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The King Returns For Us Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 3, 2021 1:00 am

The King Returns For Us Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 3, 2021 1:00 am

Somewhere a “doomsday clock” supposedly measures how close we are to annihilating ourselves, and it claims that it is almost midnight. But as Christians, we can anticipate the end of days with hope. When the time’s up, Jesus will return to the earth and take charge.

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One reason for us. Jesus somewhere doomsday clock measures how close we are to annihilating so it's almost midnight, and another clock is ticking. When the times are Jesus, he returned to the left in a cloud top the Mount of olives, the King of Kings take charge from the Moody church this morning when with Dr. Sir teaching sauce make across the finish line outline for us your series on the King is coming Dave I'm so excited about this series of messages because were going to be discussing future events that will change our lives for all of eternity. You know, when you stop to think about what the Bible says about the return of Jesus. Both Old Testament and New Testament, you realize that it's difficult for us to get our minds around it, and yet we must grasp it as well as we can. Because these truths are life-changing. I hope right now that everyone who's listening to this ministry will get on the phone call your friends. Tell them to listen to running to win because were going to be discussing in detail the King is coming and all of the events that are in the future and I can tell you this, you will participate.

So now let's go to the pulpit of Moody church were we have the opening sermon on the King is coming. There is a bumper sticker that reads Jesus is coming back soon everybody look busy but Jesus may be coming back soon and I hope that if he does we don't only busy but that we will be busy doing his work need to tell you that prophecy has a bad name today for several different reasons. First of all because of false predictions, and I'm not just simply talking about the people who gather on a hilltop believing that Jesus is going to come that night on a certain day, we had enough of that in church history, I'm talking about goodness saying Bible teachers look at the Scriptures carefully and then have made predictions regarding how many years it's going to be our were very close to midnight and somehow midnight never comes one day at the Moody Bible Institute library. I checked out a book of a well-known Christian statesman who is in heaven today. Who in the 40s wrote a book showing that Hitler was the Antichrist.

Mussolini was the false prophet and it really looked as if he had a case for what he believed, but he was wrong.

So in this series of messages were not going to speculate regarding time. I'm not going to be talking about who I think the Antichrist is and whether or not he's alive today and whether we can know in advance who he is. I'd like this series of messages to still be relevant even if Jesus doesn't come in the next 10 years of the next 20 years or beyond it because what I want to do is to share with you things that we know will happen, even though the timeframe is unknown to us. There's a second reason why it is that people today are skeptical about prophecy and that is the controversy you know where you have to be introduced to some of these controversies you know is Jesus going to come before the tribulation after the tribulation.

But even though these controversies are important and some of you may wonder why is it that you just can't all agree get everybody in the same room with the same Bible and then come up with a chart that we can depend on the reason that's difficult is because the Bible tells us what's going to happen but it doesn't lay out the sequences kind of left up to us as to figure out the sequence of events. That's part of the problem. The other problem is that some people take the Scriptures more literally than others, and the more literally you take them, you fall into one camp or the other. Now in this series of messages will introduce you to these controversies but it is not at all. My intention to try to prove one view over another or spend a lot of time trying to argue a point. What I'd like to do is to give you first of all, a sequence of events, and the sequence may not be entirely accurate but I want to speak about events that we know will take place. They will happen even if when Jesus comes, we discover that our sequence may be needed some adjustment. Secondly, the purpose of these messages is for you to fall in love with Jesus all over again. The apostle Paul says it is time for me to be offered, that is, it is time for me to die and he says I thought a good fight. I've kept the faith. Therefore there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me on that day and not to me only, but to all them also love his appearing as a result of these messages. I want you to love Jesus more and I want you to long for his appearing. Just like Paul did.

And just like we should do, then the other reason is, of course, to be ready for Christ's return. John says that we should live in such a way as to not have shame at his coming. The clear implication is some Christians are going to have shame at the coming of Jesus while now you say to Mabel Pastor Luther. What if I lived without shame live a very good life. And then Jesus doesn't return in my lifetime. What if I have to die. You've lost nothing because those who die before Christ comes. They had no advantage at all, or disadvantage, as the case may be, as we shall show today from the Scriptures, and in this series of messages because I'm so anxious to see your life changed for out of the 10 messages are going to be about advance in which you will participate. Whether you're alive at the coming of Jesus Christ, or whether you die. Either way, you will be there.

One of the events is the message today on the rapture of the church next time were going to speak about the judgment seat of Jesus Christ were all believers will appear. What an event that is going to be and that's where some of us might experience shame at his coming, and then following that were going to talk about the marriage supper of the Lamb.

All believers will be there as well. Then of course we'll talk about geopolitical events will talk about the rise of antichrist. In this series but then we conclude by talking about Jesus Christ invitation for us to rule with him. Another event in which you will participate as a believer so you stay with us the intention his life changed. Peter says, in light of the fact that all these things are going to be destroyed, what manner of people we ought to be and all holiness and that's where this series is going were anxious to see your life changed all that. By way of introduction. Now we do have to introduce you to some terms, some expressions and some differences when we talk about prophecy. First of all I want to introduce you to what is known as pre-tribulation is pre-tribulation is him is the view that Jesus Christ's return is going to be into stages.

First of all, he comes for his church and the church therefore is exempt from the great tribulation, which takes place after that 7+ years.

It may be longer than seven years and then Jesus returns at the end of that.

To establish his kingdom in the first coming.

He comes for his saints.

The next time he appears it is with his saints that is known as pre-tribulation is him. The church is exempt from the tribulation. Christ comes before the tribulation. And so the church that is us who are believers are in heaven. When the tribulation is going on on earth. There's also post-tribulation is imposed. Tribulation says that Jesus has only one appearing and it's going to be after the tribulation so the church will go through the tribulation. There will be antichrist, etc. and then Jesus comes any comes to receive his church and to establish his kingdom all at the same time so the church goes through the tribulation, pre-tribulation is him post-tribulation is, you should become acquainted with those terms. Now here at the Moody church.

I need to tell you that we do accept either view but for my purposes, I'm going to assume without going into detail why the pre-tribulation rapture of the church that is to say that the coming of Jesus is going to be in two stages.

Today I speak about what is known as the rapture of the church today. I think of somebody this past week was that all your speaking on the rapture the word rapture doesn't even occur in the Bible. Now I have to smile at that point because if you have your Bibles as you ought to have your Bibles I want you to turn with me to first Thessalonians chapter 4 first Thessalonians chapter 4 and if you didn't bring your Bible I think the Bible that you have there in that the seat in front of you is probably page 987 987 because that will be reading this passage, but I want to look at one expression in verse 17 it says 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 caught up together. The Latin word is wrapped euro from which we get the word rapture so it's true that the English translation does not have word rapture but rapture is a thoroughly biblical term.

Now you say will do both post-tribulation, NIST and pre-tribulation us believe in the rapture.

Absolutely. Here it is in God's word and both of them except as authoritative. The difference is this. And thank you for following along you'll notice that it says the dead in Christ. In verse 16 that will rise first because I believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church.

I take the dead in Christ to be only the church because the church was formed on the day of Pentecost and by the Holy Spirit. We were baptized into Christ and so it's the dead in Christ. Abraham died, a believer, but he didn't die in Christ and he is going to be raised. I believe some time before the millennial kingdom begins and will talk about that at this is the bride of Christ. It is the dead in Christ shall rise well with all of that is background.

Now let's look at the sequence of events in this sequence is one that whether you are pretrip or post-trip you would agree with you would not necessarily agree with who is going to be raised, but the sequence in the Scripture is very clear now. Before we look at first as for in detail.

I need to say that the background is this that whenever Paul planted a church you know you ask yourself the question. Well I'm into church planting. What would you teach the people Paul always taught the people about the return of Christ he taught them to look forward to the return of Christ. That's very clear he's there in Thessalonica and he is talking about but some Christians were confused because they were living in anticipation of Christ's return and some of their members had died, so they're saying hey you know my friends they didn't live until the return of Christ through this.

Those folks did neither Christ as income for 2000 years. But the question they had in the back of their mind was a very good one, namely if people died before Christ returns. Are they at a disadvantage now to live when Christ returns seen so much better. What about my uncle. What about my wife, my husband, my child will they be at a disadvantage. Paul's answers we shall see, is a resounding no.

Not at all. Would you be at a disadvantage. All right. With that background, let's look at the sequence now that Paul lays out of events, but we do not want you to be uninformed the brothers. This is verse 16 about those who are asleep and that is those who have died that you may not grieve as others who have no hope. I need to pause here.

Cyprian, one of the earlier writers who lived in the year to hundreds in that era said that if it were not for the plagues. Christianity would've never swept North Africa. He said the plagues were what did it because the Christians died better. The pagan set of the Christians. They carry their dead as if in triumph. Where's all this hope coming from. We'd like to have hope to and so the Christians would witness to the saving grace of Jesus because Christians die differently so pulses grieve, but your grief isn't a hopeless grief. More could be said about that verse 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. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and who are left until the coming of the Lord. We will not precede those who have fallen asleep stop there for a moment sequence number one is this Paul says that those who have died, who are believers, God through Jesus will bring with him to see when a person dies today this past week Rebecca and I were in Colorado Springs for the funeral of a dear friend was a musician, died unexpectedly in his sleep and by the way, as a musician. He may have something still to do in heaven. I need to tell you that as a preacher of the gospel in heaven, I will be unofficially unemployed, they will not need me to preach the gospel.

There, but you see, his body was laid tenderly in the ground and we were there at his grave and his soul went with God to God, and it took on the characteristics of the bodies of the people who died today.

They can communicate they recognize one another. There, in the presence of Jesus enjoying him but they are still there permanent resurrection body has not yet been given to them. So the apostle Paul is saying that when Jesus comes in the rapture. Jesus brings with him all who have slept all who have died in Christ and oh so tempting to hurry over this, but let's not fall into that temptation. You realize what this means. I'm thinking of my father who died at 106 years old. I'm thinking of relatives, friends who are in heaven. Children whom we said goodbye to who are going to be up there who are there now with Jesus and they are going to return them and just imagine you got all of these souls of the dead. The Bible says coming back with Christ now souls are very much alive, but the first stage is Jesus comes back with those who have died.

That's exactly what the text says so.

Though God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. That's number one number two. Their bodies, their bodies will arise from the dead.

Now we have to pick up the text again. I'd like to begin here.

Verse 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 that dead in Christ shall rise first. While their bodies are going to join their spirits souls will now be close as the apostle Paul says because their bodies will rise from the dead, and it says the Lord will send with a shout of command. He will say again that you've been dead long enough, and there they will be bodies will rise and connect with their souls to know about you, my friend, but it takes my breath away. Imagine this someday US a believer are going to be caught up in the air to be with Christ.

You'll have a brand-new body I was saying to somebody the other day who is suffering with so many different ailments. I said with a smile. Aren't you glad that you don't have any trouble in your body that a good resurrection won't solve.

We all look forward to our new bodies, but more than that. We look forward to the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe so deeply that these messages are intended to transform our lives. That's why prophecy is given in the New Testament so that it is life transforming and I've written a book entitled the King is coming.

It contains much of the content that you will hear in these sermons and I want you to invite your friends to listen to these sermons but also if you would like to have a copy of the book the King is coming for a gift of any amount were making this resource available. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now I want to encourage you, as I mentioned at the beginning of this message I want to encourage you to call your friends invite them to listen. I believe that what the Lord Jesus Christ is predicted and what the Bible has to say about the future.

As I've emphasized already, is intended to help us live here and to do so victoriously. So tell them about the series. The King is coming.

Invite them to listen because together will learn what is in store for our future time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luke certain question about the Bible or the Christian life over the years. Differing viewpoints have arisen on the sequence of events to take place when Jesus comes back a listener named John has this question for you Pastor Luther. Why do people believe in the secret rapture where Jesus comes back secretly and takes the church out of the earth before the great tribulation. I get the impression that when Jesus returns. It will be seen by everyone in the world will end the answer to your question is yes and yes.

You see, many people believe that the return of Jesus Christ will happen in two stages.

There will be a secret rapture and the passage of Scripture, for this is first Thessalonians chapter 4 where the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise now that might not sound very secret, but it's almost a passage that teaches that only the believers are in view here and it goes on to say that we shall be with the Lord in the air. So that's the secret rapture. If you put it that way. But then, of course, in Matthew chapter 24, it says that as the lightning goes from the east to the west social the coming of the Son of Man be that the Son of Man is going to come in the clouds of glory. So if you keep those two Cummings distinct one for the church and then one in glory where every eyes sees him. You'll understand that you are quite right that when the Lord returns every eyes going to see him, but that's the second stage of his return first stage, I wouldn't necessarily call it a secret rapture but it does seem as if the church only, is in view. I conclude with this challenge read first Thessalonians chapter 4.

The passage about the rapture. Read Matthew 24 the verses that pertain to the glorious return of Christ and ask yourself is this the same event. There seems to be evidence that it is a different event at a different time return of Christ in two stages. Not one. Thank you John and thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614, the return of Jesus will be the ultimate game changer. Any priority we had before will be over with the dead in Christ will rise first.

Bill join Jesus in the air just before those who are alive at the time of his coming. Next time I'm running to win more about a very special day when our bodies will become immortal and how believers should live their lives in view of this soon return of Jesus. Thanks for listening.

This is Dave Callister running to win is sponsored teacher

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