christ’s return

PROPHETIC UNDERSTANDING OF LAST DAYS.

part 6

(All scriptures in New King James Version, unless otherwise stated.)

VI. CHRIST’S GLORIOUS RETURN.

Rev 19:11-14. One day soon Jesus will return in glory to earth as a conquering King to destroy His enemies, to take over complete rule of the world and to reward the faithful.

1. HIS GLORIOUS RETURN – EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM

a) The manner of His coming.

* Mt 24:29-30. He will return in great glory for all the world to see. In Rev 1:7 we read of this event, “every eye will see Him”.

* Mt 24:31. He will return with the resurrected believers. “Behold the Lord comes with ten thousand of His saints” (Jude 14). This would include those who have been raptured, together with many of the resurrected Old Testament saints (Mt 27:51-53).

* Acts 1:10-11. He will return at the place from where He left. The prophet Zechariah looked forward many hundreds of years to this event, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two …. ” (14:4).

b) The result of His coming.

* Rev 19:15-21. He will destroy all opposition at the Battle of Armageddon. Zechariah again wrote, “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (12:9).

* Rev 20:1-3. Satan and his demonic hordes will be bound in the Bottomless Pit for a thousand years. “It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones . They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in prison” (Is 24:21-22).

* Zech 14:16. There will be the greatest revival the world has ever known, for Satan will no longer be able to deceive the peoples of the world. “He will destroy …. The surface of the covering cast over all people and the veil that is spread over the nations” (Isa 25:7).

* Zech 12:10-11. The Jews will recognise Jesus as their Messiah and will repent. Paul wrote, “hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved” (Rom 11:25-26). As a result they will be restored spiritually, with all the promises given by God being fulfilled (Ez 39:27-29).

* Mt 25:31-32. He will judge nations, according to their treatment of Jews and believers. Paul said, “He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has ordained” (Acts 17:31).

* Dan 7:13-14. He will commence to rule the world with justice from Jerusalem. Speaking of His Son God said, “Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now be wise O kings, be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear …. .” (Ps 2:8-10).

2. HIS REWARDS FOR BELIEVERS – THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

We read in II Cor 5:10, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” Jesus said, “there is nothing covered that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known” (Mt 10:26). We will not be judged for our sins, which we have repented of and which are covered with His blood, but rewards will be given for our faithfulness to Him and His Word.

a) The timing. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels and then He will reward each according to his works” (Mt 16:27). There seem to be possibly two occasions on which rewards will be given:-

* At the rapture – for those who meet Him in the air and possibly for the Old Testament saints, who rose at His Resurrection. Jesus said, “Behold I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work” (Rev 22:12).

* At His glorious return – for all other believers since Adam, including all those who died or were resurrected in the Tribulation (Rev 14:1-5. 20:4). Isaiah wrote of this, “Behold the Lord shall come with a strong hand and His arm shall rule for Him. Behold His reward is with Him and His work before Him” (40:10).

b) The tests. Paul wrote, “each of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Rom 14:12).In Rev 21:7 we read, “he who overcomes will inherit all things …. .”Each “overcomer” will be tested according to their faithful obedience to Him (Jn 14:15) and to His Word (Jn 12:48) in these areas:-

* Our hearts. I Cor 4:5. Motives – are they good or bad?

* Our mouths. Mt 12:36-37. Words – do they bring life or death?

* Our actions. I Cor 3:11-15. Works – do they glorify Christ or self?

Jesus said, “those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Mt 15:18-19). We see from this verse that the attitude of our hearts effect our words and our actions. How important it is to keep our hearts and minds holy unto the Lord.

c) The rewards.For some there will be few (I Cor 3:15), but for others, their rewards will be great:-

* Different mansions. Heaven will be so big (Rev 21:16). Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions …. I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn 14:2). What a joy it will be one day to enter these wonderful dwellings, which He has prepared individually for each one of us.

* Different brightness of our new resurrection bodies. Paul wrote, “one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory” (I Cor 15:41). Daniel prophesied, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever” (Dan 12:3).

* Different crowns. The Bible says that we compete for “an imperishable crown” (I Cor 9:25). There will be crowns:- “Of righteousness” – for those who long for Christ and His return (II Tim 4:8). “Of life” – for those who persevere in their faith through great testings (Rev 2:10. Jms 1:12). “Of glory” – for faithful pastors (I Pet 5:2-4). “Of rejoicing” – for those who lead many to the Lord (I Thess 2:19-20).

* Different responsibilities in the coming ages. In the parable of the talents, Jesus commends the faithful servant for using his gifts wisely and with diligence saying, “you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Mt 25:21).

3. HIS GLORIOUS RETURN – OUR RESPONSE

After His return He will set up His Kingdom on earth and will rule with His saints for a thousand years, after which there will be a new heaven and earth. Time will stretch into eternity, during which He will fulfil His plans for us and His universe. Let us:-

a) Lift our hands and praise Him for such a wonderful inheritance. Rev 5:9-10. Paul wrote,“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor 2:9).

b) Be active in our works and witness for Him, that we do not lose our crown. Rev 3:11.The Bible says in Gal 6:9, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

c) Make Him our priority in every area of life. Phil 3:8.Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind” (Lk 10:27).

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years”(Rev 20:6).

 

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