The Preacher's Pulpit                   Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:21-25

SUBJ: The Resurrection and Return of Christ and Related Events

INTRODUCTION:  We accept the sacred Scripture upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily "the third day according to the Scriptures," that He ascended "to the right hand of the throne of God," that He alone is our "merciful and faithful high Priest in things pertaining to God," "that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven" - bodily, personally, and visibly; that the "dead in Christ shall rise first"; that the living saints "shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump"; "That the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David"; and that "Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet." The subject matter of thismessage is so broad that it would require several sessions to deal with it thoroughly.  However, it is the purpose of thismessage to give some brief, yet important facts that pertain to each point of the lesson.

I. THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.

A. The Resurrection of Christ was predicted by our Savior - Mark 9:31.

B. The Resurrection of Christ was fulfilled - Luke 24:6, 7.

C. The Resurrection of Christ was literal and bodily - Matthew 28:6, 7; Luke 24:37-43.

D. The Resurrection of Christ was confirmed - 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.

II. THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST.

A. Christ's Ascension was literal - Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9.

B. Christ's Ascension was significant.

1. This meant that His mission to earth to accomplish redemption for mankind was completed - Hebrews 10:11, 12.
2. This meant that He is now seated in Heaven with the Father exercising a special ministry for us - Revelation 3:21.

III. THE PRESENT MINISTRY OF CHRIST.

A. Christ is now acting as our mediator - 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6.

B. Christ is now exercising His ministry as our One and only Great High Priest - Hebrews 8:1.

C. Christ is now our special advocate in the presence of the Father - 1 John 2:1.

IV. SOME SIGNIFICANT FUTURE EVENTS IN GOD'S PROGRAM.

A. The resurrection of the dead in Christ - Luke 14:14.  NOTE:  Believers who have experienced physical death will be raised from the dead as our Savior was raised from the dead.

1. A literal-bodily resurrection - Philippians 3:21.
2. The time of their resurrection - Revelation 20:5, 6.  NOTE:  The resurrection of the believers will take place at least a thousand years before the resurrection of the unbelievers.

B. The rapture of the living saints.

1. The fact stated - 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.  NOTE:  The resurrection of the dead in Christ will precede the rapture of the living saints by only a split second.
2. The rapture illustrated - Matthew 24:40, 41.
3. The rapture will occur before the tribulation period - 1 Thessalonians 5:9.  NOTE:  The term "salvation" means the deliverance before the wrath of the tribulation.

C. Christ will return to the earth to set up His kingdom.

1. Jesus' return will be literal, personal, and bodily - Acts 1:11.
2. Jesus' return will be different in character than His first coming - Hebrews 9:28.
3. Jesus' return will occur at the end of the tribulation period and before the thousand-year reign - 2 Thessalonians 2:8.  NOTE:  Jesus' coming will end the brief reign of the false Christ.

D. The reign of Christ on earth.

1. The duration of His special reign on earth - Revelation 20:6.
2. Satan will be bound during Christ's thousand-year reign - Revelation 20:1-3.
3. During Christ's thousand-year reign, universal peace will prevail - Isaiah 2:4.

E. The judgment of the lost - Revelation 20:11-15.  NOTE:  It appears that this judgment is the last event before time shall end as we know it now!

CONCLUSION:  The subject matter of this message is some of the most intriguing and fascinating study material in all the Word of God.  There are many who doubt, wonder, ask about, or deny the plain truth concerning Christ's bodily Resurrection, Return, and the Related events soon too come upon this world.  But despite how one chooses to believe, it will not change what has already happened and what will come too past soon. Luke 21:28  ". . . look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

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