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The Certainty of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

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Revelation 1:7-8 The Certainty of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Based largely on the work of John MacArthur.

NASB:
7. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him, so it is to be. Amen
8. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

In our introduction we saw that this book reveals or unveils Jesus Christ to us, not His hiding, but His uncovering in full glory about to receive His reward from God the Father. It is God the Father’s intention to reward His Son for what He did at His first coming at the cross in humiliation, suffering and death.

We also saw, that this book is meant to be read by Christians, we are to know and understand the bigger picture of how it all ends. Rev 22:10 says seal not the prophecy of this book. Seal it not! It is the only book which comes with a specific blessing to the one who reads, hears and heeds the words written within it, because the time is near or at hand meaning that this is God’s next set of events to happen, which are coming soon, they are imminent and that we should live in the expectancy that it could happen now, today, tonight. This should affect what we see as being priorities in the way we live, are we being a witness in our world? Do we seek opportunities to preach biblical truth in to the lives of those we meet? Have we prepared ourselves for this day of the Lord and are we ready for it?

We can also note: that up till now it is largely an unfinished history awaiting to fulfilled. There are things which are still out of place:
• The church should be the bride with its Lord and saviour.
• The Lord Jesus should be king of a physical kingdom.
• Israel is awaiting its unveiling and restoration.
• Satan the usurper is still yet to be dethroned and thrown into the lake of fire along with all the unregenerate and ungodly.

If this, is the finished account, in the fact that Christ Jesus died and ascended, then the victory is not a full victory until these things have taken place. No! Christ Jesus is still yet to be fully glorified and reigning in the physical realms as well as in the individual hearts of believers. Also there would be no hope for the redeemed until these things come to pass, but here, in this book is a glimpse into our redeemed future in eternal glory and everything that is out of place now will then be righted:
• Satan and the ungodly will be dealt with.
• The king of glory will have a physical kingdom.
• The church will be with its Lord and saviour.
• All Israel will be restored.

In our book, the usurper is about to be dethroned by the victor, the unregenerate will be condemned to eternal fate for their rejection of God and His chosen messiah and the order is about to be restored and all in the world will be judged. Those who did not reject God’s Son and held fast His testimony before mankind will receive their glorification and be with their king forever in a newly created order.

This account, is quite literally how the whole story ends. If you love action books then this book is better than any paperback that you have ever read, for in this book unfolds a story of great drama and suspense, betrayal by an apostate church, mystery, disaster upon disaster, conflict and war, political intrigue and global change, economic downfall, great fear, terror and horrors as judgements are unleashed upon the created universe and mankind.

It is also a book that has great joy and fulfilment and even ends in a happy ending, for those who call on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

In verses 7-8, we now come to the major theme or thesis of the book which then takes John the rest of the book to reveal to us how it is all going to pan out.

Verse 7 starts with the great theme announcement ‘Behold, He is coming…’
It is about His Coming!
The One who is being revealed to us is going to come. Jesus Christ is coming! it is certain! It is written in a present tense verb, it means that it has already been set in motion and we should be expectant of His soon return. This is on the theme of Daniel 7:13-14:
“I kept Looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”

The coming One is a messianic title, see Matthew’s account of John the Baptist’s questions about Christ Jesus, whilst John is in prison he asks, are you the One who is coming?
Jesus is The coming One, who is coming again, all history is awaiting this event to fulfil all things and left as it is now it is quite literally unfinished business.

In all Scripture, it is said that about one fifth relates to prophecy, of which one third relates to His second coming. There are about 1500 Old Testament passages that relate directly or indirectly to this second coming.

Today, many deny or see the doctrine of the second coming as non-significant, maybe because the issue is a moral one and they are not ready or prepared to face this ending. Despite what the scoffers say, those that deny His coming, the scriptures say otherwise and God is the one who says what He wants to happen, and it will happen, you can be certain of it because God has said it.

In fact, there are a number of things concerning scripture that demand that He comes again:

1. The Promises of God demands that He comes again
Genesis 49:10 gives us a promise concerning that he must come and relates to His rule.

Psalm 2 gives promises that He will rule when He comes with a rod of iron and as a judge, it is His inheritance to have the nations bow down. Has not happened yet, did not happen at His first coming, must happen at His second coming.

Isaiah gives promises concerning that He will have the government upon His shoulders when He comes and speaks of a glorious kingdom to come. Yet to be fulfilled, meaning that it demands that it happens at His second coming.

Zechariah, promises that the mount of Olives will be split and He will be judge the nations there. Again not happened yet, must happen at His second coming.

2. The words of Jesus Christ Himself demand that He comes again
John 14 Jesus states that He goes to prepare a place for us in His kingdom and return.

Luke 19 Jesus preaches a story showing a truth about a noble leaving for a distant country to receive a kingdom for Himself and then return. Jesus by telling this story is really saying to us I am that king I have gone to heaven to receive a kingdom and I will return and I will judge what you have done.

This story also shows us where our priorities should lie. When we consider that we were chosen and called out from the world (not by anything we have done) we should be able to note that we have been given a greater currency than all the wealth of this passing world, too much to keep to ourselves! It leads us to the question: What have I done with the mina I have been given? If I did not evangelise myself have I invested my resources into the kingdom so that others could go, where I did not or could not? Is that reason genuine?

It also carries a warning that the king will judge if we have acted with our gospel privilege in faith or not. It is a call that this message that we carry is not meant to be kept for ourselves, too important to keep to ourselves, lives are at stake! – we should be shouting out the message from the roof tops!!! Oh church arise and put your armour on! wake up from our sleepy slumber and stand for the gospel truth. How can they hear unless someone is sent out and how can can they respond unless someone goes to preach to them? (Romans)

In this book, the angel sent to John is told by Jesus six times to announce ‘I am coming.’

3. The Guarantee of the Holy Spirit demands that He comes again
John 15:26; 16:13: He will testify about me and disclose to you what is to come. Guide you into truth and inspire the writers to write of His coming, that is the work of the Holy Spirit see John 16:8-11

1 Cor. 1:4-8: You will not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the Lord’s Jesus Christ’s revealing at His coming and He will keep you firm to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of the Lord.

Col. 3:4; 1 Pet. 1:13; and Philippians 3:20-21

Finally James 5:8 says that we are to be patient and stand firm, because His coming is near!
In a day that many have surrendered ground on the truth of the gospel to appease the world, it is a big challenge to stand firm, when we may be put in harm’s way for doing so, do you consider this message worth dying for? The early Christians did!

4. The program of the Church demands that He comes again
Acts 15:14-16: What is happening here is the assembly has gathered to hear reports from Paul and Barnabas and they were reporting that Gentiles (non Jewish peoples) were being saved from their sins and some Jewish believers were wanting them to undergo circumcision which is really an outward sign of the old Mosaic covenant and of law following as a means of salvation.

This issue needed to be sorted out so Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to report and let the council decide things concerning non-Jewish believers.

Some who were originally Pharisees were saying they must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. Paul addresses them and says why do you try to put a yoke on them that even the Jews could not keep? He was realising that we have one who has and died in our place who was without sin – so we are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone and that this is a new and better covenant.

From verse 14 Simon is able to realise that God is doing something new that for a time the Gospel is to go to the Gentiles, but that after this gospel age that the prophecies of particularly referring to Amos 9:11-12 but all of the OT prophets are in agreement that after this age the king would return and rebuild the house of David (Israel) and they would be restored.
We must note that there is a sequence happening: Church, kingdom then return.

In 1 Thessalonians the Church is awaiting His return to meet with the Lord in the air. To go to be with Him.

Psalm 2 again to rule the nations.

Joel 3:12: again awaiting the judge to bring judgement to the nations at the valley of Jehoshaphat.

5. The program for Israel demands His coming
Isaiah 59:20 I am going to come and bring you to an eternal salvation.

In fact, in most of the OT God promises them a kingdom which they are still waiting for.

Look at Jeremiah 23:5-8.

6. The humiliation of Christ Jesus demands His coming
Israel rejected their king and turned their backs on Him, in Matt. 26:63 Jesus stated to them that from now on they will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven Him in power and coming on the clouds of heaven.

The last thing that people see is that He was beaten and wounded and crucified and left to die in the Palestinian sun. Mutilated and murdered is not the last thing to happen, His death demands that He did rise, ascend and comes again.

7. The exaltation of Satan demands His coming
Temporary power has been given to the usurper described as the ruler of this age, prince of the air, prince of the world and given the power of death – Jesus at His resurrection ended that power for those whom believed and holds the keys to death and Hades. If things stay as they are Satan still reigns in this world, Jesus must come again to put his reign to an end.

8. The expectation of the saints demand His coming
Our hope does demand it, we know He is coming to put things in their rightful place and restore things so that the struggles brought by the curse of sin are replaced once more with blessing. We are all awaiting our full salvation where sin will be no more in our lives. We are awaiting our glorification, fully sanctified and with our Lord see Titus 2:11-14.

Now we can see that central to the faith of Christianity is the truth of the doctrine of the second coming. We are to believe that He is coming.
We can now look to the 4 major points we need to see from these verses:

1. The Glory of it (verse 7)
‘Coming with clouds’….

This is referring to God’s Shekinah glory often visible as a cloud or indescribable blazing light. It relates to God’s presence.

In Israel’s dessert wanderings they were led by a cloud – cloud by day, fire by night, when the cloud was over the tabernacle they would stay put, when the cloud moved they were to follow. See Exodus 40: The glory of the Lord filled the temple. See also 1 Kings 8:10.

When Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1 He was received into heaven with this cloud of glory and there again is the promise that He would return in the same way.

The point is that no man can look upon His glory face to face and live – it is veiled from man because God is holy, man cannot see His glory because of their sin.

2. The scope of it (verse 7)
‘Every eye will see Him’….
Moses had a glimpse of the back of His glory hidden in the cleft of the rock. Jesus at His transfiguration revealed in part His glory to His disciples who were terrified by it. See also, Hebrews 1:3

At His return His glory will be unveiled and will be made visible to all, for all to see. Men will cry out for the rocks to fall on them and hide from Him but none shall be hidden, they will cry out for death and death will flee.

The passage then divides them into two groups:

‘Those who pierced Him’….
Who pierced Him?
This is not relating to the Roman soldiers who carried out the crucifixion of Jesus or their leaders nor is it the sense that all through their human nature are sinners and need a saviour to take their place, but to the ones who brought Him before the Romans to be crucified. The Jews, Israel!

In fact it is a direct ‘kesher’ or link to Zechariah 12 from verse 10 – a prophecy relating to a day when they will see the one whom they crucified and mourn the tears of repentance as never has been seen since the days when king Josiah died see 2 Chronicles 34/35. The cloak from their eyes will be removed.

Now some will already have been saved during the first half of the tribulation known as the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel and many will be saved through this time. Some believe it to be all of Israel, but it all depends on the meaning of ‘ALL Israel’. If you read Romans 9/10/11 I believe that ‘all Israel’ means both Jew and gentile that have called on the Lord to be saved and they make up the term ‘All Israel’ not of natural Israel but I do not know enough on it to be certain one way or another, I certainly do not believe that the church replaces Israel but that certain things will happen to natural Israel during this time which would provoke many of them unto jealousy, repentance and faith in our Lord – see the story of the prodigal son, what happened to the older brother in the field, whilst the younger brother was at the party?

I certainly believe that the best and most safest view is the one in the middle that those who call upon the name of the Lord in the day of trouble shall be saved, that includes Jew or Gentile and these will be the ones to inherit a physical kingdom under their king.
‘And all peoples on earth will mourn because of Him’….

This second group do not mourn in repentance of what they did to their messiah, but because He has come.

In Matt. 24:30 the word to ‘mourn’ is ‘kopto’ meaning ‘to cut’ different to the group above.
Oriental imagery, people still do this today cutting themselves in despair, see 1 Kings 18:28. It becomes an outward expression, they mourn the coming of judgement and fear, not repenting for their wrong-doing and rejection, in fact later on in the book, we find that they do not turn from their wickedness, but instead end up cursing God.

3. The Response (verse 7)
‘So it is to be, Amen’….
Even so Lord come, let it be so….

John is thrilled, because it means the end of the curse and a new beginning without curse, only blessing.
What is your response? Is it the same as John’s response?

4. The Certainty of it (verse 8)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.”
God affirms that it is to be as verse seven states, He is coming.
The divine autograph to confirm that this is a true statement and will happen. God does this by announcing three of His attributes:

His omniscience: “I am the Alpha and Omega” This is the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
An alphabet is an ingenious means to store and communicate knowledge. God is stating that He is the beginning and end of all knowledge. If anyone should know what the end will be, its God. If He says it will happen it will happen. We can see historical evidence throughout the bible account that things stated centuries earlier came to pass with superior accuracy than just general statements concerning the judgements given to certain nations (pre-written history). God is the One to know what is to be and has the knowledge of how that will take place when it comes to pass. In Revelation we get a glimpse of what will happen.

His omni-presence: “Who is and Who was and Who is to come.”

God states that He is, was and is to come. He is always eternally present (past, present and future) His presence is not limited to time and space like mankind is.

His kingdom is eternally founded and will not be shaken like mankind’s world is to be and will outlast our world which is set to be consumed.

His Omnipotence: ‘The Almighty’

I am the One who has all power and is in control of all things, in control of it all. If I say it will happen, it will happen.

The One who spoke the universe into existence ‘out of nothing’ is He not able to do it? Is He not able to create a new heaven and a new earth, if He chooses?

When God says He is coming, you better believe it!! He is coming!

Once He came to seek and save, next He is the One to seek and destroy
Once He came to offer Grace and mercy, next He will come to administer final justice.
Once He came to serve, next He will be served.

When dealing with Revelation we need to look into our hearts and lives and ask questions:

Am I ready for this time set to come soon?

Have I prepared myself for this day?

Will I be able to meet Him with a confidence not of myself, but through Christ Jesus?

If you cannot answer these questions then I ask you, what will you do in that day? For there is no guarantee that you will be saved in that day, if He does not return before you die, and everyone dies, then there are no more chances for you, you will stand before Him for judgement.

If this day comes during your lifetime then you may die in the events that take place during this time that fall upon the earth, before you repent and turn. Then again judgement at the white throne is next for you.

When it comes to a certain point in the great tribulation then there are no people turning to repentance, only a wish for it all to end, men will cry out for death. End it, I just want an end!!!

The sad thing is an end will not come, only judgement and the certainty of being forever lost to a place where there is no God to protect man made in His image against those demons who hate God in hell to torment you. Because you reject the creator and had time to repent and did not then there is no hope for you.
He is coming, will you make haste to ready yourself?

For those whom believe can I ask you what you are doing to help prepare others for this day?

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