Summary and further questions and reading:
‘Christ the Coming King’ is the final message in a series of four. The series is all about the Lordship of Jesus and how that truth lies at the very heart of our gospel. The passage of Scripture we’ve kept coming back to is this:
5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11 NIV
Here are some of the main points that were covered, along with some of the relevant Scriptures:
Jesus has triumphed over his enemies and accomplished everything through his death and resurrection. There is an ‘end,’ however, that is still to come. We are still in the process of outworking and receiving all that Jesus has accomplished. The kingdom of God is therefore both now and not yet.
1 Corinthians 15:1-28
The ‘resurrection of the dead’ does not merely refer to the fact that we go to be with Jesus in spirit when we die. Rather, there will be a physical resurrection of the dead when Jesus returns to the earth. Then, once death is destroyed, we will know the complete fullness of God’s kingdom reign.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The fact that Jesus is coming again does not mean that we sit and wait. He ascended into heaven so that we could be a part of what he is accomplishing in the earth. By partnering with him in what he is doing we even get to speed up his return.
Knowing that Jesus is coming back is supposed to affect the way that we live. Jesus told a number of parables to this effect:
Luke 12:35-38; Mark 13:33-37
Luke 12:39,40; Matthew 24:42-44
Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:41-46
Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27
Knowing that Jesus is coming gives us an abundance of hope and something to hold onto. It helps us to stand firm and to persevere as well as to rejoice and celebrate. And knowing that He is coming also spurs us into action.
Philippians 3:10 – 4:1
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Revelation 21:1-4; 22:12-21
Some Questions to Think About:
- Read Luke 4:43 and then the whole of 1 Corinthians 15. Can you come up with a way of sharing the good news about Jesus’ rule and reign coming to the earth using the death, resurrection, ascension and return of Jesus as a framework? See if you can get it down to 5 minutes or less!
- To what extent have you been aware that Jesus is coming again? Is it something that you are always conscious of? How does it make you feel?
- Are there any changes that you’d like to make to the way you live when you remember that Jesus is our coming King? What will it mean for you to live in the light of his coming?
- Think about all the challenges you may be facing in your life right now and then read the verses in Philippians 3, 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 21&22 in the last point above. Do you believe these Scriptures to be true? How does that make you feel? Try writing down or speaking out loud specific statements about what you believe.
- Have you ever included the return of King Jesus in your sharing of the gospel? Why is it important to do so?
Ways to Take This Further:
If you’d like a healthy perspective on what it means for us to live in the time between Christ’s ascension and His return you could try reading this book by Ian Rossoll and Tony Wastall: “Win the World or Escape the Earth” (Published by River Publishing & Media in 2011).
You could also consider this (slightly longer and deeper) book by Tom Wright: “Surprised by Hope” (Published by SPCK in 2007).
If you want some help with the book of Revelation you could read Tony Ling’s two books (Volumes 1&2) called “The Lion and the Lamb” (published by Destiny Image in 2006 and 2007).
You could spend some time thinking about the truths that we’ve covered throughout this series and how it affects the way we share the gospel. You could then look for an opportunity to give it a go with someone who doesn’t yet know him!