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He Appears (David Johnson)


David Johnson

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)


Good morning, listeners. This morning the lesson is entitled, “He Appears.” Our study text for this lesson is found in the first epistle of John chapter two verse 28 through 1 John 3:3. Listen to the Word of God. And now, dear children, continue in him so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him. For we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.

You have probably heard that prophecy is not practical, that we need only focus on the present, not the future, that only what we can learn and apply for today is what we need to study and know and hear from the Word of God. It is all about every day living.

There is some truth in that, but do you realize that unfulfilled prophecy usually has many practical and personally applicable principles for today also. And it also is for every day living now. For example, the second coming of Christ in the air is certainly unfulfilled prophecy. Well, is that practical? Is that relevant to today? Is that personally applicable? Jesus Christ could return in the air for his Church today. That includes anyone in his Church. And even those that need to be warned to become Christians, to become believers, to become part of his Church, to be ready. Do you realize this? And do we who are Christians, do we desire or dread his appearing? And even those that don’t know the Lord, do they dread his appearing? Are we sharing this truth with others? His coming for his Church could be today. That personally and individually impacts each and every one of us. Are we going or staying? Are our loved ones ready? Have we shared this truth with them?

Do you realize that the second coming of Christ is so important that it has 1845 references in the Old Testament? And of the total 216 chapters in the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second coming of Christ. That is one for every 30 verses in the New Testament. Twenty three of 27 New Testament books refer or allude to the second coming of Christ. Moreover, for every prophetic reference to the first coming of Christ, there are eight times as many regarding the second coming of Christ in Scripture. That sounds important to God and it should be for us, too. And we should share this truth with others. And, of course, we always need to be ready for the Lord’s coming in the air.

Furthermore, consider 1 Thessalonians chapter five and verse 20 that says: Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Now that is a command from God. And that regards any prophecy in Scripture, that none of them should be regarded with contempt.

Let’s consider more closely how future prophecy regarding the second coming of Christ in the air for his Church impacts us today in a practical way even for every day living. In our study text, in five verses we have at least five principles to live by tied to his appearing. For example in 1 John chapter two and verse 28 it tells us in part to continue in him, or abide in him. As Christians now we must persevere, stay, stick, remain steadfast in the Lord. How many Christians do you know that are not abiding, but have abandoned the Lord? We need to continue in him.

So many have strayed away, due, for example, to perhaps marital or family breakups or family blow ups or addiction hang-ups or church related split ups. And these are serious. But that is when we need the Lord more, not less. Our present is tied to our future. We must abide and, therefore, be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. Or, if we abandon we will lack confidence, be ashamed at his coming. Is that practical? Is that applicable to today to you and to me and every day? Certainly it is. Knowing that his appearing is coming should reinforce our abiding in him, not to give up, but to continue in the Lord.

Second, in 1 John chapter two and verse 29 it tells us, in part to do what is right, to practice righteousness, to live as a pattern of our lives in a godly, right manner. We will never achieve perfection in this life. But we are being perfected, striving, struggling at times. And God knows if we are really trying to live for him. Right living, trying to stay right. That is today. That is tied to the future. But it is practical for every day living. Right living in a wrong world today.

Number three in 1 John chapter three and verse one it tells us in part that the world does not know us. Well, what does that mean here? Today in our every day practical living, we should be different from the world. We are new creatures, new creations on the inside in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we should not think like the world. We should not talk like the world. We should not act like the world. The Scripture describes Christians as aliens, as strangers, as sojourners, pilgrims just passing through this world. You see, the real aliens in this world are not extra terrestrials or illegal aliens, but Christians. And the world doesn’t know us, doesn’t really know us and is often ridiculing, rejecting, reviling us.

And, fourth, in 1 John chapter three and verse two it says, in part: What we will be… and we shall be like him. And we shall see him.

Do these truths practically impact us today? They all should fill us with tremendous encouragement. Do we need encouragement today? Do our bodies hurt? Are our minds often mixed up, our spirits sometimes saddened? This Scripture gives us tremendous truth and God does not lie. This truth is that our complete makeovers are coming when he appears in the air. We need to hang on because the best is yet to come. And this is only for the Church. This is for believers, our complete makeovers, body, soul and spirit.

According to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 53 it tells us in part here, reveals to us in part that the perishable will become imperishable, that the mortal will put on immortality. Also in the Philippian letter, chapter three and verse 21 it tells us here in part that he will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. That is practical. And that is tied to prophecy. So we need to be looking up because our total redemption, the redemption of our bodies draweth near.

Fifth, in 1 John chapter three and verse three tells us here that everyone who has this hope… Christians have solid hope and it is a hope that we can carry today. It is not realized yet. When he appears, it will be no longer hope, but reality. But that is yet future. Hope is for today. It is for now. It is practical. It is for everyday living. We need hope now and we have that hope.

So many today live without genuine, lasting hope. They feel helpless and without hope. And it is so sad, because it is so unnecessary. In Christ we have a blessed hope. Jesus Christ himself is our hope. He embodies our hope. He personifies our hope. He himself is our hope. This life, even as Christians has many disappointments, but as Christians we can focus on our hope, looking forward to the eternal even now. Hope is not ill when our faith is well. Today our hope is that he will appear, that he is coming back for me, for you, even possibly in the air today, now. So until he comes, which could be today, we have that hope.

To summarize, first we need to continue in him. Second, we need to do what is right. Third, we need to be different from the world. Fourth, we need to be encouraged. We are going to be like him. Fifth, we need to be full of hope because he is coming for us, for me personally.

Have you been to a wedding lately? Almost everybody anticipates the joy of a wedding. In the New Testament the Church figuratively speaking is referred to as the bride of Christ. We are betrothed to Christ. And Christ figuratively speaking is the groom, the bridegroom. And he has gone away to his Father’s house to prepare a place for his bride, for the Church, for us who are in Christ Jesus, born again baptized believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit. But while Christ the groom is away, the bride’s faithfulness, our faithfulness is tested by the separation. The Church, that is the bride, must remain faithful while constantly watching and waiting for the groom’s unannounced return. At an actual wedding, all eyes are usually on whom? The bride, but not at this wedding. This is going to be a wedding out of this world, literally. And the bride of Christ will be transfixed with all eyes on the groom, even Jesus Christ when he comes to take us to be with him to the Father’s house, to heaven, to the mansion in the third heaven in the place of God. And when he appears in the air and takes us to be with him, what happens generally after a wedding? A reception. And what do we have as the Church? The wedding supper, the marriage supper of the Lamb. And what generally happens after the reception, after the celebration of a wedding here on earth? Usually the honeymoon. But for us it will be heaven. And we are not talking about just a honeymoon for a few days or a week. We are talking about heaven forever, eventually the new heavens and the new earth, the new Jerusalem and eternity in the eternal state with the Lord forever.

And, listeners, this is good to know today. This is good to share with others today, because anybody and everybody that is accountable before God that knows that he or she is a sinner and can put their faith, their saving faith, their obedient faith in the Lord Jesus can be saved and can become part of the Church and can go to be with the Lord when he comes in the air. But we need to be ready now, because it is going to happen in the twinkling of an eye. We need to be ready when the Lord comes.

Won’t you join us?

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN

One Response to “He Appears (David Johnson)”

  1. A.J.Istre says:

    Very good preaching! Not heard enough today. May God bless your efforts for Him.

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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33