While We Wait
Intro: It is natural for a Christian to anticipate the return of Christ.
I Thessalonians 1
- 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
- 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
It is a natural thing; it is expected of the believer to look for Jesus to come back.
We are looking for His return because of:
A. The Hope that has been Promised – Romans 8:17-25 (earnest expectation)
Multiple times in this passage we are told of the hope of His return.
- Verse 17 – “…that we may be also glorified together…”
- Verse 18 – “…the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
- Verse 19 – “…earnest expectation of the creature waiteth…”
- Verse 20 – “…who hath subjected the same in hope…”
- Vs. 21 – “…the creature itself shall be delivered…”
- Vs. 23 – “…waiting for the adoption…”
- Vs. 24 – “…hope mentioned 3 times…”
- Vs. 25 – “…hope and patience…”
- 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
- 11 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.
B. The Hold that has been Painful – Romans 8:21, 22 (bondage of corruption)
Paul described our current situation as “bondage of corruption.”
NOTE: Don’t confuse the bondage of the body mentioned in verse 21 to the bondage of the spirit in vs.15.
In verse 22, Paul described the pain that resulted of this hold.
He said that all of creation Groaneth and travaileth in pain together…
I know there is a physical element that is being referred to here.
Physically, our bodies are in pain.
ILLUSTRATION: Waking up in the morning with new pains for no reason. Trying to remember if I was in a car crash or if I fell off of the house the day before…
SEE 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:8
However, I believe after studying that Paul was talking about far more than just physical aches and pains.
He spent too much time in previous chapters talking about the painful hold of sin on his physical man.
He expounds on this in chapter 7 quite extensively.
- In verse 17, he said, “it was the sin that dwelleth in me…”
- In verse 14, he said, “I am carnal, sold under sin…”
- In verse 23, he called it “a law in my members…bringing me into captivity to the law of sin…”
- In verse 24, he called it “this body of death”
In Chapter 8, he elaborated on the struggle between the flesh and the spirit.
- In verse 5 he referenced the “sinful motions.”
- In verse 23, he referenced “sinful mind.”
- In verse 23, he referenced “sinful members”
He talked about the enmity between the carnal mind and God – vs. 7
He mourned the inability to please God if we are walking in the flesh – vs. 8
C. The Home that has been Prepared
Paul described the ultimate prize in verse 21:
- “…delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Only the child of God can anticipate this Heavenly home.
It is important to know that Heaven is prepared only for the child of God.
Not every one is going to Heaven.
It is reserved for the born-again child of God.
TURN TO John 14
- 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
- 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.
Pick back up in John 14:
- 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
- 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
- 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If you are not saved, you should not be anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ.
At His return, all the Christians will be gone.
All the Bible-believing men of God will be gone.
The church will be gone.
All the unsaved will be left behind to face the horrors of the tribulation. The unsaved will be left behind to deal with the deception of the antichrist.
While We Wait, we should be…
I. Observing in Patience
- Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
- Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
What does it mean to wait patiently?
Doesn’t the Bible promise a crown for those that “love his appearing?”
- 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Didn’t John the Revelator say in Revelation 22:20 for Jesus to come quickly?
- Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
God has a timetable.
He’s not constrained by our impatience.
He has a plan that He’s been working since the first day of Creation.
Let God be God and trust His timing.
Don’t begin to think He’s not coming.
I believe that the Bible commands the child of God to wait patiently because impatience breeds sin.
The mark of a mature believer is maturity according to James.
- 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
- 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
We can love His appearing, and long for His appearing without getting impatient.
IMPA’TIENT, adjective Latin impatiens. Uneasy or fretful under suffering; not bearing pain with composure; not enduring evil without fretfulness, uneasiness, and a desire or effort to get rid of the evil. Young men are impatient of restraint. We are all apt to be impatient under wrongs; but it is a Christian’s duty not to be impatient in sickness, or under any afflictive dispensation of Providence.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
Waiting patiently means:
The church is not uneasy; as in expressing any doubts in the promised return.
2 Peter 3
- 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
- 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
The church is not fretful under suffering, bears pain as a Christian with composure.
The church is confident that God is in control and is working according to His own plan and timetable
The church does not get lazy and go to sleep and allow our lamps to go out while we wait
- 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
- 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
- 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Waiting patiently means patiently faithful and still believing God when Jesus returns.
- Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
While We Wait, we should be…
II. Operating in Power
- 1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
- 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
- 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
On the Mount of Olives just as Jesus was about to ascend, He reminded the disciples of the power.
- 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
- 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
- 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
- 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
While We Wait, we should be…
III. Occupying in Productivity
- Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
OCCUPY: to carry on a business; to carry on the business of a banker or a trader
Jesus at the age of 12 understood what it meant to be “about my Father’s business.”
What are YOU “about?”
- James 5:7 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.
QUOTE: Instead of being busy doubting His return, we should be busy doubling His returns.
We should take advantage of every waking hour to sow, water, and harvest.
We should get creative in our endeavors to maximize His investment in us for His glory and honor.
We have a limited amount of time to bear fruit.
We can’t waste a single day pursuing our own agenda.
While We Wait, we should be…
IV. Obeying in Purification
I John 3
- 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
- 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
TURN TO 2 Peter 2
- 1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
- 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
- 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
- 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
- 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
- 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
What have you purified yourself of in your anticipation of His return?
What have you allowed Him to remove from your life WHILE YOU WAIT?
What have you allowed the Spirit of God to cleanse you of WHILE YOU WAIT?