In this sermon, Pastor Neil continues his series on the essentials of our faith, particularly as the essentials pertain to the last days, when Christ returns. Here are some excerpts:
We are living in what the Bible calls “the last days.” The entire period in history between the first coming of Jesus and His second coming is “the last days.” We know that these are the last days. What we don’t know is how long the last days will be, or how soon Jesus will return.
That Jesus is coming, we know for sure. When He is coming, no one knows. The fact that He has not come yet – or even that He had not come back by the time Peter wrote 2 Peter –prompted scoffers to scoff, mockers to mock, doubters to doubt, and opponents of the Christian faith to broadcast their opposition to the gospel message.
Whether it has to do with the return of Christ, some other doctrine, or the Christian faith’s teaching on human sexuality, the proper boundaries for sexual behavior, or some other aspect of biblical teaching, doesn’t it seem that there are a lot of scoffers and mockers in our culture today? People who are outspoken in their opposition to the message of the Bible, the doctrines and values of the Christian faith? People who, in some cases, have powerful platforms to promote their opposition to the Bible and a world view based on its teachings?The answer is intuitively obvious, isn’t it?
One reason some people mock the Christian faith, whether it is our belief in the promised return of King Jesus or some other aspect of our faith, is because the message of the Bible and the teachings of the Christian faith (both spiritual and moral) do not fit into their view of the world and, to shoot straight about it, because if they believed the gospel, if they willingly submitted to the authority of the Bible, they would have to change the way they are living. Inmany cases, people reject Jesus and the gospel of His grace not so much because they don’t or can’t believe, but because they don’t want to change their lifestyle.
I pray this is not true of anyone here. You can come to church and go through all the motions of appearing to be a follower of Jesus on the outside, while at the same time going your ownway, saying “No” to the Lordship of Jesus, and following your own selfish desires in the way you live during the week. I pray this is not true of you. If it is, I urge you to come to your senses, to turn away from the sins you love and the idols of your heart, and to surrender your heart and life to Jesus. The truth is that real freedom is found in surrender to Him.