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For my text I have selected only one scripture which foretells the coming of Christ. There are scores of others. The Assemblies of God recognizes four teachings as the cornerstones of our doctrinal statement;
Salvation, Divine Healing, Holy Spirit Baptism, and the Second Coming of Christ. The erroneous date-settings by a few misguided mystics has caused this doctrine to be pushed to the back burner in recent years, but I believe it is time for us to brush the dust from it and examine it again in the light of recent events.
Text: John 14:1-3
I. The promise of his coming
A. Jesus Himself promised it, (John 14:1-3, Matthew. 26:64)
B. The angels predicted it, (Acts 1:11)
C. The apostles believed it, (James 5:8)
a. John also spoke about this event, (I John 2:28)
b. Paul the apostle certainly believed it, (Hebrews 9:28)
c. Even the demons of Hell know that He is coming! (Matthew 8:29)
d. Not a matter of IF He is coming, it’s just a matter of WHEN!
II.The signs of the times
A. The Rebirth of Israel: Ezekiel 37 (valley of dry bones)
a. The Dispersion foretold, (I Kings. 14:15; Remember 70 A.D.?)
b. The Restoration promised, (Jeremiah 23:3)
c. 3. May 14, 1948 the nation of Israel was reborn!
B. The unleashing of Nuclear power, (2 Peter 3:10)
a. The world breathed a sigh of relief when the USSR disbanded; was the nuclear threat gone???
b. Any little country with a few spare dollars now has access to nuclear power.
c. Famines, Pestilence and Calamities: Matthew 24:7
- Consider Somalia, Angola, Sri Lanka, Haiti
- The AIDS epidemic is sweeping the world!
- Natural disasters: Tsunami, Earth quakes, floods, storms
- The deterioration of the ozone layer
d. Numerous other prophecies: War in Iraqi and Afghanistan, various terrorist activities around the world.
e. Only a spiritual blind man could not see that something is stirring in our world today!
III. Two prevalent views of His coming
A. It will happen at any moment! (If so, Christ is only going to rapture those whose lamps are trimmed and burning; a lot of lukewarm Christians will be left standing on the sidewalk!)
B. The Church will endure a time of persecution out of which Christ will rapture us away. (If so, only those whose faith is firm and strong will stand the test of tribulation.)
IV. Implications for us
A. Those whose faith is not firmly anchored on the Rock will not pass the test!
B. Preparation is called for: (2 Peter 3:11-14)
C. There are dark days ahead for the Church in Asia!
1. The “Religious Right” is being blamed for the ills of society.
2. Skeptics, Politicians and media painting fundamentalist Christians as fanatics.
3. Our religious freedom is being eroded away.
D. It’s time to get ready for Christ’s coming! (Romans 13:11)