Is Jesus Really Coming Again?
November 20th, 1955 @ 10:50 AM
IS JESUS REALLY COMING AGAIN?
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1 Corinthians 11:26
11-20-55 10:50 a.m.
Last Sunday, I felt compelled to preach at the services in preparation for our stewardship day – the only time in the year that I ever do that. So in our preaching through the Word, to find a message suitable for that preparatory day, I went ahead into the twelfth chapter of the first Corinthian letter and preached on the subject All of Us Have a Part. The middle part of that chapter is the members of the body of Christ – we’re not all one, we are many [1 Corinthians 12:12-27].
Now, there is one message that I wanted to go back to in the eleventh chapter of the first Corinthian letter. Then tonight we’ll proceed in the twelfth and the following Lord’s Day. The title of the sermon is, "Is it Really True? Is Jesus Really Coming Again?"
And in the eleventh chapter of this first Corinthian letter through which we are preaching, the text is in the twenty-sixth verse when Paul describes having received of the Lord the thing that he had delivered to the church: "That the Lord the night He was betrayed took bread: and He gave thanks and brake it" [from 1 Corinthians 11:23-24]. And they shared it together. And in the same manner He took the cup, He blessed it, and they shared it together [1 Corinthians 11:25]. Then the text: "For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death" – achri hou elthē – "till He come" [1 Corinthians 11:26] – "until He come." And that’s the text: "until He come" [1 Corinthians 11:26]. Until the Lord comes. As often as you do it, you "show forth" – you lay bare, you dramatize, you present – the death of the Lord until in glory and in triumph He comes again.
The last that the world ever saw of the Lord Jesus was when He was hanging on the cross. They saw Him when He died, but the disciples said that the third day He rose again – that for forty days, with many infallible proofs, He appeared to His disciples [Acts 1:3], and that on the fortieth day He ascended into heaven and a cloud received Him out of their sight [Acts 1:8].
But instead of returning in grief and in despair, the disciples turned their faces to Jerusalem and to the world with unspeakable joy and gladness. That’s such a strange thing because you would have thought that they had mourned the departure of their Lord – that they had wept and cried that they were separated from Him. But not so. They filled Jerusalem with their songs of gladness and rejoicing as the Holy Spirit of God filled their own souls to overflowing [Acts 2:1-47, 4:20, 5:28].
Now, the secret for that is this: the secret of their joy and gladness is that they believed that the same Lord Jesus who was separated from them would come again in triumph and in great glory. As they were standing there gazing up into heaven into which the Lord had ascended – while they looked steadfastly – angels came and said, "Why do you gaze up into glory? This same Lord Jesus, the same Jesus, shall come in like manner as ye have seen Him go" [from Acts 1:9-11].
The Lord knows what to speak to His people and when to speak it. And the Lord told those disciples that this same Jesus who has ascended into glory "will come again in like manner just as you have seen Him ascend" [Acts 1:11].
Now, that thing of the promise of the coming of Christ was the central hope and the central doctrine around which those early disciples and that primitive church built its blessedness, and its gladness, and its unspeakably, indescribably hopeful and triumphant enthusiasm. That word, achri hou elthe, "till He come," is like this word in the same Corinthian letter, the last chapter in the twenty-second verse: maranatha, maranatha. Achri hou elthe.
In the bitter persecution of the church in those first primitive centuries, for a man to be a Christian was for the most part to forfeit his property and his life. In order to live at all, they had to live in catacombs, and in caves, and in dungeons, and in secret.
So as they traveled in the cities of the Roman Empire, they had passwords whereby they were able to distinguish one another, and to know one another, and to introduce themselves to each other. And one of those passwords was this: Till He come, achri hou elthe. Another one was maranatha: maran, "our Lord"; atha, "He comes" – "the Lord comes."
The secret password of those disciples who were so bitterly wasted and persecuted were these words of the hope and promise of the Savior. As one would meet another in a dark alley, on a dark street, he’d whisper as he passed, "achri hou elthe," "till He come," or "maranatha," "the Lord comes."
And in a case of a sojourner or stranger, think what it meant to him when in Rome or in Ephesus or in Caesarea or in Alexandria or in Philippi, passing by, he heard that word. To a sojourner it meant kindness and hospitality and gladness and love and charity.
I say the thing that bound those disciples together in that first primitive church as they faced an intolerable and merciless persecution was the comfort and the hope, maranatha – "and He comes." Achri hou elthe: "till He come, till He come."
Now, that hope was built in the church in all of its liturgy, in all of its worship. All the way through, you’ll find that blessed and precious hope. When they repeated the Lord’s prayer – which we rarely ever do, but could do well – when they repeated the Lord’s prayer, they said, "Thy kingdom come" [Matthew 6:10]. That’s a prayer for the return of the Lord. You never have a kingdom without a king. "Thy kingdom come."
And the Apostles’ Creed: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary . . . was crucified and buried. The third day He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven. He sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come again to judge the quick and the dead . . ."
That Apostles’ Creed and we don’t ever repeat it because we don’t have creeds that are man-made, but it wouldn’t hurt us to repeat it. There’s not a syllable in it but that is a truth of God as it is in the Bible. "He ascended into heaven. He sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come again to judge the quick and the dead."
All over Christendom, for hundreds and hundreds of years, the churches of the Lord have repeated that Apostles’ Creed. And it’s all right, I think, for them to do it. It’s a great avowal of the Christian hope, and right in the middle of it is that blessed hope again: "from thence He will come again."
Now, I never use it. I never use it. When we go to the cemetery, I just read a Scripture and have a prayer. But for centuries, again, ministers of the gospel have used a committal service – a Christian committal service at the cemetery. And this is it, part of it: "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; looking for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose appearing in glorious majesty" – at whose appearing in glorious majesty – "the earth and the sea shall give up their dead, and the mortal bodies of them that sleep in Him shall be changed and made like unto His glorious body."
And then when we have the Lord’s Supper: every time we eat that bread and drink that cup, we "do show the Lord’s death till He come" [1 Corinthians 11:26] – till He come.
I have said this just to remind us that in the heart of the Christian faith and all through its worship and its liturgy, there is that blessed hope implanted.
Now, will He really come? Are we to look for the Lord Jesus really, actually? Even in the days of those apostles, Simon Peter writes that, "There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep’" – since the fathers died – ‘"all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation’" [2 Peter 3:3-4] five hundred billion, trillion, quadrillion, million years ago. That’s how long they say it was ago. Well, everything continued just like it was.
And then he goes on; and in answering that by God’s clock, he says, "Down here, don’t forget that a day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day" [from 2 Peter 3:8]. We’re not to forget. We’re not to forget that God has His time clock, but the promise is certain and it won’t fall to the ground. It’ll never fail. We are to look for the return of the Lord.
Canon Liddon [Henry Perry Liddon, 1829-1890], one of the great, great preachers of his day, in preaching at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, said – and this sentence is out of one of those sermons – he said, "If Christ is not coming again in glory, then let us turn the key in the west door of this cathedral."
And I’d like to make it apply to all of this worship and all of this faith. If the Lord Jesus is not coming again, may we now have the benediction; may we go to our separate ways; may we forget about the faith, about the Bible, about Christ – about every hope that we have in Him – because all of our doctrines and all of our promises and all of our hopes are bound up in that ultimate and faithful word of the Lord Jesus Christ that "If I go away, I will come again. I will not leave you comfortless" [from John 14:3, 18]. The Greek is "orphans." "I will come again and receive you unto Myself" [from John 14:3].
Now, I have three things to say about it and the first is this: that the infallibility, and the integrity, and the moral authority of the Son of God is bound up in His keeping that word that He will come again. If He does not – if there’s nothing to it, if the word falls to the ground – we have no cause to worship Him as Lord nor do we have any persuasion that any other thing that He said is true.
So much of what the Lord had to say, He so earnestly and fervently and prayerfully bound up in those words of the great, ultimate denouement of the age – the great consummation of this world.
For example, in that last verse of the eighth chapter of Mark, when He’s pleading with men to name Him openly – an open and unashamed discipleship – Mark [8:38], the Lord says, "For whosoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this evil and adulterous generation; of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of the Father with all the holy angels." We are to own Him, says the Lord, because some day, in glory and in majesty, the Lord would like to own us. But if we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us.
Now, in the twenty-fourth chapter of the apocalyptic discourse of the Lord Jesus, the Lord speaks of His coming, of His return. The disciples ask Him, "What shall be the sign of these things and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" [Matthew 24:3] And when the Lord replies, He binds up here those terrible days of tribulation to fall upon Jerusalem in its destruction which came to pass a few years later after His saying this [Matthew 24:1-31]. He bound that up, as a parable, a harbinger, a portent, a delineation, a picture of that final and ultimate Armageddon – the tribulation that should come upon all this earth [Matthew 24:21].
Then He says that His coming will be open and public – as the lightning cometh out of the east across the bosom of the sky and shines unto the west [Matthew 24:27]. Then He speaks of the great convulsion of nature’s power: the sun is darkened, the stars do fall, and the powers are shaken [Matthew 24:29].
Then He speaks of its unexpectedness and its suddenness: as in the days of Noah, they were marrying, giving and marrying – oh, they were having the nightclubinist time you could never think for – and then the flood came [Genesis 6:1-7:24; Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27]. And as it was in the days of Lot – there in Sodom and Gomorrah, what things they were doing! [Genesis 19:1-9] Then the fire fell [Genesis 19:24-29]. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man [Luke 17:28-30].
And these tremendous parables of the Lord, the great parables: the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins [Matthew 25:1-13]; the parable next of the talents [Matthew 25:14-30] – in Luke it’s called the pounds [Luke 19:11-27] – the parable of the sheep and the goats [Matthew 25:31-46]; the parable, in the thirteenth chapter, of the tares and the wheat [Matthew 13:24-30]. All of those parables have one great central purpose and teaching.
Now the preacher gets up and he reads the parable and he draws many pretty homiletical sermons from them. But we are not to forget that the parable was told with one tremendous message, and those messages are always the same: they speak of the suddenness, of the blessedness, of the judgments of the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns. And when the Lord spake with His disciples privately, He tenderly reminded them not to be in sorrow – not to be in sorrow, for He was coming again [John 14:1-3].
And in the last interview that He had with Simon and John – speaking of John, he said to Simon, "If I will, that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" [John 21:20-22]. "Till I come. Till I come." Just as in the Bible, there is no such person as a Jesus who was not born of the Virgin Mary [Matthew 1:24-25], there’s no such person in the Bible as a Jesus who did not work miracles [John 20:30-31], who did not rise from the dead [Romans 1:4], so in the Bible there is no such person as a Jesus who is not coming again in glory and in triumph [2 Thessalonians 1:6-10].
Now, my second avowal: if we can find any explanation for the incomparable works, the mighty achievement, and the flaming love of those first disciples, you will find it in their persuasion that Jesus was coming again in glory, in triumph, and in great power.
When Luke begins this story of the Acts of the Apostles, this is the way that he begins it: "And the Lord came and spake unto them saying, ‘You’re to be My preachers and My witnesses’" – "My martyrs," the Greek has it – "here, there, and around this earth" [from Acts 1:7-8]. And when He said that, He was taken up out of their sight [Acts 1:9], and those angels came and said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into glory? This same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye’ve seen Him go into heaven" [Acts 1:10-11].
Luke begins the story with that precious and blessed promise [Acts 1:11], and thereafter, in every sermon that they preach, and in every syllable of every word of every sentence that they left behind, you will find a reflection and an echo of that glorious hope and that blessed promise. Because He is coming again, they are encouraged to endure affliction and persecution [1 Peter 1:6-7]. Because He is coming again, they are enjoined to live godly and sober and righteous lives [1 Peter 1:13-19]. Because He is coming again, they are reminded that they have not lost those whom they’ve loved forever and ever, and they’re not to sorrow as others who have no hope [1 Thessalonians 4:13-17]. But because He is coming, they are to comfort their broken hearts [1 Thessalonians 4:18], for we shall see them and one another again in that glorious day of the return of the Lord.
There are 318 passages in the New Testament that either directly or indirectly reflect that precious and blessed hope. In the Bible, you don’t have any such word as "the second coming of Christ." It’s always "the coming" – the Parousia – the coming, the presence of the Lord. That event so overshadowed every other event – it was so great beyond anything else in all of God’s program – that it became the coming, the appearing, the presence of the Lord.
Now, the third avowal is: if there is to be any ultimate triumph of righteousness in this world, if there’s to be any kingdom of God among men, if there is to be any true reign of Christ, then it depends upon the personal intervention of God and the personal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ reigning in power and in glory.
May I speak of that in two ways? The first regarding sin, iniquity, unrighteousness, wickedness: there are some who have – not so much anymore, but there are some who did – they earnestly and prayerfully convinced themselves that this world would finally ripen into perfection; that the ape and the tiger would be evolved out of the heart and the soul of mankind; that give us time and give us centuries and we would gradually evolve into those angelic persons who knew no sin and who lived in a perfect and holy world.
When you think of that, there are two things to be said about it. And the first is this: that history and experience deny it. In the evolution of the world, in the progress of mankind, there is notable difference from immaturity to maturity. There is development in everything. You’ll have a one-horse, one-lung, one-cylinder carriage of an automobile, and gradually it’ll develop, and evolve, and evolve, and evolve, until finally you have these sleek hydromatics going down these highways just as fast as they’ll build roads to receive their onrushed coming. We can see that.
There’ll be a crate of an airplane made by the Wright brothers, and it’ll fly a hundred yards. Then gradually it’ll evolve, and evolve, and evolve, until finally you have these super jets that we’re going to ride from here to kingdom come and back in five split seconds in 1959. Brother, it’s on the way. It’s on the way. You can see that.
But this is the thing that also any discerning eye can see. There is also progress. There is also a development in all of those dark and bitter things of Satan, and of sin, and of unrighteousness, and of greed, and of hatred. There’s a development there just like there’s a development in anywhere else. The robber who would stay in the dark with a big club in his hand or a rock on a cliff to drop it down on the head of his neighbor as he passed by, he doesn’t have to use a club anymore; he may. He doesn’t have to use a rock anymore; he could. But today, he can take a little revolver and he can do the same thing with it, or he can take nitroglycerin and he can blow up a bank vault, or he can take an atom bomb and a jet plane and get two hundred million people back of him and destroy and burn and pillage beyond anything that the world ever dreamed of in this earth.
You have development, but it is a development in everything. But you never have a change of human nature – never! A thousand years ago, today, and projected as long as mankind shall inhabit this earth, you have the same greed, and the same selfishness, and the same wanton disregard for human life. Bitterness, hatred, planned destruction: you don’t ever change.
You were people yesterday; you’re people today. You’re lost people forever unless God intervenes. There’s no syllable of any evidence that we ever progress from the innate human nature that is fallen in us to those angelic and celestial beings that we think of as being holy in the presence of God. We’re still lost sinners now just as we were thousands of years ago, and we don’t change. We don’t change.
The other thing about it is the Word of God, the word of the Lord. Jesus said: "And when the end comes, there’ll be the tares, there’ll be the wheat growing up side by side" [from Matthew 13:24-30]. That’s at the end times. Jesus says in this twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Matthew that in that final end, there’s going to be a tribulation and a great, great day of sorrow for Jacob and for the peoples of this earth [Matthew 24:21].
Paul said that at that end time there would be great apostasy in the church [2 Thessalonians 2:3]. He said there will be a summation, a personalization, of all sin in what he called the "man of sin," the Antichrist [2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8-10]. [Jesus] says at the last time scoffers, and unbelievers, and the love of many waxing cold [Matthew 24:12].
And John, in the Revelation, pictures that great and final conflict – the beast and the false prophet which is the church in the world, organized, but not in the Spirit of Christ [Revelation 13:1-18, 16:13-16]. And in that end time, the Lord comes, and by His flaming presence, He destroys the beast, and He destroys the false prophet [Revelation 19:11-21], and He places Satan in the bottomless pit and chains him there [Revelation 20:1-3] – after the thousand years let out a while [Revelation 20:7-8] – then forever and ever [Revelation 20:10]. And this is done by the intervention of God. It is done by the personal appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, that’s what I had to say about sin. We are not getting better in this world. Human nature is still evil. It’s still vile. It’s still full of murder, and misery, and bloodshed. It’s still full of merciless and ruthless cruelty. We’re still people who are fallen even though we live in beautiful houses and have all kinds of gadgets and all kinds of automobiles. But on the inside of these houses and on the inside of all of these nations, there is that same terrible cringing before these Frankensteins and these monsters that we’ve created with our own evil hands.
Now, the other part is this: What are you going to do about death? What are you going to do about age? What are you going to do about tears and sorrow? If the world evolves and it evolves and it evolves, do you think that finally we will evolve out of death? Do you think progress will wipe the tears away from our eyes? And if you think it will – if you do think that progress will finally take death out of the world and there’ll be no more death and no more sorrow, and no more tears, and no more crying – if you believe that, may I ask you one other thing?
What about us who have died before that great and final perfection ever comes? What about us? What about us? For we shall die and have never seen it. It’ll not be in my day. Neither will it be in my children’s day, nor in your children’s day, nor in their children’s children’s day that this perfection that takes death out of the world will ever come. We shall die if the Lord delays. Our children shall die if the Lord delays. And if this thing is to be evolved into the perfection and holiness of God, then what of us who shall die before that great and triumphant hour comes?
It means we shall be left behind. It means God shall wipe us off. It means God has blotted us out. It means that we are dead and dead forever. We have no part in the kingdom. The program is not for us. It’s for some vastly distant future generation beyond what I could see or what I could imagine.
Is that the blessed hope? Is that the comfort of the Word? We’re preaching the gospel to people who are going to die and die forever! We’re saving people who will be saved for this lifetime, but in the life that is to come, they’re to be blotted out of God’s book, their name is to be remembered no more. We die forever. Is that the blessed hope?
No, sir, not in the Book. Not in the Book. Not in the Book. That’s why the church at Thessalonica sent word to Paul saying, "We believe in the return of the Lord. We believe the Lord is coming, but these beloved of ours have died and the Lord hasn’t come yet. What about them? What about them?"
And that’s the passage that you read. "My brethren, I would not have you without this knowledge concerning them that fall asleep" [1 Thessalonians 4:13]. And unless the Lord comes in our lifetime, we shall be in that number. We, too, shall fall asleep in Jesus. "That you sorrow not as others who have no hope, for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him" [1 Thessalonians 4:13-14].
Paul says they’re with the Lord now. They’re with Him now. "And this we say unto you by the word of the Lord" [1 Thessalonians 4:15] – that is, God said it Himself, Jesus said it Himself – "that we are who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord" [1 Thessalonians 4:15] – the generation that is here when the Lord comes – "we shall not precede them that sleep in Jesus. For the Lord Himself shall descend with a trump, with the voice of the archangel, and the dead in Christ shall rise first" [from 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16].
We are all going to share in that ultimate kingdom – all of us. There’ll not be a bone left in the region of death for Satan to gloat over and say, "See, this is one of God’s children. This is one of their bones I have in my hand."
No, sir. We shall all be resurrected. We shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord, we shall be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye [from 1 Corinthians 15:51-52]. Then they who have fallen asleep in the Lord shall be resurrected [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17]. They shall be immortalized. They shall be glorified. Wherefore, we shall all be in the presence of the Lord.
The kingdom of God is for the quick and the dead. It is for the living and the dead. It is for us and our fathers. It is for us and our children. We are one great, unperishing kingdom, unfading kingdom. We are one great living kingdom in the presence of God, whether we have died, whether we are dying, whether we are going to die. It is no difference in the kingdom of God. We shall live forever in Him [1 Thessalonians 4:17].
In one of the sermons I’m preparing for that eight-thirty o’clock service is this: that Christians never die. Christians don’t die. In the kingdom of Jesus, whether I live in this flesh or whether my Spirit has gone to be with God, we never die. We are with the Lord.
And when we – and when – and when we look up to heaven and look into the face of God, and when we read this blessed promise that He is coming again, when we do that and we have this answering prayer, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus," [Revelation 22:20], we are praying for this great and final denouement. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" [Revelation 22:20].
As Paul says here in 1 Corinthians 15 and 24: "Then cometh the end." And it is as much a part of our human reasoning to read that, "then cometh the end," as it is for us to believe that somewhere there were words that say, "In the beginning" – "In the beginning God" [Genesis 1:1]. And He created this world in which we live [Genesis 1:1-31]. And then, toward the last of the book: "Then cometh the end" [1 Corinthians 15:24]. "Then cometh the end," and the great final consummation of the age is in His wonderful and precious and blessed hands. And we shall live in His sight. We shall reign with Him forever and ever [Revelation 22:3-5]. That is our life that never ends here and in the world that is to come.
Of that, God says so much. Of that, God hides so much. But however God is doing it, it is in His sovereign grace. It’s in His purpose and in His plan. And we shall live with our Savior, and look into His face, and be His brethren, and worship Him. That’s God’s promise for us, and it’s ours – not now, not now – but it’s ours when He comes again.
Now, we’re going to sing our song – going to sing our song. And while we sing it, while we sing it, God – every day, every day – God has those that He is sending to us, saving their souls, forgiving their sin, sending them to us here in this blessed church. And there’s a time for you. There’s a time when God knocks at your heart’s door [Revelation 3:20]. And when that time comes, you answer, "Here I am, Lord, and here I come. Here I am, preacher. Here’s my hand. I’ve given my heart to God. I trust in Him. I believe in Him. I look to Him. I’m counting on Him.
"If He comes before the evening, I’m ready. If He comes before I die, I’m ready. If He delays His coming and this body goes back to dust, I still believe as Job said that these very eyes shall look upon Him. ‘Though worms through my flesh destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God’ [from Job 19:26]. I believe in Him and His promises, and here I am a Christian with the Christian hope in my heart, trusting Jesus," or, "Pastor, here we are, a whole family of us, coming into the church." In that balcony topmost, anywhere, while we sing this appeal, you come. You come while we stand and while we sing.
IS JESUS REALLY COMING AGAIN?
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1 Corinthians 11:26
I. The last "the world" saw of Jesus was Him hanging dead on the cross
A. His disciples declared He rose from the dead, appeared 40 days with many infallible proofs, and ascended into heaven
B. The secret of their joy and gladness (Acts 1:11)
II. Promise of the coming Christ the central hope and doctrine of the early church
A. Passwords among the Christians(1 Corinthians 11:26, 16:22)
B. The hope of the churches of Christ expressed in their worship
1. The Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Christian committal service, the Lord’s Supper(Luke 11:2, 1 Corinthians 11:26)
C. The promise is certain and it won’t fall to the ground(2 Peter 3:2-3)
1. God has His time clock(2 Peter 3:8)
2. If Christ is not coming again, may we go our separate ways
III. All our doctrines, promises, hopesbound up in the word of Christ that He is coming again (John 14:17)
A. The infallibility, integrity and moral authority of the Son of God is bound up in His keeping that word that He will come again(Mark 8:38, Matthew 24)
1. No such thing in the Bible as Jesus who is not coming again(John 21:23)
B. The incomparable labors, love and achievement of the apostles can be accounted for only in their belief of the return of Jesus(Acts 1:8, 11)
1. Echo of that hope is heard in every sermon they preached, every word they left behind
2. There are 318 passages in New Testament that reflect that hope
C. If there is to be any ultimate triumph and consummation of God, it depends upon the coming of the Lord
1. Regarding sin, iniquity, unrighteousness – some believe this world would ripen into perfection
a. History and experience deny this
b. It is contradicted by the teachings of the Holy Scripture(Matthew 24)
2. What about death?
a. If we will evolve out of death, what of our beloved who have already died?(1 Thessalonians 4:15-16)
b. Death will be abolished, the living transfigured, the dead resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:23, 26, 51)