Sunday, January 31, 2016

Holding Fast To Our Expectancy

Temple Baptist Church - 1-31-2016
2 Peter 3:1-9

A.  In case you haven’t noticed, the Lord did not return last year. 
1.  We are now one month into 2016 and we need to be reminded that He is coming again just as He said.  “If I go away” and He did, “I will come again” and He will!  As we read our text in 2 Peter, we find the increase of “spiritual” scoffers in the last days who say, “For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 
2.  This is not the atheistic crowd or the agnostic crowd.  These are people who believe that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
B.  This is the religious crown that may say it with their mouths but certainly live it with their lives. 
1.  They confess to be saved but do not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come in their lifetime if at all.  Most of us have heard messages on the second coming and rapture of the church over the years but pulpits began to quieten down since the turn of the century.  Why, because the Lord did not come according to the Gregorian Calendar! 
2.  In the late ‘80’s through Y2K, we heard preaching that heralded His coming.  Books were circulated such as “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988” and many denominations predicted that something would happen at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999. 
3.  I still remember the Y2K Seminars and the Y2K Closets that people filled with water and food.  I remember that night well because we had a New Year’s Eve Service and I thought about having one of my deacons throwing the main breaker at midnight!
C.  Not much has been said over the past 16 years concerning the second coming of Christ. 
1.  I understand that no one knows the day nor hour of His but “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.”  The Bible gives the analogy of God’s time and His time is not our time!  But, we can look around us and see the sign of the times on every hand.
2.  Now, we find the problem!  When the Lord does not come on our time, we have a tendency to say that we know that He is coming and yet live as if He will not!  “All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” becomes our way of thinking.
3.  Our perspective must remain biblical and can be summed up in this little statement: “Plan as if the Lord will never come and live as if He would come today!”
D.  Our perspective does several things:
1.  It helps us to prioritize our lives.  1 John 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
2.  It gives us comfort when we lose loved ones to death.  1 Thessalonians 4:17-18  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
3.  It helps us to stand strong in tribulation.  Ephesians 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
4.  It causes us to keep our eyes upon the harvest that will perish.  2 Timothy 4:1-2  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
5.  It will have a purifying affect upon our lives.  1 John 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
6.  It will help us to keep our hearts in perfect peace.  John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  (2)  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  (3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
7.  It will keep us in the love of God.  Jude 21  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
8.  It will renew our strength when weak.  Isaiah 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 
9.  It will keep the expectancy and excitement in our hearts and minds.  Titus 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  (A new body, new heaven and earth, and the New Jerusalem.)
10.  It will keep us longing for our eternal home.  1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (3)  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  (The older we get; the more problems that we endure; the more we long for home!) 

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