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Message #1

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Youth Retreat - Message #1

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Introduction / Illustration
There was a day that I remember vividly when I was about grade 2 or so. My family and I were traveling to, I think, Whistler. We spent the whole day having fun and enjoying our time as a family. My family had a maid at home working by herself. We arrived home to pick up our maid so that we can go out for dinner. After dinner, we got back home. I will not forget this moment, but a few minutes later after we got home and did our own thing, I heard my mom screaming. All of us went upstairs to the master’s bedroom to see what happened. And behold, our place got robbed. It was the most upsetting day for my family, and especially my mom because her personal and valuable possessions were stolen.
It was also scary because my maid was working at home. If she did not go out for dinner with us, then I wonder if that burglary would have happened.
Here is a question I want you to ponder: if you knew exactly when a thief would come and break into your house, then how would you and your family prepare yourselves and be ready?
Would you be like Kevin Mcallister from the movie, Home Alone. When he found out that two thieves would break into his mansion, he created traps around the house for them.
I would imagine that if you (and your family) knew exactly when a thief would beak into your house, then you would do everything you can to be ready to prevent that from happening.
Would you set up traps around the house? Would you equip yourselves with weapons? Would you immediately call the Home Security Company to install an alarm? Would you call the police?
Introducing The Theme
I brought up my story and my family as a victim of burglary for a reason. Our theme for this year is “Endgame - Spoiler: Jesus Is Coming Back.”
Our theme for this year is “Endgame - Spoiler: Jesus Is Coming Back.”
In the Bible, the second coming of Jesus is compared to a thief who would come suddenly. The comparison is by no means to suggest that Jesus is a thief who will steal things, but His second coming is LIKE a thief where He will come unexpectedly.
I brought up my story and my family as a victim of burglary for a reason. In the Bible, the second coming of Jesus is compared to a thief who would come suddenly. The comparison is by no means to suggest that Jesus is a thief who will steal things, but His second coming is LIKE a thief where He will come unexpectedly.
Some of you may know what the second coming of Jesus is about. But, for those of you are not familiar with the theme or the Bible, let me help you get caught up.
Explain the Second Coming
The Old Testament prophesied the 1st coming of Jesus at least 400 years before His birth. Jesus came for the 1st time as a humble servant, to live out the perfect life by obeying God the Father in all that He said and did, to die on the cross for the sins of those who would trust in Him, to rise again on the 3rd to defeat and conquer Satan, sin and death. He ascended back to heaven sitting on the throne with authority over the heaven and earth.
Jesus promised that one day - in His second coming - He will return visibly and come in His glory to end human history, to raise the dead, to judge the world, to destroy all evil and opposition to God and to bring in the New Heaven and New Earth.
Some of you may know what the second coming of Jesus is about. But, for those of you are not familiar with the theme or the Bible, let me do an overview.
Because Jesus is coming back and He is currently judging the world with authority, He is calling everyone to repent of their sins, to trust Jesus for salvation and to follow Him as an obedient disciple.
Eschatology
In Christian theology, the Second Coming of Jesus falls under this category called “Eschatology.” (REPEAT) Eschatology means the study of end time.
When I talk about “end times,” what would be the first thing that pops into your head?
Maybe you think about the end of the world. You might have seen movies where the end of the world is caused by a zombie outbreak, virus diseases, natural disasters, or the earth is being invaded by aliens or artificial intelligence.
Perhaps you think about conspiracy theory.
If you have read the Bible, especially the book of Revelation, these elements might come up in your mind:
The Beast with ten horns and seven heads
666
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7 Seals
7 Trumpets
7 Bowls
The 4 Horsemen
Eschatology is perhaps the #1 topic that faithful Christians disagree on. Generally, Christians disagree on the details of the end times. For instance:
In , is the 1000-year millennial kingdom literal or figurative?
Will there be a rapture?
Is the book of Revelation a prediction of events in the far future? Or is it book of Revelation unveiling itself throughout history?
Eschatology is perhaps the #1 topic that faithful Christians disagree on. Generally, Christians disagree on the details before the second coming of Jesus.
Generally, Christians disagree on the details of what happens before Jesus comes back.
But, here is what all faithful Christians agree on. They all agree that Jesus Christ will return visibly and physically. And when He does return, He will end human history.
They all agree that we do not know exactly when Jesus will come back. Unfortunately, there are many self-identified prophets throughout history that tried to predict the second coming of Jesus.
I believe details of eschatology are important, and Christians can faithfully and respectfully disagree with each other. But, let us not forget the main point. The overall picture of Eschatology is that Jesus has ultimate victory against His enemies.
Whoever is on the side of Jesus will be victorious. Whoever is an enemy of Jesus will be defeated by Him and be condemned by Him.
Even when the world is getting chaotic, even when the darkness seems to be winning, Jesus is still the Victor at the end of the day and He will set things right.
You might know why we chose “Endgame” as our theme this year. Marvel Cinematic Universe planned with the end in mind when they began this series back in 2008 when the first Iron Man came out. But, Endgame fits nicely because it is known as the “end” of the series.
Eschatology simply means the study of end times. You might know why we chose “Endgame” as our theme this year. Marvel Cinematic Universe planned with the end in mind when they began this series back in 2008 when the first Iron Man came out. But, Endgame fits nicely because it is known as the “end” of the series.
Jesus said, “Stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. ()
In the New Testament, whenever the second coming of Jesus is mentioned, the writers would use a thief as an illustration.
[42] Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. [43] But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. [44] Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (ESV)
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