Category Archives: Christ’s Return

City of God

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. – Hebrews 11:10, 13:14

Text: Revelation 21-22:5

Prop: a small cube such as a Rubik’s cube

Summary: John saw the city of God, the new Jerusalem. It was a city from which Jesus would rule a newly created earth.

How many of you have heard the story of Peter Pan? (Listen to responses.) As you know, that story is make-believe. The young boy Peter is able to fly to Neverland where he never has to grow up. It is so incredible it makes one wonder if anything like that could ever really happen. Now let me tell you a true story. It is from the very last book in the Bible, the Apocalypse (or Revelation), written by the apostle John.

John was one of the original twelve disciples. As a young man, John heard Jesus promise his followers, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) Later in his life, when John was a very old man, he got to see a place that God had prepared. It was a city from which Jesus would rule a newly created earth. God sent an angel to John. The angel showed John a vision of the future. John saw a new heaven and a new earth. The angel took John to a high mountain. From that viewpoint, John saw the city of God, the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven to the new earth.

Now perhaps you have been to a large city such as New York, Mexico City, London or Tokyo. As big as those cities are, they are nothing in comparison to what John saw. The angel measured the city for John. It was shaped like a cube. (Show the cube.) Its length and width and height were equal. Now listen carefully: the city was 1,380 miles long (2,220 kilometers). That is about the distance from Los Angeles to Dallas, or from Montreal to Miami. It would take three hours in a jet airplane to go from one end of it to the other. It was huge!

Next the angel gave John a tour of the city. The street of the city was pure gold. The city had three pearl gates on each of its four sides. John wrote: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light therof. “ The Lamb is a name for the Lord Jesus. John saw that the gates were kept open all the time. It never got dark at night because God’s radiant glow gave light everywhere. John said only those that believed on the Lord Jesus were allowed to enter, “they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Finally, the angel showed John “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” John saw in the middle of the street and on both sides of the river “the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” The servants of God will serve God; “they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

Does that sound like the kind of place you would like to see one day? (Yes!) The Lord Jesus has invited you to the city of God. He spared no expense in building the city of God! “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” ( 1 Corinthians 2:9)

©2004 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

New World Order

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. – Revelation 20:4

Text: Psalm 72:1-8

Props: a toy crown or tiara (or paper crown)

Summary: The peaceful rule of Christ is coming.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a prince? (or princess?) (Place the crown on the head of a child.) Perhaps you have heard the story of Snow White and how Prince Charming came to awaken her from her sleep. Then they lived happily ever after. That story is not real, but there is a similar story in the Bible that is very real. It tells us what will happen when the Lord Jesus returns to earth to rule the world. Let’s read about it.

(Read Psalm 72:1-8.)

This psalm was written for young prince Solomon (son of King David). It was part of the ceremony that would make him the new king. It speaks of a time of great peace in the world. This psalm holds the promise of a Messiah – a prince from God to rule the people of God. That prince is the Lord Jesus. When Jesus returns not “even Solomon in all his glory” (Matthew 6:29) could compare to the promised new kingdom he will bring.

While we live in days of terrorism and bad things happening in the world, the hope in this scripture is that God is still in control of everything. The rule of God’s Chosen One will be a kingdom that will last forever. His rule will be as refreshing as springtime showers. He will defend the poor and help the needy. Those who are godly and do what is right will flourish (do well) under his care.

War. Terror. Corruption. Evil. All of these will be vanquished (gone forever) in the New World Order of Jesus Christ. When the Lord Jesus returns he will take away the evil in the world and set up a peaceful kingdom.
When Jesus came into the world first, as a baby, we experienced God among us. That suddenly made us aware of how much God loves us. The season of Advent, of God coming to us, is not a historical event. We experience it each day as we bow before our Lord Jesus and submit to his rule in our hearts, minds, and lives.

The peaceful rule of Christ is coming. Watch. Pray. Smile and be happy. Take care of one another and be ready for Jesus to return!

Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, may we live a life that honors you as our King. Amen.

©2004 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Shake and Bake

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. – Hebrews 12:26-27

Text: Haggai 2:6-7; 2 Peter 3:10-13

Prop: a box of Shake-N-Bake® coating mix

Summary: God will shake heaven and earth when the Lord Jesus returns to earth. He will destroy the earth by fire and create a new heaven and earth.

Today I brought a box of Shake ‘N Bake® coating mix. (Show box.) When Kraft Foods introduced this product in 1965 it was a convenience breading to make meal preparation faster. It has a plastic bag in the box. You place the meat and breading in the bag, shake it up, and lay it out in a baking pan, and it is ready to bake. That reminds me of a verse in the Bible about a time in the future when God will shake and bake the earth!

About 520 B.C. the prophet Haggai encouraged the people of Israel (exiles who returned from Babylon) to finish building the second temple in Jerusalem. This temple was much smaller and more modest than the first temple built by King Solomon. Haggai gave the people hope and preached that God would come with power to rule the world. When God returns he will shake heaven and earth.

(Read Haggai 2:6-7.) At some point (it could happen any time), the Lord Jesus will return to earth. There will be an earthquake and a heaven-shake that will rock the world. The book of Hebrews says this shakeup will be so devastating that only unshakeable things will remain. (Read Hebrews 12:26-27.) The unshakeable things are the souls that belong to Jesus. At that time the Lord will build a new temple in Jerusalem and rule the world for a 1000 years. All the desirable treasures from around the world will add beauty to his temple. The apostle Peter wrote that we should live godly lives because God would destroy the world by fire.

(Read 2 Peter 3:10-13.)

After 1000 years of peace on earth, God will judge the ungodly. Then God will destroy the earth by fire. Long ago God destroyed it by water. Noah and his family and the animals were saved during the great flood. The next time the earth is destroyed, it will be by fire — melting everything. Finally, God will create a new heaven and earth for us to live with him forever!

Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, help me to be ready for your return so I may live with you forever. Amen.

©2005 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Shake ‘N Bake® is a registered trademark of Kraft Foods.

War of the World

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. – Revelation 16:16

Text: Revelation 19:11-21

Prop: a toy white horse or a Star Wars® poster

Summary: The last battle at Armageddon will end the war of the world. The Lord Jesus and the armies of heaven will defeat the Antichrist and his armies.

Have you ever seen an episode of the Star Wars movies? The movie has battles between good and evil forces. It is a science fiction movie, one that is imagined but not true. When some people read the last book in the Bible, the Revelation, they might think it is science fiction too. But it is true. What is written in the last pages of the Bible will happen one day.

The Bible says the world will have a war with a battle at the Mount of Megiddo, a mount with a large plain in the country of Israel. It is called the battle of Armageddon. The armies of the Antichrist, a false god, will be gathered to fight against God. The Lord Jesus Christ will return with the armies of heaven. This will be a battle between the forces of good and evil.

Here is what the Bible says will happen. (Read Revelation 19:11-16.)

The apostle John described the return of our Lord Jesus. He said that heaven would be opened and the Lord Jesus would be ready for war, riding a white horse. He described him as a powerful warrior, wearing a garment that had been dipped in blood, and leading an army wearing clothing made with white linen. The Lord is so powerful he will defeat his enemies by his spoken words. He is identified on his clothing as KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The leader of God’s enemies is called the beast, or Antichrist. Before the war, his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. (Revelation 13:3). He claims to be God. He tricks a lot of people into worshipping him. He gathers all the nations on the earth to fight against God in this battle. It is the War of the World.

Let’s read what happens to them. (Read Revelation 19:19-21.)

The Antichrist and his assistant, the false prophet, are going to be taken alive and thrown into a lake of fire! The Lord Jesus will kill the enemy armies and the birds will eat their dead bodies. It will be ugly and gross, but God and the armies of heaven will win this battle. The forces of good will beat the forces of evil. God will rule the world.

Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, we know there are forces of evil that do not want you to rule the world. We are thankful that you will defeat them. Help us to love one another and do good while we are on earth. Amen.

©2005 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Coming in Clouds

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. – Revelation 1:7

Text: Daniel 7:9-10,13-14; Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64

hot air balloonProp: picture of hot air balloon

Summary: The Lord Jesus will come in the clouds of heaven. He will be crowned King of the world and his kingdom will last forever.

Several years ago I saw a hot-air balloon race. (Show picture of hot air balloon.) It looked like this. The sky was filled with large balloons that were filled with hot air to make them rise up into the sky. The riders were in baskets beneath them. The balloons were decorated with bright colors. It was amazing to see so many balloons gathered in one place. The balloons glided slowly in the sky like clouds drifting in the wind.
Today our Bible story is about something that will happen in the future. It was predicted long ago by the prophet Daniel. (Read Daniel 7:9-10,13-14.)

Daniel described God’s throne in heaven. The Father is called the “Ancient of Days” because he has lived forever. The “Son of man” is Jesus and he came “with the clouds of heaven.” Jesus is crowned as King of the world. His kingdom will last forever. On two occasions Jesus identified himself as the person that Daniel spoke about.

(Read Matthew 24:30.) Jesus said the “Son of man” (referring to himself) would come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Read Matthew 26:63-64.) The high priest asked Jesus if he was the Son of God and Jesus answered that he was. Jesus said that a few hours before he gave his life on the cross, but then three days later he rose from the dead to be alive forever. He showed himself to the disciples and many others for forty days before “he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9)

Children, one day the Lord Jesus will return to earth. The King is coming! So the next time you look up in the sky and see a lot of clouds, remember that the Lord Jesus is coming soon with the clouds of heaven.

©2006 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.