Waynedale United Methodist Church
Monday, June 25, 2018
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

November 26, 2017 Sermon

Christ Will Come!”
Matthew 25:31 – 46
Ted Jansen November 26, 2017 Waynedale UMC
 
1.) Jesus Christ is coming back to the earth to rule and reign. That is a truth that we believe. In the life of the church we celebrate and remember today as Christ the King Sunday. In the Christian tradition this idea has been around since 1925. So, the practice of focusing one Sunday on this truth is not even 100 years old. It is the Sunday that is the Sunday before Advent.
 
2.) I need to go and get something, I will be right back. (Ted leaves and waits out of sight. Then Ted comes back in the room.) Did you think that I was not coming back? I told you I was.
How did you feel when I did not come right back? Was there any uncertainty in your spirit? Did you feel like someone should have checked on me, or gone after me to make sure I was ok? How much longer would you have stayed in your seat with me not here? Would you have left if I did not come back?
I ask you those questions because what I had you experience was waiting. You were asked to wait from the time when you first saw me and the time I returned. I was with you and then I left and told you I would come back. You experienced the unknown and uncertain while waiting.
 
3.) Jesus was born. That is what we will celebrate in less than a month on the 25th of December. Jesus grew up and lived on this earth for about 33 years. He loved all people, taught the disciples, performed miracles, and blessed people. Jesus argued with the religious leaders and played with the children. Jesus was then crucified and placed in the tomb for three days. Then God’s power brought Him back to life and He appeared to a number of people. Jesus then went back to heaven. We read these words from Acts 1:9 – 11.
“After he (Jesus) said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky was he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee, they said, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
 
4.) Today we are living in the waiting, the time between His first coming and His second coming on earth. As we focus on that truth I want us to spend time in Advent looking at how Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record the truth in the first chapters about Jesus and His first coming on earth. These authors will teach us what is important as we wait for Jesus to return.
 
5.) The words Jesus spoke in Matthew 23, 24, 25 were prompted by the disciples who asked Jesus some questions. They asked him because during the last week of Jesus’ life they must have sensed something was different with Jesus. Jesus spoke words of woe against the religious leaders as well as love and concern for the people of Israel. Jesus said there will be a time when the Temple and its beauty will come crashing down. Listen to the disciples who asked Jesus.
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us, they said, when will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
They wanted to know when Jesus would come back and rule and reign as the King of all. Jesus gives insights through His teaching in the 24th and 25th chapter of Matthew.
6.) The last words of His time of teaching is found in Matthew 25:31 – 46.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.” (Matthew 25:31)
Jesus shares that all the nations will be gathered around Him and He will separate the people. Some will be blessed and enjoy the Kingdom of God and some will be sent into eternal punishment.
As these two groups, the sheep and the goats, speak to the King, they are both surprised at not seeing the King.
Jesus, in this story, tells both groups of people that when you offered caring, clothing, feeding, visiting to the least of the people, you did it to me, the King.
The people said plainly “we didn’t see you.” (Matthew 25:37, 44) Those that cared and those who did not care did not see.
7.) How many of you were in class in school when the regular teacher was gone for the day? What did some students do when a sub was in the room? They would act up and misbehave and try to get away with things that the regular teacher would not tolerate. Sometimes this was fun for all the students, but not for the sub.
Sometimes the sub would give a report to the teacher on what the students did and what material got covered. If the class was bad then judgment came and consequences were doled out.
8.) In our day it is like we have a sub. Our regular teacher, Jesus Christ, was here on earth, but will be back.
There are some people who are acting up and not behaving in a way that the teacher would appreciate. They are trying to get away with as much as possible, because they think this is fun.
The longer the regular teacher is gone the more it seems the teacher is not coming back.
 
9.) Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 24:42 – 44 that we need to ready at all times. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
 
10.) We don’t know when Jesus is coming back. We prepare for Him by loving the least of the people in our world. We clothe them, we feed them, we listen to them, we pray with them, we visit with them, we hold them, we give them something to drink.
See Jesus, today, in the lives of those people and those unannounced moments when we live out faith. See Jesus in the face of a child whose Mom or Dad is in prison when you buy a gift through our Angel Tree ministry. See Jesus when you go to the gas station and put some gas in another vehicle. See Jesus when you do something to bless another person without them know you did it. See Jesus today and love.
 
11.) Here are some stories of love and blessing.
Leaving a store, I returned to my car only to find that I’d locked my keys and cell phone inside. A teenager riding his bike saw me kick a tire and say a few choice words. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I explained my situation. “But even if I could call my wife,” I said, “she can’t bring me her car key, since this is our only car.” He handed me his cell phone. “Call your wife and tell her I’m coming to get her key.” “That’s seven miles round trip.” “Don’t worry about it.” An hour later, he returned with the key. I offered him some money, but he refused. “Let’s just say I needed the exercise,” he said. Then, like a cowboy in the movies, he rode off into the sunset. Clarence W. Stephens, Nicholasville, Kentucky”
 
I saw a dress in a consignment shop that I knew my granddaughter would love. But money was tight, so I asked the store owner if she could hold it for me. “May I buy the dress for you?” asked another customer. “Thank you, but I can’t accept such a gracious gift,” I said. Then she told me why it was so important for her to help me. She’d been homeless for three years, she said, and had it not been for the kindness of strangers, she would not have been able to survive. “I’m no longer homeless, and my situation has improved,” she said. “I promised myself that I would repay the kindness so many had shown me.” She paid for the dress, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug. Stacy Lee, Columbia, Maryland”
 
Last December, before work, I stopped at a deli and ordered an everything bagel with cream cheese. It was toasty warm, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. But as I left the store, I noticed an older indigent gentleman sitting at the bus stop. Knowing it would probably be his only warm meal of the day, I gave him the bagel. But all was not lost for me. Another customer from the deli offered me half of her bagel. I was so delighted because I realized that in one way or another, we are all looked after. Liliana Figueroa, Phoenix, Arizona
 
When my husband died unexpectedly, a coworker took me under her wing. Every week for an entire year, she would send me a card saying “Just Thinking of You” or “Hang in There.” She saved my life.Jerilynn Collette, Burnsville, Minnesota
 
“When I was seven, my family drove to the Grand Canyon. At one point, my favorite blanket flew out the window and was gone. I was devastated. Soon after, we stopped at a service station. Moping, I found a bench and was about to eat my sandwich when a biker gang pulled into the station. “Is that your blue Ford?” a huge, frightening man with a gray-and-black beard asked. Mom nodded reticently. The man pulled my blanket from his jacket pocket and handed it to her. He then returned to his motorcycle. I repaid him the only way I knew how: I ran up to him and gave him my sandwich. Zena Hamilton, United Kingdom
 
Let us live out our faith this week and see Jesus and serve the needs of others!