Summary: The Second Coming of Christ
THE END IS NEAR
WHEN HE COMES AGAIN
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Revelation 16:16 introduces the name of the final battlefield of the Great Tribulation, Armageddon. The kings of the earth are gathered and the false prophet and the beast are defeated and cast into the lake of fire.
The picture of Christ’s victory and reign in chapters 19 and 20 are a stark contrast from the horror and chaos of the tribulation in the preceding chapters.
These two chapters can be outlined in 4 sections:
1. Christ Appears
a. In 1986 I was able to be a part of a 300 voice choir that sang at the International Wesleyan Youth Convention in Urbana, Illinois. We finished out with the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel. It was awesome. The thousands gathered cheered and celebrated with the beauty of the song and true message it proclaims, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”. But it won’t compare to the roar of all redeemed souls celebrating the fulfillment of Christ’s victory over evil.
b. The roar of celebration is two-fold
i. Defeat of evil
ii. Coming Wedding Supper of the Lamb
c. Verse 10 serves as a reminder for us to not get caught up in anything but to focus our attention and worship only upon Christ!
d. 3 Things of note in His appearance
i. His coming is as a warrior to exact judgment
ii. His clothing denotes purity vs. the gaudy appearance of the great prostitute.
iii. He has a title to describe Him but no name or amount of glory adequately express His character or accomplishments. (vs. 11, 12 & 16)
2. Christ Reigns
a. Three theories of the Millennium
i. Amillennialism-symbolic of the time between Christ’s ascension and return when the Church is the presence of Christ upon the earth.
ii. Premillenialism-literal time period beginning with Christ’s second coming. Possibility that this period of time would serve as proof to people that they alone are responsible for rejecting God. Since Satan is bound during this time he has no influence and people reject Christ out of their own stubbornness not because “the devil made me do it”.
iii. Postmillennialism-literal time period ushered in by the influence of the church and Satan is unleashed at the end only to be defeated as Christ returns at the end of the 1,000 years. (I don’t see any logic in this one).
b. What happens during the 1,000 years?
i. Satan has no influence
ii. Believers come to life and reign with Christ
1. They may be all believers
2. They may be martyrs and rest of believers resurrected later.
c. Spiritual significance of millennial section:
i. Satan is not all-powerful
ii. Standing with Christ will be rewarded
3. Satan is Banished
a. At the end of the thousand years, Satan goes out and deceives. He rallies the nations to gang up against God but it isn’t a contest. Fire devours them and Satan is thrown into lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet.
4. Final Judgment
a. Judgment is certain
i. Scripture proclaims it
1. “God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14
2. “God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:16
3. “It is appointed for me to die once, and after this comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
ii. Conscience reveals it
1. Inside my heart I pass judgment on what I’ve done.
2. Good deeds bring satisfaction
3. Bad deeds bring shame and guilt unless my heart has become too hard (regular confession based on Scriptural principles is a hedge against this)
iii. Justice demands it
1. God is holy-everyone who claims God doesn’t do anything to punish will find out the hard way on that day. All accounts will be reconciled.
2. “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God…So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:10-12
3. Christ as our Judge should bring us comfort:
a. He is in favor of the prisoners
b. He is righteous (cannot be bribed)
c. He is omniscient (cannot be deceived)
d. He is almighty (none can escape) --(A Contemporary Wesleyan Theology, Volume One, pg. 1130)
b. Who is judged?
i. All humanity
ii. Evil angels-Jude 6, “The angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chain for judgment on the great Day.”
c. The judgment accomplishes 3 things
i. Proves deeds beyond question for those being judged
ii. Establishes reward or punishment
iii. Vindicates God—“Every unbeliever, in spite of the terrible doom that awaits him, will know in his heart that God gave him exactly what he deserved. Every believer will realize as never before that he has been saved by the grace of God.” (A Contemporary Wesleyan Theology, Volume One, pg. 1129)