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 are those four teachings. 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.
Read John 14:1-3
1. The promise
A. Jesus Himself promised it, (Matthew 26:64). The angels predicted it, (Acts 1:11).
B. The apostles believed it, (James 5:8). John also spoke about this event, (1 John 2:28).
C. Paul the apostle certainly believed it, (Hebrews 9:28). Even the demons of Hell know that He is coming! (Matthew 8:29). Not a matter of if He is coming, it’s just a matter of when!
2. The signs
A. The Rebirth of Israel foretold, (Ezekiel 37:1-28). The Dispersion foretold, (1 Kings 14:15; Remember A.D 70?)
B. The Restoration promised in Jeremiah 23:3 (In May 14th, 1948 the nation of Israel was reborn!)
C. The unleashing of Nuclear power, (2 Peter 3:10). The world breathed a sigh of relief when the USSR disbanded; was the nuclear threat gone? Any little country with a few spare dollars now has access to nuclear power.
D. 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.
3. The views
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.
C. If so, only those whose faith is firm and strong will stand the test of tribulation.
A. Those whose faith is not firmly anchored on the Rock will not pass the test. Preparation is called for: (2 Peter 3:11-14) There are dark days ahead for the Church in Asia. The “Religious Right” is being blamed for the ills of society.
B. Skeptics, Politicians and media painting Fundamentalist Christians as fanatics.
C. Our religious freedom is being eroded away. It’s time to get ready for Christ’s coming! (Romans 13:11)
A sermon by Dr. Arnold Lastinger
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