to save us.

With glowing, grateful hearts we say with David, “He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my going.”  Psa 40:1,2

1. My heart was distressed ’neath Jehovah’s dread frown,

And low in the pit where my sins dragged me down;

I cried to the Lord from the deep miry clay,

Who tenderly brought me out to golden day.

Refrain:

He brought me out of the miry clay,

He set my feet on the Rock to stay;

He puts a song in my soul today,

A song of praise, hallelujah!

2. He placed me upon the strong Rock by His side,

My steps were established and here I’ll abide;

No danger of falling while here I remain,

But stand by His grace until the crown I gain.

3. He gave me a song, ’twas a new song of praise;

By day and by night its sweet notes I will raise;

My heart’s overflowing, I’m happy and free;

I’ll praise my Redeemer, Who has rescued me.

4. I’ll sing of His wonderful mercy to me,

I’ll praise Him till all men His goodness shall see;

I’ll sing of salvation at home and abroad,

Till many shall hear the truth and trust in God.

5. I’ll tell of the pit, with its gloom and despair,

I’ll praise the dear Father, who answered my prayer;

I’ll sing my new song, the glad story of love,

Then join in the chorus with the saints above.

III.  The Certainty of the 2nd coming

2 Peter 3:10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fir, and the earth and evdeythig in it will be laid bare.

The opening part of the 10th verse says “the day of the Lord will come…”  Let the scoffers laugh but to deny the reality of His coming won’t stop it ay more than denying the reality that we are all getting older.  Wishing it weren’t so won’t make it go away.

Peter goes on the describe the closing part of the Day of the Lord as a cataclysmic event that will renovate the heavens and the earth with fire.  All the oil left from the oil spills will be gone.  All that man as done to deface the environment will be purged by fire and God will replace it with a new face.

IV.  The Requirements of Saints vs 11-12

2 Peter 3:11  “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and Godly lives.

vs. 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming….”

Coupled with God’s desire for our salvation is the power to live Godly lives in an ungodly age.  Some of you don’t see how that can be possible.  You don’t see anyway you can get enough momentum to escape the gravity of sin that seemingly has you trapped.  God never ask you to do what He doesn’t also empower you to do.

2 Peter 1:His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 2:and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

 

 

You too can be changed!  God is not willing that ay should perish but all should come to repentance.  He can change your life in ways you never thought possible but you need to come to Him and ask Him to take over and mean it.  The words of the prayer are not nearly important as the sincerity of the pray-er.  The Scripture says “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Small Group Questions…

1.  Discuss the various ways the Rapture may be different than the 2nd coming of Christ to the earth.

1 Thess 4:16-18; Rev 1:7; 2 Peter 3:10; Acts 1:9-11; Mark 13:24-26;

2.  Scoffers will come, saying,   “Where is the coming he promised?”  2 Peter 3:3-4.  But what have they forgotten?  2 Peter 3:5-7; Gen 6; Matt 24:36-39; Have you ever had anyone scoff when you talk about Jesus coming back?  How did you respond?

3.  How is the message of the 2nd coming a motivating message for Godly living?  Compare 1 John 3:2-3; Matt 25:10-13; Matt 24:45-50;

4.  If the heart of the gospel is salvation – not judgement, how does 2 Peter 3:9 demonstrate this truth?  Compare with John 3:16-17; Luke 19:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21;

5.  Sing the gospel song He brought me out if you know it.

1. My heart was distressed ’neath Jehovah’s dread frown,

And low in the pit where my sins dragged me down;

I cried to the Lord from the deep miry clay,

Who tenderly brought me out to golden day.

Refrain:

He brought me out of the miry clay,

He set my feet on the Rock to stay;

He puts a song in my soul today,

A song of praise, hallelujah!

2. He placed me upon the strong Rock by His side,

My steps were established and here I’ll abide;

No danger of falling while here I remain,

But stand by His grace until the crown I gain.

3. He gave me a song, ’twas a new song of praise;

By day and by night its sweet notes I will raise;

My heart’s overflowing, I’m happy and free;

I’ll praise my Redeemer, Who has rescued me.

4. I’ll sing of His wonderful mercy to me,

I’ll praise Him till all men His goodness shall see;

I’ll sing of salvation at home and abroad,

Till many shall hear the truth and trust in God.

6.  Discuss 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

In the light of “(God) has given us everything we need for a godly life,” how do you think God expects us to live?  How do we do that?

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