Read an Excerpt
Expecting to See Jesus Participant's GuideA Wake-Up Call for God's People
By ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ
ZondervanCopyright © 2011 Anne Graham Lotz
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSESSION ONE
Could this be the generation that will experience the second coming of the Son of God to earth? Years ago, it struck me that one day there would come a generation that was the last one. How would that generation know it? To my mind came Jesus' own words to His disciples. Again and again, He instructed His disciples to not be deceived, to keep watch, to not let His return come like a thief in the night. In other words, He was clearly indicating that the last generation of human history, the generation that would precede and witness His return to earth, could know it IF they were diligent to not only be familiar with the signs He gave, but to also watch for them. Expecting to See Jesus, pg. 22
Knowing the accurate time of day is critical for me in my busy schedule. Catching a plane, speaking in a pulpit, talking on a TV camera, turning in a manuscript — even cooking dinner — requires an awareness of time. Almost every room in my house has a clock, several of which are radio-activated, so that the time is accurate to the second. I would never travel without my radio-activated alarm that automatically synchronizes the time according to the zone I am in. Otherwise I may be deceived into missing an appointment or being too early or running too late — or burning the pot roast.
Just as I want to know what time of day it is, I also want to know what time it is in human history. If we are living "five-minutes-to-midnight," I don't want to be sleeping! I want to be familiar with the signs that Jesus gave, look for them as I read, watch, or listen to the local, national, and world news, and then get ready! Wake up! He is coming! He's coming!
Knowing that He's coming, and knowing what time it is in human history, can radically change your perspective on just about everything! Our attitude toward prosperity and pain, success and stress, blessing and betrayal, acclamation and abandonment, wealth and poverty, goals and grief, all change in the light of His return! This life and this planet are not all there is!
This perspective is dramatically reflected in an email our ministry received from a woman who has been praying to bring our revival ministry, Just Give Me Jesus, to her city. Shortly after organizing a prayer team to undergird her exploratory efforts, she was diagnosed with cancer. These were her words:
It is really exciting and special to be getting small glimpses of how God is weaving my cancer treatment "for good" into His plans for revival. The new cancer clinic where I am getting my chemo sits near the arena. I can see it from my chemo room that has big beautiful windows producing a wonderful setting for praying for revival. Also, much of the support staff gives me much opportunity to pray and witness, invite and involve ... not sure what God will do, but sensed today He might be up to something BIG to His glory! Rejoicing in the faithful provisions of our great God!
This beloved woman knows what time it is! She's not wasting a moment in whining, worrying, wondering, or asking God, "Why me?" She has His kingdom agenda uppermost on her mind and is fully committed to living out her life for His glory!
The thrilling, living hope that Chris tians have is that the end of the world as we know it will climax with Jesus Christ coming again to this earth! There is indeed a generation that will be the last one. One in every twenty verses in the New Testament refers to this truth! Jesus Himself promised the disciples, I will come back. When He ascended into heaven, the disciples were gazing up into the clouds where He had disappeared when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
Jesus is coming! Which means that one day ...
wrong will be set right,
love will triumph over hate,
good will win out over evil,
wars will cease,
guns will silence,
dead will live,
peace will prevail,
righteous ness will rule ...
and this old scarred, polluted, gouged, abused planet will be restored to pristine beauty and harmony! Because the Creator who became our Savior rose up from the dead, ascended into heaven, was seated at the right hand of God the Father as King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all authority in the universe placed beneath His feet ... and He's coming back! One day, the sky will unfold, and Jesus will appear in clouds of glory to reign and rule in this world! Even His enemies will see Him and bow before Him.
So open your eyes! Learn to tell time! And join me on the tiptoes of anticipation! He's coming! I'm expecting to see Jesus! 7 It's time to wake up ...!
Special Format for This Session
Your first group session will feature Anne's video message based on Matthew 24, in which she shares the signs Jesus gave His disciples to indicate the end of human history as we have known it.
Following the video and your group's discussion, you'll have opportunity to work at home on a personal Bible study using the guided questions provided on pages 16 – 22. These questions will help you search the Scriptures for yourself on this subject. Each of us needs to make up our own minds about the times in which we live, but our conclusion should be based not on what we think or feel or hope or want, but on the Word of God.
In the next session, Anne will share a simple exercise that will teach you how to listen for God's voice speak to you personally as you read your Bible.
Session 1 DVD Viewing Notes
As you watch the video presentation, use this section to take notes.
Learn how to tell time: What signs are we seeing take place in ...
The religious realm?
The national realm?
The environmental realm?
The cultural realm?
The global realm?
Live by His clock: In light of what time it is, what are some practical ways you should ...
Session 1 Small Group Discussion
1. Having considered the signs Jesus gave, and what you see taking place in our world today, what time do you think it is? Be prepared to explain your answer.
2. Select one of the following areas. How would knowing Jesus was coming tomorrow impact your life today?
Your attitudes or ambitions
Your decisions or dreams
Your family or friendships
Your priorities or prayers
Your witness or your worship
The way you spend your free time or money
3. If you knew Jesus were returning tomorrow, what things would you stop worrying about today? What things would you start worrying about?
Personal Bible Study
Knowing how to tell time becomes critically important for the child of God because we need to live with eternity in view. In other words, if you knew for sure that Jesus was going to return tomorrow, what would you do differently today? I want to live in that difference, 24/7, for the rest of my life. Because, dear reader, Jesus is coming! I'm expecting to see Jesus, either at His return or at my death! And when I do, I want to have as few regrets as possible.
To help you tell time, I have divided the signs into five categories. Through your Bible study time this week, become familiar with them so that you, too, learn to live by His clock.
1. What warning did Jesus give in Matthew 24:4? How many times does He refer to this danger in this chapter? Give the phrases and verse numbers for each.
2. Give the phrase that repeats this warning in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
3. Give some practical examples of how people today — especially the religious — are being deceived in regard to the end of the world and the coming of Christ.
4. From Matthew 24:5–12, give at least five signs in the spiritual or religious world, what each one means, and a contemporary example of each.
1. What are two of the signs Jesus gave in the world of nations, from Matthew 24:6–7?
2. What is another national sign from Luke 21:25?
3. Give examples of these signs being fulfilled in our world today.
1. Give signs from the world of nature in Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11; 21:25.
2. List examples of these signs that have occurred in our world during the past year.
Personal or Cultural Signs
1. What happened in Noah's day? See Genesis 6:5–14; 7:11–12, 17–23 for your answer.
2. Is there anything wrong with eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, from Matthew 24:38? What was the real problem with Noah's generation?
3. How does Peter use this same analogy in 2 Peter 3:6?
4. What similarities do you see between Noah's generation and ours?
5. What are some other signs in the personal world from James 5:3 and 2 Timothy 3:1–5? Give examples of each.
1. From Matthew 24:14, what is perhaps the most exciting sign of all?
2. How is this sign uniquely being fulfilled in this generation?
3. What are you doing to help bring this to pass?
1. What do think Jesus means by "keep watch" in Matthew 24:42?
2. Why is this important, according to Matthew 24:42–44?
3. What are some practical things you can do in order to "keep watch"?
1. From Matthew 24:45–47, what does Jesus want to find you and me doing when He returns?
2. If He returns in the next five minutes, what will He find you doing? What will you wish you had done?
3. Would you take a moment now to ask Him to give you a work assignment—something you can do that will make an eternal difference in the kingdom of God? Write His answer here.
1. When I walk with a friend or family member, we have to walk at the same pace and in the same direction or we can't walk together. Apply these two principles to walking with God.
2. Describe a walk that is pleasing to God from Ephesians 4:1–3. How does your walk compare?
3. What are some practical things you can do to adjust your walk to keep pace with His?
4. What does Jesus not want to find us doing, according to Matthew 24:48–51?
5. What are several things we are to do, in light of the imminent return of Christ, from 1 Peter 4:7?
From 2 Peter 3:11–12, 14, 17–18?
From 1 Thessalonians 4:11–12?
6. How does the hope of the return of Christ impact our lives so that we are motivated to get ready to see Jesus, according to 1 John 3:3? Can you give an example of this impact from your own life?
The Old Testament story of Noah illustrates the strategic necessity of a vibrant relationship with God. Noah was a man who lived at the end of his world as he had known it. He was facing the total annihilation of planet Earth. The flood that came was the equivalent of a nuclear meltdown. But Noah walked with God. As he did so, God told Noah that judgment was coming on the whole earth, and then gave Noah specific instructions on how to get ready so that he and his family would be saved from it.
It's a very sobering thought to realize what would have happened had Noah said he was too busy, too tired, too poor, too uneducated, too old to walk with God and then work for Him. If he had used any excuse at all for disobeying God ... or if he simply had not heard what God had to say ... you and I wouldn't be here today.
If the end of our world is coming ... or if the end of your world is coming through death or disease or disaster or divorce or some other devastating bend in the road or "abyss" that suddenly opens up beneath you ... the most vitally important thing you and I can do is to walk with God, listening to His voice, obeying His instructions. God will give us insight and wisdom so that not only will we know how to deal with whatever it is, but we can be used of God to help others also. Learn to live every day of your life expecting to see Jesus.
Excerpted from Expecting to See Jesus Participant's Guide by ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ Copyright © 2011 by Anne Graham Lotz. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.