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Where Are the Dead-The 2nd Coming
Scripture: 1 Peter 4:7; Matthew 25:10-13; Genesis 7...
Track 8 of 8 in the Understanding the Spiritual Realm series
Running time: 1 hour, 02 minutes, 20 seconds.
All Christians are looking forward to the 2nd coming of Jesus. Everything in our life points to that reality. You and I really dont belong here on this earth. As I taught a few weeks ago concerning Satan, Earth is his territory and we are behind enemy lines. In fact, it is a very dangerous place to be where we are today. It is better for us to be with God and to be home where we belong and a time is coming when that will be reality.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

The Spiritual Realm
The 2nd Coming

All Christians are looking forward to the 2nd coming of Jesus. Everything in our life points to that reality. You and I really don’t belong here on this earth. As I taught a few weeks ago concerning Satan, Earth is his territory and we are behind enemy lines. In fact, it is a very dangerous place to be where we are today. It is better for us to be with God and to be home where we belong and a time is coming when that will be reality.

Unless Jesus comes back very soon, we will meet Jesus when we die. Our existence will be one of comfort and beauty but as we learned last week, where we will be will only be temporary. Our existence will in a state where we wait for Jesus return. That day is many times referred to in scripture and it will be a glorious day for those in Jesus.

What is very interesting is the phrase “Second Coming” is no where found in the Bible. If you go and search for it, you won’t find it however; the Day is described and talked about a lot in the New Testament. In Paul’s day, the Christians at that time believed it was coming right away and they lived their lives as though it was arriving any moment.

1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Several of the New Testament writers and Jesus himself warned and encouraged the believers to be ready. Those found sleeping or not paying attention due to other worldly distractions will not get a second chance once time is up and they aren’t ready. Notice what Jesus had to say about it.

Matthew 25:10-13 And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

This principle was first taught concerning Noah’s ark. The same was true then and will be true either at our death or when he returns.

Genesis 7:15-16 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.

There will come a time for all of us when the door will shut or when time runs out. At the horn to end the game, once the game is over, it is considered final and can’t be replayed. There have been many athletes who came so close to winning the big one but when the buzzer went off, they lost. In the record book there are the winners and there are the losers. For the losers, It doesn’t make a difference all the close plays or the “what ifs”; in the end they lost and there is no changing it. The winners go on while the losers are left behind.

In the spiritual scheme of things, it is also the same. There are no “almost made its” in heaven. It is not like going to a professor when you are one point from getting a passing grade and talking him into giving it to you just because it would be a nice thing. You either pass or you don’t. It is not about being nice or arguing over what is fair or not, it is strictly based on perfect judgment. It all depends upon if you are in Christ or not.

At the second coming of Jesus everything comes to and end. All creation turns to witness his return and when he returns several things will take place. It is interesting what the church taught concerning what the scene will look like.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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.

At the return of Jesus, God will collect those who have fallen asleep. At the resurrection, both good and evil will rise up. It is important to understand what the resurrection is and what will happen.

• The Lord Jesus will come down from heaven in all the pomp and power of the upper world - The appearance will be with pomp and power, with a shout—the shout of a king, and the power and authority of a mighty king and conqueror, with the voice of the archangel; an innumerable company of angels will attend him. 1Thes. 4:16
• Jesus will return as the great Redeemer and Judge – To announce the arrival of the king, trumpets were sounded to get everyone’s attention. The arrival of Jesus will be the same way.
• At the trumpet call, all will be raised - This will awaken those that sleep in the dust of the earth, and will summon all the world to appear.

What Paul wanted the church to understand from all this was those that died before the return of Jesus were not lost forever as some thought or were falsely told. Instead they would be raised first.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 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.

In this passage and in 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, something is missing, what is it?

Where are those who are not believers in Christ? What happens to those who are dead outside of Christ? What 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 deals with are those who are in Jesus. But what does the Bible say about those who are not going to heaven? Jesus talks about the bigger picture in Matthew 13.

Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' "'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' "'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

Matthew 13:36-43 (NIV)
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Notice in Matthew’s account the dead, the evil are raised first and are sent to the place where they will spend eternity. It is after that the dead in Christ are raised and those who are in Christ receive their spiritual bodies. I think the events in 1 Corinthians 15 takes place after the lost are gathered and burned.

The final judgment, when you hear that, what images come to your mind? What have you always believed happens at the final judgment?

Revelation 20:10-13 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

I want the Christians to know that this judgment is not our judgment. There are hints in this passage that tells us we will not be here when this happens. The dead are the ones who are being judged. Those in Christ are the living. One of the promises we have in Jesus is everlasting life. We are not dead but alive.

1 Corinthians 15:22-26 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

John saw in his revelation from God what happened after the books were opened and the dead we judged. The judgment of the dead is a just judgment. Justice will be served and the dead will receive exactly what they deserve. It is easy to understand here that God doesn't judge based on his feelings, he judges based on his righteous judgment.

Revelation 20:14-15 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

What is found in the books that are opened? First of all the deeds of men are recorded and kept by God. Every man is judged based on those deeds. The natural intent in man’s heart is evil so the recording in the books is the proof that man deserves death (the wages of sin is death). But the most important book is opened, the book of life. In it is a listing of all those who came alive because of Christ and who were declared not guilty because of the blood of Jesus. The listing in the book of life is a listing of those who are alive. The dead will see that they are not listed, and they will already know they are not listed and it is that list that determines judgment. You are either in Christ or not in Christ.

Matthew 25:31-34 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. SLIDE 14B: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Peter writes for us something many don’t think about. He too writes about what happens in the end when Jesus comes back. Peter also writes for us what will happen after we have gone to heaven. Today there are those who worry so much about preserving our Mother Earth. The Earth to some is more important than human life itself. There are those who think the universe is so vast and limitless yet they forget how big God is. Peter reminds us to keep all the material things in their proper perspective because in the end, they will cease to exist.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up.

2 Peter 3:12-13 That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.