9. Hope & the Return of the Lord

March 16, 2021
Posted in Sermons
March 16, 2021 UCC User

9. Hope & The Return of the Lord

Our hope and confidence in the future is based on the resurrection and return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.” I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Review from Last Week

  1. How is it possible for our actions to hinder the church and the gospel?
  2. How can we be encouraged to show greater love within the church family and beyond?
  3. How did last week’s text affect your thinking, habits, and behavior as a follower of Jesus Christ?

Sermon Points

I. Questions Concerning the Return of there Lord  (v 13)

II. Truths Concerning the Return of the Lord (vv 14-17)

III. Our Response Concerning the Return of the Lord (v 18)

Quick Thought: Longing for the Resurrection – A World of Joy

Every longing in us is a version of our longing for God. That longing may be a distorted version of our longing for God, but it is still a longing for the God we were made to know. C. S. Lewis says: “There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven; but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our hearts of hearts, we have ever desired anything else … It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want.” Sadness abounds in our world. But joy will abound in God’s coming world. Because of the resurrection, we have this hope!

Post-Service Online Coffee Fellowship

Please join us on a zoom call for our Virtual Coffee Fellowship (bring your own coffee!). We’d love for you to say hi, whether you’re a first-time visitor to United Community Church or a longtime member. All are welcome!

The call will be open for more or less an hour after the service finishes – you can join by clicking here! If you can’t join with the link, the Meeting ID is 998 7707 5071, and the passcode is 221309

Life Group Questions

Quick Review of the Text

  1. What do you think has caused Paul to address the issue in these verses? ( see v 13)
  2. In what way should the death and resurrection of Jesus strengthen our confidence in what God will doe for us in the future?
  3. What is the basis of all the teaching in verses 15-17?
  4. How does Paul describe what will happen to the two groups in verses 15-17?
  5. What is the end result for God’s people to which we should look forward? (see v 17)
  6. What response is Paul looking for amongst the Thessalonians as a result of this teaching? (see v 18)

Introduction

  1. What hope do most people have with regard to the future and in what ways is Christian hope different?
  2. How does the resurrection provide of Christ provide believers hope for the future?

Apply the Text

  1. What hope do most people have with regard to the future and in what ways is Christian hope different?
  2. In what ways can a good grasp of doctrine be a means of pastoral encouragement?
  3. How should the reinterpretation of death as falling asleep help us shepherd one another?
  4. How is it best to minimise controversy about all the issues that surround the return of the Lord Jesus Christ?
  5. How can the teaching of this passage be used to encourage people in your church family?
  6. How should the prospect of meeting Jesus at His return affect the way I live today?
  7. Practically, how can we grow in the hope of His coming so that it affects our daily lives?