Bible Studies In The Christian Library
Scripture Reading:  1 Thess 4:13-18

He is Coming in the Clouds

   A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy who’s dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket, and blue jeans.  Saint Peter addresses this guy, “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you into the Kingdom of Heaven?”  The guy replies, “I’m Joe Cohen, a taxi driver from NOO YAWK City.” Peter looks over his list, he smiles and says to the Taxi Driver: “Welcome to Heaven, take this silken robe and golden staff and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven! ”  So the Taxi Driver takes his robe and his staff, he enters into the Eternal Kingdom….

Now it’s the minister’s turn!
   He very proudly stands erect and booms out, “I am Joseph Snow, minister of the 34th and Broad Church for the past 43 years.”  Peter consults his list and says to the minister, “Here you go, take this cotton robe and wooden staff and you may enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”  The minister just stands there…mystified, “Wait a minute, that man ahead of me was a taxi driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff!  How can this be?”
               Peter says:  “Up here, we work by results! While you preached…people slept;
                                                                                While he drove…people prayed! ” 

This morning we want to discuss a promise that has been made to all of God’s Children:
(John 14:1-4 NKJV)  “Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. {4} “And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 

***Just as the Jews awaited the Messiah, so we are waiting for the 2nd Coming of the Lord.
      Jesus promises that His faithful Servants will be caught up together with them in the clouds
      to meet the Lord in the air. [1 Thess 5:17] 

***In John 14, He speaks of the GLORIES that await the Redeemed…in that Eternal Home.

                                                 (The Home of the Soul!)

***Now, for about 2 millenniums, we (all of mankind) have been instructed to prepare 
     for this time when Jesus will “Come in the Clouds.” 

(Mark 13:32-37 NKJV)  “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. {33} “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. {34} “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. {35} “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming; in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning; {36} “lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. {37} “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

I.  So how are you doing?

***You are instructed from Scripture to prepare for His coming, are you ready?
***If Jesus were to come back right now,
        O can we say we are ready, brother? Ready for the soul’s bright home?
        Say, will He find you and me still watching, Waiting…waiting when the Lord
        shall come?
***There has been a precedent already established for seeking the Lord’s Coming***
***Many Jews stood there, oblivious to the fact that the Messiah stood in their midst*** 

Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for His 1st coming, the Bible charges your generation and mine….to:

“Remain Watchful, for you no NOT…the hour when your Lord shall come!” [Matt 24:42]

Many years ago Orson Wells produced a radio drama of an imaginary attack from outer space.  A student at Campbell College in North Carolina turned on his radio midway through the broadcast and did not realize he was hearing a fictitious report. When the announcer vividly described fire falling upon the earth, the student recalled some sermons from his boyhood years and concluded that the end of the world had come.  He grabbed the telephone and called home, saying:  "Mama, Mama, have you got your radio on?  The fire is falling, the end of the world is coming, and I'm not ready to meet God!"  The next morning he was the object of jokes and teasing around the campus.
   But in the chapel service a godly Bible teacher took the podium and said, "I understand that one of the boys got a lot of ribbing because he got scared listening to the radio program last night.  But, young men and women, what if it had truly been the end of the world last night -- would you be ready?" 

***Have you ever stood in the FACE of a terrible storm and wonder if this was the end of the
      world?  (Sanford & Son:  “This is the BIG ONE Elizabeth, I’m comin’ to meet you!”)
***Have you ever driven on the highway…had a big Semi Truck come around the curve…..
      IN YOUR LANE….and thinking for a brief moment that this could be the end of it all?
               (Why do we call this a “near miss”, doesn’t it sound more like a “near HIT?”) 

(1 Th 5:1-6 NKJV)  But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. {2} For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. {3} For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. {4} But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. {5} You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. {6} Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

    ***Thief in the Night….time unknown
    ***When you least expect it….mind elsewhere, priorities
    ***He will not appear on the Earth for any period of time…no more preparation time.
                   (No He will not remain on the Earth for a 1,000 year reign!) 

When Jesus came to the Earth the first time, He had a specific purpose for which He had been sent: 

A. He was sent to “seek and to save” those who were lost.  [Luke 19:10]
B. His purpose was to become the Supreme Sacrifice that would redeem man of his sins!
                                                                                                                            [John 12:27]
C. He came to “declare His Father” to mankind  [John 1:18] 

II. Who will Jesus be seeking when “He comes in the clouds?”

***“Those who accept and live as those He is the Son of God!” 

Jesus came to DO the Will of God. His Word is TRUTH, all those who abide in His Words…will abide in Him! 

(1 John 5:1-5 NKJV)  Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. {2} By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. {3} For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. {4} For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith. {5} Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

*** “Those Who OVERCOME! ” 

Jesus is coming back to claim those precious souls who have OVERCOME the vices of this World by accepting the Salvation offered by God! 

(Rev 3:20-22 NKJV)  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. {21} “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. {22} “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

***“Those who do the Will of God, our Father in Heaven! ” 

Jesus has already established that there is a standard by which to live. His life stands as the measurement which God commands. Yes…you and I Sin and fall short of this mark…but it does not diminish the fact that God demands our OBEDIENCE! 

(Mat 7:21-22 NKJV)  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. {22} “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

***“Those who accept God’s Gift of Grace” 

In understanding our “DEAD CONDITION”, Jesus will be seeking those who have allowed His blood to cleanse them of their unrighteousness. His Blood has been shed in order to bring us into Perfect Harmony with God, our Father! 

(Eph 2:4-9 NKJV)  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, {5} even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), {6} and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, {7} that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. {8} For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, {9} not of works, lest anyone should boast.

***“Those who have practiced the Golden Rule toward their neighbor” 

As Christians, we are instructed to show our LOVE for the Lord by treating our fellow man with LOVE and Compassion.
(Mat 25:34-40 NKJV)  “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: {35} ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; {36} ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ {37} “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? {38} ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? {39} ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ {40} “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

III. In Conclusion then, When will the Lord “Come in the Clouds”?

It May Be At Morn
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking, When sunlight through darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory, to receive the world His own.
It may be at midday, it may be at twilight, It may be, perchance, that the blackness of midnight
Will burst into light in the blaze of His glory, when Jesus receives His own.
While hosts cry hosanna, from heaven descending, with glorified saints and angels attending,
With grace on His brow, like a halo of glory, will Jesus receive His own,
O JOY! O DELIGHT! Should we go without dying, no sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying,
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory, when Jesus receives His own.
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long ere we shout the glad song, Christ returneth!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen!
Hallelujah, Amen!

(Mat 24:42-44 NKJV)  “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. {43} “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. {44} “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.


Copyright 1999 by David Gladwell may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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