"There are only two days on my calendar", said Luther, "Today and That Day". The return of Jesus Christ to judge the world is predicted again and again in the New Testament. His return is as certain as His resurrection. We do not know the date of his return; we are told it will be unexpected and unavoidable.
Much ink has been spilt over the "end times", and not always helpfully. But Jesus' return is the most important event in the future of this world, and we need to be adequately informed so we can live our present in the light of it.
In four sermons, the last of which is followed by a Q & A session, William considered Jesus' teaching in chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew's gospel. Four aspects of Jesus return are covered:
First, the fact that it is delayed. The sack of Jerusalem in AD 70, appalling though it would be, would not be the end. Jesus' return is delayed until the gospel has been proclaimed in all the world, so that people have the opportunity to respond to it. (See 2 Peter 3:9).
Second, the certainty of Jesus' return. It will happen; no-one can stop it happening; it will involve everyone without exception, whether or not they think it's their cup of tea. The final judgement is not only for those who consider themselves to be religiously inclined.
Third, what we need to do now, knowing that Christ's return is imminent. We do not know when Jesus will return; therefore we need to be ready at all times, living each day as if it were our last. And being ready means going about our Father's business, investing our efforts in the work of spreading the gospel and serving God's people; that is what the two parables - the Ten Virgins (be ready!), and the Talents (be fruitful!) - are about.
Fourth, the division that will take place when Jesus returns. Jesus' teaching on the Sheep and the Goats shows that there will be a watershed, a separation that is final and irreversible. Two sets of people; two eternal destinies. Hell is an unpopular topic, a doctrine against which people rail, but the trouble is that it comes from the lips of Jesus, from the one who is supremely qualified to pronounce on these matters. This subject is also addressed in the Q& A session following the final talk.
This is essential listening: click here for audio and video recordings of the series.