Sunday Sermon: The King is Coming

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I’m sure that I don’t have to spend a lot of time this morning trying to convince you that we live in a day of great turmoil. Whether it’s ISIS in the Middle East, a nation like Greece that is about to go belly-up, or the many troubles within our own nation, we live in a time of trouble. You already know that and so I’m not going to waste our time this morning by focusing on the problems. Instead I’m going to focus on the hope God offers to us. Titus 2:13 …we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ… NIV What is our hope? Our hope is the promise that Jesus is coming again! Do you know what is the last prayer spoken in the Bible? “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20) Christians look to the end of the world with hope. Why? It’s because we know that the same God who was in control in the beginning, will still be in control in the end. Peter writes- 2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. There are several reasons why we as Christians can look to the end of the world with hope:

1) We have hope because understand that the world as we know it today is not going to last forever. God has something planned for us. One day there is going to be a new heaven and a new earth.

2) We have hope because we understand that God’s new earth is going to be filled with His righteousness. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like when there’s nothing wrong or bad? The news media will be put out of business because there won’t be anything bad to report.

3) We have hope be we understand  that God is going to dwell with us in this new world. Today we walk by faith and not by sight. In that day we will see and know everything completely, even as God sees and knows everything completely.

4) We have hope because we understand that Jesus, our Lord and Savior is coming again to take us home.

Paul calls all of this our ‘blessed hope.’ Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ… Some Christians think that it is a waste of time to study End Time prophecy. They conclude that whatever is going to happen is going to happen and therefore we should be focused only on the immediate. However, consider this:

Prophecies concerning the second coming of Christ outnumber prophecies concerning His first coming – 8 to 1

There are nearly 2,000 references in the Bible regarding Christ’s second coming

The second coming of Christ is spoken of in over half of the Old Testament books and in nearly 90% of the New Testament writings

Jesus made many references to His return

The second coming of Christ is second only to the subject of salvation in the New Testament

What does this tell us? It tells us that Christ’s second coming is a big deal to God. Let me read Peter’s words to you once again. 2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Carefully study the New Testament church and you will discover that the hope of the soon coming of Christ was a major driving force behind the work and energy of the early church. My message this morning is very simple. I want to answer what I believe are three very important questions:

1) What is the Second Coming of Christ?

2) Why is it Important?

3) How Should We Respond to It?

I. What is the Second Coming of Christ?

A. Christ’s First Coming 

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman…

Two thousand years ago God did an amazing thing. God sent His Son to this world to be born as a baby. Why did God do this? We read from the book of Hebrews-

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

Through His human birth, Jesus received a human body. On the inside He remained as God. But on the outside, He became a man. He was the God-man: (God on the inside and man on the outside). Why was this necessary?

In regards to the rest of humanity, the Bible says – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) In other words, we all have failed God is some way. We all have sinned against Him.

Because we have sinned, we are incapable of having a relationship with God who is sinless.How then can sinful man ever be brought back into a right relationship with God? Someone had to bridge the gap. There had to be someone who could take man with one and and God with the other and bring the two together again. The Bible word for this is ‘reconciliation.’ The Bible says that God has ‘reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…’ (2 Cor 5:18)

We know that Jesus was crucified on a cross. Why? Was it for some crime He had done? The Bible says that Jesus died on the cross in our place, so that God could pour out upon Him the punishment we deserve, and thus we could be forgiven. Jesus described His 1st Advent as this –

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

B. Christ’s Second Advent

What were the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended back to heaven? “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) In other words, go into all the world and explain to people they are alienated from God because of their sin. Tell them that I have died on the cross for their sins and through faith in Me, they can be forgiven and receive eternal life.

Recently Tammy and I had the opportunity to be at the Billy Graham Training Center in Ashville, NC. Among the many pieces of memorabilia displayed there is a picture of Billy Graham preaching in Seoul, Korea. There are 1.1 million people in that picture. It’s unbelievable. As Tammy and I were a part of tour, a Korean woman spoke up and said, “I was there that day!” “Where?” the tour guide asked. The woman then walked up to that picture and pointed to the area where she was standing. I think that we all had tears in our eyes as we proclaimed, “Praise God!”

Over the last 2,000 years, millions have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. But unfortunately, millions haven’t. One day, this same Jesus who died on the cross is going to return again to this earth. What will be His mission this time? It will be to begin a process of judgment upon all those who have rejected Him and His love.

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

1. His Appearance

If I handed out blank sheets of paper today and asked you to draw me a sketch of Jesus, what would you draw? I’m sure that most of us would draw a man in a robe with long hair and a beard. We would draw that because that’s the image we get of Jesus when He came the first time to this earth. But that’s nothing like how the Bible describes Him at His second coming.

1. His Majesty

One thing that stands out to me is His majesty. The Bible says that He will return riding a white stallion. The Bible says that when Jesus rode into Jerusalem just before His crucifixion, He did so on a donkey. Secondly note that He will be wearing many crowns. There are two Greek words in the Bible translated as crown. One word is ‘stephanos’ which is the victor’s crown. During the ancient Grecian games it was the crown someone received when they won the race. The other word is ‘diadem.’ A little while ago we say – “Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.” The diadem is the crown of royalty. Thirdly note what is embroidered on the His robe – “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

2. His Might

Notice also His might. The Bible says that His eyes were as a flame of fire. What does that mean? Because Jesus is God, He knows everything there is to know. The big word for that is omniscient which means all-knowing. Therefore, when Jesus looks upon us, His complete knowledge of us will penetrate into our very deepest being. Today there is a lot of debate over what is sin and what isn’t sin. Many believe that each of us have the right to make that decision for ourselves. But the Bible says that there is but one source of truth and that truth comes from God. Therefore when God looks upon us through the eyes of truth, there will be no question or debate. Our works will either be righteous and holy in His sight, or they will be wicked and sinful.

Notice also that a sharp sword protrudes out of His mouth. Is this literal? Will Jesus actually have a sword coming out of His mouth? I don’t think so. This is symbolic. If it’s symbolic, what is it symbolizing? According to the Bible, what is the sword of God? It’s His Word. The Word of God, or the Bible, is the sword of the Spirit. Concerning itself the Bible says –

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ESV

Here again is a reference to the power of God’s truth. God will judge His enemies based upon truth.

Thirdly we see that He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. What’s that all about? One of the reasons we have so much confusion in this world today is because we have been deceived into believing that there is no such thing as truth or absolutes. The big word for it is ‘anarchy.’ Today we are living in a world of growing anarchy. What is anarchy? Oxford Dictionary defines anarchy as: {a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority}. In other words it is being out of control because no one or nothing is in control. There are no boundaries and therefore we are living in chaos where every man does that which is right in his own eyes. We all believe that we have the freedom to do whatever we want but the problem occurs when your freedom to do what you want violates my freedom to do what I want. Everything is a violation of my constitutional rights. The only problem is – according to whose interpretation? But when Jesus returns, there will not be anarchy. Actually it will be a theocracy. What is a theocracy? A theocracy is when God rules. I don’t know about you, but that’s all right with me. I believe that the Creator is the only one capable of ruling His creation.                                                                                                                                                        

3. His Mission

What is Christ’s mission at His second coming? At His first coming, Christ’s mission was to make a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and restored back to favor with God. But at His second coming, Christ’s mission is to judge those who have rejected Him. The Bible says –

“…he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

What is wrath? When the Bible uses the word wrath in reference to God, it means more than anger. The wrath of God is more than God having a bad day. It is God vindicating Himself against those who have not only rebelled against Him, but who have also rejected His love.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth… NASB

Why is it important that Jesus return again in order to deal with our rebellion? Without the return of Christ, mankind would eventually destroy themselves and all that God has created. That is not just some biblical philosophy. Right now there are scientists from around the world who believe that mankind is only 3 minutes away from midnight. Even with all of our technology and advancement, we haven’t gotten better. If you listen to the news it appears that we’re getting worse. Why? It’s because man still has a sinful heart. If God allowed mankind to go on and on, we would never get any better. There would be no hope. Yet there is hope. Jesus is coming again and He is going to bring an end to sin. He is going to create a new heaven and a new earth wherein righteousness will reign.

II.  Why is the Second Coming of Christ Important?

Why is it important that Christ come again? The Bible says that after Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord drove them out of the Garden of Eden into a world of filled with thorns and thistles. Since the beginning of time, man has struggling with the consequences of his sin. Today we live in a world anarchy. What is anarchy? The word anarchy refers to a state of disorder due to the absence or non-recognition of authority. We live in a world today where everyman does that which is right in his own eyes. The result is, the world is not getting better; it’s getting worse. Even with all the advancements in science and technology, man is evil. Why? It’s because man has an evil heart. There will not be peace until there is Theocracy. What is theocracy? Theocracy is when God rules. Only when the Creator is in full charge of His creation will there be peace and order. Only then will mankind find true happiness.

III. How Should We Respond to the Second Coming of Christ?

Shortly after WWII, a group of scientists got together and established what they call the Dooms Day Clock. This is not a literal clock, but rather a symbolic indicator of how close we are to the world coming to an end. How depressing it would be to get up every day and go to work trying to analyze how close we are to some sort of catastrophic event that will bring the world to an end. In 2014 the clock was set at 5 minutes till midnight. Today it is set to 3 minutes till midnight. Mankind believes that we are edging closer and closer to the end of the world.

One of the greatest portions of scripture concerning how man should respond to the fact that Jesus is coming again is found in 2 Peter.

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

A. A Day of Salvation and Grace

First of all Peter tells us that we should recognize that today is a day of salvation and grace. Today God is holding back His wrath in order to give mankind an opportunity to be saved. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and find eternal life.

B. A Day of Judgment and Justice

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Today is a day of salvation and grace. But there is coming a day of judgment and justice. The Bible says –

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Why will the nations of the earth mourn when they see Jesus? It’s because they  will have to stand before Him and give an account for why they have rejected Him.

C. A Day of Resolve & Commitment

2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Do you believe what I have shared with you this morning? Do you believe that Jesus is coming again? Do you believe that this old world is not going to last forever and that one day God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth? Do you believe that all those who have received Jesus as their savior are going to spend eternity with Him?  Do you believe this? If so, how is your belief impacting your life? Peter tells us that it should impact us in several ways:

1. It Should Give us the Resolve to Holy and Godly

2. It Should Give Us the Vision to See That This World is Not All There Is

3. It Should Give us the Hope of One Day – Being With Our Savior

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