Summary: Brief description of events on God's calendar
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
When was the last time you thought about eternity? I was privileged to have a conversation with the chaplain from Dekalb County this week and as we rode to a memorial service and the subject of eternity came up. He said, “David, I don’t think people think about eternity enough – if they did it would change the way they live in the present.”
Note - Billy Sunday the evangelist said, “Imagine a little bird taking a grain of sand and flying to a distant planet. It would take him a million years to fly to that distant planet. Then he would drop that grain of sand. Then the little bird would fly back to the earth taking him a million years. He gets another grain of sand and flies back to the distant planet. Back and forth, back and forth it goes. When he will have transplanted every speck of earth to that distant planet, it will only be breakfast time in eternity.”
One reason we ought to focus more of our thoughts on the Lord’s return and plan throughout history is that it will fill us with fresh motivation to live in such a way that honors and points others to Him.
1. Jesus’ First Coming
Note - Around 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth for the FIRST time. He lived a sinless life, died on the cross of Calvary, rose again by the power of God, and promised us that He would come again:
Acts 1:8-12 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
2. The Present Waiting (Church Age)
It has been approx. 2000 years since the 1st Coming of Christ and Christians have been persecuted and ridiculed for believing that Christ will one day come again.
II Peter 3:3-9 – “…3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Note - v.8b, “Peter is saying, “A promise by God made by God 1000 years ago, or 2000 years ago…it is as good as if he made it just yesterday. It may be a while before it happens, but make no mistake – IT WILL HAPPEN!!!” Today, we LOOK AHEAD to that coming:
I Corinthians 11:26 - For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
3. The Rapture of the Church
Note – This is the next event on God’s calendar and it’s not to set up His literal, physical kingdom on earth, but the Lord Jesus Christ taking His church to be with Himself forever – ALL followers of Christ.
Note – The Rapture of the church is a different event than the Second Coming of Christ
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “ 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.