Summary: What King are you waiting for?
The King Is Coming! Revelation 19:11-16
After church, where she had been taught about the Second Coming, a little girl was quizzing her mother. “Mommy, do you believe Jesus will come back?” “Yes.”
“Could he come this week?” “Yes.” “Today?” “Yes.” “Could he come in the next hour?” “Yes.” “In a few minutes?” “Yes, dear.” “Mommy, would you comb my hair?” O, to be found upon His return unprepared – indeed.
It is surely humorous to imagine a little girl’s preoccupation with her appearance at his coming, but I fear that much of the a
This morning we will talk about the second coming of Christ; the second advent as it also known; the return of our Lord and savior. This is a popular topic in recent years. Indeed, this has been a hot topic throughout Church history.
In the history of the American Church we see that the subject of eschatology – the theological doctrine of “last things” – has caused a great number of men and women of faith to get derailed, as they overemphasized the doctrine of Christ’s return. There have been those leaders, even in our time, who have used the doctrine of the Second Coming to control people, filing them with great concern and then using that to their advantage.
The Millerites were one such group. The Millerites were the followers of the teachings of William Miller who, in 1833, first shared publicly his belief in the coming Second Advent of Jesus Christ in roughly the year 1843. William Miller had later said that Jesus would return on October 22, 1844. The following day, October 23, 1844 is known as “The Great Disappointment.”
The movement had spread across denominational lines. There were Baptist, Methodists, Congregationalists, Restorationists of the Stone-Campbell movement (Independent Christian Church), and people from across the denominational spectrum’s who had been drawn in by Miller’s approach to Bible study where each person was encouraged to draw his or her own conclusions of the text.
Personal biblical exegesis is a good thing, but not without sound exegetical methods, a working knowledge of biblical themes and motifs, and at least a cursory knowledge of historical theology; that is the classic understandings of a given passage at hand which is to be worked through. Through articles written by miller in the Baptist paper, “The Vermont Press,” the Baptist laymen, who had drawn so many wildly vivid inferences from the Scriptures, had gathered followers from across the entire nation. People literally climbed to tops of barns and roofs of houses waiting in anticipation of seeing the Lord come in the sky.
Miller’s movement broke apart in the months and years following the great disappointment. In fact, one of his students, a man by the name of Charles Taze Russell went on to found organizations which spawned the growth of the Jehovah’s Witness; which has led many astray.
Today we will discuss the return of Christ. In light of modern turmoil in the world, current events in the Holy Land, and modern popular books such as the “Left Behind Series,” it occurs to me that this is a topic that people are curious about.
Today it will be my deepest intention not only to encourage you with the reality of His imminent return, but to display how this can impact faith for today. The doctrine of Christ return has led some into error, but it has the greater possibility of filling us with an eternal hope. I’ll touch on some major themes and then get right to what I am convinced is the heart of application of this doctrine.
We rightly embrace the return of our Lord, but not to the exclusion of living for Him today, now, as we build the Church while we wait for His kingdom to come.
Why does the Bible say that Jesus will return? What is it that He is going to do? His first advent or appearing was for the purpose of dying to provide a substitutionary atonement for sin, demonstrating the ultimate grace of God establishing His Church, and to make the provision for reconciliation.
The imagery of the book of Revelation is vivid and its interpretation is not void of controversy and the methods of its interpretation are not without debate.
With regard to the book there are generally three overreaching systems of eschatological, (end time prophecy), interpretation which affect one’s view of the book of Revelation. Since the Bible must be understood as a whole, the way one interprets Revelation will stem from the way one interprets prophecy in general.
Here they are in the order that represents the least literal interpretive method to that which represents the most literal interpretive method, and as it so happens this in the order of that which I agree with the least to that which I agree with the most and therefore the order from least correct to most correct!