#2 Jesus Is Coming
We began last week by stating the purpose of the book of Revelation: that it is the unveiling, the revelation, the revealing of Jesus Christ in all of His glory! As we continue we will see many glorious, wonderful and sometimes terrifying things. But our Gracious Father wants us to know the things that are written in this book. Jesus told John in verse (19) “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. And what is written here was written for our good, for our edification, for our growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants. This book contains things which (John has) seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. Verse 19 of chapter 1 speaks of the things which must soon (shortly, quickly, speedily, or suddenly) take place; When? Only God knows the day and the hour of the return of Christ and of the end of the age! This is one of the secret things that belongs to the Lord and we don’t have this information!
But what we do know is that every event that happens on this planet: in this universe, in all of God’s creation does so according to God’s will, exactly when He wants: in His time. But there are always those who hate God: who deny His existence and who rail at His children with great vehemence. They are mockers of the truth. they deny our only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because His existence would infringe on their sinful lifestyles. I would like us to consider a passage in (1Pet3:3-15) which speaks of sinful man and His hatred of God and of their denial of a creator in any form whatever.
Of such people Peter wrote when he said: Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” This is one argument that sinful man always makes. They want to see Jesus but not because they believe. They want you to prove that He exists: that is, scientific laboratory type proof. And if you can’t call Him out of the air then you are one of those people who walk around talking to imaginary friends. You are one of those religious nuts who cling to a crutch because you can’t face reality. And these mockers are like the curiosity seekers that followed Jesus around during His earthly ministry. Those people didn’t believe in Him either. They just wanted to see a show.
Sinful man is just like this. He wants to be entertained and there are churches today that cater to sinful man’s desires. Sinful man wants to see Jesus because He wants to be entertained. But what He doesn’t realize is that once Jesus appears, they are forever lost. Once Jesus comes back it is the end of the age and it’s sheep and goats time. Because they are blind to the truth of the scriptures they scoff at those who say “Now is the time: Today is the day of salvation.” The line of reasoning that goes on in their minds is this: I don’t need a savior. I don’t need anyone. I am self sufficient. I am self confident. I am the master of my own destiny.
But as Peter says, they are fools 5 “For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.” I was quite fascinated to see a documentary that is now being shown on PBS which speaks of a “prehistoric flood”. Scientists are now acknowledging a flood of global proportions but they still will not bow before the God who sent that flood. The truth of the matter is that they cannot. God does not fit into their preconceived scientific “theories”. That is a key word here. Now consider this: a theory is merely an idea, a suggestion, an assumption, a guess. When ever paleontologists speak of prehistoric men or animals they always punctuate their statements with “may have, could have, possibly have been like…” And many people have based their lives, staked their claim of existence and rest all of their hopes and dreams on the “may have, could have, possibly have been like” GUESSES from these “knowledgeable men”.
Now there were two men in Pilgrims Progress whose names were “Formalist, and Hypocrisy who are great examples of modern sophisticated man with all of his self this’s and self that’s: and with all of his guesses and may haves. These men had their own way of doing things and didn’t care one bit about Gods righteous law. They had a theory, a plan, an idea that they thought was just as good as anything God could come up with. They proved their foolishness and their darkened minds and their futile imaginations by thumbing their noses at God’s Law and His provision for salvation. Instead of going in at the narrow gate they came tumbling over the wall and entered the path to which Christian was on. But there is only one way to the Celestial City! Small is the gate and narrow is the path that leads to life and only a few find it.
These men were masquerading as believers but in reality they were following after the fanciful guesswork of men. When they came to the hill called “Difficulty” they didn’t like what they saw. Difficulty didn’t fit into their plans. So they decided to find another path: “a better way.” They each guessed that their way was right. And they staked their lives on their guesses! Formalist chose to turn to the path that led to the left which took him in to a dark forest. He didn’t know that these woods he was entering were called DANGER! Entering there he lost his way forever! Hypocrisy guessed that the path that led to the right was the right way to go. This path was full of holes and hummocks. It was called DESTRUCTION and in this place Hypocrisy stumbled and fell and rose no more! Such is the way that seems right to a man. Its end is always death!
In the same way, sinful man has based his entire existence on a guess: that he is right, that there is no God and that all that “Biblical stuff” is foolishness. But if they do not repent they too will fall to rise no more: they too will be lost forever! The world will not be destroyed by an asteroid, a comet, nuclear war, “global warming” or the next “ice age” God Himself spoke this world into existence and when the day comes in which it has served His purposes to the full, He will destroy it. Peter tells us this in verse 7 when he says, “But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” And no man knows the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of Man and the destruction of the world. That day has been appointed by God the Father. It is a day known only to Him. Notice what Peter says in verse 8 “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. We live in time. God lives in eternity. He sees the end from the beginning, upholds all things by the word of His power and works all things after the counsel of His will…
According to His will all these things that we know exist, and one day, according to His will, all things will cease. There will be an end. Consider another avenue of thought. We also do not know the day or the hour of our death. We cannot predict when God will call us out of this world. God has predestined our lifespan from eternity past. Paul said that “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, (Acts 17:26)
And so the question we must ask ourselves is this: are we ready for the day of the Lord? Or will we be caught sleeping, with no oil in our lamps. Will we be caught practicing some pet sin? Will we be like the people of Noah’s day who plugged their ears to the truth “and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; for so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Mt 24:39) Ponder this truth: 9 “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” It is only when all of God’s purposes have been fulfilled that He will lower the curtain on this sphere of existence.
On that day the Lord Jesus Christ will come, like lightning that blazes across the sky. All will see Him. Then the dead in Christ shall rise. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to be with Him in the air. Then we shall ever be with the Lord. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, Jesus will come SUDDENLY: on the appointed day known only to God the Father. It will be a day in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
The destruction of the world will come and it will be destroyed by God, not man. God, the heavenly Potter, created this world for His pleasure, according to His purpose. And when He is done with it He will destroy it. It is His to do with as He pleases and no man can stop Him, stay His Hand or say to Him, “What are you doing?”
But the point here is this: (11) Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, since this world is only temporary, it is not our home, we are pilgrims and strangers and aliens in this world of sin: since this is true what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, (The scriptures tell us that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ of the heavenly kingdom that has been prepared for His children from the foundation of the world. As children of God, we are called to a life of holiness: a life of conformity to the will of our Father and to His Son Jesus Christ. And our attitude concerning all of this is summed up in verse (12) where we are called to be looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! And I ask you, what sort of people are we? Are we living godly lives?
Are we shining examples of the grace of God who saved us? Are we striving with all of our might to live up to the example of Him who called us with a holy calling, that we should be blameless before Him in love? Could your conduct be called holy and godly? It is only those who love Jesus who are looking for and hastening the day of God. It is only those who love God, who have been called according to His purpose that pray “Even so come Lord Jesus”. Those who are merely masquerading as Christians have no desire to see Him come anytime soon. They are busy eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.
They are busy fulfilling their own fleshly lusts and would hate to see their “days of pleasure” cut short by the return of Jesus! In contrast to this, notice Peter’s attitude. It is not “I hope Jesus will come back sometime: but not while I’m having fun. No, he was looking for Jesus, waiting earnestly, eagerly for His return! Indeed he longed for Christ’s return. He wanted to be with his beloved Lord who bought him, chose him, saved him, forgave him and kept him. And he assumes that his hearers are looking for the same thing. He says in verse (13) But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Oh for our eternal home where sin will be put off forever and ever! Oh to be with Jesus Christ our Lord! Every day this world gets darker, uglier, and more monstrous. Sin is cheered, practiced and propagated. Anything holy and pure is denounced. Lawlessness continues to grow more and more flagrant. And we long to be free of the evil that surrounds us as well as that which still dwells within us. It is only in heaven that we will be free from sin, free to worship Jesus Christ in the beauty of His Holiness without sin creeping in to ruin it.
And what a day that will be! (14) “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, (be diligent to be found practicing righteousness obeying His holy commands and so proving that we are His disciples.) (15) and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,” Blessed be the Lord who is full of mercy and patience, who will accomplish the salvation of His people to the praise of His glorious grace! And this is exactly the prayer that John opens this book with! We read in (Rev 1:4-8) 4John to the seven churches that are in Asia: we will look at these churches in depth at the proper time for they speak volumes to us as they did when they were written so many centuries ago… To these churches John says Grace which is God’s unmerited favor: may God’s undeserved loving smile, His abundant mercy be manifested to you…
If you are a child of God then you are the recipients of this so great a salvation. You were once not a people. You were once dead in trespasses and sins. You were once lost and undone with no possibility of escape. You were walled up in your sins and the sentence of eternal death in the fires of hell was your portion. All you had to look forward to was a long forever of misery and agony in the tormenting flames of Gehenna. And then the day came when God called. On that day your life was changed forever. His call was His salvation for His voice at once convicted you of sin and pointed to His Son Jesus Christ. Here you saw hope for the first time in your life! Where once there was only darkness and strife, where once you had no hope, where once the gospel of hope was mere foolishness to you, now hope sprang to everlasting life, the darkness of your soul was set ablaze with a holy light that was brighter than the noonday sun. Consider the words of the Hymn which says: “My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. And this one: “My sin oh the bliss of this glorious thought: my sin not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more! Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord oh my soul!
…And as grace upon grace filled your cup to overflowing it was accompanied by peace, not as the world gives, but God’s peace, the peace that passes all understanding, this wonderful contentment began to reign.
This peace came from Him who is and who was and who is to come, Almighty God. These gifts from the throne of Heaven have been given to you to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. John, our fellow partaker in this great salvation prays for his fellow believers: that they may continue to experience the grace and the peace which are gifts from God and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne: that is the Holy Spirit in the fullness of His operations. What did Paul say in (Eph 5:18-21)? He said this: 18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, the outflow or fruit of which will be characterized by 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Jesus speaking of the election of saints and the evidence they would bear and the privileges that they would experience said in (John 15:16) “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
This leads us to verse 5and our substitute, our Savior, our Lord. John prays that blessings would come to us from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who laid down His life for His sheep: who is the faithful witness, who is the only way to God, the truth about God and the life that is to be found only in God. He is the firstborn of the dead, He is the resurrection and the life an they who believe in Him, though they were dead, yet shall they live to life eternal, entering into eternal life which is a gift from Him who is the life. At the last trump we will rise to be with Him forever in heaven.
…And He is the ruler of the kings of the earth. We must look at Psalm 2 as this is an example of the foolishness of sinful man. 1 Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. 11 Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!While the heathen rage and curse we praise and adore Him who is and who was and who is to come. And “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood
(if that statement does not make you rejoice in our great God and Savior Jesus Christ then you are incapable of rejoicing in anything). He released us, set us free: delivered us from our sins. He forgave us though our crimes against Him were many. He knew that we are helpless: that we are but dust, that we could do nothing. And He demonstrated what true love really is. His love is different than anything that we know. He loved His enemies: US! And He saved those who were breathing out blasphemies against Him: US!
And He transformed us from those who hated Him into those who love Him. He gave us a new heart and a new spirit and a new life: Eternal Life! We who once hated Him now love Him and long to be with Him! And one day that will be a reality. One day He will come and call us home and then shall we ever be with the Lord. Notice what verse 6 says “and He has made us to be a kingdom, His peculiar people, His personal kingdom. And He has made us priests to His God and Father which is illustrated in that we are able to come before Him day and night and worship Him without a human go between. And there is no place here for us to exalt ourselves. When we see the 24 elders around the throne they are wearing crowns. But when the four living creatures begin to sing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty” then they fall down before His throne, casting their crowns before Him for He alone is worthy of all praise and exaltation. He alone is King of kings and Lord of lords. Boasting is excluded as John specifically says “to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Are you ready to meet Him? For 7Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, this will be no secret coming as some preach. When Jesus returns everyone will see Him. Saint and sinner alike will see Jesus return and while those who love Him rejoice in the day of deliverance, others will wail, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. They will be brought face to face with the God they have denied all their lives.
Finally we have the words of Jesus Christ who said in verse 8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, He is the beginning of all things. He is the one who spoke the world into existence and did so for His glory. All things were made by Him and apart from Him nothing was made that has been made. He upholds all things by the word of His power. And He is the end of all things. He is the everlasting Father “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” JESUS IS COMING! And every knee shall bow before Him even those who hate Him and deny His existence. They shall be brought to their knees before His presence.
But while these shall go away into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, His children, the sheep of His pasture shall inherit the kingdom that was prepared from the foundation of the world. We who love Jesus Christ, who are the called according to His purpose, shall enter into the joy of our Master! And there we shall ever be with the Lord. We shall go to the place of rest for our souls. All tears shall be wiped away and there will be no more pain or sorrow for those who enter into His rest! Comfort one another with these words. Even so come Lord Jesus! Amen!