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February 22, 2021 1:00 am
Back in the book of the revelation I'd like to read again the first eight verses here beginning at verse one of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. John the apostle who is writing here says the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants things which must shortly take place and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God into the testimony of Jesus Christ to all things that he saw.
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near John to the seven churches which are in Asia.
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come in from the seven spirits who are before his throne and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and has made us kings and priests to his God and father to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 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. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty part of our confession of faith includes a statement concerning eschatology.
We here at beacon Baptist Church adhere to the New Hampshire confession of faith of 1833 in article 18 is of the world to come. States this this is what we corporately believe this is what we confess is a church. This is what we believe. We believe that Christ will return to earth in his glorified body that the dead will be raised from their graves that the righteous will be received into endless joy that the wicked will be assigned to endless punishment according to principles of righteousness, that the present world will be destroyed and that a new heaven and a new earth will be instituted wherein dwells perfect righteousness ribbon spending some time here in these opening verses of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is first and foremost a revealing of the person and work of Jesus Christ, you cannot miss that. Can't miss it in the title of the book, you can't miss it on his John introduces us to Christ and speaks of him in these first eight verses, but there are a number things that I want to point out to you that make that form the basis of the message this evening and let me point those things out to you there for them and one is in verse one where John writes the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants things which must shortly take place things which must surely shortly take place. There's a lot of speculation about what John meant by that what God means by that. Things that must surely take place.
What we are to to millennium removed from the writing of these words and it causes us to wonder how to reconcile that time with the words must shortly take place. I won't go into the various interpretations of that but there are fairly critical as to your hermeneutic and how to you are going to approach the book of the Revelation, but those those that phrase things which must shortly take place.
Then in verse three Blessed is he reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near the time is near.
So we have these two ideas, things which must shortly take place. And then this emphasis in verse three the time is near. Then in verse seven behold, he is coming with clouds, the emphasis on the second coming of Christ, unambiguous, clear John is he speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, not only about who he is and what is done, but what he will yet do and that is, he will come again, behold, he is coming with clouds, and then in verse eight I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, says the Lord, who is and who was and in who is to come. So there's this emphasis on the second advent, the second coming of Jesus Christ and I think I would be derelict in my preaching. If I didn't take notice of that and speak to this wonderful doctrine that is the second coming of Jesus Christ.
So that's the focus of the message tonight. Listen to this hymn by Charles Wesley law he comes with clouds descending once for favored sinners, slain thousand thousand Saints attending swell the triumph of his train. Hallelujah, hallelujah God appears on earth to reign, God appears on earth, the rain, notice how how closely the text of the hymn is tied to the text of Scripture. Here in Revelation chapter 1 verses seven and eight. Every I shall now behold him robed and dreadful majesty. Those who set at naught and sold him pierced and nailed him to the tree, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah.
See shall the true Messiah.
See now redemption, long expected C and solemn pomp appear all his saints by man rejected now shall meet him in the air. Hallelujah, hallelujah, see the day of God appear see the day of God appear. Yay. Amen.
Let all endure the high on thine eternal throne. Save your take the power and glory claim the kingdom for thine own all come quickly all come quickly. Hallelujah. Come Lord come hallelujah come Lord come title of the him low. He comes so we have the past two Lord Lord's day, evenings, consider number one who Jesus Christ is from the text of Revelation 1 verse five that he is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over all the kings of the earth. And then we considered what it is he has done and is doing and that is he's loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood is made us kings and priests to his God is what he is done but were not only interested in who he is and what is done but were interested in what he yet will do the future that were looking to. In particular, the second coming of Christ.
So tonight seven aspects of the second coming of Jesus Christ. So consider with me as were going to concentrate on verses seven and eight. The first aspect is I want you to see the arresting call of his coming. The arresting call of his coming and I take that from the first word in verse seven behold behold or perhaps another translation says, look it's sounding an alarm it's calling for our attention. It is a literary device to draw attention to a critical matter. This is the first of 25 uses of the word by John in the book of the Revelation and it's interesting that the first use. He uses it to draw attention to the second coming of Christ. Behold, pay attention, please notice don't overlook this. Don't minimize this give careful attention to the subject. Now true. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for proof or correction, for instruction in righteousness. All Scripture, but something particular way arresting about this Scripture because of this arresting aspect, the arresting call of his coming, John is telling us here is a subject worthy of astute consideration it is to inform and shape the way we live. It is to be a controlling doctrine as we live out our Christian lives were not to relegate this subject to the realm of the insignificant it is. John is telling us with by the use of this word behold that it is of vital importance. It is to be carefully and thoughtfully considered and it is worthy of our utmost attention. Behold, he is coming. So tonight let's heed this arresting statement of John. Let's give particular concentrated attention to this critical doctrine. The second coming of Christ. So, here at the beginning of our consideration of this grand and glorious doctrine, the arresting call of his coming, but second I want you to see with me the present aspect of his coming.
The present aspect of his coming again verse seven behold, he is coming now to be sure, the coming of Christ is a certain yet future event. It has not happened yet, but it is the next major event on God's redemptive calendar, but please notice that it doesn't say he will come. It says, behold, he is coming, that there is a present aspect of his coming so we make of that. Well, it's it seems to me that the certainty of his coming is such that John the writer is telling us that he is coming.
In other words, the present tense use of the verb suggests that Christ is already on the way.
That process is underway. Now I don't know what all that means, but we tend to view the second coming of Christ as an event something that is yet future and God is arresting our attention here and telling us that yes the second coming of Christ in terms of an event is future.
But there is an aspect about it that is yet present events are already in motion. Things are already set. Christ is coming and we are not to think as a church that is coming is only relegated to the future that is way out there know his coming is a present reality. He could come at any moment is coming is imminent. Most of us if not, the vast majority of us know the difference between contemplating and considering out-of-town company. There's a difference between saying that we have folks that are coming as opposed to saying they will come when we say that they will come for a visit. He doesn't provoke us to immediate action were not concerned so much about the house being in order. We just know they're planning to come.
We don't know when Evan set a date we haven't determine exactly when they're coming. But if we say they are coming. In fact, they are on the way it provokes us to action. When there is a present reality to the prospect of out-of-town company coming. It sets us in motion were not concerned about fresh linens on the bed were not concerned about the house being in order were now concerned about the refrigerator being stocked with food in the cupboards with food to accommodate our out-of-town guests and I think that God is setting the second coming of Christ before us in this present tense in order to arrest our attention so that were not thinking about the future that we are in a prepared mindset. We are anticipating is coming at any moment and that begs the question tonight. That is a pastor I ought to ask.
I want to ask and that is is your house in order.
I don't mean for anticipated out-of-town guests.
I mean is your spiritual house in order. Are you keeping short accounts before God concerning your sin. Are you walking in the light as he is in the light are you knowing fellowship with God. Are you looking are you anticipating the coming of Christ, or is that something that would not give much thought to. If Jesus Christ would make his appearance tonight because the text tells us he is coming when his coming. Catch you unprepared or would you be ready for his coming. See, God speaks about the coming of Christ in such a way that allows us know he's it allows us no time to put off our preparedness five more times in this book.
As John gives it to us. There is a reference to second to Christ's second coming in at all five occasions. We are told that he is coming and he's coming quickly so it behooves us to be certain that we are in right relationship with God and that we are anticipating is coming.
The present aspect of his coming. Third tonight were looking at. Seven aspects of the second coming of Christ.
Third, I want you to see the certain the certainty of his coming because it is the infallible word of God and we have on the authority of the word of God these words, behold, he is coming, we would need anything else beyond that to determine the certainty of his coming, but there is more notice at the end of the verse, behold, 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. Even so. Amen those three words speak to us about the certainty of his coming. The word amen is a Hebrew word that means it is firm. It is established.
It is movable in other words, it is to say, this will surely be that's the meaning of the word amen for our consideration tonight Saints of God, let us never doubt never grow faint.
The Lord will surely come. The time may seem long, but he is coming, the suffering of the waiting expectant church may be severe it may seem at times as if the Lord is slack concerning his promise by he is certainly coming so far tonight we've considered the arresting call of his coming. The present aspect of his coming.
The certainty of his coming.
Consider with me.
The manner of his coming. The manner of his coming. Notice again verse seven behold, he is coming in and what manners he coming, he's coming with clouds. He's caught he's coming with clouds now again, I've already drawn your attention to all Scripture, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and the fact that we are told that he's coming with clouds has significance. Clouds in Scripture symbolize a number of things. Cloud clouds are symbolic of the presence of God. You remember how God manifested his presence with his people in the wilderness, a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night on Mount Sinai, and the giving of the law. There is mentioned in Exodus 19 and in Exodus 20 and in Exodus 24 of a thick cloud upon the mountain.
I believe that cloud is there to symbolize not only the presence of God but the Majesty the glory of God. Clouds were present at the dedication of the tabernacle clouds were present at the dedication of the temple and here is the phenomenon of clouds symbolizing not only God's presence, but God's glory. On those occasions the tabernacle. The temple listen to acts chapter 1 and verse nine. Now when he had spoken these things, while they watched, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.
A cloud listen to what Paul says to the church at Thessalonica.
Chapter 4 first Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 17 a break-in at verse 17. The passage beginning in verse 13, down through verse 18 is about the coming of Christ with verse 17 says then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord so clouds are symbolic of divine presence, but also there symbolic of glory and majesty.
Listen to Matthew 24 in verse 30. This is the Olivet discourse Christ is speaking and he speaking about the coming of the Son of Man, breaking in at verse 30 of Matthew 24.
It says Jesus is then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, 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. So the coming of Christ in the clouds is symbolic of according to the words of Jesus power and great glory.
Talking about the manner of his coming. He's coming with clouds, but it's also as I said there are number of possibilities here in terms of how to interpret that is coming with clouds with clouds.
Psalm chat Psalm 18, listen to these verses Mrs. Psalm 18.
Their number versus here but listen carefully to the emphasis in my distress this is verse six of Psalm 18 in my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to go to my God, he heard my voice from his temple.
In my cry came before him, even to his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils and devouring fire from his mouth close were kindled by reviled the heavens also and came down with darkness under his feet and he rode upon a cherub and Lou.
He flew upon the wings of the wind, he made darkness his secret place is canopy around him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies from the brightness before him. His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire, the symbolic language there, and Psalm 18 is of judgment when other verse in Psalms Psalm 97 verse two verse one says the Lord reigns. Let the earth rejoice that the multitude of aisles. Be glad clouds and darkness around him righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. A fire goes out before him in burns up his enemies round about, so clouds there are symbolic of judgment. John says in Revelation 1 that he is coming in a manner with clouds is coming the second time, not as the suffering servant as he did in his first Advent but is coming this time with the glory that the father has given to him to judge this world. In truth and righteousness. Psalm 104 verse three says he makes the clouds his chariot. He makes the clouds his chariot you recall what the angel said to those men who were gathered on the mount of olives.
You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing into heaven.
This same Jesus who you who you've seen taken up in the glory so shall so come in like manner seen him go out that he go he was taken up in a cloud. He will common like manner so as we think about the manner of his coming.
We believe in the literal personal visible bodily coming of Jesus Christ.
Notice how that is supported herein. Our text, behold, he is coming with clouds. What else does it say, and every eye will see him every eye will see him so is not coming in a spiritual sense, he's coming in a literal sense. He's coming in such a way that every eye shall see him, even they who pierced him so believer and unbeliever alike will see him.
Not sure how I can get my mind around that. But that's what the text of Scripture says he's coming bodily he's coming personally and he's coming in is glorified humanity again tonight were considering seven aspects of the second coming of Christ.
We consider number one the arresting call of his coming. The present call of his coming. The certainty of his coming. The manner of his coming. Consider with me. Number five the audience at his coming. The audience at his coming in earth restatements here in verse seven behold is coming with clouds, and every eye will see him statement number one, even they who pierced him. Statement number two and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him. Every eye will see him number one, even those, even they who pierced him number two and all the tribes of the earth that is the audience at his coming. Vardy give thought to every eye will see him, but secondly it says even they who pierced him, even they who pierced him.
And all the tribes of the earth. Every eye will see him. That's inclusiveness of all people, believers and unbelievers alike, but the phrase even they who pierced him. Our first thought is that it's making reference to those who were literally culpable for the death of Christ Pilate Judas the Roman government. The soldiers and surly they are in view, but most Bible scholars believe that it doesn't just refer to them that it refers to all who have ridiculed all who have rejected all who have rebelled against Jesus that are all in view here that it's a reference to all people in all ages who have despised and rejected and ridiculed Christ Jesus.
All the tribes of the earth.
It says, even they who pierced him.
And all the tribes of the earth. John uses the Greek word file a which is translated tribes five or six other times in the book, and each time it refers broadly to the peoples of all the nations, so that's the audience at his coming. Consider with me. Number six. The purpose of his coming.
The purpose of his coming in again in verse seven behold 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 they will mourn because of him. The purpose of his coming he is coming to judge.
They will mourn because of him and what speaks of the sorrow that is the result of the judgment that Christ brings upon the world they will mourn not for Christ, not for the price they rejected and ridiculed and despised, but they will mourn over their doom their judgment.
They will mourn the will be a time of weeping and gnashing of teeth not confined to hell with that will be laments in morning when that day comes, it will be too late. There will be no second chance the age of grace will have passed judgment will be settled in judgment is reserved for those who have disobeyed the gospel. Those who have not submitted to Christ. Those who have not heeded the command to repent and believe on him and it doesn't have to be that way were told that judgment is reserved for that and for those but again we are living in a day of grace. The opportunity is still there to acknowledge one sin and to turn from that sin and the cast oneself upon Christ to the believing of your soul so give careful attention to these matters. There is judgment that is coming number seven tonight. I want you to see the divine affirmation of his coming.
The divine affirmation of his coming. Who is it that stands behind the promise of his coming, upon whom do we rest our hope and anchor our confidence concerning this great doctrine will notice what it says in verse eight my Bible. The letters are read there is some controversy. Not all Bible commentators speak that those words ought to be a red letter that they are the words of Jesus. Some say they are the words of God the father be as it may, they are of divine affirmation divine affirmation in verse eight God puts his signature on the prophecy of the second coming and it's all recorded there in that one verse and there are three of his divine attributes that guarantee the certainty of the second coming of Christ. Notice with me. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet.
The Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet from beginning to end. God is the all-knowing God. He is the first attribute is his omniscience.
God knows all things. The God who knows all things is the God who is telling us that Christ is coming again he is coming. He's the alpha and the omega. He is the beginning and he is the end I am the Alpha and the the Omega again the right repetitive idea.
The first and the last, the often them in the Omega, the beginning and the end.
What else I am the often them in the Omega, the beginning and the end, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come. That is the eternal analogy of God, the God's transcendent and eternal presence. The one who is the one who was the one who is to come, that God is the God who is making this promise to us that allows us to anchor our soul and find confidence in the promise than the emphasis there, the Almighty, the Almighty, the omnipotent God that he's all-powerful the nothing is going to hinder him from carrying out his sovereign will. No one nor no thing can possibly prevent Christ from returning in glory as God's promised the divine affirmation of his coming folks. He is coming again is certainly and is surely as we are gathered here considering these words tonight are you expectant are you looking are you longing. Are you praying the emphasis on the second coming of Christ is brought it's all through the New Testament someone is said that there are over 500 references to the second coming of Christ.
It's a subject that we ought to consider more. We ought to contemplate and meditate on it more is given for our edification. It's given for our preparation. May God help us as we think about these things tonight and consider the seven aspects of Christ coming. Listen to this him written hundred and 50 years ago. There's an hour, which no man know if nor the angels around the throne when the Lord shall come in glory from the sky all the saints shall rise to meet him for a call up for his own. They shall hear the trumpets sounding by-and-by.
What a blessed transformation in the twinkling of an eye. When the mortal shell immortal life put on those who love him shall be like him when he cometh from on high. At the noontide at the midnight, or at dawn. Though our sins have been as scarlet, let us seek the streams that flow from the cross that rose on Calvary's rugged height. He is able still to keep us and present us white as snow when he comes again in clouds of dazzling light shall we pray father tonight. We thank you for this wonderful promise that your son the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again and he's coming in power and great glory. What a shame it would be if the last picture upon this earth of our Savior was one of of weakness and death and cruelty that was the case in his first AdVent but he is coming again in power and great glory because your church to be a prepared church cause us to take heed in earnest preparation for his coming. Thank you for not only the promise, but the certainty and the warning associated with this coming for all who have rejected and ridiculed and disobeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you that you are still in the business of gathering from the four corners of the earth. Those who will make up the bride of Christ, Lord, work, use your word to that end now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling into present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to God our Savior, or who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever on