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Date: April 18, 2021
The Return of Jesus
The Point: Jesus will return to establish His eternal kingdom.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
They’ve had to wait seventeen years, but Brood X is about to have their day in the sun. The 17-year-cycle cicadas are set to emerge this spring and summer and are expected to number in the billions. Known as a periodical cicada, this specific group only shows up every seventeen years.
Ask, “Has anyone witnessed the emergence of one of these large broods of cicadas? Is this something you’d like to experience again?” Invite the group to discuss future events they are looking forward to.
We can look forward to major milestones and fun events, but these events aren’t guaranteed. One future event is guaranteed though—Christ’s return. Jesus will return to establish His eternal kingdom.
As you conclude today’s session, share the following story.
In 2010, Nashville experienced historic flooding, displacing almost 10,000 people from their homes and causing 21 fatalities in TN. Then at the end of March this year, the Nashville area experienced severe flooding again, with rainfall records ranking 2nd only behind those set during the 2010 flood. Thankfully, the rainfall was less, as were the fatalities. Nashville Mayor John Cooper declared a local state of emergency on March 28th. During a press conference, Mayor Cooper emphasized that the lessons the city had learned from the previous flood prepared them to respond to the March 2021 flooding.
Ask, “How has a past experience helped you be prepared for a future event?”
Jesus’ return will be unlike anything we have ever experienced. However, we can still prepare. Jesus gave His disciples instructions to remain alert and prepare for His return. Choose one of the Live It Out applications to begin preparing this week.
Nikki Wilbanks wrote these Leader Extras. She grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
- What do you think makes the best ending to a movie or book?
- When have you found yourself counting down to a big event?
- When you think of the end of the world, what comes to mind?
- Where is the hope in Jesus’ words to His disciples?
- How can these signs help us wait expectantly for Jesus’ return?
- How have you seen this kind of prophetic Scripture addressed in ways that strengthened your faith?
- What do you imagine the return of Christ will be like? Why?
- How can these verses give us hope in dark times?
- What do we learn from the parable of the fig tree?
- What are the benefits and challenges of being prepared for Jesus’ return?
- How can our group help one another be prepared for Jesus’ return?
- How can you encourage others to be ready for Christ’s return?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.