Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: The Second Coming of the King
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
The Second Coming of the King
December 6, 2009
We are in the middle of three weeks on the kingdom. Last week I spoke on the nature of the kingdom; this week I want to share about the second coming of the kingdom or the consummation of the kingdom. Then on the 20th at our Christmas service, we will have a children’s program, a choir, and I want to share about the significance of the birth of the king. Let me encourage you to invite someone. Statistics show that most people will come to church when they are invited.
If you remember last week the Pharisees asked when the kingdom would come, and Jesus responded that it is in front of them, he is the King, and his coming inaugurates the coming of the kingdom yet not the way they think. In their mind, the coming of the kingdom meant it would come with cataclysmic signs and a military coo. Knowing this, Jesus says that the kingdom comes in two stages or two advents. Then we looked at how the kingdom has already come in Jesus yet is not here in fullness. This week we will see how he goes on to describe the consummation of the kingdom referring back to two Old Testament accounts of God’s judgment. We could sum up his first coming as the Suffering Savior and King; his second coming as the Glorious Judge and King (John 3:17).
1. The Second Coming of Christ will be Clear to Everyone (vs. 22-25)
Jesus’ first coming was recognized by faith; the second coming will be clear and unmistakable to all. Jesus says don’t listen to people when they say he is here or there because his return will be clear to everyone. Verse 24 tells us why not to listen to people that want to say he is coming here or there with the word ‘for.’ For or because when he returns it will be like a thunderstorm that fills the whole sky and everyone will know he is here. He is describing how the Lord will come with power (Luke 21:27), in his glory and the glory of the Father (Luke 9:26), and he will sit on his glorious throne (Mat 25:31). We will not have to look or hunt for his return. The apostle Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct the church at Thessalonica who believed that Christ had already returned (2:1-2). Jesus promised us that there will be ‘false christs and false prophets that will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect (Mat 24:24). It will be visible and it will be unmistakable. But first he must suffer and be rejected by his people, speaking of his death on the cross.
2. The Second Coming of Christ will be Unexpected (vs. 26-30)
Jesus gives two Old Testament precedents for God’s judgment, the days of Noah and the days of Lot. During the days of Noah, humanity was so evil that God sent a rain to flood the earth and destroy every living creature yet mercifully spared Noah and his family. In the days of Lot, God judged Sodom and Gomorrah judge because of their wickedness and mercifully rescued Lot’s family (Gen 19:15-17).
But it is interesting that Jesus does not mention any of this wickedness but instead only describes them engaging in the normal activities of life with little or no attention to God. People living this life celebrating the good gifts of God but not celebrating God. Unfortunately, God calls this idolatry and it exposes them to His judgment. They don’t even think about God and so have not idea that He is coming in judgment. They may even see it as a ridiculous idea that he is coming in judgment (ie Lots son in laws; Genesis 19:14). But their neglect of God is ultimately a rejection of God and leads to His judgment. When King Jesus comes and brings his judgment it will be just like just like the flood of Noah’s day and the fire and brimstone of Lots day. It will come swiftly and unexpectedly. Scriptures say he will come like a thief in the night (1 Thes. 5:2).
3. The Second Coming of Christ is to Motivate us to keep our Priorities (vs. 31-37)
“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (Mat 24:42 ESV).”
He gives two examples that are meant to point us to one truth – do not be let your heart be divided; the consequences are not worth it. Here he is talking of being too satisfied or happy with what this world has to offer. Remember Lots wife whose affections were drawn too much to Sodom and so she looked back longingly and was turned into a pillar of salt. What defines our lives determines our destinies. She longed for Sodom and Sodom stole her inheritance. Long not for this present world; instead long for the return of Christ because in his presence are pleasures evermore. Long for him because one day in his courts are better than a thousand elsewhere. “Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62)." Because he who seeks to save his life will lose it but he who loses his life will save it. Whoever lives a self-centered life focused on this present world (i.e., would save his life) will not find eternal life with God (will lose it); whoever gives up his self-centered life of rebellion against God (loses his life) for the sake of Christ and the gospel will find everlasting communion with God (will save it). If you are going to follow Christ do it with all you got or don’t do it at all. Christianity is weak and enemic in America because it is not dangerous or taken seriously. Is the gospel worth risking your job? Is it worth being mocked or made fun of at school? Is it better to die poor, having suffered, and yet made an impact for the kingdom or is it better die as fat, comfortable and happy Americans yet be spiritually anemic making no impact for the kingdom? The current of this world wants to wash you away with itself but only dead salmon swim with the current. Treasuring Christ together means that we so treasure or value Christ that shame, suffering, persecution, being uncomfortable is worth it because Christ is so pleasurable.