King of Kings and Lord of Lords
(John 14, Matthew 24, 2 Peter 3, Revelation 19)
Introduction: This is the last lesson in our series on practical Christianity. What is the final result of our decision to make Jesus Lord over every aspect of our life? To what do we have to look forward? What is our glorious hope? How can we be sure we are right with God? Let's dive into the Bible and find out!
- The Promise
- Read John 14:1. What kind of things cause you to worry and have a troubled heart? Or, is this just a description of life in general?
- Jesus' statement here took place just before His arrest, torture and death. What do you think about His statement that His disciples should not be troubled when He was about to go through the worst trouble of His life on earth? (God's love and concern for us is extraordinary. He knew His disciples were going to go through a most troublesome time. He cared about them.)
- What is the answer to a troubled heart? (Trust in God.)
- Read John 14:2-3. The King James Version translates the Greek as "mansions" instead of "rooms." Which would you rather have?
- If the President of the United States told you that you could stay in a bedroom of the White House or you could stay in the mansion across the street, which would you choose? (I used to be disappointed to learn that the better Greek translation was not "mansions." However, when you think of living with in God's home, it makes other considerations pale.)
- If you are concerned about the "mansion" issue, my understanding of this is that the quantity and not the quality of the dwelling is part of the Greek. If you want to see how this word is translated in another context, read John 14:23. (We will make "our home" with him. The Greek in John 14:2 modifies the word translated "home" with the word "abundant." The result is "many rooms" or an "abundant abode." I can see the mansion aspect to this for those concerned about their mansion.)
- Read Acts 1:9-11. Jesus has just left to return to heaven and the disciples are standing there looking into the sky. What do you think about the question of the angels?
- Why do you think the angels asked the question they did?
- What is the implication of the angels' question? (He IS returning. Quit standing around and get to work to get ready.)
- The Method
- I love music, but unfortunately parents snicker and children generally turn around and look when they hear me sing. (Frogs love me.) One of my favorite songs has the theme (as best I can remember) "The next time around there will be no mistaking my King will wear His crown." Read Matthew 24:23-27. Will it be the crown that lets us know that it is Jesus who is returning, and not an imposter?
- I once heard a silly discussion about Jesus' Second coming. The group seemed to agree that you could tell Jesus from any imposters by whether His feet touched the ground. My concern was that you might not be able to see His feet. What does Matthew 24:27 tell us about the "feet" issue? (Jesus' Second Coming will leave no doubt. It will be like lightening around the world! You won't need to see His feet or His crown.)
- Read Matthew 24:30-31. The "secret rapture," which is a minority belief among Christians, has gotten a boost with the popular "Left Behind" series. What does this text tell us about the nature of the rapture (the Second Coming)? (If there is anything that will not be a secret, this is it. Lightning around the world, Jesus coming in the sky, a loud trumpet, and the saved being gathered up by angels.)
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Instead of watching the feet, what does this text tell us will be a more obvious sign of Jesus' Second Coming? (We will see people coming up out of their graves! Those who are alive at the Second Coming will see this before they are personally gathered up to heaven.)
- Read 2 Peter 3:10. A thief is quiet. A thief comes secretly (if possible). How can Peter say that Jesus' Second Coming is like a thief and like a roar? (Peter is saying that Jesus will come unexpectedly for some. The event is unmistakable, but the timing can be mistaken.)
- Let's back up a couple of texts. Read 2 Peter 3:8-9. Why is Jesus' Second Coming thief-like for some? (God may seem slow, but He is not. He is coming on His own timetable. Those lulled into thinking His return is far off will be surprised.)
- Read 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12. What else should we expect before Jesus comes again? (Paul tells us that there will be at least one major imposter who will perform "all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.")
- Who will be deceived by this imposter? (Verse 10 tells us "those who are perishing.")
- Why would verse 11 tell us that God sends a "delusion" so that the perishing are deceived? I thought God's goal for humans was salvation, not destruction? ( 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 makes this sound like the final test. Those who love wickedness instead of the truth will be taken in by this imposter. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 tells us that Jesus will destroy this imposter at His Second Coming.)
- How Should We Be?
- Read the first half of 2 Peter 3:11. Good question in light of the Second Coming. What is the answer? (Read the second half of 2 Peter 3:11 and 2 Peter 3:12.)
- What impact can we have on the time of Jesus' Second Coming? ( 2 Peter 3:12 has a very interesting note. It tells us that we can "speed the coming" of Jesus.)
- How do you think you can speed the Second Coming? (By living "holy and godly lives.")
- Read Matthew 7:21-23. What does Matthew 7:21 tell us is essential for entering heaven? (Doing God's will. Just talking ("Lord, Lord") will not do it.)
- If I just stopped there, we would have a very strong argument for righteousness by works. What is the argument in Matthew 7:22 of those who are protesting their failure to enter heaven? (That they had the works! Notice the phrase "Lord, did we not prophesy in your name" could properly be understood "did we not publically teach in your name?")
- How can you explain this apparent contradiction? Jesus says "Talk and no action" will not get you a ticket to heaven. Then Jesus tells those who have plenty of action (teachers who drove out demons and performed miracles) "I never knew you." Is this double-talk? Is heaven a moving target too difficult to hit? (The Bible Exposition Commentary nails the truth: "Words are not a substitute for obedience and neither are religious works." "Obedience to [God's] will is the test of true faith in Christ." I have long believed that "Righteousness by attitude" is a more appropriate description than "righteousness by faith." As we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, God saves those who "love the truth.")
- Friend, read Revelation 19:11-16. The Second Coming of Jesus will not be like the first. It is time to chose who you will obey. Have you repented and accepted Jesus' sacrifice on your behalf? Do you love God and His truth? Is your hope placed on the Second Coming of the Faithful and True Warrior riding the white horse?
- Next week we start a new series of studies on the book of Ephesians.