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Sign up at harvest.org. In the second coming, he returns with his people. So you're coming back with the Lord. Are you a little tired of hearing the terms new and improved? New and improved soap, new and improved mouthwash, new and improved floor wax.
It's often hard to tell the difference, but for the big sticker on the package. Well, there's a time coming when earth will definitely, definitively be new and improved. It's a mass renovation project with the Lord as the architect. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings revealing insights from his series, The End of the World, What Does the Bible Say? I want to talk about the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is the answer to the prayer that the church has been praying for 2,000 years. When our Lord said, after this manna, therefore pray, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, you know the rest, thy kingdom come, say it with me, thy will be done.
So when we pray, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, we're saying, Lord, we're looking forward to the day when you return and establish your kingdom on this earth. Here's a few things you need to know about the second coming of Jesus if you're taking notes. Number one, the second coming of Jesus will be public and it will be seen by all.
It will be public and it will be seen by all. There won't be any mistaking it when it happens. You might say, well, it's not a really bad storm, it's a second coming.
You'll know it. Jesus said, as the lightning shines from the east to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Number two, the second coming of Christ will be accompanied by sadness and weeping.
It's a happy day for heaven, it's a sad day for earth. Israel will mourn as they realize that Jesus was indeed their long-awaited Messiah. Zechariah 12 10 says, they will look on him whom they have pierced and they will mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died and he will bring righteous retribution and vengeance. Let me contrast the rapture and the second coming so you know the difference. The second coming is different from the rapture. In the rapture, he comes before judgment. In the second coming, he returns with judgment.
The rapture is before the tribulation period. The second coming is at the end of the tribulation period. In the rapture, he comes for his people. In the second coming, he returns with his people. In the rapture, he comes as a thief in the night.
In the second coming, every eye will see, everyone will see. Look at verse 11, he rides a white horse. Contrast this to what we call Palm Sunday or the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. Remember when he rode the donkey into the city and the people laid palm branches down and they said, Hosanna to the son of David.
The word Hosanna means save now. They didn't understand what scripture was saying. They thought he was coming as a military messiah to overthrow the tyranny of Rome. They didn't understand he was coming to die for the sin of the world.
So they're saying save now, do it now. But those same crowds that were saying hail him, hail him, would soon be saying nail him, nail him. When they cried out, crucify him and let his blood be upon us and upon our children. The first time Christ came, he came riding a lowly donkey. When he comes again, he rides a white stallion, interesting. In Revelation 6, we have the four horsemen of the apocalypse, as it's sometimes called. And the first one is a white horse.
The rider comes on a white horse wearing a crown. Some have thought this is about the second coming. No, it's about the imitator. Remember, antichrist, anti, not only means against, it means instead of. So he comes as a false Christ, but following him comes death and war and all these horrible things.
That's what antichrist brings. So he's an imitation Christ riding a white horse. He has one crown, Jesus comes with many crowns.
So here's Christ returning, this is air horse one. Okay, now people often wonder, what did Jesus look like? Don't you find it interesting that there's no description of the physical appearance of Jesus Christ?
Not a single one. Couldn't someone have said what his height was or what color his hair was or what color his eyes were? Nothing in the Bible, but we have this interesting description of him that's largely symbolic here in Revelation 19, 12. His eyes were a flame of fire and on his head were many crowns.
And he had a name written that no one knew except he himself. Three things stand out, the eyes, the head, and the robe. First, there are his eyes. They're like a flame of fire. You know, some people, when you meet them, they refuse to make eye contact.
You know people like that? And some people look straight into your eyes. It's said the eyes of the window of the soul. You know, imagine what it would have been like to look into the eyes of Jesus.
On one occasion, he called Matthew, the tax collector. And we read Jesus looked at him, but it could be better translated, Jesus looked right through him. Matthew, he says, follow me, looks right through, Matthew. And he follows Christ right there on the spot. There's nothing that God does not see. Hebrews 4, 13 says, there's no creature hidden from his sight.
All things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. Then there's his head. He wears many crowns. Why does he wear many crowns? Because he rules over all kingdoms.
He's our sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing ruler. He is also our loving, compassionate, forgiving savior. Then we have his robe, verse 13. It's clothed or dipped in blood, and his name is called the word of God.
The word dipped means spattered, spattered in blood. The first time he came, they crucified him. He shed his blood for the sin of the world. He shed his blood for you and for me. As Paul said, he loved me and gave himself for me. So he shed his blood for us.
Now we come to the moment when he returns. Notice Jesus is not alone. He is followed by a large army. Verse 14, and the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen and white and clean, followed him and white horses. Oh, cool.
I like white horses. Who are these armies? They're you, and they're me.
You say, but why? Enoch said, behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment in Jude 14. But who are these saints? Colossians 3, 4 gives us the answer. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory.
Right? You'll be there. So you're coming back with the Lord. Notice this massive army of saints and angels have no weapons.
We don't need them. He does it all with the word. Verse 15, out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, and with it he would strike the nations, and he himself will rule them with a rod of iron. Look at verse 19. As I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army. So before I tell you what happens to the Antichrist and the false prophet, look at what they're doing. Here's Christ returning in all of his glory. King of kings, Lord of lords.
And what do they do? Verse 19, they make war against him. This just reminds us of that simple truth. Sin makes you stupid. And when you live in a pattern and a lifestyle of sin, your heart will become irreparably hardened, and you can go beyond the point of no return. Did you know there's a point of no return? Are you saying there's a point where God will no longer forgive me?
What I'm really saying is there will come a point where you no longer want to be forgiven. This is why the Bible says, harden not your heart if you can hear his voice. So here's the Lord himself returning in glory. Antichrist is trying to stop him.
How ridiculous that is. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know, there's nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call, Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at Harvest.org. You can join Christians from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together.
So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well, we're looking ahead to the second coming of Christ today on A New Beginning. Pastor Greg is helping us know what's coming according to God's word. So now we come to the final judgment of the beast and the false prophet. Go to Revelation 19 20. Then the beast, that's the Antichrist, was captured with him.
The false prophet, that's his religious sidekick that works in cooperation with Antichrist. Now they face their final judgment. They're immediately judged.
They're so wicked. They're sent directly to the lake of fire. They go straight to hell. And by the way, they're the first to arrive there.
What a dubious distinction. First in hell, here you go. Hell was not made for people.
Jesus said hell was made for the devil and his angels. As wicked as they were, the Lord takes no pleasure in this, but justice needs to be judged. Justice needs to be given out. Now they face this judgment. And John is taking this all in.
Now remember what's happening. How did this all come about? This book of Revelation. So John the apostle, according to church tradition, was arrested for preaching the gospel. He's an old man now. And tradition tells us they put him in a pot of boiling oil, but he wouldn't cook. They said let's just banish this guy. We'll banish him to the island of Patmos. We'll never hear from him again.
Uh huh. And while he's there banished on that distant island, Jesus himself comes to John and effectively puts him in what we might describe as a spiritual time machine and catapults him into the future. And he sees all the things that we're reading about. So here is John taking it in. The angel is revealing it to him. And John is so amazed. Verse 10, I fell at his feet to worship him.
And he said, don't do that. I'm your fellow servant and of your brothers who have the testimony of Jesus. Listen, worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. What is the point of prophecy?
To dazzle us, to entertain us, to educate us, not really. The real purpose of prophecy, that is the study of end times events, is to reveal Jesus to us. Remember I pointed out revelation means the unveiling. Yes, it's the unveiling of the future. Yes, it's the unveiling of these mysterious figures, anti-Christ, false prophet, all the rest of it. But really, ultimately, it's the unveiling of Jesus Christ. And as I talk about this topic, if it doesn't cause me to grow in my love for the Lord, I've effectively missed the point. This is the bottom line of life. It's to know and to see and to love Jesus Christ.
Let me close with this. Judgment is coming to every person. If you're a Christian, you'll stand at the judgment seat of Christ.
Don't panic. That's when rewards are given out. But live a faithful and godly life so some rewards will be given to you. But if you're a non-believer, you'll stand at the great white throne judgment.
And there's no second chance after that. That's why you want to decide now what you're going to do. You decide in this life where you will spend the afterlife. And in that final day, it's not going to be how good of a life did you live. Because people will say things like, well, I believe of the good Lord, you know, the man upstairs. Well, let me into heaven because I've lived a good life. Have you, though?
Have you really lived a good life? The conventional wisdom is if my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds, God will let me into heaven. What is that based on?
I have no idea, but it's not in the Bible. There's no reason whatsoever to believe something like that, but so many do believe it. But I would even challenge this. Do your good works really outweigh your bad works? Do they really?
I don't think they do. Well, I live by my own standards. I suggest to you, you violate your own standards. Because as you do things you know you should not do, you start adjusting your standards a little bit. Well, God's standards are clear and absolute. And all the good works in the world will not get you into heaven.
Because heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for forgiven people, you see. And you and I and all of us together, we are sinners. And we have broken God's commandments. And that's why Jesus died on the cross for us. So we could be forgiven of all of our sin. And I remember when I became a Christian at the age of 17, 10 years ago.
Plus many more. I remember distinctly feeling a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I had not read any verses yet. Or I had not read Jesus had come unto me, all ye that are labored in a heavy laden, I'll give you rest.
Or cast all your care upon him. I hadn't read any of that. All I knew is I prayed this prayer and I felt like I was carrying the heaviest backpack filled with barbells and other weights. And it was taken off of me. And now I look back in retrospect and know that was my sin. That was my guilt taken from me. And that's what God does for you. He takes that guilt off. And he gives you a second chance in life. And he gives you the power to live this life he has called you to live.
So in that final day it's not a sin question, it's a son question. Let me explain. S-O-N. It's not how good of a life did you live. It's your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds. That's nonsense. It's son.
S-O-N. And here it is. What did you do with Jesus Christ? If you say no to him, he'll say no to you.
If you say yes to him, he'll say yes to you. Jesus said if you confess me before people, I will confess you before the Father and the angels in heaven. But if you deny me before people, I'll deny you before the Father and the angels in heaven.
The son question. It's all about Jesus. So if you say well I didn't have time for Jesus. I didn't want Jesus. I didn't even want to hear the statements of Jesus.
Well that's on you. Or you can say I wanted to hear it all. I wanted to learn what I could learn and I wanted to know him. And God will reveal himself to you. So as we close in prayer, I would like to give you an opportunity to believe in him if you have not done that yet. Let me ask you a question.
If you died today, would you go to heaven? Well I hope so because the good Lord. Stop with that.
The good Lord and the man upstairs. Just stop. God Almighty will let you into heaven if you put your faith in the son who died for your sin. That's it. There's no other ways in. So have you done that yet?
You can do that now. Or if Christ were to come back today and he could for us in the rapture. Would you be one of the ones who would be caught up or would you be one of the ones who would be left behind? That's up to you. And what you do with Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross.
Rose again from the dead three days later. And stands at the door of your life and he knocks and he says if you'll hear my voice and open the door I will come in. So now it's up to you. It's up to you. Are you gonna open the door and let him in?
Well I had a really hard life in the childhood. Yeah okay whatever. Are you gonna open the door and let him in? Well I was mistreated. Uh huh. Interesting. Are you gonna open the door and let him in?
There's a lot of hypocrites in the church. Okay. Are you gonna open the door and let him in? Well I've been hurt in life.
Yeah welcome to the club. Are you gonna open the door and let him in? Stop with all that. This is a choice that only you can make. Your parents don't make it for you. A friend doesn't make it for you.
You make it for yourself. This is a yes or no proposition. This is accept or reject. You decide, but he loves you and has a plan for you that's better than any plan you have for yourself.
And now it's up to you. Let's pray. Father, thank you for your word. You are faithful and true.
What we've read is true. And I pray for anyone hearing this right now, if they don't have a relationship with you, if they don't know you personally, let this be the moment they believe. Let this be the moment they ask you to come into their life to forgive them of their sin. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Such an important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie today on A New Beginning. And if you feel the Lord speaking to your heart and you know you need to make a change, Pastor Greg will come back in a moment and help you come into a relationship with the Lord. So stay tuned. The title of today's message is The Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It's an extended length study. We've presented it over the last three days here on A New Beginning.
But you can hear any part that you may have missed if you go online to harvest.org. Just look for that title, The Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Well Pastor Greg, we're excited about your brand new devotional book for Christmas, 25 devotions to prepare our hearts for the holidays.
It's called Heaven's Light Breaking. Yes. And I know that you have it there in front of you. Would you mind reading just a short section of that book?
Sure, I'd be happy to. Let's cue the music now. ["Heaven's Light Breaking"] No, no, not that. Come on Dave, you can do better.
I need some sweet Christmasy music. Oh, let's try this. ["Heaven's Light Breaking"] Ah, just right.
Here we go. I'm reading from my book, Heaven's Light Breaking. When Jesus entered our world as a human being, He became an embryo, and then deity and diapers. Jesus left the safety of heaven, stepped into time and space, breathed our air, shared our pain, walked in our shoes, lived our life, and died our death.
God had a face. Jesus did not become identical to us, but He did become identified with us. In fact, He could not have identified with us any more closely than He did. It was total identification without the loss of identity, for He became one of us without ceasing to be Himself. He became human without ceasing to be God. So the one who is before time and created time will be with you through all the times of your life, until time runs out into the wonders of eternity.
Isn't that what the psalmist David wrote? When he said, you are my God, my times are in your hands. So after that, we have this little moment of thanks and praise, where I say, Lord, it's hard wrapping my mind around this. You know me and loved me before you created the world. I can't process a concept that big, but I praise You, that even if I can't wrap my thoughts around You, You have wrapped Your thoughts around me. If You were small enough for my mind, You would not be big enough for my problems.
Thank You for loving me. Well, that's just a sample of what you'll read in the new book called Heaven's Light Breaking. It's Pastor Greg's devotional book for the Christmas season, 25 devotions to take you all the way up to Christmas day.
It's a great way to let your mind focus on the reason for the season. Each devotion will only take you a few minutes to read, but it could change your whole day. We'll send you Heaven's Light Breaking to thank you for your investment that helps keep a new beginning coming your way. And today is our last opportunity to mention this, so get in touch today. Our number is 1-800-821-3300. We're here 24-7 to take your call. That's 1-800-821-3300.
Or just go online to harvest.org. And then Pastor Greg, just before we go, would you mind praying with that person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord? I'd be happy to, Dave. You know, as you've been listening to this today, maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean, yeah, you've heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart. And it suddenly dawned on you, this is what I need. Or to state it more accurately, this is who I need. I need Jesus, and I want Jesus.
But maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you. Pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. And I am sorry for my sin. And I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come into my heart and my life as Savior, as God, as friend?
I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me, and accepting me, and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. I know that was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it. Maybe you felt nothing.
That doesn't really matter. Because God's word says, these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say, so you may think you have it, or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood.
No, that you can know it. And I want you to know, if you pray that prayer in a minute, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations, you're now a Christian.
Now continue to follow the Lord. Yeah, and to help you, we'd like to send you some resource materials. Foremost among them is Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible, in a very easy translation to understand.
It'll answer many of the questions you might have, and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it. We'll send it free of charge.
The fastest way to connect is to go to harvest.org and click Know God. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call us any time at 1-800-821-3300.
That's 1-800-821-3300. God can change our families, our churches, and the whole world if believers would just get involved with His plan. Next time, Pastor Greg explains how to be a world changer. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
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