Below is the audio link to the sermon I preached on Sunday night, January 18, 2015, at the Duncan Church of Christ in Duncan, SC. It’s a continuation of my series on 1-2 Corinthians, and focuses on Paul’s prophecies in 1 Corinthians 15 concerning what will happen in the last day when we are resurrected.
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’
Acts 1:9-11 – Scripture of the Day (January 16, 2014)
The apostle John elaborates: “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen” (Rev. 1:7).
The apostle Paul had this to say about it: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
What an awesome day that will be!!
But only if you are ready for that day to come.
Because if you aren’t ready, the day we all see Christ descending in the clouds will be a terrible day…the most terrible day…for you. Consider this warning given by Paul: “…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints…” (2 Thess. 1:7-10).
Do you know God? You do if you obey him (1 John 2:3). If you say you know him but do not obey him, you’re lying (1 John 2:4).
Have you obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ? Here’s what Jesus said about it: “…Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). God forgives you of your sins and saves you when you believe with all of your heart in his Son and are penitently immersed (Acts 2:38; 8:12, 35-38; 16:30-34; 22:16). When that happens, he adds you to his Son’s body, the church of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Col. 1:18). He will continue to forgive you of your sins if you walk in the light by holding fast to his Word and penitently confess your sins (1 Cor. 15:1-2; 1 John 1:7-9; 2 Cor. 7:9-11). That’s what obeying the gospel is all about.
When Jesus descends in the clouds in the same way he ascended into them all those years ago, will you be ready?
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:17 – Scripture Of The Day (January 8, 2014)
Praise God that this is true! Two thousand years ago, God out of his great love for us all gave his only begotten Son, as the famous verse preceding this one states. He gave Jesus to be lifted up on that cross just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved and have eternal life just as the Israelites who looked upon that serpent were saved from death by snake bite (John 3:14-16; cf. Num. 21:1-9). Believing in Jesus means to actively obey him (James 2:14-26), for the ones who obey him are the ones whom he will save (Heb. 5:9).
Yes, God sent Christ to the world to save the world rather than condemning it as it deserved…but sadly, the majority of the world will reject that gift (Matt. 7:13-14). As Jesus went on to say, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:18-21). Most people will not believe in Jesus…and what is very sad is that many of them will be those who thought they did believe in Jesus but who truly didn’t because they didn’t truly obey him (Matt. 7:21-27; cf. 2 Tim. 4:3-4). Therefore, they won’t be ready when Jesus comes again…and this time he won’t come to save (1 Thess. 5:1-3; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).