Jesus is Coming Again!
Who has something to give thanks for from this past week?
We’ve seen a lot of history the last few weeks. From the tragic fall of mankind away from God in Genesis 3 to the arrival of the promised Messiah in Luke 2. The anticipation built & built, and now it is passed. Jesus came. Glory to God, peace to us. Do you feel the release?
What would be different in your life if Jesus hadn’t come?
God has changed our lives in some radical ways, but not everything is better yet. There’s still a lot of brokenness around us and even IN us. In Jesus’ first coming, He broke the power of sin and He turned condemned sinners into chosen saints. In His second coming, Jesus will deliver us from all evil and make everything new, even our physical body.
Read over the Bible passages below and circle words or phrases that particularly encourage you. Then share with the group one verse or phrase that encourages you most.
John 14:1-3 (ESV)
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Philippians 3:20-21 (ESV)
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ESV)
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
2 Peter 3:9-13 (NIV, 1984)
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
These passages refer to a time when God’s people will live with Him physically, but nothing paints the picture better than the revelation that was given to John late in his life. This vision is just a hint of what God is preparing for us – Read Revelation 21:1-14, 22-27.
How would you describe this scene to a friend who is not familiar with Christianity?
Has this picture settled into your mind as your actual future with God?
What might be indicators that someone does NOT really believe this prophecy?
What would be some indicators that someone really believes Jesus is coming again? (Look again at 2 Peter 3:9-13 for hints.)
Read Hebrews 9:27-28
Using the evidence of your life, would a jury be convinced that you ARE or ARE NOT anticipating Jesus’ return?
Ask a volunteer to pray that our anticipation of Jesus’ second coming will be the primary hope shaping our lives.