Waiting Expectantly For His Return (Traditional)

December 3, 2023 | Traditional Worship Service

Rev Chia Chin Nam
Waiting Expectantly For His Return (Traditional)

December 3, 2023 | Traditional Worship Service

Rev Chia Chin Nam
Scripture Passage: Mark 13:24–37 (NRSVUE)

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Summary l Are we eager to see Jesus face to face when God raises us up with new sinless bodies imperishably free from disease?

Sown in dishonour and weakness, God promises that all who believe in Jesus as Redeemer Saviour shall have their natural mortal bodies raised spiritually glorious and powerful. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) Advent reminds us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) so that all who believe in God’s only Son incarnated as Son of Man born that first Christmas, shall inherit eternal life. (Matthew 1:21) And if we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life we can, in grieving, hope that when He returns God will bring back with Him our beloved family and friends who have died in Him the Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Advent Hope hinges on the promised return of Jesus who first came to us in Word and Spirit and will come again in final victory to wipe away every tear from the eyes of His people – “for the old order of things has passed away and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain”. (Revelation 21:4) Are we treasuring and pondering expectantly the prophesies about Christ’s return the way His mother Mary treasured and pondered them all in her heart about her son, the Saviour? (Luke 2:19,51)

False prophets will take advantage of wars and catastrophes to deceive people about the day or hour of Christ’s return, but Jesus warns against being distracted for “no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36) Jesus has promised however that He will return in a spectacular, never-before-seen manner – when the sun is darkened, the moon reflects no light, stars fall and heavenly bodies shake, will people then “see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.” (v24-26)

How does the prospect of Christ’s return truly help us wait expectantly with faith and prepare reflectively? What right spiritual posture do we adopt so we can be ever hopeful especially in times of need? Instead of being distracted by speculation about the future, Jesus wants us to attend to and not neglect present responsibilities. At the Mount of Olives, recorded in Mark 13, His concluding parables teach us to:

  1. Learn from the Fig Tree (28-29) – that when it finally puts out its leaves, know that summer is near. Likewise seeing the things taking place today, stand firm in God’s Word and know with Hope that His glorious coming is near, “at the very gates”. We are assured of this because Heaven and earth will pass away, but our LORD’s words will never disappear. (Matthew 24:35)
  2. Keep awake when on guard, and not fall asleep at the LORD’s work (v32-37) – as is expected of an alert doorkeeper or a servant given charge of his master’s business. Since we cannot expect a warning of Jesus’ arrival, are we watchful and prepared at all times? Would the thing I’m doing set the Master’s heart athrill? Would I have cared to tell someone about Jesus? Would I be found loyal and true to influence others for Christ? Am I present in the training I should attend? Would I be found serving my Saviour and singing praises unto Heaven? (adapted from Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopaedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times)

Are we following in the footsteps of Wesley honorary stewards, the late Mrs Gnana Thevathasan and Dr Oliver Seet – prioritising time to abide in Christ, bringing up our families to fear the LORD, being faithful to serve God with the gifts and talents He has blessed us with? Christ the LORD and newborn King came in the flesh two millennials ago to live in us. Let us wholeheartedly welcome Him into our lives and celebrate Advent with the promised Hope of His glory in us. (Colossians 1:27)  

(Sermon notes by Marjorie Tan)


  1. What does Advent mean to you? How are you waiting expectantly for His return? 
  2. How does the prospect of Jesus’ impending returning help you, especially in your time of need? 
  3. “If we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we must also believe that when He returns, God will bring back with Him, our beloved family members and friends who have died in Christ.” (1 Thess. 4:14-18) 
    • How does this truth help you grieve with hope? 
    • How does it help you prepare for your own death? 
  4. How does the life of the late Mrs Gnana Thevathasan (105) and Dr Oliver Seet (86) model for you the right spiritual posture while waiting for the Second Advent? 
  5. “Watch out that no one deceives you”, “Everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the cloud”, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away”, “Be on guard, keep awake; lest He comes suddenly and find you asleep.” 
    • What are you doing to stand firm on these words of Jesus? 
  6. Read slowly and contemplatively the poem and open your hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit. 

If Jesus Should Come Today 

If Christ should come today,
And it may be that He will,
Would the thing that I’ll be doing
Set the Master’s heart athrill?

If Christ should come today
And find that I had not told
One soul about my Heavenly Friend
Whose blessings all my way attend,
What would He say?

If Christ should come today,
Would he find me loyal, true,
In my place with my influence
Doing what He’d have me do?

If Christ should come today,
Let’s suppose He came at ten,
Would He hear me answer, “present”
In the class I should attend?

If Christ should come today,
If He came just at eleven,
Would He find me in His service,
Singing praises unto heaven?

  • What is God saying to you? 
  • What are you going to do about it? 

Source: Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 1586.

Wesley Communications Team
Posted by Wesley Communications Team

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