Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Second Coming of Christ

Second Coming of Christ

Reading: Matthew 25:31-46

On July 20, 1969, when Astronaut Neil Armstrong walked on the moon President Nixon the then Chief Executive of USA, erroneously said; “Today is the greatest day in man’s history” He was very wrong. Before then one April morning about 2, 000 years ago, a greater event took place – the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet there is an even greater, grander and more glorious day than the resurrection day, - it is the day of the return to earth again of Jesus Christ. John the Apostle was led to write about it in Revelation 11:15 and 19:11-16.

We shall today look only at a very small aspect of this Second Coming. We shall consider the purpose of the Second Coming of Christ.

According to Matthew 24:29 and Luke 21:25-26 the Second Coming of Christ will begin with fearful manifestations in the skies immediately after the tribulation. In the midst of this, the heavens will open and Jesus will come forth! (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7; 19:11 and Second Thessalonians 1:7).

Why is Christ coming? 

An old woman attended a baptismal interview and among other questions the interviewing priest asked  “Will Jesus come again?” She replied “With all the ill treatment He received in His first coming; He would be most foolish to come a second time!” This brings to light some of the misconceptions about His Second Coming. Let us quickly mention some of the things His Second Coming would not involve.

1. He is no longer coming as a humble babe born in the manger.

2. He is no longer coming to serve as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

3. He is not coming as a Preacher or Miracle Worker or even as a Savior.

4. He is not coming to die in the hand of His creatures. No hand can touch Him again like they did before.

What then Is He coming to do?

a. He is coming to defeat the Antichrist and the world’s nations assembled at Armageddon (Revelation 19:17-21; Zechariah 12). 

b. He is coming to re-gather, regenerate and restore faithful Israel. 

A casual reading of the Old Testament will reveal that the most frequent promise in all the Old Testament is God’s eventual restoration of Israel. The prophets repeated it so often that one would be tempted to call it a chorus or refrain. Especially worthy of note are Isaiah 43:5-6; Jeremiah 24:6; Ezekiel 11:17, 36:28; Amos 9:14-15; Micah 7:18-19 and in the New Testament Jesus Himself said it in Matthew 24:31. The Restoration of Israel will begin with their temporary sorrow in Zechariah 12:10-12; 13:6  and Revelation 1:7 and end with their ultimate joy as in Isaiah 25:8-9; 30:26; 40:11; 43;25; 40;15; 51:3 and 55:12.

c. He is coming to judge and punish faithless Israel. 

Paul made two great statements in the Book of Romans concerning Israel as a nation. He wrote: “And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26) and in Romans 9:9 he said: “For they are not all Israel which are of Israel”. By the first statement Paul meant that all faithful Israel would be saved. This will occur during the Tribulation. By the second statement Paul writes concerning the faithless Israel. Israel is not all working for God. Some had worked for the devil. When the Lord comes He will judge the faithless Israel. 

They sinned against God the Father by:
1. Rebelling against Him (Numbers 14:22-23)
2. Rejecting Him (First Samuel 8:7)
3. Robbing Him (Malachi 3:2-5)

They sinned against God the Son by:
1. Refusing Him (John 1:11)
2. Crucifying Him (Acts 2:22-23; 3:14; First Thessalonians 2:14-16)

They sinned against God the Holy Spirit by their stubborn resistance  (Acts 7:51)

They sinned against God’s Kingdom
i. By refusing to use their God-given abilities to promote it. (Luke 19:20-24; Matthew 25:24-30)
ii. They made light and mockery of the marriage feast. (Matthew 22:5)
iii. They refused to wear the proper wedding dress (Matthew 22:11-13)

They also sinned against the Gospel by opposing it and against the world by leading others astray.

d. Jesus is coming again to separate the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:31-46)

Many people have misunderstood and misinterpreted this judgment. I wish to point out here two false views about this judgment.

1. That this “sheep and goat judgment” is the same as the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. They are not the same for one takes place at the end of the Tribulation while the other occurs at the end of the Millennium.

2. That the “sheep and goat judgment” deals only with entire nations. Some have imagined the nations of the world lined up before God. At His command, Russia steps forward and is judged, then America, then Africa etc. This is not the case. The word translated nations in Matthew 23:32 should be rendered Gentiles. 

The basis of this judgment is how those Gentiles who survived the tribulation have treated faithful Israel (here referred to by Christ as “My brethren”)

e. He is coming to bind Satan. 

Paul writing about this in Romans 16:20 said: “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” and John wrote also in Revelation 20:1-3.

f. He is coming to Resurrect Old Testament and tribulation Saints

At the Rapture of the Church, God will raise only those believers who have been saved from the Pentecost till the Rapture. According to this view all other believers will be resurrected just before the Millennium. A number of Bible passages tend to support this view: (Job 19:25-26; Psalm 49:15; Isaiah 25:8; 26:19; Daniel 12:2; Hosea 13:14; John 5:28-29; Hebrews 11:38 and Revelation 20:4-5)

g. He is coming to judge the fallen angels. 

Paul writing to the Corinthian Christians asked: “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?” (First Corinthians 6:3) All fallen angels both chained and unchained shall be judged when Jesus comes again.

We have been discussing the facts of the Second Coming of Christ and perhaps you are wondering where do I fit in? Believers will not be here to see the Second Coming so we have not mentioned them in this discussion. The unbelievers shall be treated as the sheep or the goat in the sheep and goat judgment and they would have then passed through the Tribulation.

It is not an easy thing to fall into the hands an angry God. You best option is to come to Jesus today and be saved.

God bless you all.

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