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CREDO Powered By Docstoc
					                                             CREDO Part 7
                    “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come
                       in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Christ's Ascension into heaven signifies his participation, in his humanity, in God's power and
authority. Jesus Christ is Lord: he possesses all power in heaven and on earth. Christ is Lord of the
cosmos and of history. In him human history and indeed all creation are "set forth" and transcendently

What's this world coming to? We hear of hijackings & hostages, mass suicide & starvation, threats of
war & global annihilation. What's this world coming to? There is a depletion of non-renewable energy
resources and chemical poisoning of our ground water supply, toxic waste and acid rain. What's this
world coming to? Escalating abortion rates, child pornography, sodomy, and prostitution. What's this
world coming to?

Sure we have always had problems. The world has been in trouble ever since Eve said to Adam, "I'm
hungry. Let's go out to eat." But now our problems seem so much more complicated and insoluble.

When times got bad for the early Christians they didn't say, "Look what this world is coming to,"
but "Look who is coming to this world!" Instead of looking around and being depressed, they
looked up and were at rest. They knew Jesus was the Lord of history and that he would return at the
end of time to put things right.

For Christians history has a purpose and a plan. History is "His story," a long epic novel with a
grand and glorious concluding chapter. You and I have the good fortune to be living in the last days of
the late great planet earth. Not since the dawn of creation has there been a more exiting time to be

The second coming of Jesus is a neglected subject. The second coming of Jesus is a controversial
subject. I would prefer to deal with social and moral issues, like abortion and homosexuality and gun
control, are also controversial but much more dangerous. Why? Because people care deeply about
them. About the second coming of Jesus they merely have an opinion. Thus the subject is controversial
but pitifully safe.

If I am successful, however, I will make you as excited about the second coming of Jesus as you are
about Gay rights and Pro-life. And if I fail, the failure will certainly be in me, not in my subject, for the
second coming of Jesus is one of the most astonishing truths in the Bible. It is the greatest news story
mind can imagine. A cure for AIDS or an extra-terrestrial invasion of earth would be bumped from the
front page by the second coming to earth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Is it real? Dare we believe it?

VIGILANCE is demanded of you-and vigilance is alertness, keeping watch with expectation.
Vigilance over yourself, over your thoughts, desires, and deeds-this is the strict ordinance of your faith.
Alertness sharpens spiritual vision, so that it can see and discern good and evil, and can know who
is coming into your heart and thoughts.

By keeping watch, one repulses an enemy and admits a friend. Expectation fortifies love and a clean
conscience. To whom does this greatest expectation of yours pertain? To the Beloved, to the Most
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Beloved, to the One whose love brought you into this world, and whose love will greet you in the other
world. Lo, He has promised to come. And human souls tremble at that promise, like love that trembles
when it expects its beloved.

This expectation fortifies love and a clean conscience. "Watch therefore, for you do not know the
day or the hour when the Son of man will come" (Matt. 25:13). These are His words, words of
warning. May you not be like the five foolish virgins, who in their carelessness were caught by
surprise and cast out. He is coming-stay awake and keep watch!

He came once; He will come again.
The first time He came in humility; the second time He will come in glory.
The first time He came as the Redeemer of the world; the second time He will come as the Judge of the
world. The difference between His first and second coming is very great.
During His first coming He spent thirty-three years on earth. His second coming will last a very short
time. "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 He himself said about His own second coming (Matt. 24:27).

Thus the second coming of the Lord will be unexpected and as quick as lightning. He gave this
warning to all the faithful: "Watch therefore, for you do not know at which hour your Lord will
come" (Matt. 24:42).

The first time He came as a painstaking Sower; the second time He will come as a swift winnower.
(To separate the chaff from (grain) by means of a current of air; To rid of undesirable parts; To separate or
get rid of (an undesirable part))
And just as winnowing is a brief task compared to the many tasks involving crops from the time of
sowing to the time of winnowing, so shall His second coming, when compared to the first, be swift and
brief. Oh, and how unexpected it will be!

Therefore, vigilance is demanded of you, along with alertness of spirit, watchfulness, and expectation.

I believe Jesus is coming again for five reasons.
        1. THE SCRIPTURES FORETELL IT. His second coming is mentioned 318 times in the
        New Testament. One out of every 25 verses refers to it. Unless the Bible is conceived to be a
        collection of fantastic fairy tales, we must believe that Jesus is coming again.

        2. JESUS HIMSELF PROMISED IT. He said, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will
        come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also" (John
        14:3). He said it, I believe it and that settles it. Heaven and earth will pass away, but Christ's
        words will not pass away (Matthew 24:35). He will come again even as he promised.

        3. THE ANGELS DECLARED IT. At his ascension angels said to the disciples, "Why do
        you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into
        heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven" (Acts 1:10-11).
        4. THE LORD'S SUPPER REMINDS US. Paul said, "For as often as you eat this bread
        and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26).
        Every time we receive communion we remember the life, death and coming again of Jesus

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        declares, he "ascended into heaven… from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the
        dead." Creeds of every major denomination, Catholic and Protestant, include it. To neglect or
        deny the Lord's coming is heresy. To fix a date for it is lunacy. Some of you may be thinking,
        "What's the big deal about the second coming of Christ?" Isn't it enough to believe that there is
        life after death? To know that I will be with Jesus when I die is certainly a comforting thought,
        but what death is for the individual; the second coming is to the earth. It means Jesus hasn't
        given up on this world. He is coming again to put things right.

II. HIS COMING WILL BE PERSONAL. He is not going to write us a letter or send an angel in his
place. "I will come," he said. His coming will be literal. At his ascension while the disciples were
watching,) "he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). Then the angel
promised Jesus "will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Indeed, we will meet him in the clouds. "For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the
archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in
Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together
with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians

III. HIS COMING WILL BE VISIBLE. Visible to the church, He "will appear a second time, not
to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him" (Hebrews 9:28). And visible
to the world. "Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced
him and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail" (Revelation 1:7). Don't believe those
who say his second coming will be secret. His first coming was -- except to a few shepherds and wise
men. But when he comes again everyone will see him whether they want to or not. For some it will be
a time of celebration, for others a time of grief. "All the tribes of the earth will wail (Revelation 1:7b)"
They won't be singing the Hallelujah Chorus; they'll sing the blues.

You won't get the news over CNN. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as
the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:27). With the speed of light the
whole world will know that Jesus is here.

He will come in the glory of the saints. "When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will
be revealed with him in glory" (Colossians 3:4).
He will come in the glory of the angels. "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels
with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory" (Matthew 25:31).
He will come in the glory of God. "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his
Father" (Matthew 16:27).

He will come to "judge the quick and the dead." The quick are the living who will stand before him in
judgment along with all those who have died. "For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of
Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or
evil" (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Paul describes this day "When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in
flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the
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gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from
the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Destruction doesn't mean extinction or annihilation, because the adjective "eternal" would be useless.
Destruction means separation from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his might — a fate
worse than fire.

His judgment is a compliment. It means God thinks you are important. He takes you seriously — a
lot more seriously than you take yourself. It is not apes and dinosaurs who stand before him. He loves
you so much he sent his Son to die for you and to return for you.


We all live with us as king over our own lives and as such there is no doubt that when we stand before
Christ's judgment, all of us in our sinful state, would be found guilty and the Bible tells us that the
punishment for sin is hell. However God, through his grace, love and compassion has dealt with this,
he sent Christ to take the punishment for sin that we deserve so that we can avoid hell and more than
that so that we gain access to heaven.

God's actions demand a response from us. In order for us to be considered blameless at the day of
judgment we have to recognize and live with Christ as Lord, as the ruler of our lives. And when he
returns to Judge, the fundamental thing he's going to judge is our response to him.

For those who have accepted him as Lord, for those who try to live with him as King there will be no
condemnation, eternal life in the presence of God will be theirs. But my friends let me warn you, for
those who continue to live their lives with themselves as lord, for those who reject Christ; Matthew 25
tells us "these will go away into eternal punishment."

Our attitude to our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love. On the Last
Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did
it to me.
          I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
                    I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
           Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
          Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
               He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again;
         He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
                   And he will come to judge the living and the dead.

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