Monday, December 30, 2019

Gospel Quest #9 Christ’s Challenge - Luke 5:1-11

Gospel Quest #9 Christ’s Challenge
Luke 5:1-11


A forest ranger was sure that LeRoy was not fishing according to the rules and regulations of the state of Texas and he decided to try and find out.  Yet no matter how much he spied and pried he could never figure out what ol’ LeRoy was doing. He would just see him at the end of the day with a boatload of the biggest fish in the lake and couldn’t say nothing. 

Finally he just decide to ask LeRoy how he was catching all those fish when no one else was. LeRoy said, “Well if ya wants I can just shows ya hows I do it.”

The ranger agreed, and LeRoy and the ranger went fishing. They took out Leroy’s tiny little John boat. The ranger said, “LeRoy you can’t catch any fish in that little boat.” LeRoy didn’t say anything. They trolled out to the middle of the lake in the heat of the day. The ranger said, “LeRoy you can’t be catchin no fish here, in this boat at this time of day.” LeRoy didn’t say nothing. LeRoy then reached into his tackle box pulled out a stick of dynamite and lit it. The ranger shouted. “LeRoy, it is illegal to fish with dynamite and if you throw that stick into this lake I’m going to arrest you.” LeRoy smiled handed the lit stick of dynamite to the ranger and said, “You gonna keep talkin or ya gonna start fishin?”

Lets look at another fish story this morning and this one in Luke 5:1-11 doesn’t involve dynamite. Christ challenges his disciples to launch out into the deep.”

Let’s look at a little bit of background. Luke 5 is an account of the calling the apostles and if all we had was Luke’s account it seems a bit abrupt. Luke 4 the fourth chapter is the first time that any of the disciples are mention and there we read about Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law. The next thing Luke then records is the challenge of Luke 5:11 “they forsook all and followed him.” That seems a big jump after just one home visit and one sermon. Actually, this was not the disciple’s first encounter with Jesus nor was it their first call. The first call is recorded in John 1:35-42; 35  Again the next day
after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36  And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!  37  And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38  Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39  He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40  One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42  And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.  

And it may surprise you to know that this isn’t their second calling, that was in Matt 4:18-22 18   And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20  And they straightway left [their] nets, and followed him. 21  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22  And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Luke 5 is actually their third call, but it is after this call, this encounter with Jesus that they left everything behind and fully follow Him.  What made this call different? What made this call, the final call?  I think it was in the challenge of Christ to launch out into the deep. I believe it was a test of faith that showed the power of Jesus Christ. This event took these men who had been believers and made them into disciples and later into apostles. This event started them on the process of truly being “sent ones” with the gospel of Christ as their message and the hope of eternity as their burden.

Challenge and Command - Luke 5:1-4

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,   And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

Jesus’ challenge to Peter

Jesus told Peter, “Launch Out Into the Deep and Let Down Your Nets for a Draught.”
Jesus came to the Lake of Gennesart, also called the sea of Galilee. He was already well known for people were pressing upon him. The word “pressing” means to put pressure on like a stone laid atop a tomb. The crowd literally was crowding Jesus so much that he could not do anything because they were so packed around him.

I believe he came looking that day, for the fishermen partners he had already spent time with and had already formed a relationship with Him. This team of fishermen, brothers and friends, he was going to turn into a team of apostles, that would ultimately change the world.
Jesus sees their ships but they aren’t in them and He finds them cleaning their nets, which is last task they would do after fishing through the night. He then asks Peter,  the leader of their enterprise, to let Him use his boat for a pulpit. So they put out a little way from the shore and Jesus sits down and speaks with the people. This was the way they heard the Gospel, no shouting, no theatrics, but teaching and quite learning.

When he finishes, Jesus tells Peter, “launch out into the deep water and drop your nets for a catch of fish.”

Jesus is doing three things by telling this to Peter.
First he is testing his obedience
Second he is offering him a reward for the use of his time and ship to let him preach.
Third he is going to teach a lesson that can’t be taught in words alone. It is a lesson of faith in action, a lesson of promise with risk, a lesson of a gift under the guidance of God.

Jesus Challenge to Us

Jesus today is still challenging us as believers to launch out into the deep and let down your nets.
Jesus is still in the business of turning normal, nominal Christians into disciples and then turning disciples into apostles. He wants to change us from those who just believe, into those who are committed to Him and finally to those who are truly and personally commissioned and commanded by Him to do the work of carrying the Gospel.

Jesus’ plan for reaching this sinful world has changed at all, He is still using the same method of making believers into disciples, into apostles and fishers of men.
The only question we need to answer today is, am I willing for Him to do this to me? Am I willing for Him to do this in my church? Am I willing to listen as Jesus says, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets?”

Jesus also still trying to accomplish in us the same three things that he did in Peter.

First, he is testing our obedience.
Second, he is offering us a reward and a blessing for obeying and serving Him. He has always worked this way.
Deuteronomy 6:3  Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do [it]; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

De 11:27  A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:

Jeremiah 7:23 Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

Third he is trying to teach us a lesson that can’t be learned by words alone.
Psalms 119:71  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
Sometimes the only school we can understand is the school of life and hard knocks. True for the apostles and still true for us.

Illustration: Personal example

I am absolutely sure  that Jesus still tells us, Launch out into the deep.
I heard him first as a 14-year-old boy walking the aisle with tear in my eyes and a calling in my heart to tell people about the love of God.

I heard it again when I was 21, after years of running from that call I heard as a teenager. Now I had a wife and a newborn baby boy and my own little business. But this time I answered, “Yes, Lord. I will launch out into the deep.”

I’ve heard Jesus after each heartbreak, after each defeat, after each desertion or betrayal still saying, “Launch out into the deep.”  He has sent me to places where I felt afraid and felt a failure but still when I feel its time to pull up the nets and go home for good, he points away off across the sea of doubt and uncertainty and says, “Launch out into that deep, there is still work to be done there.”
His voice has always been strong, and His assurance unmistakable. I want to see God’s hand at work in my life and in my church in ways that leave no doubt that he is challenges us, “Launch out into the deep. You are not finished doing what I sent you to do.”

Transition: Notice the response of Peter to the Lord’s challenge in vs. 5

Doubtful but Doing - Luke 5:5

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Peter’s Response

“We have toiled all night and taken nothing nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”
This kind of response is one of the reasons why the Lord chose Peter to be an Apostle and later the pastor of the church at Jerusalem. He is so much more like you and I than Paul or even John. Peter more than any other New Testament Bible character thinks like us, and says the things we are thinking.

Peter is polite but blunt. “Lord, we fished all night.”
For real fishermen, men who made their living catching and selling fish, nighttime was the best time to work. One of the techniques was for the fishermen to take torches and hold them close to the surface of the water. The fish would by attracted to the light, would swim near the boat and the men would cast a net and catch their fish.

Peter knew this, he was a lifetime fisherman. He was the expert, Jesus was just carpenter and now a Rabbi or teacher. Nothing in Jesus background qualified him to tell Peter how to fish.

Also, Peter was tired when he says we have fished all night he wasn’t exaggerating. They had started at sunset and fished until sunup, now they sat on the shore cleaning and drying their nets.
Finally, Peter knew something the Lord didn’t know, it just wasn’t a good day for fishing. They hadn’t caught a thing all night. There just weren’t any fish in that lake. (I can understand this because of my own futile attempts at fishing. Somedays you can’t catch a fish with a stick of dynamite.)
But Peter didn’t stop with “We’ve toiled all night and taken nothing. No, he continued and said, “Nevertheless at thy word I will let down my net.”

To Peter, it didn’t make sense. It was contrary to his experience. It was downright unfair to ask of men who were at the end of the strength but because Jesus was the one asking. Peter responded, I’m going to do it anyway. “At your word, Lord.”

Do you see why Peter was the leader of this group both as fishers of fish and later as fishers of mem? He saw the world of reality and had his doubts, even expressed those doubts but he still believed in Jesus.  

Even if Peter didn’t believe it could work, didn’t understand how it should work, and even had doubts that it would work, nevertheless he was going to try, because Jesus had said it.

Our Response

What is our response to the command of Christ to launch out and let down our nets?
We can identify with Peter in many situations, but you know what the difference between us and Peter often is? We have the same doubts about what God is telling us to do but instead of stating those doubts and talking to the Lord and then doing it anyway, like Peter, we instead don’t say anything and then we don’t do anything.

God’s word challenges us with a command, “Launch out into the deep with your finances.” “Launch out into the deep with your family.” “Launch out into the deep with your life.” Launch out into the deep with your church.” Most challenging of all God says, “Launch out into the deep with your eternal soul.”

Too often we know what the Lord is challenging us to do but we say nothing and then we do nothing. It would be better if we stood up in the middle of church shouted that God doesn’t make any sense, this can’t possibly work and then said, “To prove it I’m going to try it anyway just to show you.”
But instead we sit there in our cocoons of silence and our coffins of inactivity and refuse to do anything at all. Refuse to even try or to test God and His promises.

You know what God, himself says about testing him? He says, I am bigger than your doubts and greater than your tests, “Just try me!”

Scripture: Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

God is greater than your doubts. He is greater than your tests. Gideon tested God. Zechariah the father of John the Baptist tested God. Hannah the mother of Samuel tested God. They and many, many others stepped out in spite of their doubts, in spite of their fears and said, “Lord I can’t see how this is going to work but I’m going to do it anyway.”

We need to have even enough faith to own up to your doubts and then because God’s word said it, do it anyway.

Illustration: Send the Communion Set we will surely need it.

An incident from the lives of Robert and Mary Moffat underscores this truth in an interesting way. For 10 years these two missionaries faithfully pursued their endeavors in Bechuanaland without one ray of encouragement brightening their way. Not a single person was converted to Christ. Finally, the directors of their mission board began to question the wisdom of continuing the work. The very thought of leaving their post, however, brought grief to the devoted couple who felt sure that eventually they would see the fruits of their labors. They stayed on, and for two more years the forces of darkness reigned. Then a friend in England wrote to Mrs. Moffat that she wanted to send her a gift, and asked for a suggestion. In her reply she requested nothing for herself, although she could have used many things. Rather she pleaded, "Send us a communion set; I'm sure we will need one soon." God honored her faith, for the Holy Spirit began to work in hearts, and a short time later six people accepted the Savior. Soon a small group had united to form a church for fellowship and to study the Bible. The communion set from England was delayed en route; but on the very day before the Lord's Supper was to be observed, the gift arrived.

I love stories like that. The world may call it a coincidence but God’s people know that God though His providence had it all taken care of. Let’s return to the Lord’s challenge in Luke 5 vs 6.

Reward and Repentance Luke 5:6-9

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

Peter’s Obedience

Peter’s obedience, even with his doubts, is rewarded and he repents of his lack of faith.
Peter does what the Lord says. He had Jesus with him in the boat, probably to show him this wasn’t go to work, Peter then launches out into the deep and lets down his net.
I believe that no sooner than the net had submerged that it must have felt like the boat had dropped anchor. Peter and probably Andrew his brother, begin to try and draw the net in and so great is the catch that the net begins to break.

The Bible says he beckoned to his partners, John and James, in the other ship. They must have been some distance, perhaps just offshore, seeing if anything was going to happen, because He beckons to them. So, he is trying to hold the net with one hand and waving with the other hand trying to get them to launch out into the deep with him and help him draw in this crazy catch of fish.
John and James arrive and the probably put another net under Peter’s net and then they all lift the nets and the poundage of that catch was so great that both boats begin to sink. As they draw the nets the ships tip toward the water line under the greater weight and start taking on water!
Now maybe its just me, but don’t you imagine that the Lord was sitting on the other end of the ship, with a big smile on his face. He may have even been laughing a little himself watching all this commotion? He knew what was going to happen all along.

When Peter sees the catch, when he realizes that his boat is so heavy it is in danger of sinking, he falls down at the feet of Jesus and repents of his doubts, his fear and his pride. “Depart from me for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord.” Oh what a confession. What a heartfelt, open to the soul confession!
In a way that he had never seen Jesus before, he sees him now as truly Lord in all things. and in comparison, Peter can only see himself as a sinner, unworthy to be in the same place as Jesus the Christ, God the son, creator, ruler and sustainer of all.

The Bible says, “For he was astonished.” Literally that word means, “a wonder held him round.”  The wonder, the miracle, of what they had seen, surrounded and held Peter fast.
Isn’t it just like Jesus to work like this? Peter had cast a net that caught fish, but Jesus had cast a miracle that caught Peter.

Our obedience?

Where is our obedience, our risk and especially our repentance?
Peter would never have come to this place, at the feet of Jesus, never seen Jesus as much more than just a Rabbi had he not obeyed the Lord and launched out into the deep.
He risked much in doing so.

He risked embarrassment from all those people and other fishermen on shore. “Look at Peter he’s going back out to fish at the wrong time and in the wrong place. What’s wrong with him?”
He risked all that he owned. His nets began to break and his ship begins to sink. If he lost these things he would lose everything he had in this world.

He even risked his life. We know from the story of Peter walking on the water that he probably can’t swim. If the boat goes down Peter goes down.
Yet because he risked it all in obedience to Christ, he was able to see Christ as he had ever seen Him before.
You know what we must ask ourselves today. Where is my obedience? Where is my risk and especially where is my repentance?

When have you obeyed the Lord in spite of your doubts and fears? When have you risked everything you have and everything you are, in obedience to him? When was the last time you fell at the feet of Jesus as you realized, “I shouldn’t be loved by Him? I shouldn’t have be forgiven by Him. I shouldn’t spend eternity with the One who is the Creator, Ruler and Sustain of All. I shouldn’t be here, but by His love and grace I am and all I can do is fall at His feet and call out My Lord, My God, My Savior,… My Jesus!

Have you heard Jesus’ invitation to trust Him, are you willing to risk it, willing to test Him and see if this promise of salvation is real? Oh you’ll never know the amazement, the wonder holding you round about, until you launch out in the deep of your doubts and fears and trust Jesus.

Eight times in the NT Jesus says, “Come unto Me.” The most memorable invitation is in Mathew 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
You have heard His call, that is it right there, just as real and vital today as it was then. Have you obeyed by coming to Him?

Transition: The story doesn’t end here in fact this is the only the end of the beginning of the story for Peter and the apostles.  But don’t worry it is the end of my sermon.


Forsaking and Following - Luke 5:10-11

And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Peter Forsakes All
Peter, Andrew, James and John forsake all and follow Christ. After this third time Jesus  called his disciples, the Bible says, “They forsook all and followed Him.”

Why this time? I believe it was because they saw Him as they had never seen him before. Because they had obeyed Him as they had never obeyed him before. Because the risked everything as they had never risked before. Now they were ready to be Apostles, sent ones, ready to take the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth and ready to carry the burden of eternity on their shoulders.

Are you ready this morning?  I can’t think of anything worse, than one day looking back to a time and a place where I could have made a choice to obey God, and trust Jesus, but instead said nothing and did nothing. I can’t imagine realizing that because of my refusal to obey, I missed seeing Jesus Christ as I had never seen him before. I missed the opportunity of serving him. Or worst of all, I missed eternity because I did nothing.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Gospel Quest 8: Christ’ Coming Luke 2, Rev 19, John 3

Gospel Quest 8: Christ’ Coming
Text: Luke 2, Rev 19 & John 3

Video Link
Audio Link


I am the author of two Christmas poems, Bubba the Red Eared Armadillo and The Sunday Morning Before Christmas. It may surprise you to know that I have not made millions of dollars from these songs. I know it surprise me everyday. I now will share with you all my epic poem. The Sunday Morning Before Christmas.

Poem - The Sunday Morning before Christmas

Twas the Sunday before Christmas and all through the town.
Church members were jumping from their beds with a frown.

"Look at the clock we over slept" yelled Dad.
"Now be quiet" said Mom, "On Sunday, don't be mad."
Waking each child with a frantic deep,
But they just roll over and go back to sleep.

Finally, they all stumble to the kitchen table.
Mom says, "Get your own breakfast. I know you're able."
Grumping and griping they search for a meal.
Glaring at one another with looks that could kill.

"You've got to go faster.  We're late,” Dad screams.
He really means it, his face covered in shaving cream.

"Honey, he cries. Didn't you wash my underwear.
He asks in a voice of frustration and fear.

"I can only wash what you put in the hamper"
Already the worship mood was taking a damper.

"Mom, where's my shoes, Mom where’s my clothes."
Mom wonders if these are family or foes.

Finally, they pile into the car to depart.
"Wait, calls little Mary, "my Bible I forgot.
While they wait little Johnny starts to rant
"I gotta go to the potty or I'll wet my pants."

Dad slowly bangs his head on the wheel
Mom says, "If you open a cut it will take weeks to heel."

Now they are flying down the road like a rocket.
Johnny discovers week old gummy worms in his pocket.
He quietly places them on his sister's collar.
And innocently waits for the inevitable holler.
"You little monster, did you put this in my hair?"
"Children be quiet. We're almost there."

Finally, at the church, they safely arrived.
Another Sunday morning somehow survived.

Coming As A Humble Child Luke 2:1-7

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

His First Coming Was Into a Stable

The first coming of Jesus was not what was expected of the Jewish Messiah. He had been looked for, prophesied about and prayed for by people of Israel for thousands of years and yet when He came they did not fully recognize Him, because His first coming was quiet, humble, and almost hidden.
In the expectations of the rabbis and scholars, the messiah should have come riding in a chariot draw by fine horses but instead he arrived with his family carried on a donkey.

He should have been announced by courtly heralds blowing golden trumpets and shouting for all those to present to bow before the coming King, instead he was announced by an angel on a remote hillside to a group of shepherds watching their flock.  The Messiah should have been born in a castle, filled with servants but instead he was born in a stable surrounded by animals. He should have sat upon a throne of gold at his coming, instead He lays on a wooden manager filled with straw.

All His Life on earthly life, Jesus did not meet the expectations of those who looked for their idea of a coming King, rabbi or Messiah. He always came in ways unexpected. To John the Baptist he came seeking to be baptized, but John thought Christ should baptize him. To Nathaniel he came out of Nazareth, but Nathaniel knew that nothing good came out of Nazareth. To the woman at the well, he came as a friend even though the Jews had nothing to do with the Samaritans. To the Pharisees he came as having His own authority and not as they believed, needing their approval for what he taught or what he did. To Pilate he came as a criminal, to be condemned to death and was sent away with a writing that said, Behold the King of the Jews. To the Jewish people, he came as a suffering savior, when they were looking for a conquering hero.

When Christ first came it was not to meet the expectations of the world but to do the will of His Father. John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Even today, Jesus is not worried about meeting your expectation of who you think He is or what he is supposed to do. When Jesus comes to us even today, it will never be in a way that we are expecting.

The Child Becomes A Man

The little child born in a stable grows to be a man. He lives a life just as you and I but sinlessly, perfectly keeping the Law and His Heavenly Father’s will. By that will Jesus is arrested and after a night of torture and persecution, He is crucified on a wooden cross high on Calvary’s hill. His companion in death are two thieves. He is cut down at only about 30 years of age. It is not how the Messiah was supposed to die. There was no great battle, no destruction of the enemies of Israel, just a beaten man, bowing his head and crying out. It is not what they thought would happen, yet it was the Father’s will. Jesus gives His life a ransom for the sin of all mankind. He dies and is buried in a rich man’s donated grave. 

Mark 15:22-27  And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.  And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.  And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.  And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.  And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.  And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

Now at last they know what to expect. Those who hated him expect his story to end, his follower to run and his teaching to fade. His disciple expect to be arrested and they hide themselves in secret places. Sin and death and the grave expected to claim the body of Jesus until it turned to nothing but bones and dust.

The Man Becomes a Savior

And then three days later, once again Jesus destroys those expectation and on the glorious sunrise of that third day He rose from that temporary tomb as the earth shook and the stone rolled away! 

Over the next 40 days hundreds of people saw Him and talked with him. His disciples watche as he appears in the midst of a locked room, eats with them and offers His wounded hands and side as proof. Then on that 40th day from the Mount of Olives, full view of a crowd of onlookers, He ascended back up into heaven to once again be with His Father.

Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Transition Now this was the first coming of Jesus and it is the reason we celebrate the Christmas season, but this is not the last coming of Jesus into this world. If fact there are three comings and I want to share with you those other two.  In Luke 2 we see Jesus coming as a humble child into the stable, but the next coming will be as a Hero King Into a Dark World

Coming As A Hero King  Revelation 19:11-11

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

His Future Coming Into a Dark World

Again the coming of Jesus in not expected by those who will experience it. As we read the book of Revelation and Daniel and other prophetic passage we are shown that when Jesus comes in the future, He will come to the earth at the end a 7 year tribulation. A time of unbelieveable suffering for all the world and especially for the people of God.

Billions and billions of the people living at this time have died terrible deaths. The Bible says up to 3/4ths of all the earth’s population have been killed by war, famine, earthquake, even meteor and comet strikes. The sea and waters of the earth described as turning into blood and are too poisoned to drink. Hell has been opened and an army of demons is unleased. All infrastructe collapses, there is no running water, there is no electricity, there is no running transportation. Finally, there is no light at all in all the earth. The Bible says, the moon turns the color of blood and the sun fades to black, it says the stars of heaven fall from the sky.

The last army on earth, an army of over 200 million warriors, led by the anti-Christ under the power of Satan,  will gather in the valley of Megiddo with one final purpose, to punish the people of God, who they blame for all that has happened to them. They begin their march to destroy the city of Jerusalem and all that still live there. They expect a slaughter because they know there is no one that can stop an army of 200 million, led by the greatest military leader of all time.

The attack begins and the Bible says, half of the city of God, falls and just when it seems that the anti-Christ and his army will win, once again Jesus comes and He was not expected. The pitch black sky is suddenly split with a light brighter than any that has ever been seen. Light lighting it streaks across the blackness from East to west. And there, riding on a supernatural white horse is Jesus Christ, the son of God. He returns to earth leading the armies of heaven against the armies of the anti-Christ. The Bible says a sword comes from his mouth and the demon inspired army is slaughtered, so that in the aftermath the blood of the slain runs as high as a horse’s bridle for over 200 miles though the valley of Meggido.

Jesus the Conquering King Comes.   

Let me assure you that just as sure as His first coming is historical fact and we celebrate it each year at Christmas time, His second coming will also take place. Jesus will come again into a sin darkened world as the Hero King. The world doesn’t believe it and once again Jesus will come when and how they don’t expect.

As the angels promised that day when He ascended, “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Coming through the sky and touching down on the Mount of Olives Jesus now the conquering King comes.

Transition: There is yet one more coming and it is to us personally the most important of all. I was not there for the past coming and I can only look forward to the future coming but in the present I can in my own life, experience Jesus coming, this time as a Healing Savior.

Coming As A Healing Savior  - John 3:14-17 

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

His Present Coming Is into My Heart

Jesus waits to enter this world, your world, right now, at this exact moment. Not now as through the womb of a virgin. Nor into a stable in the town of Bethlehem. Not on a white horse, splitting of the sky and leading the armies of heaven, but simply and quietly through your faith into your heart.         This time not announced by angels, nor by the light that burns the darkens from the sky, but by the unmistakable touch and conviction of the Holy Spirit on our soul’s will

John 3:7-8 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Jesus says the Holy Spirit is like wind and he moves and blows upon our hearts. When Jesus is lifted up, when the Gospel is preached as it has been this day, then the Holy Spirit moves like wind, touching our spirits and telling us that Jesus is coming and He this time he comes for you.

Jesus Not as Expected

Perhaps this quiet working of the Holy Spirit doesn’t fit your expectations of how Jesus should will into your life. Perhaps it doesn’t seem like the way He would save your soul and make you a child of God. But isn’t that unexpectedness the way he has always come?

You may have expected to work for in order for Jesus to come to you. You may have thought that being a member of a church or following some religious rituals would bring Jesus to your heart. Or maybe you just thought you could live good enough to one day meet him in heaven. Imagine that you didn’t look for Jesus to come to you, you thought you would be good enough to com to Him! You will never have any of those expectations fulfilled. The Bible is very plain and tell us that if those are your expectation, then you will be disappointed, eternally disappointed.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Can it be any plainer than that.

It may be that you just weren’t expecting Him right now or right here at a Sunday Celebration of the birth of that little baby over 2000 years ago. Maybe you are one of those people who thinks that Jesus should come and save you but only when you ready to be saved. He should come when your sins aren’t so great, or after you’ve enjoyed this world and its pleasures for a season.

Yet the Bible says, in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Jesus never come when or how you expect it. I didn’t expect Jesus to knock on my hearts door when I was a little 7 year old boy sitting in the Spanish Mission in Miami, Arizona, but He did and in the evening service with my Granddaddy preaching and my Mom and family watching, I walked the aisle and with tears in my eyes knew that Jesus had come to me.

My wife, LeeOra didn’t expect Jesus to come to her when we were living in a little travel trailer in Yuma, Arizona. She was raised to believe that baptism, communion and the Catholic church were the ways to salvation. She certainly wasn’t expecting Jesus to come for her that day, because she thought she was already saved by what she had done. But one day, sitting alone and reading her Bible as she studied a scripture lesson, she realized Jesus was outside her life and she felt the gentle brush of the Holy Spirit and she heard the voice of the savior and she let Jesus come in.


What about you today? Has Jesus come to you and saved your soul? Are you looking for him to come today? Listen for His voice, stop for a moment and feel the touch of the Holy Spirit, like a gentle but unmistakable breeze blowing across your soul and then for you what Paul said will be true, “Today, today is the time accepted, today is the day of salvation.”