Summary: Waiting for Jesus Power
Looking for the Blessed hope
Introduction: We learn here that this is Peter writing to the church at large and all believers everywhere for the purpose to warn Christians about false teachers and to exhort them to grow in their faith and knowledge of Christ.
The president of Moody Bible institute tells of seeing a car with two bumpers stickers. One reads, “Jesus is Coming,” the other reads, “Escape to Wisconsin!” Seriously, we need to be constantly reminded of Christ’s return.
Critics have always denied, rationalized and cast doubt by saying, “What happened to the promise of his coming…everything’s going on just as it has from creation. Nothing’s changed” (2 Peter 3:4 TM). But Christ’s Second coming is not speculation. The New Testament refers to it over 300 times. Peter says (Read 2 Peter 3:9-14). Paul adds, “(Read 1 Thess 4:16-17)”. So, are you “looking for the blessed hope…the appearing of our Jesus” (Titus 2:13 NAS)? Are you living as though it’s near by staying grounded in the Word? Are you diligent at home and at work, grabbing every opportunity to sprinkle salt and shed light? (Read Matthew 5:13-14).
I. Christ Promises to Come Back
a. “And, behold I come quickly…” (Rev 22:12). This promise also occurs in Revelation 22:7, 20.
b. During his earthly life Christ explicitly promised His disciples He would come back for them. The verb in John 14:3 is exactly the same as in Revelation 22:7, 12, and 20. He did not say “I shall come,” but I am coming at any time and in more ways than one. The Lord never revealed exactly when He would return.
c. Nevertheless, the two angles who saw the Lord ascend into heaven in His resurrection body used the verb in the future indicative, He shall come (Acts 1:11). The idea indicated by, I am coming, of Revelation 22:7, 12, and 20 is that the Lord after His ascension will come in different ways and for different reasons, until His final coming. This is indicated in Acts 1:11, predicted by the two angels, and finalized when he will come to reign with His saints forever on earth and in heaven (Rev 20:4-6; 21:1-7, 9-21).
d. According to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Jesus will first come back to take the resurrected dead and transformed living believers to be with Him.
e. Next, He will come to smite the nations assembled against Him in order to prepare the way for His millennial reign on earth (Rev. 19:11-20:6).
f. Jesus will make His final appearance referred to in Revelation 22 when He returns for the Last Judgment (Matt. 25:31-46).
II. Will it be quickly or suddenly?
a. Three times in Revelations 22 there is a word that is translated “quickly” (vv. 7, 12, 20). “Suddenly” or “swiftly” would be a more accurate translation.
b. The Lord’s return will not be immediate (as men consider time, 2 Pet 3:8), but it will be sudden when it occurs (1 Cor 15:52).
III. We Receive certain rewards and retributions now
a. The rewards accorded to believers are listed throughout Scriptures (Gen 15:1; Ps. 19:11; Prov. 11:18; Ecc. 4:9; Matt 6:6, 18 and 1 Cor 9:17, 18).
b. For the unbeliever, however, there is inherent retribution (2 Thess. 1:9). Living estranged from God is the greatest punishment man can inflict upon himself in both the present and the future. After Adam and Eve sinned, they “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God” (Gen 3:8).
IV. Christ will bring the final reward and retributions
a. The Greek word used for “reward” in Revelation 22:12, which actually means a wage for work done. The Lord will reward us for everything we have done for Him in this life. It is not a bargained pay (Matt 20:2) but rather a recompense that He decides upon according to his sovereign grace (Matt. 20:4, 7, 14).
b. The terrible retribution for unbelievers, on the other hand, will be denial of entry into the heavenly city and an eternity spent outside God’s love in total depravity (Matt. 25:41, 46)
You should be!
· 2 Peter 3 here stakes: The day of the Lord here refers to the return of Christ in judgment, not the Rapture, since this day results in final apocalyptic judgment. The heavens that shall pass away with a great noise are the atmospheric heavens. The elements shall melt with fervent heat certainly could refer to a nuclear holocaust. Thus, Peter urges his readers to look beyond this present world to the new heavens and a new earth characterized by righteousness.
· Christ’s Second coming will be sudden and terrible for those who do not believe in him. But if we are morally clean and spiritually alert, it won’t come as a surprise. Realizing that the earth is going to be burned up, we should put our confidence in what is lasting and eternal and not you spend more of your time piling up possessions but striving to develop Christ-like character?