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5/1/2021 - Living in Expecation of Christ's Return

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2021 12:00 am

5/1/2021 - Living in Expecation of Christ's Return

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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May 1, 2021 12:00 am

5/1/2021 - Living in Expecation of Christ's Return by Truth for a New Generation

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TNG Radio, where today's culture and timeless truths come together. It's reasoned relevant content apologetics, worldview, and answers to the questions that you need to know. From Alex McFarland Ministries, this is Truth for a New Generation Radio.

And now the man who preached in 50 states in 50 days, speaker, writer, and advocate for Christian apologetics, Dr. Alex McFarland. How are we to live in expectation of Christ's return? What is the appropriate mindset, the right posture to maintain as we think about the return of Jesus and the end of time? Well, the Bible makes some promises regarding this in 1 Thessalonians 5, 23-24 in the New Testament. It says, And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful who also will do it. You know, it says that God will keep our body, soul, and spirit sound, that means preserved, blameless, we are declared righteous through our faith in Christ, until the coming of our Lord Jesus. And I want to talk about that on today's program, Living in Expectation of Christ's Return.

And really, four things to aspire to, or to keep in mind, four things to aim toward as we anticipate our meeting with Jesus. You know, as I record this today, I had a very, very special day. I spent a great portion of the day with a hero that I've admired for many years. Some of you are going to know this name. For about three hours today, I was with a man named Arthur Blessed.

Do you remember that name? Arthur Blessed was very famous in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. He walked around the world carrying the cross. In the 60's, he really was the man that God used to ignite what we call the Jesus movement. A great awakening, and he was in California. He had been a pastor in a few churches, but on the Sunset Strip in California, Arthur Blessed had a coffee house for young people called His Place. Amidst all the bars and all the dives, Arthur opened up a Christian coffee house, and they had worship and church seven nights a week, and they led thousands of young people to Christ.

And that really ignited the Jesus movement from around 1967 to about 1975. And I had the privilege of going to Arthur's house in Denver, Colorado, and what an amazing man of God. He's 81 years old now, and somewhat feeble, but he showed me his archives of the cross that was on the wall at the coffee shop, and he pulled it down off the wall, and he walked across America to Washington, D.C. and he went to Ireland, and then over the next 50 years would go to 300 nations. He went through jungles where he was told that it's impossible for a human to cross through and live.

The snakes and the animals will get you, and yet he survived and was fine and led tens of thousands of people to Christ along the way. Arthur showed me pictures of him praying with Yasser Arafat and Muammar Gaddafi and four or five popes and Billy Graham and dozens of elected officials and presidents and people like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin and the stars of Hollywood. And then he spent time in Syria and crossed the deserts of Egypt.

Interestingly, this pilgrim, and I would urge you to learn about Arthur Blessed. I mean, his story is so inspiring. He said that when he would go into the Middle Eastern countries, Israel and even places like North Korea several times and North Africa and Morocco and the intensely Islamic parts of the world where missionaries can't go, and yet he was treated royally just wherever he went and shared the gospel. He did say that really two of the most harsh places against the gospel twenty-five, thirty years ago, New York City, getting beaten up in Los Angeles, California, that probably the cities with the most vehement rejection of the cross and the gospel message.

One was New York City and the other was Hollywood, California. But what a joy to visit with this man and talk about soul winning and talk about evangelism and the things of God. And two things that really struck in my mind, I want to share them with you.

I really wanted to interview Arthur, but he was just about too weak to talk. But he said this. He said that when we come to Christ, oftentimes we think about being saved and not going to hell. And that is part of the gospel, that if a person trusts Christ, their sins are forgiven, their name is in the Lamb's Book of Life, and they'll go to heaven, not hell. But Arthur said as the time has gone on, decades of knowing Jesus, he said the greatest glory of salvation is not merely having the assurance that you're going to miss judgment. He said the great thing about salvation is the intimate presence of Jesus every hour of every day. And now that he can't travel and speak as he did for decades, he said every day the presence of Jesus is so powerful and so sweet and so wonderful.

And I know what he means. And one of the things that we just love to shout and proclaim to everybody is the beautiful thing about being a born again believer. Yes, you will go to heaven when you leave this world. Yes, God hears your prayers and he will never leave you nor forsake you. And you can trust in him and he will make straight your paths. But one of the wonderful things about being saved that the world needs to know is that Jesus is that friend who sticks closer than a brother. That if you're a believer, Christ is with you. And the intimate, comforting, empowering presence of Jesus is a joy all day every day. But Arthur Blessed said this too. He said that he would win souls and he faithfully served Jesus courageously. I mean the man went 43,000 miles on foot. No human in history has ever traveled around the world multiple times around the equator, around the whole planet sharing the gospel.

But here's part of what his motivation was. Thinking about the return of Christ. That Christ is coming back. You know 1 Thessalonians 3.13 says of Christ's return, quote, may he make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. Amen.

Now you think about this. Christ's return is a reality. It is a comfort. It is a motivation. Christ's return is really an incentive because there are the promises related to his return, but really a warning that we are to be without spot or blemish. We are to stay faithful. We're to be ready. So stay tuned.

We're going to come back after this brief break and we'll talk about four things to aspire to as we anticipate our meeting with Jesus. America today is like a patient struggling to live, yet is being forcibly euthanized by her, quote, doctors. The life force within the patient fighting for survival is the honest citizens like yourself.

The team of, quote, caregivers are the local and national leaders actually contributing to the demise of the patient. The economy is crashing. Crime is exploding. The Constitution is being abolished. The assault on America. How to defend our nation before it's too late by Alex McFarland has one single purpose to get you prepared. Learn the real source of America's current problems that no one else is talking about and what you can do now to face tomorrow, regardless of what tomorrow brings. The assault on America.

How to defend our nation before it's too late. Available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and local Christian bookstores. Welcome to the podcast.

I hear you. We are so excited that you joined us. And this is just going to be a great new podcast dealing with issues around race, issues around friendship and how do we deal with the tough issues. And I'm so excited to be here with my good friend, Alex.

It's great to be with you, Odell. And on the I Hear You podcast, we talk about race. We talk about culture. We talk about politics. And sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree. But we find resolution and common ground. And you know what's really cool? Not only do we learn new things, we make friends, we grow. And that's good for all of us. We're just two friends, one white, one black. And we just invite everyone to come and join and share with us.

It's a big difference between hearing and listening. And we're going to show people we love it. We look forward to it. And audience, thank you so much for giving us this chance.

I Hear You with Alex and Odell, wherever you get your podcasts. For apologetics resources, books by Alex McFarland and to find out where Alex is speaking, visit Welcome back to Truth For A New Generation. We're talking about the end of time. And we opened up with 1 Thessalonians 5, 23-24 about our body, soul and spirit being kept blameless. Do you know, we are three parts. We're made in the image of God. And God is a Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Now human beings are not God. We are not the divine creator that Christ is. We are the creature.

We're made, but we're made in God's image. And there is a certain Trinity to man – body, soul and spirit. In the New Testament it talks about really the part of you that lives forever somewhere is your spirit and your body. Of course you know what your body is – your tissue, flesh and bones. Your soul – we often talk about the soul being your soul will go to heaven. But really the word for soul is the word psyche which is your mind, your knowledge, your will, your emotions. And all of these things are beneficiaries in Christ's redemption – your body, soul and spirit. Now one day you'll get a glorified body. But even right now, and I think Paul was alluding to this when he talked about renewing the inner man, your soul and spirit can be strengthened and renewed day by day as you feed on the Word of God.

Now think about these things. It says you'll be kept sound. The word is really preserved – 1 Thessalonians 5 23. In the original Greek, may your spirit, soul and body be kept sound.

The implication is a preservative that is administered from without. And the wording there – sound – really means guarded over. Do you know that the Lord Jesus is guarding over you right now?

He really is. And it says that we are to be kept blameless. Now this very same word is found in 1 Thessalonians 3 13 and it means without fault or defect.

Isn't that something? In the eyes of God, you're blameless if you're a born-again believer because the righteousness of Christ has been attributed to you without fault or defect. Unblamable, says 1 Thessalonians 5 23. The Greek word there really means above reproach because morally pure. Do you know in the eyes of God, if you're a born-again believer, even you might struggle, you might stumble, we all do.

But you are above reproach because you have been declared righteous in the eyes of God. And that word is interesting. It's also found in Philippians 1 verse 10. This word appears.

And I want to read it right now. It's a fascinating verse because it means in this context appropriate. It says that you may approve the things that are excellent and that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Without offense if you're a born-again believer.

And so we often beat ourselves up and we say oh I blow it all the time and you know I've messed up again. Yes, and that's why in the Bible is 1 John 1 9. Now we often use 1 John 1 9 in the context of evangelism, but it's really written to believers. And it says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So as we anticipate our meeting with Jesus, we are to stand in our soundness, letting God preserve us, guard over us, guide us, to understand that in the eyes of God you're blameless. You're declared righteous, that's your true identity.

We are to live like it. And then 1 Thessalonians 3 13 blameless, listen, in holiness. Now the word is really sanctification.

You know this word I'm sure. Sanctification to be set apart, set aside. In Strong's Concordance this speaks to quote the Holy Spirit's influence preparing the believer for eternity.

Now you think about that. The longer you walk with Jesus, the more the old things don't even have a pull on you anymore, or they shouldn't at least. The old ways, the old behaviors, but even the old emotions and the way you act and the way you react, you are more and more and more sanctified, brought into conformity with the nature of Jesus. And I love what Strong's Concordance says, the Holy Spirit's work of preparing the believer for eternity. You see God's sanctification in your life that brings the gift of holiness, it means that you can fully enjoy eternal life now and in the hereafter. Now regarding holiness, we really ought to be living in such a way that when we do transition from out of this world into heaven there should not be a lot of culture shock.

Now think about that. There are a lot of believers and yes they have trusted Christ and they are born again, but they have not really shaped their mind in accord with scripture. They are not really living that new life and when they leave this world and they are suddenly in the presence of the Lord in heaven there is going to be a big change because here on earth there has not been change. Sanctification means we are doing our utmost to be in conformity to the Word of God, in conformity to the nature of Jesus and we are letting the Holy Spirit lead our lives and do the driving. That is what sanctification is supposed to be about. And then finally we are supposed to be pure. I mentioned Philippians 1.10, there is a word in that verse for purity to which we have been called. As Lewis said, there is a purity to which all believers are called. It says that we may approve the things that are excellent and be sincere and without offense until the day of Jesus Christ. The wording in Philippians 1.10 really means uncontaminated as a believer. Are you uncontaminated or is the stench of the world still about you?

Maybe your vocabulary, your language, the way that you talk and the way that you fly off and you lose your temper. There is a joy friend and a life surrendered, submitted, I am going to say subjugated by the Holy Spirit. Now as we think about the return of Christ, as we look toward the end of history and we may be close, it is time to get our house in order. It is time to be prepared. Revelation 22.20, he who testifies to these things says, yes, I am coming soon. Jesus Christ is coming back. We need to be ready. Now stay tuned, we've got a break coming up and we've got several very exciting announcements. So stay tuned to this edition of Truth For A New Generation. Alex McFarland here. We're talking about living in expectation of Christ's return.

Don't go away. Join Alex McFarland for Spiritual Awakening In Our Times. Study in the book of Acts, June 25-27 in the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove near Asheville, North Carolina. Acts records the first days of the early church and tells the story of a powerful spiritual awakening among Jews and Gentiles alike. The book of Acts also contains personal lessons about revival for believers like us today. In the seminar, Alex will examine God's principles for spiritual renewal and evangelism that work in every age, including ours.

You'll also discover how you could personally walk in the power and joy of the Holy Spirit, regardless of your circumstances. To register for Spiritual Awakening In Our Times, study in the book of Acts with Alex McFarland, June 25-27. Go to

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Truth for a new generation radio. Welcome back to the program. We are talking about living in expectation of Christ's return. Hey, the time is getting close. I want to remind everybody that I will be at the COVE, the Billy Graham Training Center in Western North Carolina, June 25-27. We'll be going through the book of Acts, the New Testament book of Acts. We'll have the opportunity to fellowship with believers from all over North America. We'll pray together. We will join our hearts and our voices in intercession. And I would love for you to be there.

There are probably just a few seats left. You can go to and Google my name, Alex McFarland, or look for the June 25-27 seminar on the book of Acts. We'd love for you to be there. Also, on my own website, which is, we've got a lot of events that are on the calendar and coming up. So check out the calendar. I want to remind everybody we have got another Truth for a New Generation conference coming up October 15-17.

Now, mark your calendar. We haven't done a lot of promotion yet, but we're going to be in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, working with First Baptist Church of Myrtle Beach and several other ministries down there. We're going to have a conference, one of our TNG events, October 15-17, and one of the things we're going to focus on is reaching millennials for Christ. My heart breaks when I hear about the twenty-somethings that so many, maybe they grew up in church, but they've walked away from God.

Or maybe they are completely secular. We must have God move among the twenty-somethings and younger. We're going to talk about that and we're going to bring together some speakers to equip you and your church to make a difference. So be in prayer, please, for the fall of 2021, the Truth for a New Generation event in Myrtle Beach.

It will be October 15-17. We'll tell you much more about that. But right now, living in expectation of Christ's return. By the way, this is the subject of eschatology, end time things. I want to make a point here to say that the Bible makes no provision whatsoever for reincarnation or what some people say, quote unquote, a second chance. I've had people tell me that if they didn't make it in this life, quote unquote, they would come back multiple times. But the Bible says in Hebrews 9, 27-28, And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Jesus is coming back.

I mean, really, think about this. Israel is in their land. There's instability around the world. Every day we're watching the calls for a cashless society, going to cryptocurrencies.

Look, the mask mandate of the last year, year and a half, shows how governments and culture itself will pressure people into doing things. And friend, there's really nothing that stands in the way of prohibiting the rapture from taking place and Christ calling out the church. Seven years of tribulation will ensue. Matthew 24 30 talks about the day that he would return, and he said, quote, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. Now Zechariah 14 3 through 4 says Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives will split in two. Jesus will ride to earth from heaven on a white horse and will rightly and victoriously assume his place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Revelation 19 11 through 16. You know, it's interesting, just as the Red Sea was parted, and just as the Mount of Olives will cleave and split in two, there is a line of division going down through history. And look, the line of demarcation by which we delineate human beings, it's not fundamentally male and female, although that is objectively true. Genesis 1 26 27 God made male and female. Friends, transgenderism is false. But listen to this, the fundamental division criteria of history.

It's not rich or poor, East or West, Jew, Gentile, Oriental, Occidental. Look, it all boils down to, are you saved? Have you trusted Christ? When history concludes, there will be those that received Jesus and those that didn't. And so we are to live in expectation of Christ's return. And for those of us that know the Lord, we are to help others find the Lord. And as Arthur Blessed said, we are to be committed to evangelism. You know, when I was with Arthur, we were talking about the end of time. And he was talking about that in one of his books, The Cross Bearer.

Let me read a little portion here. Arthur Blessed said, there are many who bear the cross, but they do not follow the Lord. They've come for salvation, but they're not really surrendered to Jesus. They forget that salvation is not merely a future admittance to heaven, but is an immediate enjoyment of the presence of Jesus. Here in our life now, as a friend, as our guide, taking up the cross is but an incident.

It is indispensable indeed, but is not the whole of our duty. We are to hunger to be a true cross-bearer following Jesus. And we are to overcome the conflict between Jesus and the world, between Jesus and religion, overcome the conflict between Jesus and myself. We are a pilgrim every day, says Arthur Blessed, allowing Jesus to be at work in us. And he said, be assured the process can be painful.

And it really can. But do you know what's even more painful than the discipline of discipleship? That pain that many will experience of meeting Christ unprepared.

Are you ready? Are you sound and blameless and holy and set apart and letting Jesus be Lord, God, Messiah, Teacher, King? He is the Lord of all that you are? I pray for you. And I hope you're praying for us. I hope you're following what we believe God is telling us to teach and proclaim that we are to be pure and blameless, because we will meet Christ face to face one day. May God bless you. May God be with you. Stand strong for the truth. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-23 17:54:05 / 2023-11-23 18:04:05 / 10

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