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Sermon: Waiting on the Lord - April 9, 2017

Eschatology  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  30:27
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Being in readiness for service or for some future appointment or event. Wild animals and the wicked lie in wait to ambush the unsuspecting; servants wait on their masters; believers and the whole creation wait for their renewal by God. God, too, waits for sinners to repent.

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1. When waiting on the Lord we can seem to lose our strength, our resolve, even our very hope.
1. When waiting on the Lord we can seem to lose our strength, our resolve, even our very hope.
Isa 40:28-31
Isaiah 40:28–31 ESV
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
2. To be faithful in waiting, we are not to grumble against one another, but instead to remain steadfast in our hope in the midst of suffering and patience.
James 5:7–11 ESV
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
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3. Our waiting is eschatological faith - knowing we live in the city of destruction and must flee and warn others to flee as well.
2 Peter 3:7–10 ESV
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2pet3:7-10
4. Waiting causes us to live in this world with the presence of sin, waging war on it (our flesh) with the Spirit and looking forward to the day when it will be no more.
2 Peter 3:11–14 ESV
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
2 Peter 3:11-
5. We count the patience of our Lord (and our waiting) as salvation (Perseverance of the Saints). So we are not to be carried away with the error of lawless people and lose our stability.
2 Peter 3:15–18 ESV
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2pet3:
6. Remember: The Lord waits for sinners to repent and His patience is great but it is not eternal.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
7. Let us look for our Lord’s return - come quickly Lord Jesus!
Luke 12:36 ESV
and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.
Luke 12:35–40 ESV
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
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Luke 12:35-
1 Corinthians 1:7–9 ESV
so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 ESV
and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Hebrews 9:26b–28 ESV
for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:28 ESV
so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Heb9:26b-
“...But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (, ESV)

QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL APPLICATION

1. Before reading this chapter, did you think that Christ could return at any hour? How did that affect your Christian life? Now what do you think? If your viewpoint has changed, what effect do you think it will have on your own life?

2. Why do you think Jesus decided to leave the world for a time and then return, rather than staying on earth after his resurrection and preaching the gospel throughout the world himself?

3. Do you now eagerly long for Christ’s return? Have you had a greater longing for it in the past? If you do not have a very strong yearning for Christ’s return, what factors in your life do you think contribute to that lack of longing?

4. Have you ever decided not to undertake a long-term project because you thought Christ’s return was near? Do you have any hesitancy now about long-term projects because of that reason? If so, do you think that hesitancy has any negative consequences on your life?

5. p 1106 Are you ready for Christ to return today? If you knew he were going to return within 24 hours, what situations or relationships would you want to straighten out before he returned? Do you think that the command to “be ready” means that you should attempt to straighten out those things now, even if you think it unlikely that he would return today?

QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL APPLICATION
Can you see patterns of unbelief, doubt and/or other acts of faithlessness because of impatience?
1. Can you see patterns of unbelief, doubt and/or other acts of faithlessness because of impatience?
Do you think that Christ could return at any hour? How does that affect your Christian life? If your viewpoint has changed, what effect do you think it will have on your own life?
Why do you think Jesus decided to leave the world for a time and then return, rather than staying on earth after his resurrection and preaching the gospel throughout the world himself?
1. Before reading this chapter, did you think that Christ could return at any hour? How did that affect your Christian life? Now what do you think? If your viewpoint has changed, what effect do you think it will have on your own life?
2. Why do you think Jesus decided to leave the world for a time and then return, rather than staying on earth after his resurrection and preaching the gospel throughout the world himself?
Do you now eagerly long for Christ’s return? Have you had a greater longing for it in the past? If you do not have a very strong yearning for Christ’s return, what factors in your life do you think contribute to that lack of longing?
3. Do you now eagerly long for Christ’s return? Have you had a greater longing for it in the past? If you do not have a very strong yearning for Christ’s return, what factors in your life do you think contribute to that lack of longing?
Have you ever decided not to undertake a long-term project because you thought Christ’s return was near? Do you have any hesitancy now about long-term projects because of that reason? If so, do you think that hesitancy has any negative consequences on your life?
Are you ready for Christ to return today? If you knew he were going to return within 24 hours, what situations or relationships would you want to straighten out before he returned? Do you think that the command to “be ready” means that you should attempt to straighten out those things now, even if you think it unlikely that he would return today?
In light of the “eschaton” how should you invest your time and energy? Because, people invest time and energy into developing their career, their bodies and relationships, but often neglect the spiritual dimension of their lives. How do you actively pursue spiritual growth in light of end time events? Or, do you even actively pursue spiritual growth?
In reference to “Pilgrim’s Progress” - Where would you say you are in your pilgrimage? Can your spouse, friend or brother/sister in Christ help you in any way? If so, have you sought out their help?
Summary of Doctrine:
Summary of Doctrine:
Bible Doctrine Sheet The Return of Christ: When and How?

The Return of Christ: When and How?

• Eschatology is the study of “the last things.”

• There will be a sudden, personal, visible, bodily return of Christ (Matt. 24:44). We should eagerly long for Christ’s return, the time of which is unknown (Matt. 25:13).

Bible Doctrine Sheet The Millennium

The Millennium

• The primary views of the millennium (lit. “thousand years”) include:

1. Amillennialism: There is no future millennium yet to come because the reign of Christ in Rev. 20:1–10 is now being fulfilled.

2. Postmillennialism: Christ will return after the millennium, in which the influence of the church gradually increased until it brought about an age of peace and righteousness on earth.

3. Premillennialism: Christ will come back before the millennium.

—Classic (historic) premillennialism: After a time of great tribulation (T) at the end of the church age, Christ will return to earth to establish a millennial kingdom. Believers who have died will be raised from the dead, and these believers will reign with Christ on earth for one thousand years. During this time Satan will be bound and will have no influence on earth until the end of the millennium, when he will lead a rebellion against Christ and will be decisively defeated. Christ will then raise from the dead and judge all unbelievers. After this, believers will enter into the eternal state.

Bible Doctrine Sheet The Final Judgment and Eternal Punishment

The Final Judgment and Eternal Punishment

• The final result of Christ’s return will be the judgment of unbelievers and the final reward of believers (1 Cor. 3:12–15), and then believers will live with Christ in new heavens and a new earth for all eternity (Rom. 8:19–21). God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will reign and be worshiped in a never-ending kingdom with no more sin, sorrow or suffering (1 Thess. 4:15–18; Rev. 20:1–15).

• Hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment for the wicked (Matt. 25:30–46).

The New Heavens and New Earth

• Heaven is the place where God most fully makes known his presence to bless (1 Peter 3:22).

• The physical creation will be renewed, and we will continue to exist and act in it (2 Peter 3:13). Our resurrected bodies will be part of the renewed creation (Rev. 19:9).

• The doctrine of the new creation provides motivation for storing up treasures in heaven rather than earth (Matt. 6:19–21).

• The new creation will be a place of great beauty and abundance and joy in the presence of God (Rev. 21–22).

• And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:3–4).

Resources for further study:
Resources for further study:
Resources for further study:
Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004.
Grudem, Wayne A. Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know. Ed. Elliot Grudem. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005.
Grudem, Wayne, and Erik Thoennes. Bible Doctrine Laminated Sheet. Zondervan, 2014.
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