Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
July 7, 2004

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Here is this week's WINNING WAYS . . . .

“Still Expecting His Return”
by Tom Goodman

Jesus promised to return.  It should come as no surprise, then, that we find a lot in the Bible about Christ’s return.  In fact, the Second Coming is taught in 23 of the 27 New Testament books.  This Sunday, July 11, we’ll take a look at what the Bible says about the Second Coming as we return to our series, Back to the Future.

Is it difficult to keep expecting Christ’s return?  If you hold to your belief that Jesus is coming back, the Bible says, “People will laugh at you. . . . .  They will say, ‘Where is he?’” (2 Peter 3:3, NCV)

One reason people get cynical about this subject of the Second Coming is because they watch some people get nutty about this subject of the Second Coming.  Some influential leader will conclude that he knows the exact date of Christ’s return and what results is either tragic or just silly.  Probably the most famous example of date-setting in our time took place almost 16 years ago now when a former NASA rocket engineer published his pamphlet “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.”

He used mathematical calculations and questionable Bible interpretation to pinpoint the event on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.  A Nashville broadcaster put up $200,000 of his own money to print 2 million copies of the book and distribute them free of charge around the U.S.  I got a copy at the church I was serving.  Newpapers, national radio, even “Good Morning America” reported the excitement.

The prediction was wrong, just in case you needed to know.

The author even tried to come out with another pamphlet in 1989 giving reasons why he was off by a year and the rapture was really, really going to take place sometime in 1989, 90, or 91.  But the public wasn’t listening anymore.

If stories like this have made you cynical of Christians and our talk of Christ’s return, then this study series I’m doing is for you!  Join us at 8:15 or 10:45 a.m. this Sunday as we “set the record straight” regarding what Christ really taught about his promised return!


Important Notes:

Catching Up:  If you missed the first three studies in our series, Back to the Future, you can listen to them at Click here.  I just got a note from Kerry Willingham who is on the road with the U.S. Army Field Band.  He downloads the sermons and stays in touch with Hillcrest through the web page.  Our thanks to Paul Waldo for maintaining this page!
Great Article:  If you missed the great Austin-American Statesman article about one of our own, Buddy Reissig, go to and enjoy!
Prayer and Fasting Continues:  Our five-week prayer emphasis continues.  This week we’re praying that God will show us our THEMs in our neighborhoods.  Remember that the word THEM is the most important word in the Great Commission:  “Go to the people all nations and make THEM my disciples.  Baptize THEM in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach THEM to do everything I have told you” (Matthew 28:19-20, CEV).  You can’t say you’ve reached THEM until you’ve reached at least one!  If you haven’t picked up your magnet and key chain that we prepared for this prayer emphasis, get yours the next time you’re at church.  Also, join us in the Worship Center each Tuesday between noon and 1 p.m. to “Pray a Dangerous Prayer!”  This prayer emphasis is already having an impact in just one week!  Don’t miss out!
Special Lesson Series:  Starting this Sunday, July 11, I will teach a special three-week series in the Adult 5 Sunday School Department.  The Community Class will join us for this study, too.  We’ll look at “The PLAN of Our Salvation,” “The PURPOSE of Our Life,” and “The PARTNERSHIP of Our Church.”
Youth Choir:  The performance that the youth choir prepared for their Vermont Mission Trip will be presented in our church this Sunday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m.



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