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John Moore
 
June 30, 2022 | John Moore

The Week of the Cross – Jesus to Return – Part Two

Jesus has been both instructing and illustrating about greatness in the Kingdom and great crowds began to follow him. Most recently he has, for the third time, specifically predicted his death and resurrection, though most did not understand this was the redemptive fulfillment of His life. What is coming is a sham trial, public beating and mocking, and the death of a condemned criminal among criminals.   We are now in the last week of Jesus’ life.  His entry into Jerusalem, his final instructions to the crowds and to the disciples. Now the question comes: if Jesus is leaving as predicted, when is He coming back? And now, the sequel question, who is He coming for, and will we/they be ready?

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25:10-13.

1. The Return of Jesus.  With Jesus’ death and resurrection, the business of God – at least one earth – remained unfinished.  Salvation had been offered and secured by the cross, but Jesus coming as Ruler and King of His Kingdom was not.  The bible has much to say about Jesus’ return, and it has been one of the fundamentals of the faith for disciples since the first century.  In Matthew 24, we establish that the day and hour are not known.  Now in Matthew 25, we get the twine messages: be vigilant to be counted as a disciple of Jesus, and use our time and talents for matters that are eternal. 

2. The Parable of the Ten Virgins.  While there is some interpretational debate about these details, two facts are clear: in the church there are the disciples, and there are the pretenders.  The disciples are prepared, ready for the returning groom; the pretenders seem prepared, but are not, ‘no oil, etc’, and are more interested in appearances than in spiritual reality.

3. Acceptance and Rejection at Jesus’ Return.  There will be two groups at Jesus return, two groups in the church now.  There are the since and heart devoted followers, who love the Lord with all their heart, and love others [rather] than themselves; and there will be the ones who are surface pretenders, whose heart and mind have not been given to God.  To the first, acceptance and reception into the Kingdom; to the second, a door that is closed, and will not open.  Salvation for the unbeliever after Jesus returns is a subject for another week.

Jesus’ return promised from the Prophets:

Isaiah 35:10
Verse Concepts
And the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 51:11
Verse Concepts
So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Ezekiel 37:12
Verse Concepts
Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.

Jeremiah 50:19
Verse Concepts
And I will bring Israel back to his pasture and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan, and his desire will be satisfied in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead.

Jeremiah 29:14
Verse Concepts
I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

Jeremiah 30:10

Verse Concepts
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ declares the Lord,
‘And do not be dismayed, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from afar
And your offspring from the land of their captivity.
And Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease,
And no one will make him afraid.

Jeremiah 46:27
Verse Concepts
“But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear,
Nor be dismayed, O Israel!
For, see, I am going to save you from afar,
And your descendants from the land of their captivity;
And Jacob will return and be undisturbed
And secure, with no one making him tremble.

Jeremiah 31:17
Verse Concepts
“There is hope for your future,” declares the Lord,
“And your children will return to their own territory.

Jeremiah 29:10
Verse Concepts
“For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.

Jeremiah 31:16
Verse Concepts
T
hus says the Lord,
“Restrain your voice from weeping
And your eyes from tears;
For your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord,
And they will return from the land of the enemy.

And from Jesus’ teachings and the New Testament:

 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  John 14:1-3

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. I Thessalonians 4:16.

That is our hope and our focus.  And for the days given to us, using them in ways that count for eternity.  More on that next week with the parable of the talents.  Stay well.

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