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SermonPreparing the Way for Jesusí Second Coming
An all-creatures Bible Message

Preparing the Way for Jesusí Second Coming
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
7 December 2014
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 85:1Ė13
Isaiah 40:1Ė11
Mark 1:1Ė8
2 Peter 3:8Ė12

Preparing the way for Jesusí second coming is something that every professing Christian should be doing every day of their life.
 
And most importantly, we need to remember that we cannot be preparing the way for Jesusí second coming, if we are still contributing to the corruption of the world in any way, such as consuming the products that lead to the massive suffering, bloodshed, and death that is so prevalent in the world around us.
 
Those who are truly preparing the way for Jesusí second coming are those who are the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God for whom the whole of creation anxiously awaits to free it from its present corruption (Romans 8:19).
 
With these things in mind, letís take a look at Psalm 85:1-13Ö

1. O LORD, Thou didst show favor to Thy land;
Thou didst restore the captivity of Jacob.

We need to understand that this means we also have to be helping to end all the warring madness in the world, which includes ending the captivity of both humans and animals.
 
To us the most important factor is ending the suffering of the animals, for from early childhood it contributes to the hardening of the human heart, which in turn leads to all the other corruption and suffering in the world.
 
This is why we need to be the peacemaking children of God.

2. Thou didst forgive the iniquity of Thy people;
Thou didst cover all their sin.
Selah.

Yes, the Lord does this for every repentant person, but if they return to their former ways of contributing to the corruption of the world, the Bible teaches us that God will no longer forgive.

3. Thou didst withdraw all Thy fury;
Thou didst turn away from Thy burning anger.
 
4. Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Thine indignation toward us to cease.

This happens when in our repentant state of being, we continually entreat the Lord to help us to stay on His pathway of righteousness, and not return to our former worldly way of living.

5. Wilt Thou be angry with us forever?
Wilt Thou prolong Thine anger to all generations?
 
6. Wilt Thou not Thyself revive us again,
That Thy people may rejoice in Thee?
 
7. Show us Thy lovingkindness, O LORD,
And grant us Thy salvation.

God has been offering this constantly throughout history to all who are willing to live in His heavenly will.
 
Then all who do this can sayÖ

8. I will hear what God the LORD will say;
For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
But let them not turn back to folly.

This is the help we are to ask of the Holy Spirit every day of our lives.

9. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

Salvation has always been near to everyone who has a repentant nature and is willing to live in Godís heavenly will.

10. Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
 
11. Truth springs from the earth;
And righteousness looks down from heaven.
 
12. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good;
And our land will yield its produce.
 
13. Righteousness will go before Him,
And will make His footsteps into a way.
NASB

Since the Lord works through His people, this righteousness is carried before Him by the peacemaking children of God.
 
These are the ones who are preparing the way for Jesusí second coming and the restoration of all of creation.
 
We have always found it interesting that Isaiah 40:1-11 is often included as a part of a service of death and resurrection (funeral service), for it doesnít really help the one who has died, but hopefully it will be of help and encouragement to the family and friends who have gathered together to pay their respects.
 
So, as part of our preparing the way for Jesusí second coming, letís look at these verses together.

1. "Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God.
 
2. "Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord's hand
Double for all her sins."

This is our hope and prayer for the whole world: that all would come to repentance, particularly when it comes to the horrible suffering and exploitation of animals, and peopleís indifference to their plight.
 
We donít want harm to come upon them as they have inflicted it upon animals, as many have said they wish for, but that we would end all harm to every other living being, just as Isaiah is writing about.
 
Together, we are to be the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God who are preparing the way for Jesusí second coming.

3. A voice is calling,
"Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
 
4. "Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;

We are to be the ones helping to end every obstruction to true peace.
 
We are to be the ones helping to end all forms of violence that cause so much suffering and death to millions of our fellow human beings and billions of animals every year.
 
We are to be the ones helping to smooth out the way for the Lord.
 
We are to be the ones preparing the way for Jesusí second coming.

5. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." 

ďAnd all flesh will see it together.Ē
 
All flesh includes the animals who have suffered so long at the exploitive hands of human beings, for the animals will also see the glory of the Lord being revealed.

6. A voice says,
"Call out.
"Then he answered,
"What shall I call out?"
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

And again, all flesh includes the animals, about whom the Lord says that they, too, possess the loveliness of the wild flowers.

7. The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
 
8. The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

When this time comes, no human or other animal will harm any other living being, for we will all rest in the everlasting arms of the Lord our God.

9. Get yourself up on a high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of good news,
Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!"

This all will happen as a part of our preparing the way for Jesusí second coming.

10. Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His recompense before Him.
 
11. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs,
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
NASB

Surely all true Christians want this to happen.
 
So, if this is what we really want, then we have to stop following the corrupt and ungodly ways of the world around us and begin preparing the way for Jesusí second coming.
 
In Mark 1:1-8 we are told of the beginning of Jesus Christís ministry some 2,000 years ago; but today, as we look at these verses together, we need to very seriously consider what our role is supposed to be.

1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
 
2. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
"Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way;
 
3. The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
'Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.' " 

We donít have to be a prophet like Elijah, or a John the Baptist in order to be preparing a way for Jesusí second coming; for every one of us is capable of helping to prepare the way.

4. John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

We donít necessarily have to be calling people to repentance in the manner of John the Baptist, but we can surely speak to others about turning away from the horrible way animals are being exploited and suffering.
 
We can explain to people how returning to a whole plant food diet, as God originally created for us to eat, would stop the suffering of the animals, improve our own health, help clean up the environment, and help feed the hungry of the world; all of which God commanded us to do.
 
This is all part of preparing the way for Jesusí second coming.

5. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
 
6. And John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.

Many scholars believe that this reference to locusts does not mean the insect, but the locust bean or carob, which is the reason that bread made from it was called Saint Johnís bread.

7. And he was preaching, and saying, "After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.
 
8. "I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
NASB

John was speaking of Jesus Christ, just as we should be doing, for we are charged with being His followers, which means that we should be living examples of His compassionate teachings, and the heavenly will of God.
 
We all should be preparing the way for Jesusí second coming.
 
With this in mind, letís take a look at 1 Peter 3:8-12Ö

8. To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
 
9. not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

Peter is telling us to be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, and kindhearted; none of which can exist in us if we canít feel the suffering of the whole of creation, and particularly for the animals who cannot speak for themselves.
 
So, if any of us are still contributing to the corruption of creation by eating and wearing the tortured remains of animals, then this Bible message is not for us, for we are not only returning evil for evil, but we are returning evil for good, particularly the good that God has giving us.

10. For,
"Let him who means to love life and see good days
Refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.
 
11. "And let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

We do not do good or seek and pursue peace if we are part of the warring madness which is going on all over the world.
 
We do not do good or seek and pursue peace if we are taking part in the exploitation of animals by eating and wearing them, for we are causing their pain and suffering, either directly, or with our money.

12. "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Are we among the righteous whom the Lord blesses, or are we part of the evil ways of this world which the Lord is against?
 
Are we part of the problem or are we preparing the way for Jesusí second coming?
 
We pray that we all have decided to be part of the solution.
 
Amen.

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