StoneBridge Community Church
The Return of the King
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

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The Text in Context

Bob Utley, "Matthew 25" from the series The First Christian Primer: Matthew

Christ the King

The last Sunday before Advent is celebrated in many churches as the Festival of Christ the King (thus this message). Christ the King is a title of Jesus Christ. It refers to the concept of the Kingdom of God where the Christ is seated at the Right Hand of God (as opposed to the secular title of King of the Jews mockingly given at the crucifixion). 1Timothy 6.14-15 explicitly applies the phrase of "king of kings and lord of lords" taken from the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 10.17) to Jesus. Wikipedia article.
1. Jesus is the King Who…
1. Jesus is the King Who had promised to return in glory.
For Reflection/Discussion: What are your thoughts and feelings about the return of Jesus Christ in glory? Does the idea of Jesus' return in glory fill you with hope and excitement, anxiety and fear, or something else? Does the return of Jesus in glory play a major and important part in your thoughts about God and how you live your daily life? Why or why not?
2. Jesus is the King Who…
2. Jesus is the King Who is Lord of all.
For Reflection/Discussion: What does it mean to say that Jesus in Lord of all? When you think about or picture Jesus, what image comes to mind? Do you tend to focus on Jesus' humanity, kindness, closeness, and compassion, or his divinity, majesty, glory, and divine rule? Why is it important to believe in both Jesus' humanity and divinity?
3. Jesus is the King Who…
3. Jesus is the King Who judges in absolute righteousness.

The Sorting Hat

M. Clanger, "Matthew 25:31-46 – Sorting" The Reflectionary, posted on November 13, 2017.
"There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this if it lay in my power. I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully, ‘All will be saved…’" — C.S. Lewis
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened. —C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, p. 90.

It's Not Up To Us

"It is not our job to separate the sheep from the goats. The kingdom of heaven is not a club with us handing out entry tickets. We are more like promoters, not bouncers; we help send the invitations but who gets admitted isn’t up to us. Our job is not to be the gatekeepers but to care for everyone as long as we’re out here in the field. What happens after that is up to God, and until then we are called to love without reserve or distinction." —The Rev. TJ Tetzlaff, "Reign of Christ (A): It’s Not Up to Us" Matthew 25:31-46" Metanoia: Encountering the Gospel with Renewed Minds.
For Reflection/Discussion: How would you respond if a friend were to say to you, "I can't believe that a loving God would send someone to hell for not believing in Him." What are your thoughts on C.S. Lewis' response to the question of hell?
4. Jesus is the King Who…
4. Jesus is the King Who cares.
For reflection/discussion: The vast majority of New Testament scholars have concluded that the term "the least of these my brothers and sisters" refers to believers who have suffered hunger, thirst, imprisonment, etc. for the sake of the gospel. But a quick Google image search suggests that many, if not most Christians today take the phrase applies to anyone who is hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, etc. What is your opinion? How do we go about discerning the true meaning and intention of a text that is subject to more than one interpretation? Why is a correct interpretation of this particular text so important? (Hint: Our eternal fate depends on it.)

Bob Dylan, Massey Hall, Toronto, April 18, 1980.

When He Returns

Bob Dylan, "When He Returns" performed April 18, 1980. Lyrics: The iron hand it ain't no match for the iron rod/ The strongest wall will crumble and fall to a mighty God/ For all those who have eyes and all those who have ears/ It is only He who can reduce me to tears/ Don't you cry and don't you die and don't you burn/ Like a thief in the night, he'll replace wrong with right/ When he returns.Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow that is passes through/ He unreleased His power at an unknown hour that no one knew/ How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice? /How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness? /Can I cast it aside, all this loyalty and this pride? Will I ever learn/ that there'll be no peace, that the war won't cease/ Until He returns?Surrender your crown on this blood-stained ground, take off your mask/ He sees your deeds, He knows your needs even before you ask/ How long can you falsely and deny what is real? /How long can you hate yourself for the weakness you conceal? Of every earthly plan that be known to man, He is unconcerned/ He's got plans of his own to set up His throne/ When He return.When He Returns lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.

Bob Dylan Gospel Tour

The Bob Dylan Gospel Tour was unique in two respects. While Dylan had always included religious themes and allusions in his songs, this tour marked the first time that he overtly embraced Christianity as a personal faith, and discussed that faith from the stage with his audience. Also, Dylan restricted the concert setlists to include only his new Christian songs. Official recordings from the Gospel Tour have recently been released as Trouble No More.

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