What's Jesus coming back for?
Back in 2014, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan and a committed Evangelical Christian preached an Easter sermon about sin at Whites Ferry Road Church in
his hometown of West Monroe, LA. The substance of the sermon, based on a verse from Corinthians defining “sinners,” eventually got him pushed out of his TV show and generally deplatformed.
“Neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God,” preached Mr. Robertson.
The New York Post reported that during the time Mr. Robertson was preaching the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch got tremendous rounds of applause and cheers.
Does anyone reading this believe the cheers and applause were because the audience was free of sin, or that no one in attendance had checked any of the boxes on the list Paul gave us in his letter to the church at Corinth?
If you do, we have a bridge in Brooklyn and a couple of New Age books to sell you, cheap.
We’ve watched Mr. Robertson’s sermon a number of times and while we can’t know for sure what was in the hearts of his audience at the time, we suspect that the basis for the congregation’s enthusiasm was twofold:
First, was Mr. Robertson’s leadership in confronting the sin that is right in front of all of us.
How many times in the past year, or the past month, have you gone to church and received a sermon on sin? Not very often I suspect. Sermons about sin are inherently politically incorrect, so raather preach against passage of the "Equality Act" too many pastors and priests decide it is better to stick to exhortations to join the church Youth Club litter pick-up campaign or urge the congregation to support the building fund than preach about sin.
Second, Mr. Robertson was preaching the Bible, not the editorial page of the newspaper.
In a bizarre twist, as priests and pastors have given up preaching against sin as defined in the Bible, they have found other non-Bible-based things to preach against. Voting Republican, climate change, gentrification, and a host of the favorite themes of social justice warriors are aired from the pulpit, while the sins Paul warned us about in his letter to the Corinthians are ignored.
As he wrapped-up that part of his sermon Phil Robertson made reference to an interview he had given that got him in trouble with the liberal news media.
He said, “The news media didn’t even know it [the definition of sin in Corinthians] was a verse! They thought I was just mouthing off. ‘Is homosexual behavior a sin?’ the guy asked me. I said, ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived’.”
And then Mr. Robertson asked the question each of us should ask every day, but especially on Easter: “What's Jesus coming back for?” asked Phil. “To bring salvation to those who are waiting for it. Are you waiting on Jesus? Or are you afraid to see that sky busting, you see him coming?”
This Holy Week we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but that is only part of the promise of Easter. The first time Jesus came, through his death and resurrection, to take the burden of our sins upon himself. The second part of the promise of Easter is what Phil Robertson was talking about back in 2014, but all too few preachers and priests talk about today – that Jesus will return – and those who are in sin will be separated out, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have life everlasting, and those who are in sin shall face judgement.
So, Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3-5
George Rasley, Managing Editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com, is an ordained Elder of the Presbyterian Church and a member of Faith Leaders for America.
Phil Robertson sermon
Definition of sin