Summary: Thinking of the return of the Saviour encourages those who believe.
WHEN JESUS COMES AGAIN
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
In the Letter to Hebrew Christians, we read, “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him” [HEBREWS 9:28]. The Word of God teaches that God sent His Son who presented Himself as an infinite sacrifice because of the sin of mankind. Certified as dead by Roman soldiers who were experts in death, the Son of God was buried, only to be raised to life on the third day. After fifty days, during which time He was seen by those whom God chose as witnesses, he ascended into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of the Father. Soon, He is returning to this fallen world to receive His people to Himself and to judge the wicked.
Throughout His days in the flesh, Jesus spoke often of His coming to earth a second time. Nearing the conclusion of His labours in the flesh, the Master told His disciples, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” [MATTHEW 24:29-31].
Earlier during His ministry among men, the Master cautioned that “The Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done” [MATTHEW 16:27].
When adjured by the High Priest to answer whether He was the Christ, the Son of God, or a mere man, the Master responded, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven” [MATTHEW 26:64].
Even a cursory review of the Gospels demonstrates that Jesus was born in order to provide His life as a sacrifice for sin. Indeed, the Apostle has succinctly summed up the Gospel in these words, “For our sake [God] made Him [that is, Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” [2 CORINTHIANS 5:21]. According to the Word, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive the adoption as sons” [GALATIANS 4:4, 5].
As contemporary Christians, we are in desperate need of recapturing the excitement, the anticipation that marked the first Christians. They lived in the light of the Saviour’s momentary return. That knowledge motivated every activity, coloured every word spoken, and ruled their very thoughts. We have lost that motivating force for righteousness and godliness. What will it be when Jesus comes again? That is the question asked by the message this day; and by God’s mercies we will, through review of the words of the text, endeavour to recover that early vision so that we also can be a people living in anticipation of His return.
WHEN WILL JESUS COME AGAIN — Among professing Christians, there is considerable disagreement concerning Christ’s return. There are good people who aver that we are now in the Millennial reign of Christ the Lord. These individuals, identified theologically as Amillennialists, hold that each time an individual receives Jesus as Lord of life, that individual enters the Millennium. Since experience tells us that Satan is not now bound, it seems fair to dismiss this view as aberrant at best and at worst deliberately ignorant of the Word.