Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
May 4, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Gone, but will Return
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr                                    May 4, 2014  
Gone, but will Return
“ ...I go and prepare a place for you...I will come again... ( John 14:3 ), “...this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so in like manner, as ye have seen him to into heaven” ( Acts 1:11 ).
The Bible tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem 
of Judea, he started his ministry at age 30, he called 
twelve disciples, he performed miracles, predicted his 
crucifixion and resurrection, dwelt on earth for 40 days 
following his resurrection, and ascended into heaven. 
This synopsis anchors the Christian’s hope for eternal 
life after physical death. To this end, the sermon for today 
has been prepared to address some biblical teachings on 
the departure and return of Jesus. Hence, it has been 
entitled, Gone, but will return. The sermon will include the 
following dimensions, namely: human benefits derived 
from the earthly ministry of Jesus, biblical teachings on why 
Jesus had to leave the earth, and what should be our 
position regarding the return of Jesus? 
Prior to addressing these concerns, an imaginative 
situation is presented to illustrate human reactions 
to the sign closed for lunch: will return by 1:00 PM. In 
the absence of an earlier scheduled appointment, the 
individual might decide to wait or make a brief trip 
to fulfill other chores. In either instance, the person fully 
expects the designated individual to be on location at the 
specified time. Well in worldly existence, this response 
pattern is generally reliably, but the sermon today depicts 
a situation that has a similar beginning, but a vastly 
different ending. As noted in the text, Jesus is the person 
of reference; he is out ( ascended into heaven ) but unlike 
an early professional who sign specified a time of return, 
the return of Jesus, a certainty to occur, has no time 
specified. Yet the Bible has references to this inevitable 
event. This fact leads to the first dimension of sermon, 
which is - human benefits from the earthly ministry of 
Jesus. Starting with the recruitment of Fishmen, a tax 
collector and a physician - all as disciples - Jesus initiated 
his earthly ministry. He provided teachings as seen in the 
Beatitudes, he changed water to wine, he healed the sick, 
restored sight to the blind, raised the dead, cleansed the 
lepers, forgave the woman guilty of adultery, told the 
woman at the well that God is a Spirit, and granted 
entrance to paradise for a malefactor at the crucifixion. 
Obviously, these benevolent acts occurred long before 
our time, but let us never forget that he did something for 
us and all future believers through his establishment of The 
Lord’s Supper and his death at Calvary. So, Beloved, let 
us ever by thankful that we - have access to that Spirit 
who dwelt in human form and walked upon this earth 
over Two Thousand Years ago. This glorious fact leads to 
the second focus of the sermon which is - Biblical teachings 
on why Jesus had to leave the earth. As result of the 
Original Sin that occurred in the garden of Eden, God 
required a sacrifice to restore the divine conduit by which 
humankind would have access to eternal life. The prophets 
were aware of this required sacrifice, sin price, ransom 
for humankind. But they could only offer animal sacrifices, 
priestly intercession, and adhere to the teaching of Micah - 
“...and what doeth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, 
and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” 
( Micah 6:8 ). While Micah’s message enhanced morality, 
ethics, and communal living, it offered no channel to 
salvation. Years later, the Apostle Saint Paul would address 
the ineffective of animal sacrifice and submit, instead, the 
efficacy of Christ’s blood that purged the linger sin price 
required for redemption. Thus, he wrote, “Neither by the 
blood goats and calves, but by his own blood ( Jesus ) he 
entered in once into the holy place, having obtained 
redemption for us” ( Heb. 9:12 ). 
Jesus was fully aware of his sacrificial obligation and, 
therefore, often spoke of it. He broached the forthcoming 
reality to his disciples as noted in John 14: 3 “...I go and 
prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you 
unto myself; that where I am ye may be also.” At the 
Last Supper, Jesus again referenced the betrayal by one 
of his disciples and noted that he would being going as 
it is written...” ( Mark 14:21 ). As Jesus was being led to 
Calvary, his toilsome journey was the fulfillment of an 
unblemished lamb to ransom humanity from the Original 
Sin thereby fulfilling Peter’s description of him whose 
precious blood was without blemish, and without spot. 
Accordingly, it was necessary for Christ to die for a sin 
he did not commit and, concurrently, establish a divine 
channel through which any converted believer can have 
access to everlasting life. 
This somber account of why only Christ was worthy 
to give his life as a ransom for sinful humanity leads to 
the final concerning of the sermon which is - what should 
be our response to the return of Jesus? 
This question is of ultimate importance so it should 
be prayerfully evaluated. When pondering options, hopefully, 
you will include a search of the Scriptures. Therein you 
will find numerous references to anchor your view on the 
return of Jesus. To aid in your search, a partial listing 
of relevant Scriptures is herein listed below. 
- Matthew 25 ... 31- 48 Jesus gave a length teaching 
on his return; he referred to himself as the Son of man. 
He indicated that holy angels would accompany him and 
all nations shall stand before him at which time a great 
separation would occur liken unto sheep and goats... 
- John 14: 1- 4...Jesus announced to the disciples that 
he was going away to prepare a place for them and he would 
return for them that where he is they shall be also... 
- Matthew 24: 3, 42 ...The disciples asked Jesus about 
the end of time and what, if any, signs would precede the 
end. Jesus gave no answer to the specific question, but 
did charge them to “Watch, therefore, for ye known not 
what hour your Lord doth come.” 
- 1st Thess. 4:16 ...Paul sought to quell the 
Thessalonians’ worry about their deceased relatives having 
passed before the return of Jesus. He said unto them, “For 
the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout... 
and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are 
alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds 
to meet the Lord...” 
- Rev. 20: 15 ... John wrote of the great white throne 
judgment and asserted that “...whosoever was not found 
in written in the book of life was cast into a lake of fire.” 
Beloved, a knowledge of and belief in these cited 
Scriptures can adequately prepare you to be ready when 
the Son of man shall return to the earth. Hopefully, you will 
embrace them affirm as did Joshua “ for me and my 
house we will serve the Lord.” ( Joshua 24:15 ). Finally, if 
you have some trepidation or quandary about the return of 
Jesus and yet want to belief in his second coming, it is 
herein recommended that your will pray the prayer uttered 
by the father of an ill son, “...Lord, I believe, help thou 
mine unbelief.” ( Mark 9:24 ). In closing, where do you stand 
regarding the return of Christ? Don’t feel obligated to tell the 
pastor or anyone else because that matter is between you 
and the Triune God. Amen!
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