Last month the largest TV audience saw the GREATEST COMEBACK EVER in Super Bowl history, with the New England Patriots overcoming a 25-point deficit to win the first ever overtime game.
When the New England Patriots trailed 28-9 entering the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI, it was easy to write them off. No team had ever overcome more than a 10-point second-half deficit to win a Super Bowl before, and those trailing by 20 or more points at the start of the fourth quarter had gone 0-11.
But the Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady, ‘engineered’ the “comeback of the ages” and topped the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28. Here are the top eight most ‘amazing’ stats from their win:
This was still the Falcons’ win probability with 9 minutes 44 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. (No team has ever overcome a lower win probability in the second half of a Super Bowl than New England did).
8 minutes, 49 seconds:
The time it took the Patriots to go from that win probability of less than 1% to a win probability of 50%, after a two-point conversion tied the game with less than a minute to go in regulation.
The longest game-winning drive ever. (Previous best was the Patriots’ 74-yard drive against the Baltimore Ravens in a 2015 divisional game).
Brady’s new Super Bowl record for yardage. (Set on 43 completed passes on 62 attempts, which broke St. Louis Rams QB Kurt Warner’s mark of 414 yards).
Total number of plays run by New England. (Breaking the previous record of 84 set by the Pittsburgh Steelers).
New record for receptions by James White. (Breaking the previous Super Bowl record of 13 set by Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas).
The number of times New England moved the chains against Atlanta. (Besting the 30 first downs by the 1984 San Francisco 49ers).
Brady is now the only quarterback in NFL history to have five Super Bowl rings, and coach Bill Belichick is the first head coach with five Super Sunday victories.
For me, it was the best Super Bowl I have ever seen (and I have seen most of them). I think it cements Tom Brady’s status as the greatest quarterback of all time (Go Blue!).
A few other amazing stats I found reveal just how improbable the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback was.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, prior to Super Bowl LI, teams leading by 25 or more points at any time in any NFL game were 2,545-4-2 in the regular season and 102-2-0 in the postseason. So, only six times in 2,655 games—0.2% of the time—has a team come back from a 25-point deficit to win the game. In other words, only about once out of every 450 games in which a team has a 25-point lead does that team end up losing. In addition to that, teams that were down at least 17 points after the third quarter were 0-133 in NFL playoff history!
With the score at 28-3 halfway through in the third quarter, many sports fans were both surprised and disappointed by the Falcons running away with Super Bowl LI. What was wrong with the Patriots? Weren’t Brady and Belichick the greatest? How could they let Atlanta do this to them?
At this point in the game, many people got on social media declaring the Patriots were done, and the Falcons fans were already celebrating. I’m sure many people turned off the TV or left their Super Bowl parties early (to the dismay of the advertisers that planned their ads to run then!). But THE UNIMAGINABLE HAPPENED! Brady lead his team to post 25 unanswered points, force an overtime, and accomplish the most sensational comeback in Super Bowl history—how INCREDIBLE, EXCITING, AMAZING, and THRILLING it was!
Everybody loves a good comeback story. It’s just fantastic when an individual, group, organization, team, or business, facing impossible adversity, somehow overcomes the odds and ‘wins’. History is replete with them.
A relatively recent comeback story is about of Bernie Marcus. He was the son of a poor Russian cabinetmaker in Newark, New Jersey. In 1978, he was fired from a do-it-yourself retail store called “Handy Dan.” So, Bernie teamed up with a guy named Arthur Blank, and they opened their first store in Atlanta, Georgia. They called it “The Home Depot.” As you well know, today they have stores all over the world, and their annual income is in the billions. Now, that’s a great comeback story!
Comebacks are not only relegated to the business world. Did you know that General Douglas MacArthur was turned down when he applied for admission to West Point? Not just once, but twice. But, he came back a third time, was accepted, became a valedictorian there, and ‘marched’ into the history books playing a prominent role in World War II.
How about Albert Einstein, who developed the theory of relativity? Did you know that he was expelled from school for “being dumb”? Well, a few years after that—at age 12—he taught himself Euclidian geometry, and by the age of 15, he had mastered differential and integral calculus. In 1905, he published three papers that revolutionized man’s image of the physical universe, and helped lay the foundation for the nuclear age. One of the papers offered an explanation of the photoelectric effect, which concerns the emission of electrons from metal surfaces exposed to light. Theoretically, this study represented a cornerstone of the quantum theory, and practically, it made possible many great inventions, including television and automation systems.
What about Thomas Edison, who was kicked out of school because the teachers told his mother he was just too slow to learn? So, he was home-schooled by his mother. At the age of 10, he had already set up his first chemistry laboratory. He became our nation’s most famous inventor with things such as the light bulb, the phonograph, and the kinetoscope. When he synchronized these, he produced motion pictures. He gave us over 1,300 inventions that have radically improved our world.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was paralyzed by polio at the age of 39, yet he went on to become one of the most beloved and influential leaders in American history, and was elected President of the U.S. four times.
In 1952, Sir Edmund Hillary attempted to climb the 29,000 foot high Mount Everest. He failed, but wanted to go back and try again. One year later, on May 29, 1953, he succeeded in becoming the first man to reach its summit.
In the 1940’s, a young inventor named Chester Carlson took his idea to 20 corporations, including some of the biggest in the country. They all turned him down, and he almost gave up. But, in 1947, after seven long years of continuous rejection, he went back to a tiny firm in Rochester, New York, the Haloid Company. They finally agreed to purchase the rights to his electrostatic paper-copying process. Haloid became the Xerox Corporation, and Carlson’s invention has changed all of our lives.
“Greatest achievements” tend to be some of the most popular “Top 10” lists, and returning to the sports industry, in 2001, Sports Illustrated was covering the baseball World Series—which the Arizona Diamondbacks came back to defeat the New York Yankees in the last inning of the final game. The editors got to thinking about what they thought were the greatest baseball comebacks in history, but they finally expanded it to any ‘industry’, and produced their list of the Top 10 comebacks of all time called, “Bouncing Back Big-Time.” It was quite a broad list, and a couple of the “comebacks” were somewhat unusual.
10: Elvis Presley reviving his sagging career as a result of his electrifying live NBC TV special in 1968.
9: Ludwig Wittgenstein, after quitting academia to teach primary school and to labor as a gardener, returns to Cambridge University, in 1929, to begin “Philosophical Investigations,” the seminal work of 20th-century Anglo-American philosophy.
8: Go-Go boots, which in 2000, three decades after their kicky heyday, staged a surprising fashion revival.
7: Harry Truman’s 1948 victory over Thomas Dewey when all the polls had him losing by a large margin.
6: The recovery of humanity from the Black Plague of the 14th century, when 25 million Europeans died.
5: Mohammad Ali returning from his forced seven-year exile from boxing, to KO George Foreman in Zaire and reclaim the heavyweight championship.
4: John Travolta, reviving his movie career in 1994 by starring in “Pulp Fiction.”
3: Michael Jordan giving up his attempt to play baseball and returning to his first love—basketball.
2: A tie between Japan and Germany—for the devastation in the Second World War, but both becoming world economic powers within a generation.
1: Jesus Christ. AD 33. Stuns Romans and defies critics by His resurrection from the grave.
Generally speaking, most people believe that Jesus was the “most important” person who ever lived, but don’t necessarily believe that He rose from the dead. They ‘appreciate’ His moral teachings, and think He was a very loving person. The thing is, His life literally changed human history—our calendar is based on what was thought to be His birthday (“AD” means “in the year of our Lord”).
Jesus was definitely unique—which was recognized by the religious scholars of His day when He was still young. He launched His public ministry when He was about 30 years old, and traveled throughout the Jerusalem region performing good works, healing the sick, and teaching a message of repentance and salvation. He created quite a stir among many religious leaders.
Many who thought this “man of miracles” was a prophet, soon realized He was even much more than that—He was the promised “Messiah.” He was the one Who would overthrow the government, rebuild the Temple, gather the exiles, restore justice, end wickedness, sin and heresy. In fact, after clearing the Jerusalem temple of the merchants, Jesus said: “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” [ John 2: 19b ]. (He was referring to His physical body).
Jesus taught that the “Kingdom of God” would come, but it would not be an earthly kingdom or a political revolution. Rather, Jesus would become the ‘leader’ of each individual’s life, and establish His teachings ‘in’ them as the way to live. Many chose to become His followers, and He gained great popularity with the general public.
Despite His on-going miracles and amazing power, many of the Jewish leaders were ‘jealous’ of His popularity—He threatened their position and place in the religious society they dominated—so they plotted to ‘get rid’ of Him. So, after only three years, Jesus experienced the ULTIMATE ‘SETBACK’—DEATH.
Well, just like the Patriot fans at the end of the third quarter, many of Jesus’ followers bailed and stopped believing that He was the greatest because He was now ‘down and out’. How could He die like this? Why wouldn’t He save Himself? He saved others. His followers went home discouraged and disappointed—and the disciples were devastated. Had their time been a waste? Had they been duped? How would the kingdom be realized? All hope seemed lost.
Jesus’ enemies were celebrating what they thought was a big “victory.” However, on the third day, Jesus completed the MOST EXTRAORDINARY ‘COMEBACK’ that had ever happened up to that point—He walked out of the tomb and did exactly what He came to earth to do. He died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins. The Bible says, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” [ Luke 24:46-47 ].
“The Gospel of John” movie [ Note: The link is setup to start just when Mary Magdelene arrives at the tomb on Sunday to anoint Jesus’ body with oils and spices ]:
The validity of the Christian faith uniquely ‘hinges’ on Christ’s resurrection (as does the hope of Heaven, and our life beyond our own grave). The apostle Paul explained it like this: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14), and “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). Much is at stake! In the end, there is only one reason to be a Christian—because the resurrection is true.
Some doubt the veracity of Jesus’ resurrection, and others think it is a myth. Well, like any historical happening—or “cold case”—it usually depends on what evidence there is. There are many great volumes written about the evidence, but suffice it to say that many atheists have wanted to disprove the facts of Jesus’ resurrection—and they became believers!
Two of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century studied and debated the truth of the resurrection: Dr. Gary Habermas, perhaps the foremost expert of the resurrection, and the late Antony Flew, a famous atheist. The two became friends in spite of disagreement. In fact, Habermas called Flew the “kindest, most moral and sincere atheist” he had ever met. The two debated the resurrection in public forums for many years.
Well, the intellectual world was shocked when Flew changed his mind. He wrote a book about his new worldview titled, “There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.” Skeptics said he had mentally declined. Flew said he had found the truth. He commented: “The evidence for the resurrection is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity.”
Flew is not the only one that changed their mind. Dr. Simon Greenleaf, considered to be one of the greatest legal minds that has ever lived, and one of the founders of the Harvard Law School, was determined, once and for all, to expose, in his words, “the myth of the Resurrection.” [ FYI: He wrote the famous legal volume entitled, “A Treatise on the Law of Evidence,” considered by many to be the greatest legal volume ever written ]. After thoroughly examining the evidence for the Resurrection, Dr. Greenleaf came to the exact opposite conclusion! He then wrote a book entitled, “An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice,” in which he emphatically stated: “There is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus than for just about any other event in history.” Wow, that’s a pretty powerful statement from an expert in evidence.
Another lawyer, Sir Lionel Luckhoo (1914-1997), considered one of the greatest lawyers in British history, is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Successful Advocate,” with 245 consecutive murder acquittals. Luckhoo’s law students once challenged him to use his legal expertise to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Later, after much study, he declared: “I humbly add I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
[ http://www.dayton-fgbmfi.org/luckhoo02.htm ].
Many ancient documents—other than the New Testament—confirm the life of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. More than 500 witnesses saw Jesus after the crucifixion. Accounts of the resurrection were being circulated within the lifetimes of men and women who lived at the time of the resurrection, and, especially the Romans, would have definitely strongly disputed it. Even one of the most famous Roman historians, Flavius Josephus, in his “Antiquities” (18.3.3 63), said that the Jews called Jesus their Messiah, and that they said He rose from the dead after three days in the grave.
[ NOTE: If you are interested in considering additional evidence for the resurrection, I wrote about it in a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts”:
Throughout the Bible, Jesus made some big claims. He said that He was God (John 10:30). He started telling His disciples about His death several months before it happened, and assured them that His suffering and death was part of God’s plan (Matthew 16:21-23; 17:12). He also told them plainly He would come back from the dead (Matthew 12:39-40, Matthew 17:9; John 2:18-22; John 10:17-18). He also claimed that no person can ‘come’ to God unless they follow Him (John 14:6). Yet, His disciples, understandably, struggled to grasp it all. They even refused to hear of it (Matthew 16:22). They just couldn’t see how this could fulfill God’s plan.
So, if Jesus remained dead, then His teachings would be lies, His claims would be false, and there would be little hope for humanity. But, JESUS WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD, affirming all of His teachings and claims, and giving us ‘proof’ that He is Who He said He was—God.
Life is full of setbacks, and you cannot avoid them—no matter who you are, or what you do. In the past year, you may have been divorced, lost your job, had a health problem, lost a loved one, or had another traumatic setback. Yet, comebacks are possible!
Just like the previous recent examples of comebacks cited earlier, the Bible is also filled with them. One example is Joseph, who was sold into slavery and later put in prison. He made a huge comeback and became the second most powerful man in the world—helping save his people from famine. Another example is the Apostle Peter, who had a tremendous setback when he denied Jesus three times. His shame caused him to return to his previous occupation as a fisherman. He had a comeback when Jesus gave him a significant role of leadership in the early church where his mark on Christianity is undeniable. There are many other examples like Adam, Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Job, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, Reuben, Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Samson, Eli, Saul, David, Solomon, Hosea, Jonah, Joshua, Gideon and others [ https://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/ron-forseth-20+-messed-up-bible-heroes-and-what-we-can-learn-from-them-1613 ].
So, 2,000+ years ago THE UNIMAGINABLE HAPPENED—Jesus Christ resurrected from the DEAD…to offer you LIFE! It WAS the GREATEST COMEBACK EVER in human history!
Thankfully, you too can overcome any setback through the strength God gives—the ‘power’ that is available through Jesus Christ. The setback of mistakes, failures and sins can be forgiven. The comeback of inner peace, purpose and meaning in life can be available to you. You can live your life in a personal relationship with God, experience His plan for your life, and spend eternity in Heaven with Him after this life is over. The thing is, you must confess your sins to Jesus, and surrender your life to Him, and you will be forgiven and be granted eternal life. Thus, because of Jesus’ ‘comeback’, you can have you own “greatest personal comeback”!
Now, 40 days after Jesus rose from the grave, another INCREDIBLE, EXCITING, AMAZING, and THRILLING event happened—Jesus ASCENDED back into Heaven! As the apostles stared intently and awestruck into the sky, two angels appeared next to them and proclaimed, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring into Heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into Heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” This is telling us that THE GREATEST COMEBACK EVER IS TO COME!!
That’s right. The world’s greatest comeback is still IN THE FUTURE, and it will ‘DWARF’ JESUS’ RESURRECTION!
This time, Jesus will not slip quietly into some out-of-the-way place, but we are assured every eye will behold Him. It’s going to be when JESUS RETURNS FOR HIS ‘OWN’ (John 14:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
The Bible says that if we ‘believe’ in Jesus and have ‘accepted’ Him as our Lord and Savior, He will be COMING BACK FOR US! But, if we don’t believe in Jesus and fail to surrender our lives to Him, we will be ‘left behind’…forever.
God promises that our future is rich and varied, and way more ‘lavish’ than we could possibly imagine—infinitely more ‘sweet’ than Brady’s now record-setting fifth Super Bowl championship. Most importantly, God promises a relationship with Him that will never end!
To ‘stretch’ the football metaphor a little bit more, the Bible teaches that our current epoch of time—which began on the Day of Pentecost following Jesus’ resurrection—is the last ‘quarter’ of the game…and there will be NO OVERTIME!
SO, are you ready for THE “COMEBACK OF THE AGES”? Will Jesus be coming back for you?
[ Excerpts from: Barry L. Cameron; Christopher Decker; Neil Greenberg; Rick Kelley; David Moyers; Rick McDaniel; Larry McNutt; Roland Mechler ]
If you would like to ‘give’ your life to Jesus right now, you can do it right where you are. There’s no magical words to say, you just need to believe in your ‘heart’ that God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, is God in the flesh, rose from the dead, and is alive today—and when He died on the cross, He took your place as your substitute sacrifice for your sins. If you sincerely believe this, then admit you are a sinner, confess your sins, and that you will trust Jesus alone for your salvation, committing your life to His service.
You could say something like the following (in your own words if you would like):
Father, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Will you help me to realize the impact this statement has on my life? I believe Jesus is who He said He is, and He proved it by rising from the dead. I want to discover and begin to follow Your plan and purpose for my life. I want to get to know You personally. Thank you for sending Your only Son to die for me, and for forgiving all my sins. Help me to look to You for hope when I find myself in despair. Help me to look to You for forgiveness when I feel so defeated. Help me to look to You for confidence when I find myself drowning in doubt. But, most importantly, help me to realize what I have in Jesus—victory over death. I pray these things in Your precious Son’s name. Amen.
[ NOTE: Please e-mail me if you have become a Christian—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].
[ FYI: If you would like to “prepare your heart” for Easter, the following is a daily devotional that might help:
A Lenten Prayer:
“Evidence for the Resurrection”
By: Josh McDowell
When Jesus died on the cross, it seemed that all had been lost. Death had won. But after three days in a rich man’s tomb, Jesus appeared…alive! The news was so shocking that His followers refused to believe it until they saw Him with their own eyes and touched His wounds with their own hands. Then Jesus made an amazing claim: In the future, they too would have resurrected bodies like His, bodies that would never deteriorate, age or perish. They would have new life without death or pain in the presence of a loving God forever. But can we really believe His promise? For that matter, can we really believe that the promise was made by a Man who rose from the dead? In this fascinating look at the claims of the Gospel writers and 2,000 years of believing Christians, bestselling author Josh McDowell and his son Sean examine the compelling evidence and conclude that Jesus Christ conquered death and the gravel in clear, concise and accessible chapters, Josh and Sean present the fact s about the resurrection and what it means for readers today.
“The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus”
By: Gary Habermas and Michael Licona
“A phenomenal resource that is both user-friendly and up-to-date, [and will] equip believers to defend this crucial issue.” – Josh McDowell. Includes an interactive CD in a game-show format to test your memory of the key issues and concepts.
“The Son Rises: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus”
By: William Lane Craig
Is the Christian message of Jesus Christ and his resurrection true? Using ten lines of historical evidence, Dr. Craig defends the probability that Jesus was resurrected following his crucifixion. He examines the origin of the Christian movement, and more provocative subjects, such as the Shroud of Turin, parapsychological phenomena and hallucinations.
“Did the Resurrection Happen?”
By: Gary Habermas
In 2004 philosopher Antony Flew, one of the world’s most prominent atheists, publicly acknowledged that he had become persuaded of the existence of God. Not long before that, in 2003, Flew and Christian philosopher Gary Habermas debated at a Veritas Forum at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Habermas, perhaps the world’s leading expert on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus, made the case for rational belief on the basis of the reliability of the evidence. Flew argued for alternative understandings of the evidence presented.
For two-and-a-half decades Flew and Habermas have been in friendly dialogue about the plausibility of the resurrection and the existence of God. This book presents the full content of their third and final debate, as well as transcripts of the Q & A session with the audience afterward. Also included are a 2004 conversation between Habermas and Flew shortly after Flew’s much-publicized change of position, as well as editor David Baggett’s assessment and analysis of the full history of Habermas and Flew’s interactions.
Here is your opportunity to listen in on a conversation with two of the greatest thinkers of our era about one of the most pivotal events in human history. Follow the evidence wherever it leads. And decide for yourself whether it’s believable that a man could rise from the dead.
“The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus”
By: Lee Strobel
A SEASONED JOURNALIST CHASES DOWN THE BIGGEST STORY IN HISTORY – Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates who are specialists in the areas of old manuscripts, textual criticism, and biblical studies. Strobel challenges them with questions like; How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event? Strobel s tough, point-blank questions make this bestselling book read like a captivating, fast-paced novel. But it is not fiction. It is a riveting quest for the truth about history s most compelling figure. What will your verdict be in The Case for Christ?
“The Case for Easter: A Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection”
By: Lee Strobel
Did Jesus of Nazareth really rise from the dead?
Of the many world religions, only one claims that its founder returned from the grave. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very cornerstone of Christianity.
But a dead man coming back to life? In our sophisticated age, when myth has given way to science, who can take such a claim seriously? Some argue that Jesus never died on the cross. Conflicting accounts make the empty tomb seem suspect.
How credible is the evidence for―and against―the resurrection? Focusing his award-winning skills as a legal journalist on history’s most compelling enigma, Lee Strobel retraces the startling findings that led him from atheism to belief. He examines:
The Medical Evidence―Was Jesus’ death a sham and his resurrection a hoax?
The Evidence of the Missing Body―Was Jesus’ body really absent from his tomb?
The Evidence of Appearances―Was Jesus seen alive after his death on the cross?
“The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far”
by Louie Giglio
Have you ever longed for a comeback?
We all know what it feels like to have life disappoint us and not work out as we’d hoped. We all know what it’s like to long for something different, something better, something more.
The Comeback celebrates new beginnings. It offers encouragement and perspective, and it’s for you if you feel frustrated or confused, if you’re sorrowing or in pain, if you’ve made mistakes or are grieving, if you’re disappointed or feel as though life doesn’t make sense.
The good news is that God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people. He gives hope to the hopeless. Direction to the directionless. Help to those who need help. God is always good, all the time, and God’s plans will always prevail, even when our plans don’t.
God already knows what the solutions are. No matter what kind of disappointment or grief or pain or trouble or heartache you encounter, God always offers a new beginning, a change of heart, or a powerful spiritual turnaround. God offers the way forward, and his pathways are always good.
Your current circumstances will not get the final say in your life. God is the God of the comeback, no matter what kind of challenge you’re facing.
And your story can become a great comeback story too.
VIDEO (Sermon: “It’s Never Too Late For a Comeback”):
“Making A Comeback”
By: Jeffrey A. Johnson
If we are not living abundant lives, how do we reclaim our lives in Christ? Jesus said, in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Yet, so many Christians fail to live an abundant life; in fact, too often they are just getting by, just struggling to survive. But God has so much more for us! Many of us have sat passively and watched as the enemy of our souls has come, like a thief, stealing away our joy, killing our bodies, and destroying our families. We have lost the abundance in our lives that Christ died to give us. We allowed it to be taken from us while we watched apathetically, as though we were only spectators of our own lives-not followers of a risen, active, triumphant Christ. The time for sitting still and bemoaning our lot in life is over. God has empowered us to reclaim what we’ve lost. We can get our lives back! Get our health back! Get our minds back! Get our families back! Get our joy back! We do not have to wallow in defeat. We can make a comeback! JEFFREY A. JOHNSON, SR. is senior pastor of Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, a position he has held for over twenty years. This is a church “Where Jesus is Exalted, and the Word is Explained.” More important to him than the size of his church, the titles he holds or the places he’s been, he wants people to know that he loves Jesus. He and his wife Sharon Henry Johnson are the parents of four sons. This is his second book, following The Song of Solomon: Love, Sex and Relationships.
By: Dave Dravecky
The moment was electric and unforgettable. Less than one year after cancer surgery on Dave Dravecky’s pitching arm, the San Francisco Giants pitcher came back to take the mound once again. And won. Five days later, he won again . . . but tragically broke his arm. Then he broke his arm again during an on-field celebration after the Giant’s won the National League Championship. In Comeback, Dravecky recounts his exciting career, from the minors to winter ball, to the majors and the earthquake-halted 1989 World Series. Dravecky has met heartbreak at every turn with determination and faith. A rallying symbol for cancer patients and anyone facing hardship, Dravecky talks about the faith that has helped him through the ordeals that ended his career and threatened his life. Millions of TV fans witnessed Dave Dravecky’s unforgettable comeback. Millions more will embrace his monumental story.
“Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders Who Endured Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms”
By: Andrea Redmond
Insight from leaders who experienced major setbacks and redefined success
In tough economic times, when careers are derailed and leaders are forced to rewrite their professional plans, this book enlightens and uplifts. Comebacks features an all-star cast of ten leaders who endured setbacks-for some a public fall in the midst of media scrutiny-then reassessed and moved ahead with new purpose. Based on revealing interviews, the book presents a behind-the–headlines glimpse into the lives of leaders; how they drew upon resources, both internal and external, to move on; and the lessons that helped them redefine success. Leaders profiled include:
Jacques Nasser, former CEO of Ford Motor Co., recently appointed Chairman of BHP Billiton, the world’s largest natural resources company
Patricia Dunn, former Chair of Hewlett-Packard, vilified for her alleged role in corporate espionage only to be exonerated from all charges, today active in philanthropy
Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan), Herbert “Pug” Winokur (Enron Corp.), David Neeleman (JetBlue), and more
Redmond, a top executive recruiter, and Crisafulli, author of The House of Dimon, show how all leaders face adversity, but true leaders turn adversity into success.
“The Champion’s Comeback: How Great Athletes Recover, Reflect, and Re-Ignite”
By: Jim Afremow
Your ultimate guide to overcoming losses and injuries and achieving greatness―on and off the field.
Leading sports psychologist Jim Afremow, author of The Champion’s Mind, knows what makes good athletes great, especially when they come back to win after facing devastating injuries, tough obstacles, or seemingly insurmountable odds. Making a comeback isn’t just about raw talent or athletic ability―it’s the mental game that counts most.
In The Champion’s Comeback, he offers winning strategies for athletes of any age or skill level to get mentally psyched for competition, quickly rebound after a loss, and overcome injuries (and the fear of re-injury). Afremow explores the psychology of commitment and shows you how to develop the core confidence of repeat champions.
Featuring unique tips and advice, including guided imagery scripts, easy-to-follow mental training exercises, and motivating stories of famous “comeback” athletes, The Champion’s Comeback is the ultimate athlete’s handbook, encouraging you to not only stay in the game but also achieve greatness, no matter what.
“Comeback: The Fall & Rise of the American Automobile Industry”
By: Paul Ingrassia and Joseph B. White
In Comeback, Pulitzer Prize-winners Paul Ingrassia and Joseph B. White take us to the boardrooms, the executive offices, and the shop floors of the auto business to reconstruct, in riveting detail, how America’s premier industry stumbled, fell, and picked itself up again. The story begins in 1982, when Honda started building cars in Marysville, Ohio, and the entire U.S. car industry seemed to be on the brink of extinction. It ends just over a decade later, with a remarkable turn of the tables, as Japan’s car industry falters and America’s Big Three emerge as formidable global competitors.
Comeback is a story propelled by larger-than-life characters — Lee Iacocca, Henry Ford Ii, Don Petersen, Roger Smith, among many others — and their greed, pride, and sheer refusal to face facts. But it is also a story full of dedicated, unlikely heroes who struggled to make the Big Three change before it was too late.
“Comeback: Overcoming The Setbacks In Your Life”
By: Rick McDaniel
On the field of life, we all experience setbacks-bad decisions, job loss, divorce, health problems. Even countries around the world have experienced an economic setback due to the recession. Though we all experience setbacks, no one wants to take a step back. The good news is that a comeback is possible for anyone. Rick McDaniel will show you causes for your setbacks and lessons you can learn from them. He will help you to get ready for your comeback and guide you to the components and steps needed to make it happen. Along the way, he will share many inspiring stories of comebacks. Too many people allow their setback to be a step back. McDaniel will teach you setbacks do not control your life. If you have experienced a setback and are ready for your comeback, then this is for you.
“From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental’s Remarkable Comeback”
By: Gordon Bethune
The numerous anecdotes alone are worth the price of the book…most readers will find themselves asking why everyone doesn’t run a business as preached by the chief executive of Continental Airlines.-The Washington Post Book World
…in an age where managing seems increasingly complicated, some of Bethune’s prescriptions are refreshingly straightforward.-Business Week
From Worst to First outlines Gordon Bethune’s triumphs…about the turnaround he’s led at Continental, a perennial basket case that’s become an industry darling.-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
From Worst to First is [Gordon Bethune’s] story of Continental Airlines’ turnaround under his command…The blueprint has worked…Fortune magazine named Continental the company that has ‘raised its overall marks more than any other in the 1990s.’-The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
All of Gordon Bethune’s proceeds from this book will be donated to the We Care Trust, a nonprofit organization that assists Continental Airlines’ employees and their families in times of need.
“Greatest Comebacks in Sports (Sports’ Biggest Moments)”
By: Dustin Long
Sports are unpredictable. They’re wacky. They can be totally off-the-wall! This title highlights some of the most memorable tales and traditions from sports history and is brought to life with exciting detail. Informative sidebars offer even more stories. You can also find a glossary, additional resources, and more! This title is a must-read for any sports fan. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. SportsZone is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
“Return of the King: LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Greatest Comeback in NBA History”
By: Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin
The inside story of LeBron James’s return and ultimate triumph in Cleveland.
What really happened when LeBron James stunned the NBA by leaving a potential dynasty in Miami to come home to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers? How did the Cavs use secret meetings to put together the deal to add star Kevin Love? Who really made the controversial decision to fire coach David Blatt when the team was in first place? Where did the greatest comeback in NBA history truly begin-and end?
RETURN OF THE KING takes you onto the private planes, inside the locker-room conversations, and into the middle of the intense huddles where one of the greatest stories in basketball history took place, resulting in the Cavs winning the 2016 NBA title after trailing the Golden State Warriors three games to one.
You’ll hear from all the characters involved: the players, the executives, the agents, and the owners as they reveal stories never before told. Get the background on all the controversies, the rivalries, and the bad blood from two reporters who were there for every day, plot twist, and social media snafu as they take you through the fascinating ride that culminated in a heart-stopping Game Seven.
“Playing to Wiin: Nintendo and the Video Game Industry’s Greatest Comeback”
By: Daniel Sloan
How Nintendo reclaimed its spot at the top of one of the world’s most competitive industries.
Nintendo was once the dominant force in home video gaming–until Sony and Microsoft pummeled them with powerful new consoles. As those two giants battled each other for market share, Nintendo looked dead and buried. Then, true to its secretive, low-profile approach, Nintendo roared back into the market with its revolutionary Wii console and portable Nintendo DS system. Taking a completely different approach to gaming while embracing its creative roots, the company was back at the top of its game.
But how did a struggling Japanese family company, with its origins in nineteenth-century playing cards, come to dominate a competitive, high-tech industry? Playing to Wiin details the key succession issue for Nintendo, the development of the DS and Wii consoles, and the creation of remarkable new gaming software. All these factors combined to drive Nintendo back to the top of the gaming world.
Reveals the business strategy that led Nintendo back to the top of the gaming industry amidst fierce competition from bigger rivals.
An inspirational story of a stunning business turnaround and the hyper-creative minds behind it.
Written by an acclaimed financial and business journalist based in Tokyo
Offering a fascinating inside look at a market-leading company once left for dead, “Playing to Wiin” is a must-read for executives and leaders interested in one of the greatest business turnarounds in history.
“Baseball’s Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914”
By: J. Brian Ross
In 1914 the Boston Braves experienced the greatest come-from-behind season in baseball history. A perennially woeful team, the Braves rose from the ashes of last place—fifteen games behind on July 4th—to battle in the World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics, one of the most dominant teams of all time.Baseball fans witnessed one of sport’s most spectacular comebacks, and Boston’s National League team earned a new designation: “The Miracle Braves.”
Baseball’s Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914 follows the Boston Braves through this rollercoaster year, from their miserable start to their inspiring finish. A collection of likeable, determined, and highly unconventional ballplayers, the Braves endeared themselves to fans who rooted enthusiastically for the team. Sitting in last place midway through the season, the youthful group of castoffs and misfits, many of whom had been rejected by other major league teams, followed the lead of Walter “Rabbit” Maranville, Johnny “The Crab” Evers, and George “Big Daddy” Stallingsto turn things around. The Braves battled their way up the standings, finishing the second half of the season with a miraculous 52 and 14 record. They went on to defeat John McGraw’s powerful New York Giants for the pennant and found themselves face-to-face with the talented Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.
On the 100th anniversary of this memorable season, the 1914 Boston Braves are still remembered as one of the greatest comeback teams in baseball history. Full of timeless images and memorable characters—including a fanatically superstitious manager, a cheerfully madcap star, and an obsessively driven, yet highly sensitive captain—this book will inform and entertain baseball fans and sports historians alike.
“The Second Coming: Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age”
By: John MacArthur
Jesus Christ was very clear: One day he will return – and no one knows when. Vocal fanatics claim to know the details of his coming, causing many people to all but ignore the gospel and the good news that Jesus is coming again. God’s Word assures us of the Second Coming and commands us to know the signs of the times, to remain watchful, and to always be ready for Christ’s return – whenever it may be.
This newly redesigned book is a straightforward, in-depth exploration of the key biblical texts regarding the Second Coming: most notably, Christ’s longest and most important message about the end time, the Olivet Discourse. As you study what the Word of God says about these matters, it will stir in your heart an earnest longing for Christ’s return – as well as a certainty about how to live expectantly until He comes again.
“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)
CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
[ Mark Besh ]
[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about the evidence of the empty tomb, visit the following link:
LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v217) for MARCH 2017
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: email@example.com
TOP 10 GREATEST COMEBACKS OF ALL TIME
In choosing ten comebacks as the greatest of all-time some standard was necessary such an auspicious list. My criteria involved two elements and within each element a measurement was used. The elements were the nature of the setback and the prominence of the comeback. The measurement for each was simply the greatness of the span between the setback and the comeback. There have been many great comebacks in history. This book is devoted to the concept that there can be many more. But there are certain comebacks that simply stand apart from all others because of their true greatness.
10. Robert Downey Jr.
9. Josh Hamilton
8. Ulysses S. Grant
7. Kurt Warner
6. Lance Armstrong
5. Germany/Japan Post War
4. Buffalo Bills 1993 Playoff Game
3. 2004 Boston Red Sox
2. Abraham Lincoln
1. Jesus Christ’s Resurrection
[ Shell Harris ]
GREAT COMEBACK STORIES IN THE BIBLE
The Bible is full of people who fell short but had great comeback stories.
Moses – Don’t forget about Moses who, although a murderer, fugitive, and obscure shepherd for forty years, came back to deliver his fellow Israelites from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the borders of the promised land. Moses gave to the people the Law, which he received from the hand of the Lord, and even became known as the friend of God. If Moses made a comeback, you can too.
David – David came back from lust, adultery, and murder to many more years of effective leadership as Israel’s king. Through confession and repentance of his sin, David was restored to the fellowship with God he had previously enjoyed, and he continued to be a man after God’s own heart. If David made a comeback, you can too.
Joseph – Joseph’s story is a little different. Through no sin or fault of his own, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and endured years of false imprisonment. At all times, Joseph maintained his integrity and his faith in God. Even while he was subjected to such injustice, God was preparing him for a great future. Eventually, God caused Joseph to rise to prominence as the most powerful official in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. From this position, Joseph was instrumental in preserving the people of Egypt and the surrounding region, including his own family, through a time of great famine. When Joseph had the opportunity to take revenge on his brothers, he chose forgiveness and mercy instead, understanding that all that had happened to him was God’s way of preparing him for his destiny. If Joseph made a comeback, you can too.
Job – The Book of Job relates what is certainly one of the greatest comeback stories in all of Scripture. Job lost everything. In one day he lost his wealth, his health, and his family. All he had left was his faith in God, and that proved to be enough. God had allowed Satan to test Job’s faith and integrity to the very limit, and Job passed the test. What the devil meant for Job’s destruction, God turned to Job’s good.
In the end, God gave Job double for his trouble. He restored to Job twice what he had lost: twice the wealth and twice as many children. God also fully restored Job’s health. Through it all, Job steadfastly maintained his faith, even saying at one point, Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:
This was Job’s way of saying, “I’ve lost a lot. I didn’t know if I could make it, but with God’s help I will bounce back.” If Job made a comeback, you can too.
[ Robert (app.razorplanet.com) ]
THE GREAT COMEBACK
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea . . . heed my words.” —Acts 2:14
We like to read about comebacks—about people or companies who face near disaster and turn things around. The Ford Motor Company is an example of that. In the 1940s, a reluctance by leadership to modernize almost destroyed Ford. In fact, the government nearly took over the company lest its demise threaten the US war effort. But when Henry Ford II was released from his military duties to run the company, things turned around. Ford became one of the biggest corporations in the world.
Occasionally, we need a comeback. We need to correct wrong directions or compensate for wrong decisions. In those times, we have an example in Peter. He had failure written all over him. First, he nearly drowned when his faith faltered (Matt. 14:30). Then he said things that were so wrong Jesus called him “Satan” (16:22-23). And when Jesus needed Peter the most, he denied that he even knew Him (26:74).
But that’s not the end of the story. In the power of the Spirit, Peter made a comeback. On the Day of Pentecost, he preached and 3,000 people came to faith in Christ (Acts 2:14,41). Peter returned to effectiveness because his faith was renewed, he guarded what he said, and he stood up for Jesus.
Struggling? If Peter can come back, so can you.
Today Christ calls, “Come follow Me!”
Do not look back to yesterday;
Fresh grace He’ll give to do His will,
His joy you’ll find as you obey. —D. De Haan
[ Dave Branon – Our Daily Bread, June 2011 ]
(Parody of “Easy” by The Commodores)
It’s not about bunnies or the baskets and the eggs
But it’s Easter here tomorrow
Seems the free world, you know, they want all the candy
But Jesus saves souls from their sorrow
Yeah … Ooh
That’s why it’s Easter (oh oh oh oh)
It’s Easter on Sunday morning, yeah (oh oh oh oh)
That’s why it’s Easter (oh oh oh oh)
It’s Easter on Sunday morning
Why in the world did He shed His blood in exchange for me (yeah)
And pay my dues to save me
Everyone who wants to receive it need only believe
And I’m happy now that Christ forgave me
That’s why it’s Easter (yeah!) (oh oh oh oh)
It’s Easter on Sunday morning, yeah (oh oh oh oh)
That’s why it’s … Easter (oh oh oh oh)
It’s Easter on Sunday morning
The ones who b’lieve Christ won’t die
The ones who seek Jesus know when things are through they’ll rise
It’s totally free — Trust me
That’s why it’s Easter (oh oh oh oh)
It’s Easter on Sunday morning, yeaaah (oh oh oh oh)
That’s why it’s Easter (oh oh oh oh)
It’s Easter on Sunday morning (oh oh oh oh)
‘Cause it’s Eeeeeeeaster wooh! (oh oh oh oh)
Easter on Sunday morning – yeah (oh oh oh oh)
‘Cause it’s Easter (oh oh oh oh)
Easter on Sunday morning (oh oh oh oh)
[ ApologetiX – “Quilt” album ]
I’M ABOUT TO MAKE A COMEBACK
Why do bad things happen to good people?
The Book of Job, is one of the oldest manuscripts in the Bible, probably written before Exodus!
It tells the story about a man who’s name bares the title of this book ;a fellah named Job. Job’s story begins with a man who had everything, who lost everything, but in the end got everything (plus interest) back.
During his setback, he had three friends who were telling him how he must have done something wrong (sinned) or God wouldn’t have been punishing him by taking away everything.
One of Job’s friends by the name of : Zophar calls him to repent. Because he thinks Job is a phoney /hypocrite . . .
In Job 11:11 he tells Job that God knows deceitful men; And that He sees wickedness also.
There are a lot of people who want to compare themselves to Job, but they aren’t going through anything like Job. It’s true that we all experience setbacks but none of us to the degree that Job did.
While there are bad things that happen to good people we must realize like Job that no matter what we go through we have to have a made up mind that God……..no matter what I go through I’m gone trust you !
Job placed an unwavering trust in God during the most difficult setbacks of his life.
He said,“ Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Job 13:15
We must learn to cling to God even when it seems like we can’t find comfort from Him.
When it comes to stressful situations it puts demands on us. Not only physically but mentally. When that happens psychologist refer to this as “Stressors”. They also state that when you’re “stressed out” you tend to feel lousy, and there’s no question that extended exposure to stressful situations can have long-term negative consequences. But it’s important to understand that stress is in many ways an adaptive reaction. This is why when you’re in a threatening situation, or when someone is placing demands on you, it’s important that your body become “activated” so you can respond to the threat in the best appropriate way. Tell your neighbor,” Stress is suppose to initiate a fight or flight response in you.” I.E. It’s suppose to bring out the best in you. What Job was going through was preparing him to be able to go on the defensive and bring him out of his setback. To many people have become exhausted and not put up a resistance to the enemies attack. Your not suppose to run from what God is allowing you to go through. Your suppose to be like Job and say, ”Though He slay me yet will I trust him” (Quote John 16:33 and Read John 15:19-21; 2Timothy 3:12 say‘s “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”)
What lessons can I learn from setbacks?
1.)They should teach me that I have buoyancy: the ability to recover.
2.)They should teach me that I have persistence: the ability to hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state, or undertaking despite obstacles or warnings.
3.)They should teach me that something is about to break…I‘m not talking about a breakdown or a breakup….but I am talking about a breakthrough ……God is about to make a way out of no way!
B. Put your Trust in God!
Job 13.15 can help us turn our setbacks into comebacks because out of this scripture I learn to that I must always Trust God!
Job proclaimed that regardless what God would do (or allow to happen) to him, he would never lose faith.
Job had suffered tremendous loss at God’s permissive will for the enemy to take anything and everything but don‘t touch his life:
Job lost the three things which are considered signs of a man’s well-being.
1 He lost his wealth. (1.14-17) (Ox, camels, donkeys, sheep, servants)
2 He lost his children. (1.18-19) Sons, daughters, grandbabies
3 He lost his good health. (2.1-8) Boils from top of head to feet
Note to me:1 and 2 on the same day
Men have the tendency to curse God when any of these three things have happened to them.
Notice that Job didn’t turn from God when these happened to him.
One translation said , “God, you can kill me, but I’m not leaving you. Trusting you God is more important than living is to me.”
Job’s statement today would strike fear in the heart of many believers today because of a statement like that but we need to understand that our lives are in his hand and it aint over till God say’s,” It’s Over.”
(Give Example of What happened with Grandma)
I learned something from everything my Grandmother has gone through :
That regardless of my setback, I’ve got to keep trusting God!
That no matter what the enemy tries to take, Lord ….. . I’m going to trust you.
That no matter what I suffer with right now it‘s only going to be temporary.
I’ve learned that no matter what you do to me, Lord . . . I’m going to trust God.
I’ve learned that no matter what the doctor’s diagnosis is . . . I’m still going to trust God.
When you make a statement like that it strikes dread into the heart of the enemy. Isaiah 54:17 say’s “ No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.” I.E. No matter what stuff the enemy tries to form or fashion against you; it won’t advance, it won’t succeed or make progress.
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus picked it up and said, ”Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I.E We that make up the body of Christ, we should not be afraid or trembling in our shoes ; we should not be anxious or terrified. As a matter of fact the enemy is looking to see if he will get a response from you but always remember this, “Never let him see you sweat.”
The devil can not stop those of us in the church who have made that kind of commitment to God.
You better start telling pain, hardships, the devil, cancer, divorce, your circumstances, death, and setbacks that NOTHING can or will stop us from trusting God.
Even So Come Lord Jesus!
Bishop Charles Jones
IF CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED
(Reasoning Through the Resurrection)
[ Highlights of the article are presented below ]
From a historic Christian perspective, both the nature and truth of Christianity rest upon Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead…
Five Strands of Evidence for Jesus Christ’s Resurrection
– The empty tomb:
– The post-crucifixion appearances
– The transformation of the apostles
– The emergence of the Christian church:
– Sunday became a day of worship
Six Alternative Explanatory Hypotheses
– The Resurrection of Jesus is simply a legend or myth
– The disciples stole the body and created a hoax
– The women went to the wrong tomb
– Jesus wasn’t really dead (swoon theory)
– The followers of Jesus suffered from hallucinations
– Jesus had an identical twin brother who was separated at birth but later returned to impersonate the resurrected Christ
For all the details associated with these point, take a look at the full article here:
[ Kenneth R. Samples ]
EASTER: THE GREATEST COMEBACK EVER
Everyone loves a good comeback story. The story of Jesus is a comeback story. Easter isn’t just any comeback story, it’s The Greatest Comeback Ever. When hope was lost, when the deficit was too large, when it was all over, God did some of His very best work. He did it for Jesus, and He can do it in you.
[ Dave Stone and Kyle Idleman ]
HOW TO MAKE THE GREATEST COMEBACK OF ALL TIME
“Fall down seven times; get up eight.” – Japanese Proverb
Among the greatest stories ever told, none pulls more sweetly at the heartstrings than the one about the Comeback Kid. The fall from grace followed by the rise to glory. The hero down in the count or left in the dust, then making the come-from-behind move at the last minute, to end victoriously!
Most of the world’s greatest people—those who have achieved the pinnacle of success in their chosen fields–have known what it’s like to take a great fall. However, history remembers them because they refused to stay down. Instead, they picked themselves back up again, and kept going. Below you’ll find some remarkable comeback stories.
Here is a list of 7 Great Comeback Stories (in random order):
1. Robert Downey Jr.
Topping the list is, of course, Robert Downey Jr. His is perhaps the greatest Hollywood comeback story of all time. In the late ‘80s, Downey was a promising young actor turning in noteworthy performances in movies like Less Than Zero and Soapdish. He even earned an Oscar nomination for Chaplin in 1992.
But drugs, alcohol and jail time sidelined the actor and by 2000, it looked like his career in Hollywood was done. Downey managed to pull himself back by cleaning up and taking small roles in big films or big roles in small films. In 2008 he starred in Iron Man, one of the most successful superhero films of all time and now he is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors.
2. Lasse Virén
Lasse Virén, a Finnish police officer turned long-distance runner, entered the 1972 Summer Olympics at Munich as a dark horse. In the twelfth lap of the 10,000 meter final, Virén got tangled up with another runner and he fell. However, although most people would have stayed down, Virén got right up again and he kept running. He caught up with the leading pack after losing about 20 to 30 meters. Then, he won the race and a gold medal.
And it doesn’t end there. In those same Olympic games Virén not only won the 10,000 meter race, but he won the 5,000 meter race as well. This is known as accomplishing “the double”. Then, in the 1976 Summer Olympics celebrated in Montreal, he again won both events, coined later as the “double double”.
Just because you fall, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of the game. Get back up again, dust yourself off, and keep going.
3. Greg Louganis
Greg Louganis is to diving, what Baryshnikov is to ballet, and what Michael Jordan is to basketball. In the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Louganis won gold medals in both the springboard and the tower diving events. Then, in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the unthinkable happened: Louganis hit his head on the springboard on his ninth dive of the Olympic preliminaries; he fell clumsily into the water.
If Louganis wanted to complete the preliminaries and qualify for the finals the next day, he would have to perform another dive shortly after he hit his head. With temporary sutures in his scalp wound, just 35 minutes after hitting his head, Louganis mounted the board while the crowd that was present applauded. He then launched into a difficult dive, and executed it almost perfectly.
When he was done for the day, Louganis went to a hospital and his sutures were replaced by five mattress stitches. The next day, Louganis showed up for the finals, and he won a gold medal. A week later, in the finals of the platform competition, Louganis nailed the most difficult dive in his program and won another gold medal. He became the second athlete to win double diving gold medals in two Olympics.
Louganis overcame the fear of hitting his head on the board once again, and he kept going in spite of the pain. Today he’s still regarded by most as the best diver that has ever lived.
4. Steve Jobs
The story of Steve Jobs is one of grit and determination. Along with good friend Steve Wozniak, Jobs started Apple in his parents’ garage and saw his fledgling technology company reinvent computing. In 1977, the two Steves gave us “Apple II” – the world’s first PC complete with colour graphics and keyboard. However, the years of tremendous success gave way to troubled times.
To revive the fortunes of the company, Jobs introduced the Apple Macintosh in 1984, the first commercially success PC with a graphical user interface controlled with a mouse which sold over 400,000 devices in its first year of production. Jobs had previously convinced then-President/CEO of Pepsi Co John Scully to become Apple’s new CEO.
However, the man whom Jobs had personally handpicked for the CEO position turned against him during internal board struggles. Divested of his duties by the board of directors, Jobs resigned from Apple in 1985 and went on to found NeXT Computer, a company that specialised in educational computing. NeXT experienced moderate levels of success in the scientific and academic fields; however, Apple Computer was crumbling with falling sales and ailing fortunes. Jobs also created the computer animation company Pixar, which would later partner with Disney to create successful 3D movies such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo.
Eleven years after being ousted from the company, Apple bought NeXT Computer and re-elected Jobs to Apple’s board. Steve’s second stint at the company would not only turn Apples fortunes around but would cement his reputation as Technology’s Greatest Comeback Kid. As CEO, Jobs returned Apple to profitability cutting funding for what he deemed were useless products and concentrating on the iMac, boosting sales significantly. And we have all witnessed the recent phenomenal increase in innovative products: the iPods, the iPads and the iPhones, which along with robust sales of iMacs and MacBooks ensures over $17 billion in revenues. Jobs will always be missed not only by Apple aficionados but technology lovers the world over for his resilient genius.
5. Lance Armstrong
The Lance Armstrong comeback story has been celebrated for good reason. His comeback has inspired millions of people. His “LiveStrong” campaign in partnership with Nike has motivated thousands of people to overcome cancer and other challenges. The LiveStrong Foundation has raised over 325 million dollars for cancer research.
At age sixteen he became a pro triathlete and by nineteen he had won two national sprint course triathlon championships. Then at twenty he became the United States Amateur Cycling Champion. One year later he won his first professional race as a member of Team Motorola. At age twenty-one he became the youngest cyclist to ever win the UCI Road World Championship and by twenty-five was one of the world’s best cyclists.
However, that same year he was diagnosed with Stage Three testicular cancer. The cancer spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. Armstrong took an active role in educating himself about cancer. Armed with knowledge, support, and confidence he undertook an aggressive treatment. After undergoing surgery where the diseased testicle was removed his doctor gave him less than a forty percent chance to live. Armstrong then had his brain tumors removed and amazingly, by 1998, his cancer had gone into complete remission. With his cancer in remission Armstrong began his comeback. His workouts were legendary for their difficulty and they launched him out of his setback.
Not only did he survive cancer, but his greatest accomplishments as an athlete have come since his recovery. Before being diagnosed with cancer he had only won three stages of the Tour de France and had never won the entire race. His comeback began with a fourth place finish in a race in Spain in 1998. In 1999 he entered the Tour de France and he miraculously won it just two years after cancer surgery. As impressive as that win would be it was just the first of seven straight races that he would win. No one in history had ever won seven straight Tour de France titles and at that point the comeback was complete. After his final 2005 Tour de France victory he announced his retirement.
6. Abraham Lincoln
Many consider Lincoln to be the greatest President in the history of the United States. He led the country through its greatest moral and military crisis. He essentially saved the country from destruction and directed it toward restoration. But, he went through his fair share of troubles and failures.
Here is a timeline of his failures and his bounce backs:
1816- His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818-His mother died.
1831-Failed in business.
1832-Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832-Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833-Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834-Ran for state legislature again – won.
1835-Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836-Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838-Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840-Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843-Ran for Congress – lost.
1846-Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
1848-Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849-Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854-Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856-Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
1858-Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860-Elected president of the United States.
He had many great accomplishments that solidify his place in American history and reveal the greatness of his comeback. His Gettysburg Address is the most quoted speech in American history. The Emancipation Proclamation freed all slaves and stands as one of the greatest acts of moral leadership in history. His reelection in 1864 confirmed that his continued leadership was vital to the country. His approach and attitude toward the defeated Southern states helped reunite the nation. Without Lincoln, the United States would look very different today. What he accomplished considering his many setbacks mark his comeback as one of the greatest of all time.
7. Joshua, Son of Nun
Joshua started off quite well. He was one of Israelite spies that came back with a good report. He was the guy that lead the Israelites to cross the Jordan and to defeat the city of Jericho. However, after the whole Achan and Ai (they got demolished by a small city) situation, the Israelites’ reputation among other nations began to diminish, in that, the surrounding nations weren’t so fearful of them anymore. Then, Joshua’s big mistake came when he made a covenant with one of these foreign nations (he was instructed by God, not to). Yes, he was tricked into it, but ignorance cannot be an excuse. Joshua should have taken the opportunity to ask for more guidance and counsel. Anyway, rather ignoring the situation or making the situation worse by breaking the covenant with the Gibeonites, he honored the covenant. Joshua chose to humble himself and to choose to live in integrity, right now…ASAP. Long story short, God made the sun stand still and Joshua went on to win the battle against the other nations that banded against him. So, his present obedience mattered much more than his past disobedience. Due to his quick change of mind (repentance), God accelerated his destiny and their “no way out” became their best way out.
8. The Greatest Comeback of all time? (I’ll get back to that in a bit)
Ways To Make A Great Comeback
We all mess up from time to time, that is to be expected. But, how we respond to when we mess up is what counts. Here are some tips on how to make the greatest comeback of all time when you screw up:
1. Don’t Cover it Up
Whether you spot your own slip-up or someone else brings it to your attention, there’s only one thing to do when the mistake is discovered: own up. Honesty goes a long way, but trying to cover it up—or worse, doing something shadier to cover the cover up, will usually come back to bite you. Compounding a mistake with another mistake will lead away from any sort of redemption. And the sooner you take action, the better: Dragging your feet probably won’t fix things, but taking action immediately might. More importantly, describe how you’ll avoid making a similar mistake in the future. You can start wrong, but you can end up right.
2. Take Ownership of Your Mistake.
You’re no longer in grade school. Trying to blame other people makes you look unprofessional, diminishing the opinion that others have of you. Conversely (and paradoxically), taking responsibility and admitting your mistake can win you respect. The people around you might end up thinking, “You know, even though [your name] messed up, it took a lot of character to admit it. [Your name] is a real stand-up person, and someone who can be counted on.”
If you want to be a leader, you need to know how to take responsibility for all your actions, even the wrong ones. According to Justin Menkes’ book “Better Under Pressure,” truly great leaders don’t blame others when things go wrong. They instead have a high “sense of agency,” which is “the degree to which people attribute their circumstances and the outcomes they experience to being within their own control.”
3. Fix it if you can, and tell your leader.
Don’t be a “quiet fixer.” Mistakes often have side effects, and pretending that it didn’t happen is dangerous. In this Harvard Business Review interview, former Toyota chairman Katsuaki Watanabe stated, “Hidden problems are the ones that become serious threats eventually. If problems are revealed for everyone to see, I will feel reassured. Because once problems have been visualized, even if our people didn’t notice them earlier, they will rack their brains to find solutions to them.”
4. Reflect on the mistake.
Think about what caused it, and what you did that contributed to the situation. You can’t learn anything from external factors, so forget about them (see #2: you are building a high sense of agency). What can you do differently? This may be easier to do when some time has passed, especially if the mistake and its aftermath were particularly painful or embarrassing. Consider former US Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. Widely vilified for his role in the Vietnam War, it took him 30 years before he wrote a memoir, In Retrospect, in which he finally came to terms with the consequences of his decisions.
5. Address the root cause.
If you systematically reflect on mistakes, you will realize there are patterns in your performance that contribute to these errors. And once you realize that, you are well on the way to fixing that pattern. For example, when I was in high school and university, I had a hard time going to class, missed many appointments, and often showed up late. One day, God really spoke to me about time and my stewardship on time. He showed me that if I keep people waiting or miss an appointment (for no good reason) I am dishonoring the other person and I am improperly stewarding their time. This really convicted me and since then, I do whatever it takes to make all my appointments and to be on time. I have three calendar apps, and four alarm clock apps, so I never miss an appointment and I am never late (I am not perfect at this, but I try my best).
6. Stop Looking Back.
Learning from the past can help prevent repeat mistakes. However, don’t confuse learning from the past with dwelling on the past. The latter involves endless self-recrimination and often self-pity, neither of which helps resolve the situation. If you find yourself dwelling on the mistake in this manner, stop it right now.
Adopting these practices may not make mistakes any less embarrassing, but it will help prevent disasters and ensure that you don’t make the same mistake twice. And won’t that allow you to sleep a little easier?
AND THE GREATEST COMEBACK KID OF ALL TIME…Jesus Christ
Jesus was the most important person who ever lived. His life, death and resurrection literally changed the course of human history. He experienced the ultimate setback and he had the ultimate comeback.
Jesus began his life miraculously having been born of a virgin. Jesus was unique and special, which was recognized by the religious scholars of his day while he was still young. Jesus launched his public ministry when He was thirty years old. He traveled throughout his region doing good, healing the sick and teaching God’s message. He preformed many miracles and created quite a stir amongst many religious leaders.
Jesus predicted that the Kingdom of God would come but it would not be an earthly kingdom or a political revolution. Rather Jesus would become the leader of each individual’s life and establish His teachings as the way to live life. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. However, He was viewed with suspicion and disdain by the religious leaders of his day. Those religious leaders convinced one of Jesus’ disciples to betray Him.
Jesus was arrested and brought before the Roman authorities for punishment. Jesus was guilty of no crime, yet he was crucified. Crucifixion was the most painful and horrendous death a person could be sentenced to in the ancient world. The hands and feet were nailed to intersecting wooden beams and then the cross was lifted up and placed in the ground. Jesus also had a crown of thorns placed on His head and His side was pierced with a sword. The entire time He was on the cross He was mocked, ridiculed and spat upon.
Finally, Jesus died. There can be no greater setback than to be cruelly and mercilessly killed. Jesus was buried in a cave. Jesus died on a Friday and some women went to the cave on Sunday morning and found the stone in the front of the tomb had been rolled away. Jesus was not dead, but had risen from the grave! The greatest comeback in history had taken place, a dead person had come back to life – death had been beaten. His resurrection proved His victory over sin and death.
Anyone who confesses their sins to Jesus will be forgiven and granted eternal life. Thus, because of Jesus’ comeback any person can have their greatest personal comeback. The setback of mistakes, failures and sins can be forgiven. The comeback of inner peace, purpose and meaning in life is now available. We can live our lives in a personal relationship with God experiencing His plan for our lives and we can spend eternity in heaven with Him after this life is over. Thanks to Jesus, life’s greatest comeback is available to you any time you choose.
So, you gonna look back or you gonna make a comeback?
[ Emily Lim ]
THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
This message will defend one of the central claims of the Christian faith – the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
[ R.C. Sproul ]
Articles, sermons, conferences, media, and devotionals from Ligonier Ministries (The Teaching Fellowship of R.C. Sproul) about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the literal physical bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is so critical to the Christian gospel that all four gospel writers – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – give us an account of the resurrection and provide for us multiple evidences of its reality. The resurrection is a historical fact, as the Lord Jesus was a historical person, died an actual historical death, rose from the dead in real history and in physical form, though a glorified physical form. This is so critical to Christianity that the evidences are piled up by the gospel writers, and then even enhanced by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians, chapter 15. [ more… ]
[ John MacArthur ]
QUESTION & ANSWER
Why did Jesus stay around for 40 days after He came back from the grave, instead of going immediately into heaven?
One reason Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days after His resurrection instead of ascending immediately into heaven was to demonstrate to His followers that He truly was alive.
After all, they knew the Roman authorities had put Jesus to death, and that His body had been taken down from the cross and sealed in a tomb. And when that happened, they were filled with despair and fear; many even went into hiding. They had believed Jesus was the promised Messiah – and now their hopes were shattered. They had forgotten His promise that He would return from the grave, and they felt they had no future.
But when Jesus appeared among them after the resurrection, their lives were changed. The greatest miracle in all history had just taken place: Jesus Christ was alive! During those 40 days, He appeared to various groups of disciples, proving beyond doubt to them that he had been raised from the dead by the power of God. Over two decades later, the Apostle Paul wrote that “he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Another reason, however, why Jesus stayed on earth then was to teach His disciples, and prepare them for the task of telling the world about Christ. Is your faith in the risen Christ, and are you seeking to share His message of salvation with others?
[ Billy Graham ]
THE GREATEST COMEBACK IN HISTORY
Week 4 of the sermon series using the “Risen” movie as its basis. It explores that facts of the crucifixion and Resurrection.
“HOW CHRIST PERFORMED THE OFFICE OF REDEEMER IN PROCURING OUR SALVATION. THE DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION OF CHRIST”
This chapter contains four leading heads—I. A general consideration of the whole subject, including a discussion of a necessary question concerning the justice of God and his mercy in Christ, sec. 1–4. II. How Christ fulfilled the office of Redeemer in each of its parts, sec. 5–17. His death, burial, descent to hell, resurrection, ascension to heaven, seat at the right hand of the Father, and return to judgment. III. A great part of the Creed being here expounded, a statement is given of the view which ought to be taken of the Creed commonly ascribed to the Apostles, sec. 18. IV. Conclusion, setting forth the doctrine of Christ the Redeemer, and the use of the doctrine, sec. 19. [ more… ]
[ John Calvin – “Institutes of the Christian Religion” – Book 4, Chapter 16 ]
“ANOTHER DIED FOR US”
(Parody of “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen)
Ooh … let’s go!
We’ve got a story from Galilee
With a twist you may not know
Ain’t no doubt that it sounds like a dream
But we know that it was so
Not a legend, hey
Not a radical myth
Not a hand-me-down religious belief
I’ve got a story if you’ll just listen
I won’t have to repeat
Another one died for us
Another one died for us
There was none to get it done
So the Father sent his Son
Another died for us! Hey!
Hey, you’re gonna get the truth
Another one died for us
There was a king, you know, He came along
2,000 years ago
He gave up everything that He had
And left His heavenly throne
They were happy – when He finally died
They thought He was clearly beat
Now, it’s the third day, the King is risen
And we’re out on the street
Another one died for us
Another one died for us
There was none to get it done
So the Father sent his Son
Another one died for us
Hey, all you destitute
Another one died for us
Oh, preach it!
Dyin’ for us!
I was adopted!
Another one died for us
Another one died for us — Ow!
Another one died for us — Hey, hey)
Another one died for us
Ooh no doubt
Gimme three days, and I’ll return again
The king said to the crowd
I’ll be beaten and mistreated but I’m cheatin’ death
I’ll be back safe and sound, yeah
Well, Christ said it – and it really came true
I’m standin’ on my own belief
Out of the Lord’s way! The King is risen!
We need to get it out on the street – ohhh yeah!
Another one died for us
Another one died for us
There was none to get it done
So the Father sent his Son
Another died for us! Yeah!
Hey, gonna get the truth
Another one died for us
Ay, hey, hey
[ ApologetiX- “Unconditional Releases” album ]
A VERY ROUGH GUIDE TO CALVIN’S THEOLOGY ON RESURRECTION
The location of the Reformer’s treatment of the resurrection within the structure of the Institutes is important. The chapter on the resurrection is found at the end of Book III, which constitutes a massive exposition of, “The mode of obtaining the grace of Christ. The benefits it confers and the effects resulting from it.” According to Calvin, the resurrection hope is the grand fulfillment of salvation in Christ. The goal of God’s redemptive work is that the elect are conformed to the image of the risen, glorified Jesus. In placing his treatment of the resurrection at this point in the Institutes, Calvin emphases that the resurrection of the body is the crowning benefit that believers will receive from the grace of Christ. This is “the prize of our high calling” (III:25:1.)
For Calvin, the resurrection of the body is a deeply practical doctrine. The Lord Jesus has conquered death. Even now, believers sit with him in the heavenly places. In the midst of life’s trials and difficulties, we are to attend to the great Christian hope that, “When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.”(Colossians 3:4). This hope will steel us to stand firm in the faith, steadfast to the end. We are raise our eyes from the passing things of this life and to fix them on the risen Christ. Reflection on the resurrection hope is absolutely vital for growth in godliness,
“Wherefore, he alone has made solid progress in the gospel who has acquired the habit of meditating continually on a blessed resurrection.” (III:25:1).
[ Note: Seven part series:
[ Guy Davies ]
“DIED AND ROSE”
(Parody of “China Grove” by Doobie Brothers)
When the Son come down He was deep within the ground surrounded by a giant stone
And it’s no surprise that on the Sabbath day all His pals stayed home
But things were all about to change and they never were the same
Well, we’re talkin’ cause He died and rose — Lord, died and rose!
Well, their leader, Simon Peter, and John the Apostle, they took a walk to the tomb
And the Gospel came alive when they arrived and they found an empty room
But they had forgotten His claim that He’d resurface again
Well, we’re talkin’ ’cause He died and rose — Lord, died and rose!
Then He came when the group met Sunday — They’d locked the doors and shut the room
But standin’ right among them was the man they called Lord
You just should have seen the look in their eyes!
But Thomas would doubt it for eight more days
Till Jesus came when he was there—He just took one look and he believed!
[ ApologetiX – “Hits: The Road” album ]
WHAT IS THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST?
Answer: The second coming of Jesus Christ is the hope of believers that God is in control of all things, and is faithful to the promises and prophecies in His Word. In His first coming, Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem, just as prophesied. Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies of the Messiah during His birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. However, there are some prophecies regarding the Messiah that Jesus has not yet fulfilled. The second coming of Christ will be the return of Christ to fulfill these remaining prophecies. In His first coming, Jesus was the suffering Servant. In His second coming, Jesus will be the conquering King. In His first coming, Jesus arrived in the most humble of circumstances. In His second coming, Jesus will arrive with the armies of heaven at His side.
The Old Testament prophets did not make clearly this distinction between the two comings. This can be seen in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7 and Zechariah 14:4. As a result of the prophecies seeming to speak of two individuals, many Jewish scholars believed there would be both a suffering Messiah and a conquering Messiah. What they failed to understand is that there is only one Messiah and He would fulfill both roles. Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant (Isaiah chapter 53) in His first coming. Jesus will fulfill the role of Israel’s deliverer and King in His second coming. Zechariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7, describing the second coming, look back to Jesus being pierced. Israel, and the whole world, will mourn for not having accepted the Messiah the first time He came.
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the angels declared to the apostles, “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:11). Zechariah 14:4 identifies the location of the second coming as the Mount of Olives. Matthew 24:30 declares, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” Titus 2:13 describes the second coming as a “glorious appearing.”
The second coming is spoken of in greatest detail in Revelation 19:11-16, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
[ Got Questions ]
SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
The second coming is soon. In fact, Jesus promised His disciples that He would come again. John 14:1-3 says, “Let not your heart be troubled…In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Jump to the following sections of this article:
– When is Jesus coming back?
– Why is Jesus taking so long to come back?
– Warnings about the second coming of Jesus?
– Will Jesus come back secretly?
– How should we live while we wait?
– How will Jesus come back?
– Will the angels come back with Jesus?
– Do the righteous go to heaven?
– Are the wicked destroyed by Christ’s coming?
– When will we get immortal bodies?
-Why is Jesus coming back?
THE SECOND COMING: WHAT IS IT?
The Second Coming is when Jesus Christ will return to earth in fulfillment of His promises and to fulfill the prophecies made about Him. Jesus Himself promised, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). Revelation 19:11-12 proclaims this about the Second Coming, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.”
Those who witnessed Christ’s ascension into heaven after his death and resurrection heard the angels declare in Acts 1:11, “Men of Galilee…why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” The Second Coming is the literal return of Jesus Christ to earth as King in power and glory to rule for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6).
The Old Testament prophets did not seem to fully understand this distinction between the two comings of Jesus (His birth and His Second Coming) as seen in Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; and Zachariah 14:4. Those who argue that Jesus was not the Messiah because He did not fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, fail to take into account the Second Coming of Christ, in which He will fulfill all the prophecies about the Messiah. Christ’s first coming was to stand in our place and receive the penalty exacted for sin. His Second Coming will defeat sin for all eternity.
The second coming should also not be confused with the event referred to as the Rapture. The Rapture refers to a time when Jesus Christ will come to remove all believers from the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54). The church holds many positions on the rapture, but the Second Coming is undisputed. The Second Coming is the event when Jesus Christ returns to the earth to defeat evil and establish His reign of justice and peace.
The Second Coming – Why is it important?
Foremost of all, belief in the Second Coming of Christ is important because it is clearly what the Bible teaches. To doubt the reality of the Second Coming is to doubt the reliability and validity of God’s Word. Second, the Second Coming is important because Jesus Himself promised it. If Jesus was wrong about the Second Coming, how can we trust anything else He taught? The Second Coming of Christ is our hope and confidence that God is in control of all things and is faithful to His Word and His promises. Titus 2:13, “…while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
The Second Coming is also important because it will come at the time when the world is most in need of a righteous King. Revelation chapters 6-18 describe the end times prior to the Second Coming of Christ. The world will be devastated, millions of people will perish, and the most evil person in all history will be ruler of the entire world. The Second Coming of Christ puts all this to an end. Revelation 19:15-16 says, “Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
The Second Coming – When is it?
Perhaps no event in the history of the world has been more anticipated than the Second Coming. Every generation of believers, including believers in the New Testament, has strongly believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 tells us, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.” Some are mistakenly frightened that they have missed the Second Coming. Others doubt that it will ever occur, “They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). So, we must avoid both extremes: (1) believing that the Second Coming has already occurred, and (2) believing that the Second Coming will never occur.
Many Bible teachers have made guesses as to when the Rapture and Second Coming will occur. They have all been incorrect. The Bible declares, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). The Bible describes several events which must occur before the Second Coming (Matthew 24:4-29; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation chapters 6-18). So, we are to anticipate the Second Coming, but have a biblical understanding of it. We are not to set dates and times, but live our lives as if it could happen any day, any moment. Matthew 25:19-21, “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them…His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'”
Are you ready for the Second Coming of Christ?
“EASTERN STANDARD TIME”
(Parodies of popular songs)
[ Entire Album ]
(Parody of “Rosanna” by Toto)
2. One of These Guys
(Parody of “One of These Nights” by The Eagles)
3. I’ll Prepare for You
(Parody of “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts)
4. Although None Could Watch an Hour
(Parody of “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix)
5. Last Night
(Parody of “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam)
6. Too Much Grime on My Hands
(Parody of “Too Much Time on My Hands” by Styx)
7. I Have to Die First
(Parody of “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor)
8. Too Wicked for Paradise
(Parody of “Two Tickets to Paradise” by Eddie Money)
9. Cemetery Came Alive
(Parody of “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind)
10. Huge Slumber Party
(Parody of “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon)
(Parody of “Macarena” by Los Del Rio)
12. One Headline
(Parody of “One Headlight” by The Wallflowers)
(Parody of “Shambala” by Three Dog Night)
(Parody of “Cars” by Gary Numan)
15. Didn’t Just Die
(Parody of “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney & Wings)
16. Died and Rose
(Parody of “China Grove” by The Doobie Brothers)
17. You May Be Bright
(Parody of “You May Be Right” by Billy Joel)
[ For more info, or to purchase this album, visit the ApologetiX web site:
“You hear about how many fourth quarter comebacks that a guy has and I think it means a guy screwed up in the first three quarters.”
[ Peyton Manning ]
“I’m always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I’ve been.”
[ Billie Holiday ]
“There is nothing as sweet as a comeback, when you are down and out, about to lose, and out of time.”
[ Anne Lamott ]
“Fall down seven times; get up eight.”
[ Japanese Proverb ]
“1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given”
[ Nicky Gumbel ]
“While the resurrection promises us a new and perfect life in the future, God loves us too much to leave us alone to contend with the pain, guilt and loneliness of our present life.”
[ Josh McDowell ]
“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
[ Martin Luther ]
“Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.”
[ Ravi Zacharias ]
“Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but ‘I shall rise.’”
[ Phillips Brooks ]
“The best news of the Christian gospel is that the supremely glorious Creator of the universe has acted in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to remove every obstacle between us and himself so that we may find everlasting joy in seeing and savoring his infinite beauty.”
[ John Piper ]
“Few people seem to realize that the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone to a worldview that provides the perspective to all of life.”
[ Josh McDowell ]
“The foundation of our religion is a basis of fact – the fact of the birth, ministry, miracles, death, resurrection by the Evangelists as having actually occurred, within their own personal knowledge.”
[ Simon Greenleaf ]
“The most casual reader of the New Testament can scarcely fail to see the commanding position the resurrection of Christ holds in Christianity. It is the creator of its new and brighter hopes, of its richer and stronger faith, of its deeper and more exalted experience.”
[ Edward McKendree Bounds ]
“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”
[ Timothy J. Keller ]
“Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.”
(Epitaph for Joy Davidman)
[ C.S. Lewis ]
“[The] resurrection of Christ is the most joyful event that ever came to pass; because hereby Christ rested from the great and difficult work of purchasing redemption, and received God’s testimony, that it was finished. The death of Christ was the greatest and most wonderful event that ever came to pass; but that has a great deal in it that is sorrowful. But by the resurrection of Christ, that sorrow is turned into joy. The Head of the church, in that great event, enters on the possession of eternal life; and the whole church is, as it were, begotten again to a lively hope, 1 Pet. 1:3. Weeping had continued for a night, but now joy cometh in the morning.”
[ Jonathan Edwards ]
“The resurrection is a fact better attested than any event recorded in any history, whether ancient or modern.”
[ Charles Spugeon ]
“And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here.”
[ Saint Augustine ]
Three guys are talking about what they want said at their funerals. The first guy said, “I want them to say he was a great guy.” The second guy said, “I want them to say he was a wonderful husband and a great dad.” The third guy though for a moment and then said, “I want them to say, ‘Hey, look! He’s moving!’”
[ Author unknown ]
Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!
“For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.”
[ John 3:16-17 ].
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.
><((((‘> ·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·..><((((‘> ·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.. ><((((‘>