#9 - God's Gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this age

Big Idea: What we hold to be true!   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:28
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This past week I had a moment to focus on Graduation.
I was able to see virtually Caleb graduate and talked with one of our youth who will be graduating from High School this coming June.
It brought me back to the graduations in my life.
My first one that I can remember is graduating from Grade 8.
It was my first time, I got a special brown corduroy suit. I felt like I a walking couch.
Then I have a grade 12 Grade and our small band of friends, All four of us headed off to a friends farm and shot off fireworks, nearly setting ourselves on fire.
My next big grad was from College. To be honest, I was glad I made it. There were moments in my college days that it seemed too hard to continue, but there I was robe and all walking across the stage moving my tassel from one side to the other. Only to follow with my wife’s graduation from both College and and then a few years later Seminary.
Many years later I enjoyed watching my children graduate from Kindergarten, then from High School.
My daughter in law graduating from her schooling and my seminary degree.
By now you are probably wondering what Graduations have to do with today’s big idea.
Well it reminded me of the working of the Gospel in our lives.
You see the Gospel has a past, present and future reality. And a graduation is a time to celebrate a moment in time that points to all the work that has been accomplished and an achievement.
If you are the graduate, it is a time you living at the moment. If you are an alumni, its a time you look back. If you haven’t quite finished, it is a time you look forward for your time.
This past week I was also able to take in a Theological Summit held virtual in which we were reminded that the Gospel is God’s plan working through our lives.
It began with Creation, an event in the past, The fall and it’s effect on our lives for today.
Redemption of God’s people as outlined in the Bible culminating with The arrival, death, Resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the promise of the Holy Spirit and finally looking to the day of
Restoration when Christ will return and in His return will finally restore that which the fall destroyed.
Today’s and next week’s Big Idea will focus on the last two parts of this story.

Big Idea: God’s Gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this age

God’s Gospel, the good news taught throughout scripture is that there is coming a day when God will fulfill his plan to fully redeem and restore his people.
This time we are living in is Christ working in and thorough us and saving us from the grasp of sin. There is coming a time where we will fully be set from the power of sin.
The Bible teaches us that God’s promise is that one day, His purpose will be fulfilled when Christ will draw His people to himself at the end of this age in which we are living and we will be with Christ when he returns.

The Return of Christ

If you would allow me to use a metaphor of graduation and the lives we live, graduation hasn’t happened yet.
The return of Christ is that moment in the future we are all looking towards.
Too be honest, I want that day to come tomorrow.
I want to be in the presence of my saviour and Lord and skip the process of a physical death in this body.
Here right now we are living as disciples of Christ who are
seeking to know God more and more, Which transforms us daily into the image of Christ to be more like him, this is done by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us and all of this is done within the body or community of believers.
There when Christ returns things will change.
God’s plan, God’s Gospel is of what is to come.
Acts 1:9–11 ESV
9 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. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 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.”
The Good News of God is that He has set out a plan to redeem the world. To send Son into the world to die for our sins, so that one day we will stand in the presence of God and for that to happen Christ will return to this earth to gather his people to himself.
Christ will return one day
Paul said to Titus,
Titus 2:13 ESV
13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
How are we to think and prepare for that day, James tells us to
James 5:7–8 ESV
7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
How are we to live our lives until that day,
John reminds us that we are to abide in him
1 John 2:28 ESV
28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
In raising our children, we would often at Christmas time allow the boys to open one present Christmas eve.
It would serve as a purpose to take some of the anxiousness out of them until the morning were the big presents would come. The really big presents that they had looked forward to as Christmas drew near. That one present was exciting, but it only drew their attention to what was coming.
Then the morning would come and they would eagerly await the time we would sit down and reveal the gifts given in love.
Christ coming to this world the first time was our Christmas Eve. It was wonderful, glorious and a time we look back and marvel of what God did for us and what Christ did for us and we live with the Spirit dwelling within us as we look forward to that Christmas Morning.
The Morning where we can be a part of the ultimate gift of Christ Return.
This morning, as we look at the big idea of Christ’s return, I would like to walk you through the Nature of Christ’s return, the time of His return, and the Effect that will happen when Christ returns.

The Nature of Christ’s Return

Let’s begin by looking at the nature of Christ’s Return. It must be clear if we are going to communicate the Gospel with people that we understand this.
When we look at the nature, I am describing its essential qualities. The second return of Christ is different than that of his first time here on earth.
The three main qualities are his personal, bodly, and Glorious return
Philippians 2:5–7 ESV
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

A Personal Return

Christ took on human form in order to come to this earth when he first came but this return of Christ will be in person.
There will not be a representative, there will not be an angel coming in his place.
In movies, we have stunt doubles, back-up actors and set people before the real actor is shown on the screen. There is non of that when Christ Comes back.
I like how someone put this:
“Just as surely, as he once came to us as a carpenter, so he himself will come again as a king.” Pg 215 Gospel truths
remember the verse found in Acts that I read earlier
Acts 1:11 ESV
11 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.”

A Bodily Return

This leads us to the second point or aspect of the coming of Christ.
He will return in the body that he left as the disciples were standing around him as he ascended into heaven.
We will see him Face to Face.
This is one of the reasons I look forward to the day that Christ will return.
If we think a graduation is regal with all the teachers and students dressed in robes and adorned with tassles, academic hods and symbols, Christ’s triumphant return will be so much more
Matthew 24:27 ESV
27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
As a young man, I always had a burning question in my mind. as I read these verses
Revelation 1:7 ESV
7 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.
I often wondered how this would be possible. How could we see something worldwide. It is interesting to note now with our current situation and technology there is not much that doesn’t happen without it showing up on the various screens we have.
Paul also addresses the believers at Thessalonica were were told of Christ Bodily return.
The last part of the Nature of Christ return is in how he will return.
We use the words Glorious Return to describe this return.
You see when Christ came the first time it was for the cross. He came as Lord, yet His kingship was not fully grasped at that time.
He did conquer over death, yet like the metaphor of Christmas morning packages we have not fully received all the glory, but this return will be glorious.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 ESV
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
vs 13 describes our outlook upon death. Death is not good. Christ came to conquer death and when he returns there will be no more death.
We as believers will continue to mourn the loss through death, but our mourning and loss is not without hope as those who do not believe.
Our hope is found in vs 14 That one day we will walk and be with our loved ones when Christ Returns.
When Christ return all those who have been swallowed up by death will rise with us.
For those of us, the ones living here today, the ones living until he comes are joined once again with those who have passed.
Look once again at the description of the glorious event
1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV
16 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.
Look at the scene.

The presentation

I have seen wonderful stage productions, outstanding fire work displays, very powerful and moving graduation ceremonies both watching and being a part of the graduates, but nothing stands in comparison to this day.
The rushing waters of Niagara Fall are but a trickle compared to this moment.
The parting of the red sea is but a small blockage compared to this moment.
the Fire from heaven coming down and engulfing Elijah's sacrifice is but a spark to this moment.
Folks, It is no wonder why I look forward to this day. I pray that this day will be tomorrow.
I live my life like this will be tomorrow.
On Thursday, would mark the day of the yearly reminder of Christ’s ascension from this earth.
We celebrated Easter not too long ago , yet we look forward to the day when Christ will return.
That my fellow believers is the nature and Majesty of Christ Return.
There is another nature of Christ return.

He will return as King

Jesus did prepare us to know about his second coming.
Matthew 25:31 ESV
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Gospel truth writes,
Then God’s saving purpose in the gospel will be brought to fulfillment, and the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Indeed, heaven and earth will become one, and God’s righteous kingdom will be fully realized when the One who was crucified as “king of the Jews” will be crowned with glory as Lord of all.” --Gospel Truths. pg 218
Christ will also come to establish His kingdom here on earth.
It is at this point as we look into doctrinal statements that we can discover various viewpoints of when, how, and what the kingdom will look like.
For some of you, this might be an exciting discussion of theological discussion. Others, it might be the time for you to take that mental break, may I urge you not to.
This past week as I sat in on the theological conference, there was one moment where the speaker, a seminary professor of theology and avid theologians began discussing various points of scripture.
This went on for several minutes at which time the moderator made an interesting comment.
Well, for most of us, we sat back with our bowl of popcorn and watched the discussion.
At this point, I would like to leave you with this.
As our free Church doctrine, we uphold to various forms and interpretations of the ushering in and development of Christ’s Kingdom that will be ushered in upon His return.
But that is not the time here to discuss these viewpoints.
Christ’s return, He will establish a kingdom full of his followers, and ultimately be the judge of all.
A time is coming.

The Time of Christ’s Return

The burning question that should be on our mind is when.
If you a list person or scheduled person, we would love to know when.
Does Scripture tell us when this event will happen. Has God set out a plan that we can know or is it like a pop quiz or surprise safety inspection of his coming.

Known only by God

I can first tell you that it is known only by God
Garage Sale Illustration
I have a funny story to tell you about. Last Saturday morning, as I needed a break from working on my sermon, I did a quick internet search for Garage sales in Merritt.
I grew up going to garage sales, in every province I have lived, the culture of garage sales have varied as to when the right time is to hold them, but they are all the same.
What is one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
So there I found myself Saturday morning, after writing and working on the sermon, I felt I needed a break.
What came up in my internet search was the Merritt Morning Market. I looked over the document to read this
Web Search Merritt Morning Market
9am-3pm. Huge downsizing sale: tools, lumber,tires, 4x4 vehicle, guy stuff
I was sold. I took down the address, and off I went to Priest ave to find the garage sale.
Now I realized It was a few minutes before 9:00 am yes, I had been up for a while, but I thought they might be set up and I could get the first pick.
I drove down the street and saw nothing, approached the address, still nothing, then I made my way to the end of the block in case I wrote down the incorrect address. Still nothing.
I turned around, pulled over, and looked it up on my phone.
Yes, I had the right address. It was a garage sale at that address, so I pulled up to the house and looked. The garage door was closed, I could see people sitting down at their table and eating breakfast.
I thought to myself, come on, It’s almost 9:00 finish your breakfast. In my less patient days, I would have jumped out of the car and made my way to look closely, maybe it was in the back yard, but this time I stayed in the car.
Feeling convicted that I should get back to my sermon, I headed home after a short break.
I came home and looked once again at the listing. But this time I looked closer.
My web search, the first item found the one I click one took me to
Merritt Morning Market dated
March 23, 2012
I missed it by a few years.
So too when it comes to the time of Christ’s return. Many have searched and found reasons and signs for the return and have shown up with it wrong.
We need to trust and hold onto the fact that God and only God sovereignty holds the key to that answer.

Demands expectancy

The second part of the return of Christ is that knowing that we do not know the time it demands expectancy. And expectancy of anticipation and readiness.

The effect of Christ’s Return

The last part of the coming of Christ is the effect it will have on our lives.
There are two distinct effects of Christ’s return. I have drawn them to you earlier but they are the blessed hope and our motivation as believers in Christ.

Our Blessed Hope

The first is the blessed hope laid out in Titus
Remember growing up and hoping that special present that you have been hinting to your parents was going to be under that tree.
Our hope is found in the words of Scripture.
When Christ returns, our hope is found to be fulfilled.
If you read through the writings of Paul, you can almost hear in his words, the expected hope that Christ would be returning in his lifetime.

A motivation for the believer

The second is our motivation as believers.
Let me quote a famous hymn that some of you may have sung
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high his royal banner, It must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall he lead, Till every foe is vanquished, And Christ is Lord indeed.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in his strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armor,
Each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, Be never wanting there.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, The strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, The next the victor's song. To those who vanquish evil A crown of life shall be; They with the King of Glory Shall reign eternally.


This morning’s big idea if you remember is
God’s Gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this age
If you have been wondering what hope we have for the faith we have this is it.
Christ will return
Christ will return in person
We can expect and anticipate but we wait with anxious hearts.
This fact, that God has made a way to once again restore his creation to that which is good.
He will do by coming back and completing the plan laid out for you and me.
It is with hope that we can stand knowing that God will and is in control.
Next week we will be wrapping up our series
As disciples of Christ, I pray that you have learned more about God, are growing in the likeness of Christ, Living a life empowered by His Holy Spirit, and working out your salvation in the context of believers and becoming a witness to those in your life both in the church and out of the church.
As the worship team comes forward and prepares to lead us in a response to worship in song, let me pray.

Response to Worship

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