Sunday, January 21, 2007

Christ Returns

Intro.: I heard an amazing story this week.

Cat found hungry after 3 weeks in cargo hold

Pumpkin’ treated for starvation, dehydration, could return home in days. United Airlines plans to fly 12-year-old "Pumpkin" back home — on the lap of an employee.

DENVER - A 12-year-old orange tabby cat named "Pumpkin" is said to be doing well, after going three weeks without food or water in the cargo hold of a passenger jet that flew from England to Germany.

After the United Airlines flight to Munich last month, Pumpkin was supposed to board a connecting flight to Washington, D.C. but never made it.

Andrea Barlow says she found the cat's carrier broken and empty when she tried to retrieve it in Munich on December 28th. United Airlines crews searched for the cat, who was nowhere to be found.

Story continues below ↓ advertisement

On Wednesday United cargo workers found the tired, hungry animal at Denver International Airport. She was taken to a veterinary clinic for treatment of starvation and extreme dehydration. Vets say Pumpkin could be well enough to return to Washington by this weekend. United plans to fly the cat home — in the passenger cabin — on the lap of a United employee.1

  1. The church has waited a long time for Christ's return

  2. We start a four-week series examining the key events at the end of this world.

Read: II Thessalonians 1:6-10


Trans:I will not answer all the questions – I really do not have all the answers.

  1. There are six major answers to the question about the end of world rooted strongly in scripture

  2. If one is willing to be a bit less faithful to scripture, then we can add another half dozen answer to the question, what will happen at the end of the world.

  3. What I do think is neat is this – Wesley got it right. He was not as concerned with the details as he was concerned at making sure people were ready for that event.

  4. That is a question we must must ask ourselves.

T.S. As we begin our study of the end of time, we must note that Christ's return has two characteristics:

  1. Christ's return will be personal

    1. As children we lived for the make believe.

    2. Cartoons, superheroes, Saturday matinees, story books we read or we read to our children – all were or are parts of a children's imagination.

    3. But the return of Christ is never pictured as imaginary.

    4. It is central to Jesus' own teaching. In Matthew 26:64 Jesus tells those who seek his arrest, "In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

    5. The angels attending the disciples as Jesus returns to heaven tell them, "'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.'"

    6. Paul said it too. He talks about the Lord Jesus being revealed "from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels."

    7. Sadly, we live in a world that has lost sight of this fact – those we live with, those we spend time with don't believe he will return.

    8. Even the church has lost sight of Christ's return. There are many who think that his return will be merely metaphorical – a picture of what will happen to those who know Christ.

(Ill.) It would be like me telling Sandra that she should plan on having dinner ready at 6:00 in the evening even though my plan was to stop for a meal at the local restaurant and then call her at 6:00 to say "Hope you are enjoying your dinner." Yes would have dinner ready, yes I was eating at 6:00, but I would not really be there.

(Appl.) Chirst has told us he will return – it may difficult to wait, but if he had come much earlier, we would not have met him. His delay allowed us to join the family. And he will return for the greates homecoming this world has ever seen.

  1. Christ's return will be imminent

    1. Christ will be coming, of that there is no doubt. But there is a catch – I don't know when He will return..

    2. Christ does not know when He will return.

    3. Christ makes it clear that He will return, but He also makes it clear that only the Father knows when it will occur.

    4. The most common name for the timing of Christ's return is that it is imminent. Peter says it best, "The end of all things is near." He could return at any time.

    5. Pete wrote that 2000 years ago, but he knew that there was nothing that had to occur before he would return.

(Appl.) So what? Let me suggest two steps that would seem to derive themselves from the fact that Christ could return at any time:
a. Be ready – that means be sure that you know Christ as your savior, be sure that know that Christ died for your sins.
b. Live your lives without forgetting that Christ could return at any time..

(Ill.) Several years ago, there was a massive volcanic explosion in the state of Washington when Mount St. Helens erupted. Sheriff Bill Closner said, “People were in the danger areas around the mountain because they refused to obey roadblocks. The bottom line is that nobody would listen.” As a result, there were needless deaths and injuries.2

Even though danger was physically imminent, people still refused to obey the regulations. Christ's return is imminent – yet people still refuse to be ready.

    1. Are you ready for His return?



1© 2007 The Associated Press.

2Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Bilical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

No comments: