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The Savior of the World - The Second Coming

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Today Associate Pastor Alex York preached, continuing in the Advent series "The Savior of the World."

Another part of Advent is readings about Jesus' second advent, the second coming -- such as Luke 21:25-28.  We tend to overlook those readings in the Advent season, just as we try not to think about the many injustices still existing in the world today and all the people who are longing for Jesus to come and put things right.

We looked at Three Suggestions from II Peter 3:2-14:

1)  Remember regularly.

vs. 2 -- He appeals to the prophets, to Jesus, and to the apostles.

The prophets talked about a coming day of the Lord when he would come and set things right.

Jesus himself said to keep watch and be ready.

The apostles also preached about the second coming.

Jesus is coming again!

2)  Wait patiently.

Verses 8-9 -- The Lord is giving everyone an opportunity to repent.  (Psalm 90:4; Galatians 4:4)

Like his first coming, his second coming will be at just the right time.

Ezekiel 8:23 -- He's giving us opportunities to turn and live.

Since the Lord is patient, we, too, should be patient.  It's active waiting, searching our own hearts, showing grace toward others.  Energetic waiting.

3)  Prepare eagerly.

Verses 11-14 -- "live holy and godly lives"; "look forward to the day of the Lord"; "speed its coming"; "make every effort."

We will get front row seats as Jesus makes everything right.

Don't draw our values from this world -- it's passing away.  Godly lives are aimed at bringing glory to God.

"Speed its coming" -- Join with God in his work.  In our motives and actions, strive to emulate Jesus.

Our world is full of people who are hungry for hope.

Remember:  The back end of the story is just as exciting.

We're in a season of opportunity!

The Savior of the World - Facts About the Jesus Story

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Today Pastor Ed Allen preached again in the sermon series, "The Savior of the World."  Each service, first he talked with people from the congregation who grew up in different countries and they told how they celebrated Christmas -- pointing out that Jesus' birth is celebrated all over the world.

Today we looked at I John 1:1-4 and talked about the question, "What does Christmas mean?"  John doesn't include a birth narrative in his gospel, but he does talk about why Jesus came.

Six Critically Important Truths About the Jesus Story

1)  Jesus predated Christmas Eve.

Verse 1 -- "That which was from the BEGINNING."

John says the same thing in John 1:1-3.  John borrowed the term "the Word" from Greek philosophy to say that Jesus came from God the same way words come from the speaker.

Jesus was utterly unique and eternal.  John 17:5 -- He prayed about "the glory I had with you before the world existed."  Jesus was part of the Godhead.

When Jesus calmed the sea, the disciples realized he was in a completely different category than anyone else.

They began to see his birth was more than amazing -- it was essential.

Jesus was pre-existent, and part of the Godhead.  This is a consistent and essential theme in the Jesus story.

2)  The Jesus story was witnessed.

We read the Apostles' Creed -- "He suffered under Pontius Pilate" -- the story is set in history.  It actually happened at a certain time, in a certain place.

Verse 1 -- "... which we have heard, which we have seen with  our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched."  These were the elements needed for a legal deposition in ancient times.  He's swearing that it's true!

3)  Jesus IS Life!

Verse 2 -- "The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it..."

We have life.  Jesus is life.

Jesus is the source.  We couldn't see the source until Jesus appeared.

When we get connected to Jesus, we experience LIFE.

4)  When we accept the Jesus story, we can have fellowship with others.

Verse 3 -- "... so that you may have fellowship with us..."

We need community, and we know it.

"Fellowship" is deep, purposeful connection with others.

We need to hear this as a wonderful offer.  Jesus made life-giving connection possible.

We need to hear this as a challenge.  Invest in life-giving connection!

5)  When we accept the Jesus story, we can have fellowship with God.

Verse 3 -- "Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ."

The Father wants a relationship with us.

The purpose isn't Bible knowledge or more religion, but fellowship with God.

6)  The birth of the Savior is joy-producing!

Verse 4 -- "We write this to make our joy complete."

Pastor Ed finished the service by reading the Christmas story in Luke 2:8-14.

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