In the sermon text for this Lord’s Day, Pharisees asked Jesus about the coming kingdom. Jesus’ reply was surprising: the kingdom is among you because the king stands before you. He went on to explain to the disciples that before the kingdom is established, he must suffer and die. But he assured them that he would return one day in glory and majesty, executing judgment on those who reject him.
The hymns selected for the service describe Israel’s expectation of her king, his surprising arrival, and his death for those he came to save. We will conclude with a majestic hymn that declares our expectation of his return to rule and judge.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Acts 1:6-11
Hymn 87 O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Note: This hymn is a wistful prayer that reflects Israel’s centuries of longing for God’s promised Messiah. “Come Emmanuel,” who is “Rod of Jesse,” conqueror in the lineage of King David (Jesse’s son). He not only comes to reign, but to free his people from “Satan’s tyranny.”
Hymn 91: Once in Royal David’s City
Notes: Mary’s child born in Bethlehem so long ago was no ordinary baby. “He came down to earth from heaven Who is God and Lord of all.” He was the long-expected Messiah. This hymn reminds us of his condescension to the humblest of circumstances as he became one of us.
Scripture Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12
Note: Jesus taught his followers to faithfully serve him in anticipation of His return. This passage anticipates that glorious day, a time of joy and reward for faithful followers and a day of dread and doom for those who reject him.
Hymn 128 Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Note: Jesus taught the disciples the cross must come before the crown. This hymn contemplates the cross, but concludes with a vision of Jesus’ Second Coming as glorious King. “Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Message: The Rejected King Will Return in Judgment
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn HBC 16 Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending
Note: The sermon text moves us to anticipate the day Jesus will return as Judge. This majestic hymn taps our imagination to “see” Christ, who was “once for favored sinners slain,” now coming to reign and to judge. And so we sing, “O come quickly; alleluia! Come, Lord, come.”
Prayer Response: Mark Buhr
Benediction: John Miles