“Until Your Father Comes”

Introduction: Do you remember those dreaded words your Mother would say to you when you were a child? “Wait until your Father comes home!” It was a long, anxious, dreary wait, wasn’t it?
See church, Jesus told us that He’s coming back… But, it doesn’t have to be with dreaded anticipation, as if were awaiting judgment or condemnation…

Make no mistake about it, Jesus is most certainly coming back … and church He’s coming to take His family back home to be with Him … forever!

We don’t know just WHEN … just … that He WILL…   So WHY is He coming back?

 

Listen church, JESUS is coming back because He gave us His promise that He would… and He always keeps His Word

 

He told us in John 14:2-3…

John 14:2-3

2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

And we call this particular return of Jesus, the “Rapture”…

MEANWHILE… What we do while we wait for His return is very important…

And Jesus gave us some good advice about our waiting…

My dad gave me some good advice when I was a teenager… He said: “If you’re working for someone and you can’t BE busy, LOOK busy! Don’t let your boss-man catch you doing nothing… You can always find SOMETHING to do!”

That’s good advice for us as Christians today, but church Jesus’ advice is MORE than just advice… It’s a direction for living … “Until He Comes”.

 

And church we don’t just have to LOOK busy … there’s plenty for us to do…

Listen church, our life here is a journey through time… And the time between now and the Rapture is a time where no man has gone before … it’s the unknown … a whole new frontier of opportunities (kind of sounds like Star Trek, doesn’t it!)… And see church, God expects us to be busy working for Him until Jesus beams us up in the rapture.

When the Children of Israel went to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Joshua told them in Joshua 3:4 – “for you have not passed this way before."

See church, God had gone before them to prepare the way… but, they had not passed that way yet…

Listen folks, God goes before us, preparing the way until we arrive at our final destination, and are then ushered into His presence.

There’s a story of 4 people on a plane (I picked this up years ago … don’t know from where). These 4 were on their way to a city … a prisoner, a widow, a world traveler, and a bride…

Let’s take a look at their attitudes, and compare them with the return of Christ…

Which one are you?

1st.- PRISONER – He had been condemned to death and was going to his execution…

What’s his attitude? No doubt it’s an attitude of dread, because judgment awaits…

He’s hoping for a slow trip … perhaps a fog delay, or a snow storm, so the plane can be diverted to another airport… Anything! He has a fearful anticipation of the future, because condemnation awaits him… As time gets closer to his arrival, his heart sinks, and his stomach churns… He’s not looking forward to his final destination… Because he has an attitude of JUDGMENT…

2nd.- WIDOW – Her husband died a few days ago, and she’s going to the funeral…

She has an attitude of sorrow and remorse… She wishes things were different, and she sits and reflects on the past… “Why wasn’t I a better wife? I could have done more!” She has a feeling of inadequacy as she looks at her failings and failure… She has an attitude of REGRET…

3rd.- WORLD TRAVELER – He’s an adventurer, going to, well, he’s not quite sure, and he really doesn’t care…

He’s been around the world, gone everywhere, seen and done everything… He’s spent his life seeking excitement… What lies ahead? Riches, danger, death, the unknown?

He doesn’t worry about the future, he just lives for the excitement of today… “Eat, drink, and be merry.” What ever happens, happens!

He has an attitude of APATHY … he’ll find out when he gets there…

4th.- BRIDE – She’s going to meet her groom, with an attitude of joy…

She’s anticipating her arrival … she can’t wait! Time passes too slowly (unlike the prisoner, where time seems to be going too fast). “Can’t I speed up this plane?” The closer she gets, the more excited she becomes… She’s looking for a bright future with the groom that awaits her… She has an attitude of JOYOUS ANTICIPATION…

4 people … 4 different attitudes toward their destination… Which one are YOU?

 

Listen church, Jesus IS coming!

And there are those who have only JUDGMENT to look forward to, and they don’t want Jesus to come soon, like the prisoner who has lived a life of sin…

There are those like the widow, who have a feeling of failure and inadequacy, with regrets because they have failed the Lord, and haven’t lived for Him, and are not looking forward to His return…

There are those who just DON’T KNOW what the future holds, like the world traveler, the adventurer, who is unsure and uncaring about their destiny, thinking only of today and not really caring about the future…

And then there are those like the bride, who have a joyous anticipation of meeting their Beloved face-to-face, and can’t wait!

So what’s your attitude toward the return of Jesus?

*Listen church, what we DO while we wait, determines our ATTITUDE…

 

When your boss is away, he leaves certain orders to be carried out in his absence…

When parents go away, they want certain things done before they return (wash dishes, mow grass, wash the car)…

So exactly what should we be doing “Until He Comes”?

Jesus didn’t leave us with some great mystery… In fact He has given us a list…

I. OCCUPY UNTIL HE COMES…

Luke 19:11-13

11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Church were to “occupy” ourselves until Jesus returns for us, and I don’t mean to just “occupy” a pew! As we noted last week the word “occupy” means to be busy or ‘to produce gain’…

Jesus gives us a parable here… 3 men were given silver and told to invest it…

The 1st man did so, and it increased 10-fold, and he was told “Well done!”, and was given 10 cities to rule over…

The 2nd man did so, and it increased 5-fold, and was told “Good!”, and was given 5 cities to rule over…

The 3rd man gave back to his master the same amount he had been given, with no increase… He didn’t use what his master had given him…

See church, he didn’t “occupy” himself in his master’s business, and the silver was taken away from him…

Why? Because the Lord expects a return on His investment (don’t YOU?)

I mean just think about what God has invested in you?

Jesus told Doubting Thomas after His resurrection, in John 20:27 –

John 20:27

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side…

 

Listen to me brothers and sister’s in Christ… Jesus has invested His LIFE in you, and, He expects you to invest YOURS!

While we wait for His return, we are to be “occupied” in His service, and present Him with an increase…

He expects PROFITABLE servants, and we will be held accountable… we are to “Occupy ourselves” … and produce gain … “Until He Comes”…

II. JUDGE NOT UNTIL HE COMES…

1 Cor. 4:5

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
Remember Judge Ito at the trial of O.J. Simson? No matter what he did at the trial, it wasn’t liked … by the defense, the Prosecutor, the jury, the media, or the public…

He was the Judge, but look at all the people who was judging HIM!

Listen church it’s not easy being a Judge, and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to judge the HEART…

Christ is the only One who can rightly judge heart and motives, yet, we sure do give it a try, don’t we? It’s a part of our old nature … it’s the natural man coming out…

But why? Folks have you ever notice where a Judge sits? He sits HIGHER than anyone else!

When we judge others, we put ourselves above them … or at least we THINK we do! Someday we’ll all sit at the BEMA seat of Christ… And He will RIGHTLY judge our works according to motive and the intent of the heart…

And we will be rewarded (or un-rewarded) accordingly…

So in the meantime … “Until He Comes” … let’s not go around judging others…

STORY: A lady went to a diet clinic where every time she had to weigh in, exercise, and listen to lectures on proper nutrition. One day, the instructor was speaking on the problems of eating out … ordering the proper dressings, diet drinks, how to have your meat cooked, etc. The instructor asked, “What is the greatest fear or problem you encounter when going out to eat?” This lady raised her hand and honestly said, “The fear of running into you!”

If you know someone is judging you all the time, it can give you a COMPLEX… Judging isn’t fair to the one being judged…

We also shouldn’t judge, because we’re not qualified to judge others… Only Christ has been given that authority, and you don’t want to assume authority you don’t have…

 

Especially GOD’S authority … He doesn’t like that!

When I was with the prison, I would occasionally tell people, “Take the rest of the day off … with pay … tell the Sergeant I said it was O.K.!” Now, I had no authority to tell people that (and they knew it, so they never took me up on it!). But if they did, I would have been in real trouble! The Sergeant would have been very unhappy with me, because I assumed authority I didn’t have…

God says: “Leave the judging up to Me … you have no authority… How dare you assume My authority … who do you think you are!”

Jesus is the Light of the world, and He will bring to light those things we have hidden away in darkness … those things we think no one knows about…

Jesus said, “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

In judging, we need to look in a MIRROR before we look through a MAGNIFYING GLASS…

And, of course we have these words from Jesus in Matthew 7:1-2 –

Matt 7:1-2

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

This is another whole message, but I think you get the idea. We are to JUDGE NOT …“Until He Comes”.

III. OBEDIENT UNTIL HE COMES…

 

1 Tim 6:13-14

13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

God’s Word says that we are to keep “this commandment”… Now you may be thinking okay which one?

Well I’ll tell you… ALL of them…  as Christians were to keep all of the precepts found in the Word of God…  But how are we to do it?
1st.- “without spot” – In other words we’re not to pollute the Word through hypocritical living…

Listen church, we’re not to blemish the Word of God through unfaithfulness and disobedience… Don’t put a spot on the Word of God.
Years ago, this scene happened to me. I was talking to a stranger, and in our conversation I said, “Well then, you must know ________.?” He said, “Yea, but how do you know them?” I said, “He goes to my church.” He replied, “He goes to church? I never would have guessed it!!!”. Wow! THAT’S what I mean by putting a spot on the Word of God!

2nd.- “blameless” – i.e., ‘irreproachable, above reproach’. Listen folks, we know WHAT to obey, we just don’t do a very good job of it sometimes.

We spend more time trying to get around it, than we do in trying to obey it…

We call “sin” by a different name.

TRUE STORY: A couple had just built a home in a small town in Maine and wanted to burn trash. They asked about the local regulations, and they couldn’t get a permit for a bon-fire, but, they could have a camp-fire without a permit. They asked what the difference was. They were told: “If ya got a frying pan, it’s a camp-fire; otherwise it’s a bon-fire.” So, what did they do? They burned their trash, and stood around it with a frying pan in their hands!

Isn’t that what we do? We call “sin” by a different name, trying to get around it…

Listen church some people spend way too much time trying to see how CLOSE they can come to the bon-fire without out getting burned…

And, living this way brings reproach to the Name of Christ…

The Bible says that were to OBEY the Word … “Until He Comes”.
IV. BE PATIENT UNTIL HE COMES…

James 5:7-8

7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Now let’s be honest this morning… How many of you really consider yourselves to be patient people?

I’m more  like the man who said, “I want patience … and I want it NOW!”

However, believe it or not, I’ve become more patience with age and maturity...

Our Lord says we are to have patience … “Until He Comes”.

But church “patience” also implies “endurance” … and a really good example of that is given here by the illustration of a farmer….

 

The farmer plants the seed, then waits for the crop to grow and produce… But church, he doesn’t stand around idle… He waters, weeds, fertilizes, prunes, etc.

And, he doesn’t dig up the seeds to see if they are growing … he would never do that?

Instead he’s patient … expecting God to reward him for his labors… And he doesn’t act out of impulse, in undue haste…

Church I believe that sometimes, were too impatient in our prayer-life … our witnessing … our Church-work … with other Christians … with out mate, children.

We get in too much of a hurry, and we try to rush God… Instead of saying: “Lord, lead me in the way I should go and into Your blessing …” we say “Lord, this is the way I’m going … now bless it!” We need more patience … more endurance in these last days…
STORY: Two frogs fell into a can of cream, or so I’ve heard it told: The sides of the can were shiny and steep, the cream was deep and cold. “O, what’s the use?” croaked No.1. “’Tis fate; no help’s around. Goodbye, my friends! Goodbye, sad world!”

But, No. 2, of sterner stuff, dog-paddled in surprise. All the while he wiped his creamy face and dried his creamy eyes. “I’ll swim awhile, at least.” He said – Or so I’ve heard he said: “It really wouldn’t help the world if one more frog were dead.” An hour or two he kicked and swam, not once he stopped to mutter. But kicked and kicked and swam and kicked. Then hopped out, via butter! – T.C. Hamlet.

Church “Until He Comes” … let’s show endurance with patience…

CONCLUSION: How do we look for the Lord’s return? Like the PRISONER … in fear of judgment? Like the WIDOW … with lots of regret? Like the WORLD TRAVELER … not knowing what the future holds, just let it come and we’ll face it when it gets here. Like the BRIDE … with joyous anticipation?

Remember church our attitude will be determined by what we do … “Until He Comes”.
Let’s be growing … working … and serving…

 

Are you ready to Meet Jesus? What if He should come today! He IS coming!

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