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Believer’s Basics #11 – Christ’s Second Coming (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 28, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #11 – Christ’s Second Coming (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 28, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick has a topical message


This excitement to preach the Gospel, to not be only saved myself, but to have others saved, God working through me. That is our purpose. That is supposed to be the light of our life.

That does not mean we cannot enjoy other things, but they all must remain secondary to this fact. No matter what you have going on, you are a witness. You are either a bad witness or you are a good witness.

To hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Revelation chapter 19, as he begins his message called Second Coming. Now I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he who sat on him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns.

He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. The armies in heaven clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. Now out of his mouth goes a sharp sword that with it he should strike the nations, and he himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Earlier it was asked about Antichrist, who can make war against him? Well, there it is.

The King of Kings can make war, will make war, and wins the war, and it won't even be much of a fight. The common phrase that we use concerning the return of Christ is the Second Coming, a phrase that's not found in the Bible. The fact, of course, is there, and that the phrase is not there is really not that important. The fact is what is important, and the word used by the apostles so often to refer to his coming that the Second Coming that we're speaking of is a common Greek word, parousia, and it means the presence, the coming. That is what James uses when he says there in James 5, verse 8, establish your hearts for the parousia, for the presence, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. And of course he's referring to Christ returning. The Lord had already been, had ascended to heaven almost two decades ago when James wrote that.

This word parousia, as I mentioned, is significant. Twenty-four times it shows up in our New Testament. Sixteen of them are in reference to Christ's return. Matthew chapter 24, when Jesus said, but as the days of Noah were, so will the coming of the Son of Man be, the parousia. The Second Coming is in two phases, and the first has to do with what we call the rapture, the taking away of the church. Now if you're one of those who believes the church has to go through the great tribulation period, I'm beyond debating that. That's your opinion.

But mine is not that way. Mine follows, I believe, the scripture when God says to the church at Philadelphia in Revelation chapter 3, I will spare you from the great tribulation that is coming upon the whole earth. When Paul writes to the Thessalonians and says, comfort each other with these words, what comfort would there possibly be if you were to go through this great tribulation? And so we have these two comings of Christ. The first one, the rapture of the church, where he doesn't touch the earth.

He comes and he calls the church to him. And that is the end of the true church on earth as we know it. The tribulation saints will be so through just that, persecution and tribulation. The second coming happens seven years later. And at that time, Christ will come to earth. And that is the section we just read from Revelation chapter 19. That is the second coming to earth of the Lord. So the first one, he comes for his church. The second one, he comes with his church, and the mighty angels will be with him.

And us, I should say, on that return. James, I'll text again, 5-8, he is prophetically guaranteeing Christ's return when he says, for the coming of the Lord it's at hand. It can come any moment. It's imminent.

It can happen at any time. No other prophecy need be fulfilled before he comes. Now at the time he wrote it, there was still one prophecy that had to be fulfilled. And that is the martyrdom of Simon Peter. After that, nothing. Jesus promised Peter that he would be martyred.

And so after that, after Peter was martyred, there was nothing left to fulfill. And he can come before this service is over. He's not likely to because he wants you to hear what he's given me to say.

It's very simple, but after service, be ready. Because I would have to object on your behalf, of course, to him. Why did you have me work so hard to just end it so soon? Anyway, James, again, prophetically guarantees Christ's return to earth. As I mentioned, almost two decades after the Lord ascended.

We'll get back to that briefly in a little bit. But here in our reading of Revelation 19, which is history, future. From God's standpoint, it's already happened.

We're the ones that look forward to these events. But John wrote anywhere from 45 to 65 years after the ascension of Christ. And he's still excited about the coming of Jesus to earth again. Hopes were very high in that early church that Christ could return at any moment.

This was on purpose, this was by design, and it was good and it should be for us too. But none of them knew that 2,000 years would go by. And he still has not come and the church has still been conducting business. The true church. In spite of the false churches. In spite of so many false people in true churches. But that so many centuries would pass between his promise and his return is irrelevant. It was irrelevant to them, technically. When you get down to it, he didn't have to come back.

They just expected him to. And for us too, he could come back at any moment. But if he does not, we know what we're supposed to do. The question I have, and I think the Holy Spirit would ask this question, is anyone here too focused on the here and now to care about the here to come? Maybe you have no real interest in the second coming of Christ.

Maybe this is a distant thing for you. It was not for the early Christians and it was not for new believers either. This being a consideration of believers basics, I'm not trying to go in depth, but just cover the topics enough to get us going, if I can say it that way.

But is this short life more important than the life to come that will last forever? It is claimed that one out of every 30 verses in the Bible refer to this doctrine, refer to the return of Christ. Even in the Old Testament, it referred to the Messiah coming and establishing his kingdom. To every one mention of the first coming, the second coming is mentioned eight times according to one Bible student. 318 references to it are made in 216 chapters in the Bible. Whole books, example, or two I can think of, Thessalonians, first and second Thessalonians, they deal with the second coming of Christ and remember those were new converts when Paul wrote those Thessalonian letters. Whole chapters, Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark's Gospel chapter 13 deal with the second coming of Christ and all that's in between and some that is after.

They are devoted to this topic. So, we are not to have a rare mention of what is said so often. In other words, the Bible has made a lot of statements concerning this, revelations. Therefore, we're not to ignore it.

We're to respond. If the Bible has so much to say about the coming of Christ, then we should have a lot to say about the coming of Christ. What is not done with his Bible?

I don't mean adding new scripture. I mean as far as fulfilling what has been written. There's much to be done.

There's much to be carried out. The coming verses that I'm about to give momentarily, they are authoritative. Authoritative speech of God to man concerning these truths. Jesus himself bore witness in his testimony to the second coming. All of the New Testament writers faithfully proclaim this truth from each writer of our New Testament. We have mention of the second coming of Christ. Now, not in every single book of the New Testament and letter, but each writer of those letters.

For example, Paul may not say anything about the second coming and Philemon directly say anything about it, but he says it about it in Titus, for example. Our Lord, Matthew's Gospel chapter 24. And this is when, you know, they had gone into the Herod's temple, the second Jewish temple that had been enhanced aesthetically by Herod. And it was supposed to have been a magnificent temple.

Well, the disciples, they wanted a response from Christ about it. They were impressed. They said, Master, look at this temple. And he says to them, I'm telling you, not one stone will be left upon another. And of course, they understood to be at the end of the age.

So they asked him about it. When will these things be? And he gives that long discourse on the end times. And in verse 30 of Matthew 24, where all this is, then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, Jesus said. And then all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The parousia. The presence of Christ. The physical, visible, inescapable presence of Jesus Christ on earth. Simon Peter talks about it in 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.

It comes like that when you don't expect it. John, in his first letter, he says, and now little children abide in him that when he appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. There is that Greek word again, parousia. The apostle Paul, there in Corinthians, that section of Corinthians that I use most often for the communion service that we have, he writes, For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come. See, each one of them, this is important doctrine. And I want Christians to know it and hear it, says the Holy Spirit.

I want them to be mindful of it. When you read your New Testament, it will be flying off the page if you are sensitive enough to pay attention to it. So it is with many of the prophets in the Old Testament also. Well, James, of course, our text and right before our text in verse 8, he says, Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Jude writes, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints. That's that section we were just reading from in Revelation 19 that he is referring to. The writer of Hebrews says Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for him, he will appear a second time, apart from sin for salvation. Those who eagerly wait for him, bookmark that in your heads because we're going to get to that.

To be eager for his return. And then the angels themselves, they had something to say about the return of Christ. And Christ ascended there and that's recorded in the book of Acts in chapter 1. There were the disciples with their jaws wide open, gazing up into the sky as the Lord ascended. And the angels, we believe they were angels. Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven. What are you looking up at the sky for?

He'll be back. Get to work. You got things to do. Like what? Well there's laundry, I've got to wash my truck.

No. I mean you got to do that stuff too. Anybody here need to wash a truck?

Just see me after service, I'll help you out with one that you can wash. But anyway, this excitement to preach the gospel, to not be only saved myself, but to have others saved, God working through me, that is our purpose. That is supposed to be the light of our life.

That does not mean we cannot enjoy other things, but they all must remain secondary to this fact. No matter what you have going on, you are a witness. You are either a bad witness or you are a good witness. You are either saved or you ain't saved. Either way, the clock is ticking and if you are saved, as I don't remember who I do remember, but I'm not going to say, but the saying is the heart took a looking but it kept on ticking. That will be the story of the saints when we leave this life. Life will continue for us and what will matter is not only the future that lay before us, but the ministry that we engaged in here. So here are some of the characteristics about the coming of Christ.

It will be literal, visible, personal and local all at one shot. Revelation chapter 1 verse 7. Before I read this, here's John, he's a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos for his testimony because he was a believer, he's persecuted and the island was his jail and he gets this vision of what we call the revelation.

Christ had been gone, as I said, by this time anywhere from 45, 65 years as far as the ascension goes and yet he is still excited and he writes about it and he makes us excited. He says, behold, I love that, that's the French horns coming right there, behold. He is coming with clouds and the kettle drums, no harps, not yet.

And anyone who thinks we'll be playing harps in heaven, where do you get that from? But anyway, behold, he is coming with clouds and every eye will see him. Even they who pierced him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him, even so, amen.

This is the truth. I'm not persecuted here on the Isle of Patmos because I didn't see what I saw, I am persecuted because I did see and I did live what I am telling you I experienced with Jesus Christ and not only me, so would Peter and Andrew and all the other disciples of Christ, the apostles. It will also be sudden, the second coming of Christ. Revelation 16, 15, behold, I am coming as a thief.

Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments lest he walk naked and they see his shame. Again, that word behold, it's an announcement, something big is about to happen very quickly. At the end of the word behold, it happens.

Behold, I am coming as a thief. Those were the words of Jesus to John in the Revelation chapter 16 verse 15. It will be unexpected.

It would be quick and you won't see it coming so you better be always ready is the idea. Matthew 24, 36, but of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were so will be the coming of the Son of Man. You won't be able to stop it. It will be like a flood, you can't stop a flood.

I mean, you know, once it's coming in, you just know, you know, you're not without heavy, heavy equipment. And of course, in this sense, you won't be able to stop the coming of the Lord. It will be unpredictable and thus he says, watch Matthew 25, 13, therefore for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. It will be glorious.

It will not be a boring event, it won't be like as it was when the Persians took over Babylon and many of the citizens didn't know for three days that they had a new government in place. You will know, oh world, the Christians belonging to the church age, the age of grace won't be here. The Christians that will be here will be those surviving or being converted in the midst of his return under great persecution and they will be underground worshipers as best they can.

Once they are discovered, Antichrist will waste no time wasting them. But this glorious event is announced in Mark chapter 13 verse 26. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

That great power is invincible power by the way. It will be punitive, there will be punishment that he brings with it, with the coming of the saints, with him. It will be punitive and rewarding. Punitive for the very wicked, rewarding for the saints. 2 Thessalonians, I'll have to take this in two sections because it announces both at the same time. 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 speaking of his coming to give, you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.

That's the punitive side. And then verse 10, the rewarding side, Paul writes, When he comes in that day, in that day it's going to happen, in that day to be glorified in his saints and to be admired among all those who believe because our testimony among you was believed. How powerful speech from this man, this not physically imposing character. You know, you get many of those children illustrated stories of the Bible and everybody's on steroids. I mean, the men are all buff and it's just like, what world is that artist living in?

Paul, the most striking feature about Paul, you'd have to see if he took his shirt off so you could see the wounds on his body. Now, I've told this story, years ago I was at an event and evidently it wasn't a bodybuilding event, it was another kind of event, obviously, if it's not that, right? But anyway, so this bodybuilder came in, it wasn't a big, it was a gymnasium-sized place, a large gymnasium, and all of a sudden I'm doing my thing and I hear people saying, take your shirt off, they weren't talking to me.

Although back then, I had muscles in my hair. So I looked around and there was this bodybuilder that had come to enjoy the event too and everybody wanted to see his muscles. Now, he didn't do that, he just enjoyed, of course, the attention. Well, if the apostle Paul came and they yelled, take your shirt off, and he took his shirt off, they would see the scars of canings and beatings and all the other things that he endured on his frail body. And so when he shows up to Thessalonica and makes these converts, they were true converts, they were not impressed with his physical appearance, it was the power of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life. And Paul is not the last man to have this power. It has been the story of Christians preaching the Gospel throughout the ages, not in an identical way, but in a powerful way. And so when these Thessalonians came to Christ, they fell in love with Jesus, they were persecuted very soon after and they held the faith and that's why Paul writes these two letters that we know as the Thessalonian letters to them, to encourage them and to applaud. Paul said, your testimony is known by all the churches, how you turn from idols to God and how you're sticking with God in spite of your persecutions. And so when he says to them, when he comes in that day to be glorified in his saints and to be admired among all those who believe because our testimony among you was believed, they believe the testimony of this frail looking man. And as I mentioned in the earlier part of Thessalonians, Paul says God's going to deal with them.

God is going to judge them and you just be faithful. The coming of Christ will be final as far as human history and human rule goes. There'll be no more politicians when Christ comes. There will be Jesus Christ and rulers appointed by Christ from members who were once part of the body of Christ in this world.

1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 24, then comes the end. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit and follow the links under radio. Again, that's That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-28 09:27:01 / 2022-11-28 09:36:00 / 9

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