How Can We Help?
01 The imminent reality of Christs return
The Imminent Reality Of Christ’s Return
To many believers today there is a real sense of an acceleration of dramatic events taking place in the political and economic world, that seems to bear a close resemblance to events portrayed in the word of God.
These events which were written about both by Jesus and Paul in Matt, Luke, 1 & 2 Thess and also by John in the book of Revelation, and more and more becoming a reality in the minds and hearts of true believers.
If these events are close upon us then one would have to ask, do I need to prepare for such eventualities, or do I just hope for the best? It is clear that the scriptures are not silent in this regard.
Eg, “If there is no readiness, then our house will be entered into and we shall suffer loss”. Matt 24:43. “But know this that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be broken up”. See also Luke 12:39-40 and Mark 13:32-37.
NB The devil is a thief who seeks to rob and destroy.
If there is no readiness or preparation, then we will suffer loss, and in preparation one has actually to be proactive and God has given us an example in nature to learn from; thus:
Prov 6:6-8, Go to the ant — consider her ways, which having no guide overseer or ruler provides her meat in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest.
Prov 30:24-28. There are 4 things which are little on the earth but are exceedingly wise.
The Ant: Knows in what season to gather.
The Coney: Knows his safety is in the rock (Jesus)
The Locust: Unity makes it unstoppable.
The Spider: Shows absolute persistence.
A very real danger for Christians is the lack of preparation through:
- A genuine ignorance of the scriptures or:
- Being willingly ignorant because of a perceived notion that there are too many points of view and therefore place many things in the too hard basket and so as a consequence,
- Become lazy and slothful.
Since this danger exists it would be a wise person who diligently searched 2 Peter 3, which gives warnings against scoffers and wilful ignorance; and verse 11 sets the criteria for doing so. This verse reminds us as to what manner of person we ought to be in holy conversation (not just in words but also in our walk). And Godliness.
Two important words here:- Looking = Earnestly desiring. Hasting = Diligent Study
Without going into detail right now, it can be truthfully said that both the first coming and second coming are expressed in the O.T., but a greater emphasis is placed on His second coming in the N.T.
As believers we know that His first coming made way for us to be saved and delivered from our sins and all unrighteousness when we accept His (vicarious) sacrifice. We all know that from now on we are on a journey towards perfection that is demanded by the Lord which can only be bought about by obedience to His word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We have accepted His first coming Isa 53:5, but are we convinced that He will come again. Let us allow the following scriptures speak for themselves.
Christ’s Coming Again FORETOLD
Matt 26:64 —- I say unto you, hereafter and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds.
Mark 14:62, and Jesus said I Am, and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Luke 2:27, And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Acts 1:11, Ye men of Galilee why do you stand gazing up into heaven! This same Jesus —- shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.
Heb 9:28, So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many and unto them shall He appear the SECOND time without sin unto salvation.
John 14:3, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there you may be also.
Christ’s Coming Near AT HAND
Phil 4:4-5, Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice, let your moderation be known to all men, the Lord is at hand.
Heb 10:36-37, For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God you might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come and will not tarry (wait)
James 5:8, Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draws near.
Rev 3:11, Behold I come quickly, hold fast that which you have that no man take you crown.
Rev 22:20, Surely I come quickly, even so come Lord Jesus.
Christ’s Time UNKNOWN
Matt 24:27-36, For as the lightning comes out of the east, even unto the west so shall the coming of the Son of man be.
V.31. And shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other.
V36, But of that day and hour knows no man, not the angels of heaven but my Father only (knows)
Luke 12:40, Be ye ready also; for the Son of man will come of an hour that you think not.
1Thess 5:2, For you know perfectly well, that a day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.
Rev 16:15, Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked (spiritually that is).
Short comment: The term as a thief can only apply to those who are not prepared and watching. For those who are prepared and alert the term as a thief will not apply.
The Purpose Of Christ’s Return.
Matt 16:27, For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels and then He shall reward every man according to his works.
Matt 25:31-32, When the Son of man shall come in His glory and the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of glory and before Him shall be gathered all nations and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
1 Cor 4:5, Therefore judge nothing before the time until the Lord come who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsel of the heart.
Jude 14,15, Behold the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgement upon all and to convince all that are ungodly —-
John 14:3, I will come again to take you unto myself that where I am there may I be also.
Our Attitude To His Return.
Readiness: Matt 24, Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man will come.
Stewardship: Luke 19:13, Occupy till I come (be faithful in that which has been committed to you).
Patiently Waiting: 1 Cor 1:7 —- waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Charitableness: 1 Peter 4:8, and above all things have fervent charity among yourselves for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Blameless Living: 1Thess:5, The whole chapter, V23, And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I, pray —- your whole spirit soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord.
Joyful Expectation: Titus 2:13, Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our saviour Jesus Christ.
Constant Abiding: 1 John 2:28, And now little children abide in Him, that when He shall appear we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
His return will accomplish three main things.
1, The revelation of Himself to His redeemed people.
- The destruction of the wicked.
- The restoration of all things righteous.
N.B. At His first coming He came as a Lamb and a Dove, bringing peace and good news. The very nature of these beasts signifies peace and tranquillity.
At His second coming He will come as a LION and an EAGLE bringing judgement on the world. The very nature of these beasts signifies destruction and judgement.
What Will Be The Manner Of Christ’s Appearing?
The short answer is found in the words of Acts 1:10-11, —- Two men in white clothing said to the men in Galilee, this same Jesus whom you saw leaving the earthly realm shall come in like manner as you saw Him go.
A cloud of glory received Him
A cloud of glory will return Him.
Matt 26:64 —- hereafter shall you see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the CLOUDS of heaven.
Mark 13:26, And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the CLOUDS with great power and glory.
Rev 1:7, Behold He comes with CLOUDS and every eye shall see Him.
A short explanation on clouds would be prudent here. In Moses Tabernacle where the presence of the Lord was, the presence was signified by a pillar of cloud, by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Please verify by reading Ex 13:21-22 and Matt 24:30. Even though the word cloud has other meanings clearly defined by the text, it is quite clear to this writer that in the above instance the clouds mentioned here relate to His glory.
Thus: a cloud of glory received Him and a cloud of glory will return Him Amen!!
To Whom Will He Come?
It is obvious that Jesus can only come to those who are prepared for Him. Since He is a holy and righteous God, then He can only have a relationship with redeemed and holy people, who have matured by trials and testings in the course of their lives on earth. He can only come to those who have accepted Christ’s blood as an atonement for their sins and who now live for Him.
However in terms of His actual coming again, a verse in Hebrews gives added impetus to our hope.
ie Heb 9:28 —- unto those that LOOK (to expect fully) for Him shall He APPEAR (optomai) to gaze with wide open eyes as at something remarkable —- the second time without sin unto salvation.
Indeed remarkable events are scheduled to take place. 1Thess 4:16, For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout —- with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall arise FIRST. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds (glory)!! To meet the Lord in the air —- Therefore comfort one another with these word.
The ensuing booklets will deal briefly with topics that will enhance our understanding of Gods plan for the ages and attempt to answer some vexed questions in relation to last days and the return of Christ.
It would be a wise person who would do as the Berean church (Acts 17:11) who searched the scriptures daily to see whether these things be so, therefore this attitude should govern our thinking as we contemplate the following subjects.
The second albeit short study on Bible Interpretation, is absolutely necessary for a proper understanding of all things biblical. For without some insight into interpretation the student could easily be deceived. It is necessary that we have the Holy Spirit predominate in our lives, who is the one that will lead and guide us into all truth, (John 16:13).
It is clear that God wants His people to be well equipped and His word reiterates this thus:
2 Tim 2:15, Study to show thyself a workman that need not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.
Also, Prov 25:2, It is the Glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honour of Kings is to search out a matter.
This is good and Godly advice!!
Ps Ray Rose