Take your Bible or take the notes that you received on the way in and find Acts 1. Today, we begin a brand-new series, a ten-week series entitled, "Things to Come." We're going to begin focusing on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the events leading up to that Second Coming. I want to invite you all back next Sunday, as we continue this series. We're going to be looking at lots of different issues in the Bible. What are the signs of his coming?
What about the coming one-world government? Is that just kind of a conspiracy theory thing or does the Bible say something about that? What about the nation of Israel in prophecy? What about the rapture, the catching away of the church? Lots of questions that the scriptures really do reveal answers for. If you want to get a little bit of a head start, we want to invite all of our guests to stop by the guest services tables on the way out and pick up a free copy of my books, Understanding the Time; Living Courageously in Prophetic Days. That's a gift for all of our guests today, just to say thank you for being here with us. Acts 1 is our text as we begin this series this morning.
How many of you would agree with me it's good to get out and about? It just kind of feels nice to see a friendly face or two, and to say hello. Thank you for your attendance here today. I actually even flew away to Dallas, last week, to preach. Hadn't done that in while and it feels like people are starting to move around and get around. I will tell you this, though. When you start getting out, especially like to the airports, you've got to remember be nice to everybody. Americans are pretty cranky right now. Have you noticed that? A little edgy. So, you just have to learn to be nice and smile.
Heard about a fellow that was standing in the Delta line, and he was waiting to get his ticket. The person right in front of him was just angry and cursing and yelling. Just real belligerent. Finally, he left. As he left, a gentleman stood up to the counter and he said, "How in the world do you put up with people like that treating you that way all day long?" The Delta agent said, "Oh, that jerk? Easy. He's going to Atlanta, but his bags are going to Miami." So, I'm just telling you folks, it's just better to be really nice and things will work out a lot better for you as we pull out of this COVID time.
Well, today, we're going to see the promise of the coming of the Lord from Acts 1. I'm going to read, beginning in verse 1. "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in the which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
"For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel: And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they behalf, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
Let's pray together. Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful, fulfilled promise of the resurrection. And now, we see another promise, that you will come again, in like manner. Lord, would you speak to our hearts from these truths this morning, and we’ll thank you for it, in Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. You may be seated.
When you study the lives of the disciples of Jesus, you immediately notice that the first-century Roman life was a difficult life. There were many challenges that especially the children of Israel faced. The political strife with the Romans was very palpable. Pontius Pilate was a very cruel leader and, oftentimes, persecuted the Jewish people. The Jews were treated with discrimination and hate. There were great taxes from the Roman Empire on all of their subjects. When you really stop and think about it, you find that the problems of the first-century world, the Roman world, and some of the problems we face today, really are the same.
Yet, there was one great, bright spot in the lives of those believers of Jesus Christ. They found their Messiah. They found someone in whom they could trust; their hope, their savior, their healer, their friend. These disciples, as they heard Jesus, as they watched him perform miracles, one day the Lord began to speak to them, and he said, "Follow me, and I will make you to become fishers of men." He was going to give them a new purpose in life. He was going to give them eternal life. Wow, what an exciting time. First, there were a few. Then, there were 5,000, and then there were 10 and then there many, many more who began to follow the Lord, Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful time.
Until that day came, that day that Jesus had tried to tell them about so many times. He had told them about the fact that he would die and that he would rise again. But somewhere along the line in the euphoria of the miracles and the feeding of the 5,000 and the raising of the dead, somewhere in the midst of all the excitement, the disciples didn't want to hear that part about the death, the burial, and the resurrection. But that night finally came.
Perhaps you've heard of the Last Supper. Jesus was there with his disciples. He took a piece of bread, and he tried to remind them. He said, "This bread is a picture of my body, which will be broken for you. And this cup is a picture of my blood, which will be shed for you." But even as he was explaining what was about to happen, it seemed like many of the men were not understanding it. So, Jesus went across to the Garden of Gethsemane. There, he began to pray.
I've been in this garden. Some of these trees are more than 2,000 years old. They were there when Jesus was praying this prayer. He said, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." You see, he knew that he would not only face the greatest pain that a man would ever face, but also that he would bear in his body the sins of the whole world. He was praying, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done." Amazingly, as Jesus was there praying, suddenly, the Roman soldiers came in, and the high priest with them, and one of Jesus' own disciples, a man named Judas Iscariot, had betrayed Jesus for just a small amount of money. So, his journey to the cross began.
He went first over to Caiaphas' house, the high priest. Then, to Pontius Pilate and the Roman Praetorium, where, again, he was shamed and where, again, he was mocked. The people were so angry at Jesus because they had been stirred up by religious jealousy. They literally said, "Give us Barabbas; give us Barabbas," speaking of a common, every-day criminal. They said, "Let him go free. Take the life of this Jesus, of Nazareth."
So, Jesus was taken up to the hill called Golgotha. It means the hill of a skull. There, at the Hill of Golgotha, the Roman soldiers placed the nails through his hands, and through his feet. The crown of thorns through his head. The blood was now being shed, for the Bible says, without the shedding of the blood, there is no remission of sin. Jesus, there, shed his blood for you and for me.
He was buried in a borrowed tomb, the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. As he was placed in that burial and as the tomb was sealed, Roman soldiers were assigned and there was a great and large stone that was to keep anyone and everyone out. The disciples were scattered about with discouragement. They were filled with dismay. They had hoped that Jesus would bring in the kingdom. They had hope that the world would change, that their lives would change. Now, Jesus Christ, their Messiah, was dead, crucified by the Roman soldiers. They were overwhelmed. Some of them went into solitude. Some of them went fishing. Some of them did other things. But all of them were discouraged of heart. All of them were overwhelmed with sorrow.
The world can do that to you sometimes. Sometimes you'll come through a year like this, and you'll experience trials and sickness, perhaps even the Valley of the Shadow of Death. You see the hatred and you turn on the news, and someone else is ramming into something else and people are yelling. You see it all, and you wonder, "What in the world is going on?"
That's when you need to take time to step back. Never make a decision to change some major part of your life until you step back and really consider what God is trying to do. Step back and hear the still, small voice of God. I believe the best way to do that is to open the Bible, and to let the Lord begin to show you what he's trying to do in your life. The Bible gives us the perspective that we need.
This morning, I want to take a few moments and show you a promise that was made by Jesus Christ, a promise that was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, and a promise that is yet to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ. So, let's journey along these promises together. I want you to think with me, first of all, about the promise of his resurrection, the promise of the resurrection. You know, one of the reasons I believe the Bible is the word of God is because of all the prophecies that were made in the Bible that have been and that are still being fulfilled. Absolutely amazing to study Bible prophecy like we're going to do for the next ten weeks, here at Lancaster Baptist Church.
The promise of the resurrection is something that was prophesied even in the Old Testament. Psalm 16:10 says, "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:3, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." You see, the Old Testament prophesied the birth of Jesus. It prophesied the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament, we see the hand of God pointing us to his son, Jesus Christ.
Then, in the New Testament, Jesus began to prophesy his death, burial, and resurrection. At the first cleansing of the temple, Jesus was speaking to the Jews, and he said unto them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again." Then said the Jews, "Forty and six years was the building of this temple. And wilt thou tear it up and raise it up in three days?" But he spoke of the temple of his body. You see, Jesus was preparing them and telling them that his body would be destroyed, but that in three days, he would raise it up, again.
In Matthew 12:40, Jesus used an illustration from the Old Testament, again. He said, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." He said to his Jewish audience, "You know the story of Jonah, the prophet that tried to run from God, and he was placed in the whale's belly for three days and three nights. Even as that miracle took place," Jesus said, "I will spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, but I will rise again."
Now, I know that the world is filled with skeptics and the infidels and questioners. In fact, Christianity invites people to come and ask their questions about these miracles of the Bible. I heard about one lady that was flying in an airplane, and she was always very nervous to fly. So, she would take her Bible with her, and she would read the Bible. The man next to her, he just got irritated seeing a Bible. Some people are that way. They just get irritated at the things of God.
He was speaking to the woman and he said, "You don't believe all that stuff, do you, in that book?" She said, "Well, yes, I do." He said, "Well, what about the story of the man that was in the whale's belly for three days? You don't believe that stuff, do you?" She said, "Oh, the story of Jonah. Absolutely, I believe it." He said, "How in the world could that have happened? How could he be in there for three days?" She said, "You know, I don't really know, but when I get to heaven, I'll ask him." He said, "Well, what if he's not there." She said, "Then you can ask him."
Throughout the Lord's ministry, he tried to prepare his disciples using prophecy, using the Old Testament illustrations. Then, when he was with his disciples, he became more specific. In Mark 9:31, the Bible says, "For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, the Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day." Then, at the Last Supper, where Jesus gathered his disciples together, as he was speaking to them, listen to what he said, "But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee."
Now some people have trouble believing that Jesus is God. Just think about that. How many people have you ever heard say, "After I am risen, I will meet you in Galilee." What was he doing? He was prophesying his own resurrection. So, it was that the angel met the ladies at the tomb that first Easter morning. When he saw the ladies coming, the angel said to them, "Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen. Remember how he spoke to you those words when he was in Galilee." The Bible says, "And they remembered his words."
I don't know if you're like me. Sometimes I hear lots of words, but I don't remember them like I should. Sometimes you hear important things and you get those details mixed up. Even Baptists that go to church all the time, sometimes we hear things that we don't remember like we should. I like the story of the teacher that was having show-and-tell with her school children and she said, "Boys and girls, tomorrow we're going to have show-and-tell about our religion. So, you bring something about your religion."
So, they came, and the first little girl came up in front of the class. Her name was Mary. She said, "My name is Mary. I am a Roman Catholic, and this is a crucifix." All the children went, "Wow." The next boy came up. He said, "My name is Benjamin, and I am Jewish, and this is the Star of David." The children thought that was cool. The next little boy came up and he said, "My name is Johnny, and I am a Baptist, and this is a casserole." That's about how deep some Baptists go. We like church, we like the food, but we don't always remember the words. The Bible says that when the angel spoke to the women at the tomb, then they remembered his words. The promise of the resurrection had been made.
But I want you to see with me, this morning, the proof of the resurrection, the proof of the resurrection. You see, the Bible says something. We read it a moment ago in Acts 1:3. I want you to see this. It says, "To whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forth days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God."
An infallible proof, something that is surely and plainly known, something that is incapable of error. It's amazing to me that after Jesus rose again, he spent 40 days going around to more than 500 witnesses, showing himself alive, letting them touch his scars, letting them see him so that they would have infallible proof that he had conquered death and the grave. I want to tell you something, if you were an attorney and you needed some witnesses and someone said to you, "Hey, no problem; we've got 500 witnesses over the course of 40 days," that would be a very good proof for the case that you were building.
Now, we don't have time to give all of the proofs but let me give you two proofs for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first, of course, is the empty tomb itself. You see, when those women approached that sepulcher that day, and they were coming to bring spices for the body of the Lord, Jesus Christ, the angel said, "Be not afraid. Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified. He is risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him." No, immediately the enemies of Jesus began to deny this fact. In fact, the religious rulers paid the Roman soldiers money to say that he disciples of Jesus had stolen the body away. We read about that in Matthew 28. And they gave money to the soldiers. In verse 13, they said, "Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while he slept."
Do you understand that since the very moments of Christ, until this very day, in college classrooms and on television shows, there are people who deny the deity of Christ, who deny the resurrection of Christ, who are giving all kinds of different stories to try somehow to say that this account that we celebrate this morning was not true? There is only one major problem with the critics, the naysayers, and the deniers. That is that just outside of Jerusalem this morning, there is an empty tomb, and that empty tomb is the tomb of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
The empty tomb provides the evidence of a resurrected Savior. Think about the basic things. Think about the stone. The Bible tells us the stone on that tomb was a stone that was placed there by Pontius Pilate. It had his seal upon it. The Bible says that it was a very great stone, probably 18 to 20 inches thick, probably 9 feet in diameter. It would have weighed around two tons. There's no way that a few disciples of Jesus are going to rush the Roman soldiers and somehow muscle that stone away. You see, the resurrection is the cornerstone of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the guarantee of heaven for those who trust Jesus Christ. The resurrection is not merely important to our historic Christian faith, but without it, there would be no Christianity at all. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other religions of the world, for it is the doctrine of resurrection that was found only in the person of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
There was a Muslim man in Africa. He had heard about this Jesus. His family and friends had raised him to hate the name of Jesus. Yet, there was this curiosity that he had. Finally, after studying the Bible, and after studying history, and after many years of friends talking to him who were Christians, this man accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. Some of his other friends came to him and said, "What have you done? How can you convert to Christ?" He said, "Well, it's like this." He said, "Suppose you were going down the road and, suddenly, there was a fork in the road, and it went two directions. You didn't know which way to go. Then, there were two men that appeared to you. One was alive and one was dead. Which one would you follow?"
Ladies and gentlemen, this morning we are following a resurrected Savior. His empty tomb is proof of his deity, proof of his promise. But not only the empty tomb. We see in the Book of Acts, the eyewitnesses. He showed himself alive by many infallible proofs, over 500 people. Thomas, for example. The Bible says that Jesus spoke to him, in John 20:27. He said, "Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."
And Jesus didn't say, "Thomas, don't call me God." He received that worship, because Jesus is God. Thomas knew that he was God. You see, Thomas touched the Lord, Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, and Simon Peter, and the disciples on the road to Emmaus and, ultimately, over 500 different people saw the Lord, Jesus Christ as he went about for 40 days showing himself alive by many infallible proofs.
You know, we understand proofs. We understand evidences. When you go, perhaps, to Costco and you buy your groceries. You get that big bag of groceries, maybe that big cart. Maybe, if your husband's with you, you get that big, orange cart and you get lots of stuff maybe you don't even really need, and you're coming to that exit now. So, there's someone normally that stands there, and they say something like this, "May I have your receipt, please." I don't know what they do to you. They look at your receipt and then they look at your stuff. Then they look at you like, "How can you eat all that stuff?" Then they look back at the stuff. You know? They're checking out that receipt.
Now, what's the purpose of the receipt? The purpose of the receipt is to prove that payment has been made. The purpose of the empty tomb is that Jesus Christ is proving to us that payment has been made for our sin. He died for our sin. He rose again for our justification. He showed himself alive to 500 people to leave lasting testimony that he is the Son of the Living God.
So, we see the promise of the resurrection made over and over and over again in the Bible. Then, we hear the proof of the resurrection seen alive by 500 witnesses. But then I want you to see, finally, this morning, the promise of his return. We've seen a promise made, a promise kept. There's one promise that has not yet been fulfilled. We're going to learn about this over the next several weeks. But just to give you a preview, look at verse 9. The Bible says, "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sign. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
Now, this is amazing. If you haven't figured it out by now, we're talking, today, about a God who keeps his promises. So, if God kept his promise – "Tear this temple down; I'll raise it again in three days" – and then he said, "I'm going to come again in like manner, just the way you see me go up in the physical body form; I'm going to come back again," I would submit that all of us need to think about that this morning, that God is a God who keeps his promises.
Now you can trust in yourself, if you like. You can say, "I'm an atheist," if you like. I think to be an atheist you would have to literally go to every planet, you'd have to turn over every rock on every planet, and finally determine that there is no God. You, yourself, would have to be omnipresent to say that there is no God. You can trust yourself, if you want. You can trust in other books, if you want. You can trust in your horoscope, if you want. Some people trust in all kinds of things. I know one fellow that liked to go to Chinese restaurants and read his fortune in the fortune cookie to try to figure out what to do next, until he read this one. It said, "You are a poor, pathetic, gullible fool who seeks advice from bakery products that would steer you wrong every time."
I'm just saying, if you're going to put your trust in something, put your trust in the infallible, reliable word of God. We see that he says, "I’m going to come personally." This same Jesus. Friends, don't give up hope. The world is rife with difficulty and many, many different problems. But there is a promise that we can look for and it is the coming of the Lord, Jesus.
Matthew 24:30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory." Paul said, "For now, we see through a glass darkly. But then face to face." I don't know about you; I'm looking forward to seeing Jesus Christ face to face. All I know of him by faith in the word of God, I know of him because he walks with me and his Spirit lives within me. But one day, I will see him face to face, personally, and it will be a powerful return.
The Bible says in Revelations 1:7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him." I used to wonder, "How is that going to happen?" Well, with technology and so many things in our world changing today, every eye is going to see the Lord, Jesus Christ. "Every eye will see him, and they also which pierced him: and the kindreds from all the earth shall wail because of him." You see, if you're not a believer in Jesus Christ, if you've rejected him, if you've said, "Well, he's one of the prophets, he's one of the good men, but I'm not going to trust in him as my savior," his coming will not be a happy day for you. But if you know him, you'll come with him. It will be the joy and glory of your life.
We see the promise of his resurrection and the proof of his resurrection. Now, we hear the promise of his return. The question is, "Are we ready to see God when he comes?" Jesus spoke to a woman, and he said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
You know the verse, "For God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." You see, the purpose of the Second Coming is that God will not only judge the unbelievers, but he will gather all the believers and so shall we ever be with the Lord. The resurrection then is not merely about candy or Easter eggs or Easter bunnies or lent or self-deprivation or kind of trying to earn our way into heaven through some form or sacraments or some form of works. The resurrection reminds us that the work has already been done. Jesus already paid the price and proved the price when he rose again on the third day. That's what we celebrate today. We celebrate the fact that God has made a way for every man, woman, boy, and girl who will simply turn to his son to find salvation so that they can look forward to seeing him face to face.
Now, if God kept that first promise – "Tear this temple down and I'll bring it back up again" – and if he said, "I'm coming again in like manner," if he said in John 14, "I go to prepare a place for you that, where I am, there you may be also." If he said in John 14, "I'll come again for you," then should we not trust that he will keep his second promise? Let me close with this, friends. Every man, woman, boy, and girl in this room today needs to be ready to see the Lord when he comes. He said he would raise from the dead. He did. He said he's coming again, he will. We're going to learn many scriptures along those lines in the next few weeks. But are you ready? How can someone be ready?
Very quickly, let me tell you how to be ready. We all must believe that we need a savior. If you're trying to convince yourself that you're good enough or you do good works or you're going to get into heaven somehow because of your religious pedigree, you are being tricked today. Religion does not take you to heaven. Jesus takes you to heaven. We all need a savior. Why? Because we're all sinners. We all have disobeyed God's Law. Read the Ten Commandments. You'll find one or two there. But there's many more than that.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. God's glory and sinless perfection is something that I cannot match because I am a sinner and all of us are born in our sin. God knew what we needed. So, he sent his son. You see, if our greatest need would have been education, he would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been economics, he would have sent an economist. If our greatest need had been science, he would have sent a scientist. But our greatest need was forgiveness. So, he sent a savior to forgive us. We must believe that we need a savior.
"The wages of sin," the Bible says, "is death." Our sin, if we try to handle it on our own, will only separate us from God. It will lead to eternal damnation. "The wage of sin is death." But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Now let that sink in. Don't let that be one of those words that just kind of goes. Think of it. The wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life. Not through the Baptist Church, not through your church. Eternal life through our Lord, Jesus Christ. He said, "I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life." So, in Romans 4:25, it says, "He was delivered for our offenses, he was raised again for our justification." Jesus died for our sin. He rose again for our justification.
When you realize that you are a sinner who can't make heaven on your own, who's not going to be ready for the Second Coming on your own, when you understand that and you put your faith in Jesus Christ, he will prepare you and bring you at that Second Coming. It's sort of like this. Each of us in the human race – by the way, let's just understand this this morning, there's really only one race that matters, and it's the human race, and God says we're all fallen. Red, yellow, black, brown, white, we all have the same problem. It's called sin. We're all falling short of God's perfection.
The only way that we, as a fallen human race, can ever get to God is by way of the cross of Jesus Christ. To believe that he died for you, to believe that he rose again for you. The Bible says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." When you put your faith in Jesus Christ as savior, then you have the hope of an eternal life in heaven. But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
So, it says in John 6, as I close, "And this is the will of him that sent me," Jesus said, "that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at that last day."
I had a wonderful mother. Her name was Maxine. She raised four children. She was married to my dad for over 60 years. She has had Alzheimer's the last several years. A few months ago, the Lord called her home. As with all passings and when a loved one is called home like that, you tend to go back and look over the course of the life. My mom was raised in an Irish Catholic home in Chicago. She did all of the sacrament. She tried to be really good. She thought of even being a nun. But there was still something in her heart. She didn't have assurance in her heart that one day she would see Jesus.
So, she began to study the scriptures. She began to listen to a friend, to talk to her about the Lord, and went to hear an evangelist speak at a revival meeting. She finally began to let it sink in that, even though she was a good Catholic girl, still she was a sinner because all are sinners. She finally began to realize that the church could not save her from her sin, that she needed to believe on Jesus Christ, alone, to save her from her sin. When my mom was 16 years old, she accepted Jesus Christ as savior. I think of many things when I think of heaven, when I think of the coming of the Lord, but one of the things that I think about, to be honest with you, is seeing my mom again. During the Alzheimer's and with COVID, we couldn’t visit her. I just look forward to being able to tell her how much I love her and just to see her again.
But there's someone I look forward to seeing so much more, and it's the one that died on the cross for me, the Lord, Jesus Christ, himself. Oft time, the day seems long. Life's trials hard to bear, but, friend, it will be worth it all when we see Jesus Christ. I’m telling you, just as surely as Jesus said, "Tear this temple down, and I'll raise it up again," he said, "I'm going to come back again in like manner," and he tells us that we need to be ready. If you have not trusted Christ as your savior, you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ.
This morning, I want to encourage you to make yourself ready by turning from your sin and saying, "Lord, I don't know everything about the Bible or about God, but I do believe that I am a sinner and that you died on that cross for my sin, and I want to call upon you to come into my life. Forgive my sin and take me with you when you come again for all of eternity." Friend, when someone expresses simple faith in Jesus, to ask him to be your personal savior, he will never cast you away. He will bring you in. He will seal that decision and give you a home in heaven for all of eternity.
The first promise was kept. The second promise will be kept. Don't be like the student who forgot the words of the teacher. Receive those words today. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. You've heard it this morning. Now is your opportunity to put faith in the promise of God.
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