Sunday, September 4th
The Apocalypse … It’s a Greek word that combines two roots, apo meaning “away from” and calypsos meaning “veil.” The Apocalypse, therefore, is the revealing of God’s great hope and purpose. All of history is heading toward a fulfillment, a culmination of all God’s promises. Most of our lives are spent thinking about the here-and-now –- paying our mortgage, doing our work, loving our families, enjoying our weekends. When you think about the Great Apocalypse, the return of Christ, does it fill you with hope? Or are you confused by what you see in Scripture.
In this week’s Next Steps, you’ll do a review of some of the key Scriptures about the Second Coming of Jesus, and hopefully these verses will fill you with anticipation and wonder. Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS of What the Bible Says about Jesus Coming Again
- There will be a sudden, personal, visible, bodily return of Jesus. What do the following Scriptures tell us about Jesus’ return?
- Matthew 24:44
- John 14:3
- Acts 1:11
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16
- Hebrews 9:28
- James 5:8
- 2 Peter 3:10
- 1 John 3:2
- Revelation 1:7
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16
2. We should eagerly await Christ’s return. Read Titus 2:12-13 & Philippians 3:20.
- Do you regularly think about the fact that Christ will return? Do you long for his return? What determines whether or not a person really eagerly awaits Christ’s return?
- What do you think about the following statement? The degree to which we actually long for Christ’s return is a measure of the spiritual condition of our own lives at the moment.
- Over the centuries, many Christians have refused to undertake long projects because they are afraid that Christ will return soon. (In the 1st Century, Christians were actually refusing to work and selling their property thinking that Jesus would come back any second.) What’s wrong with this mentality?
- Read Matthew 24:44. What does it mean to be “ready” for Christ’s return?
3. We do not know when Christ will return.
- Read Mark 13:32-33 & Matthew 25:13.
- Any person or book that says they know a time frame in which Christ will return is likely wrong. Why are people so interested in what these teachers and books have to say? Why is there a fascination with it in Christian circles?
4. All orthodox Christians agree on the final results of Christ’s return, but not on the details of it.
- All Bible-believing Christian denominations believe that Christ will return and there will be a judgment and those who have received grace will spend eternity in God’s presence.
- But Christians differ on the nature of the Millennium, the sequence of Christ’s return, what the tribulation will be like, and whether or no the Jewish people will be saved.
- Who can you have theological conversations with about some of these debated issues that challenge your viewpoints and assumptions in a healthy way?
Revelation 1:1-4 — The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw — that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 — For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!
Read the primary passage on the Millennium in Revelation 20:1-10. Where do you come out on the “Millennial Debate” that was discussed in the Sunday morning service? How can you find more answers about the End Times for your personal study?
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
Spiritual Outcomes — Study God
- Learn how to wrestle with the questions about God that blow our mind by working through the STUDY GOD outcome.