Sermons

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

the sky.

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!

Author unknown

This has been the blessed hope of the church from the day of its birth. This is the goal of history.

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