Summary: The Lord will return and wreak vengeance upon those who seek to entice His bride away. Those who try to lure the bride of Christ into the arms of the world need to hear the warning of the Word, for their will be hell to pay when the Bridegroom comes.
Joanna Baillie, and English dramatic poet of the last century, told the touching tale of a maiden
whose lover had gone off to the Holy Land. The report had come back that he had been slain. She
refused to believe he would not return to her, and so every night she kindled a fire on the shore of the
Mediterranean and watched for his return to take her to be his bride.
The story is a parable of the church and her lover, the Lord Jesus Christ. He too has gone away,
but He promised to return, so the church waits in expectation for that day when the shout will be
heard, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh," and she will be taken as a glorious bride to His mansion in
This theme of waiting for the return of one's lover is an ancient one. Homer in the Odyssey tells
of the hero Ulysses who went off to the war of Troy, and spent ten adventurous years trying to get
back home to his waiting wife. She was wealthy and the result was many men wanted to marry her.
They insisted that her husband was dead, and that she was foolish to wait. She had to endure
enormous pressure, but she remained faithful to her husband, and finally he did return to wreak
vengeance upon those wicked men who sought to take advantage of his wife.
Again we see a parallel of what the church must endure as it waits for the return of Christ. The world
says forget this Jesus you wait for, and come make love with us. He is gone, and you are
foolish to wait for Him, and miss the love of the world. Peter warned the early Christians about the
world's attack on the hope of the second coming. In II Pet. 3:3-4 he writes, "First of all you must
understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions
and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the father's fell asleep, all things
have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." By their scoffing they hoped to cause
the Christians to give up their hope.
The Lord will return and wreak vengeance upon those who seek to entice His bride away. Those
who try to lure the bride of Christ into the arms of the world need to hear the warning of the Word,
for their will be hell to pay when the Bridegroom comes. II Thess. 1:6-10 says, "...God deems it
just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted,
when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting
vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the Gospel of our
Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence
of the Lord and the glory of His might, when He come on that day to be gloried in His saints, and to
be marveled at in all who have believed."
The second coming will be both a day of great joy, and a day of great judgment. The Bible
alternates between these two pictures depending upon whose point of view by which it is seen-the
Bride or the world. Christians are warned over and over again to watch for the coming of their
Lord, for carelessness in this area can lead them to get so involved with the world that that day will
come upon them like a thief in the night, and they will be caught naked and ashamed at His coming.
In other words, if the Bridegroom comes and finds His bride flirting with the world and
embracing another lover, it will be a day of judgment rather than joy even for those believers who
are not found faithful. But Jesus says in Luke 21:37, "Blessed are those servants whom the Lord
when He cometh shall find watching." In order to motivate us to watch, we want to focus on this
great text where John emphasizes these two aspects of the second coming. First we see-
I. THE REALITY OF HIS RETURN.
Behold He is coming says John. The faithful bride never questions the promise of her
bridegroom to return and receive her unto Himself that where He is she might be also.
He'll come again,
And prove our hope not vain.
We wait the moment, Oh, so fair;
To rise and meet Him in the air,
His heart, His home, His throne to share,
O wondrous love!
This has been the blessed hope of the church from the day of its birth. This is the goal of history.