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

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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November 29, 2022 6:00 am

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

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 29, 2022 6:00 am

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And so when a disciple would meet another disciple in those days on the street, at the marketplace for example, they would say to each other, Maranatha. Maranatha was the watchword of the early church. It's from 1 Corinthians 16, 22.

It likely was already happening, not because Paul may not have coined it. It's an Aramaic word. It means our Lord come. It can mean the Lord has come.

To hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick brings us Part 2 of his study called Second Coming in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 1. As I mentioned in the earlier part of Thessalonians, Paul says God's gonna deal with them. God is gonna 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 15, verse 24, then comes the end.

And in chapter 15, Paul is dealing with the resurrection and the return of Christ. He says, then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom of God, the Father, when he puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. Because he will have it.

He will exercise all of it. Right now, Satan has a long leash. He's the God of this world. He is the great tormentor. He is vile, disgusting, and wicked. We hate what he does. We are to concentrate on, if I can say it this way, what we does.

We are to concentrate on what we're supposed to do. And that is obey the Lord, follow him, preach the gospel. All of this has received criticism from the unbelievers. Many of the unbelievers are now believers. Not all, of course, but many people who once criticized the gospel were converted to it.

Paul, again, without harming Christians and was converted. Ridicule surrounds his return. It's never impressive either. It's never clever or like, wow, that's pretty deep.

It's just like, what? I think it's a miracle that you don't believe because the evidence is astounding if you have an honest enough approach to it. 2 Peter chapter 3, Peter says, knowing this first, the scoffers will come in the last days walking according to their own lusts and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. So they were sort of dictating to God.

You can't allow humanity to go on. If you want us to believe in you, you have to come down and show yourself and interrupt everything. That was their standard. It still is with many. I had one person say, if you show me a video, I'll believe.

He was very serious. Video of what? What do you want me to do with that?

So are you saying that those before the videos were, you know, technology had come and we could do that? They just, what about them? You want special treatment. You do not want faith. You want sight, which is not going to be faith. Well anyway, to those who scoff and who make such attacks on the faith, it is inconceivable and it is ridiculous to them that the continuity of human history should be interrupted, interfered with by God simply because he's not done it before.

Not according to them. And by this great miracle of his second coming, they're not moved by the idea of it. The time we live in, science is now the God and science and technology is the God of so many people, whether they verbalize it or not. In the days of Paul, of course, people were followers of all sorts of gods. Remember Demetrius who gave him such a hard time for preaching the gospel?

Paul caused a riot in Ephesus because he turned people away from the fake gods to the true God. But today, men aren't making habit of worshiping statues as much as they are just living their lives, enjoying the technology, supposing that this is proof that somehow science is going to save their soul. Science and knowledge accomplishes a lot of things, but it's God-given.

It's been withheld for centuries. Most of human history was without the technology and science we have. And in the great age of enlightenment, God opened the doors and many most refused to give him credit. But the grim fact is that when Jesus returns to rule, he will not return to a world that science and technology has morally corrected. In other words, and there's a difference between science and scientists, in other words, men will still be doing evil no matter how much technology they get, no matter how much science they can explore. Can man ever establish a perfect world? Will science ever stop men from doing wrong, from harming one another? Will knowledge ever stop men from dying? Will technology ever heal a broken heart or wipe away tears? Will it give eternal life?

I think to ask these questions is to answer the questions. I think we all know. I think they know too, and that's why the resentment towards Christ even grows further, because they know. Science will only take them so far, and that so far has been a line marked by a line drawn in the sand by God himself. Luke chapter 18 verse 8, Jesus says, when the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on earth? In other words, there's still going to be sinners there. There's still going to be all the things that required his death, the death of a Savior. Don't imagine for a moment that the doctrine of the second coming of Christ will ever be socially acceptable. It will only be acceptable to those who are born again, who adore his appearing. The second coming of Christ is a terminal event in human history, and humans without the Holy Spirit want no part of it. Matthew 13, 39, Jesus said, the harvest is the end of the age.

That's when he sends the angels as the reapers to begin to separate the sheep from the goats. This decision is either thrilling to an individual, or it will leave them with indescribable terror for the rest of eternity. Scripture, it does everything it can to warn man, to encourage man, to lead man away from such a horrific judgment. But as far as the believers go, the doctrine of the second coming, the teaching of the second coming, what the Bible has to say about the second coming, there's three ways of saying the same thing.

The doctrine, the teaching, what it says. These should be thrilling and exciting and invigorating, invigorating to the believer. When I was preparing this, as I was putting together the verses, I felt a surge of inspiration just at the verses.

Yes, that's it. This is the exciting feature of our faith, that when you are a new believer, you are so conscious of, and as the years go by and so much trouble cakes up on you, and you find out that Christianity is not necessary to life you thought it was, but it is a life that requires much fighting and struggle and apparent failure. And yet, once you've discovered these things, you are still invited by Jesus Christ to be excited. The early Christians were. Again, our text, establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. What does that mean?

James is saying to them, I know you're going through all sorts of stuff in life, but be strong in this knowledge. Christ is going to return. In the early days of Christianity, Rome resented us.

Why was that? They viewed us as traitors. They viewed us as enemies of the state because we would not acknowledge that Caesar was God, a God, that Caesar was Lord. Christians would not put a pinch on the altar of Caesar to acknowledge that and keep the state happy. They said, there is no other God.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through him. We don't recognize Caesar as God. This brought persecutions, made us scapegoats. People would say we're losing this battle or we're struggling with these storms or we're having this famine because the Christians are angering our gods. And the Christians would say, check the records.

This stuff's been going on forever. It has nothing to do with your gods. I mean, I don't know if they said it like that, but that's what I would have said. So, in the face of these persecutions, the Christians encouraged each other with a reminder that Christ has come and that he is coming again, that what he did the first time was all according to prophecy. And therefore, with the power to fulfill prophecy, to say it and then to do it, we have to know that everything he says is prophetic and is going to happen concerning the future.

And if he says he's coming again, he's coming again. We don't know when as we've just covered through the scripture verses read, but we know it's going to happen. And so when a disciple would meet another disciple in those days on the street at the marketplace, for example, they would say to each other, Maranatha. Maranatha was the watchword of the early church. It's from 1 Corinthians 16, 22.

It likely was already happening, not because Paul may not have coined it. It's an Aramaic word. It means our Lord come. It can mean the Lord has come. And in the context of therefore, he's coming again, come. It encapsulates these thoughts of prophecy fulfilled. Jesus has come and he's coming again.

That's what the word Maranatha encapsulates. It means everything that happened when he came and everything that's going to happen when he comes again. It means that he is here right now, that he is still operating within his church amongst his believers. And so it encapsulated again the first and the second coming of Christ and everything in between. He came to his cross, but now sits on the throne. Now, it is my understanding that there are some who have encouraged congregations to use the word Maranatha as a mantra.

You just repeat it over and over to try to tap into some energy. That is heresy. That is from hell. We don't do that kind of stuff.

We have no need for it, number two. But number one, it's not scriptural. It is forbidden. That won't stop these folks who push these things from getting their books out there and people gobbling up their books in Jesus' name and then coming and telling you, what could be wrong with this?

Everything. The Bible doesn't tell you to use it as a mantra. That word is pagan anyway, but the Bible doesn't tell you, don't you dare do it.

It's something like this. This hope, this word Maranatha was born out of the hope, the belief that he would return. Do you have that Christian? Do you have this thought, either I'm going to go to Christ or he's going to come and get me? That's the Christian outlook. This hope warned the believers in their temptations and sins. Listen, remember, remember when Christ, when I say Jesus Christ has a flair for understatement, it is a big statement. For example, when he says, when you pray, pray like this, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Pause there. How many Christians are very sloppy when it comes to holiness?

God's house is just a place we get together and just other things. All right, but we go on to lead us not into temptation. Which one of you think you're strong enough to face that thing that is almost an overpowering temptation or is an overpowering temptation?

Is there anybody that will all have a double dose? Of course not. When Christ says lead us not into temptation, but deliver me from evil, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory. It's a serious business and we mustn't lose sight of it. Don't just, don't get discouraged.

There's no time for that. You're going to happen anyway, but you don't have to surrender completely to discouragement. Discouragement is like the lint that's in the air.

It's everywhere. And we've spent a lot of time dodging it, parrying it, fighting against it, dealing with it. And that's what has to happen because it's going to deal with us no matter what. So let's come out on top with a determination that cannot be matched by anybody else, those without Christ that is. And so this word marinatha served to strengthen them, made them mindful that Christ is very real. 1 John chapter 3 verse 2, Beloved, now we are children of God and it has been revealed, what we shall, it has not been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when he is revealed we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure. The hope that I'm going to see Jesus helps me fight sin. That's the idea. It sustained them in their sorrows. That's why they say to one another, Marinatha, brother, he's coming again. Don't lose sight of that.

Stay focused on that. It armed them in their conflicts in that pagan world and assured them of the final victory. So when we read that passage from Revelation chapter 19, You who believe, were you not stirred by the words themselves? Apart from the person reading them, just reading them yourselves, were they not powerful words? And his name is the Word of God. And he is the King of Kings and he is the Lord of Lords. And he wears many crowns.

These are superlatives. They belong to no one else but him. That causes Paul to say this to the church at Colosseum, a church that he had not visited. But he knew heresy was trying to take root in that church, so he takes and dispatches a letter to them. And he says, beware, lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and the empty words of men. He tells them they are complete in Christ. And then he says, set your mind, Colossians 3 verse 2, on things above, not on things on earth.

That's that Marinatha watchword. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. That word glory, I don't think we use it enough. I don't know that we're mindful of it enough to use it enough.

I think we get too focused on what's hounding us to miss the glory. The Jewish believers of those days, you know, the Jewish greeting, the standard Jewish greeting, shalom, peace, that's what Jesus said when he rose again and comes into the upper room, the doors were locked, all of a sudden he's there. And he says, shalom, peace, because he's the prince of peace. But the Jewish Christians at this time, they were not greeting each other, the other Christians, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, with the word shalom anymore. They were greeting them with the word Marinatha, because there was no peace without Christ.

He's the whole story. Where does that concept in the Jewish mind come from? Peace from Messiah, which is Christ. Isaiah 9, you see, those Jewish Christians, they understood that the prophets were talking about the virgin birth, the victorious life of Christ, for unto us a child is born, unto unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders, and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Woven into that is the Godhead.

It is the role of Christ in creation. Today many of us hope for the rapture, I hope it's today. As we desire, we desire to escape this cursed world and all the sorrow that it throws at us.

We are disgusted with how much evil gets away with in this life. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, 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. When he comes back, when he stays in heaven, we'll be with him. That verse, 1 Thessalonians 4.17, speaks of the rapture of the church, the snatching away of the church. The Jehovah's Witnesses will say, well, the word rapture is not in the Bible.

They don't understand how the language moves. The language is, the word rapture comes from the Greek. And the Greek is a translation of, not from the Greek, comes from Latin. Our English word rapture comes from the Latin. And when the Bible is translated from the Greek into Latin, that Greek word for rapture, harpazo, for snatched away, was substituted or translated with raptus, the rapture.

So it is there, the doctrine, the fact, is inescapable and it is there. That is the first part of the second coming, when the church meets him in the air before he comes seven years later and puts his feet on the ground. Yet, we are called not to hope for the rapture only, but to hope to do the work we have now. I used to, as an early Christian, I wanted the rapture every day. And then as I found that there were more and more loved ones not saved yet, I started slowing it down some. It took a long time to get there. It came in a number of ways through pastoring other Christians who had family members who were still lost. And I felt the Holy Spirit say, there's a lot more here to do than to keep looking to the sky so you can escape.

So it's a mixed thing. On one hand, we're to be excited about the coming of Christ. Well, that timetable belongs to him. What belongs to me is the work I have in front of me now. So what I must do is still be excited at the prospect of his coming at any moment, but determined to serve, to squeeze every drop of service out of me until that moment comes. Multitask, you might say.

There's nothing wrong with it. It's necessary. It's imperative. 2 Peter 3, and consider that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation. 2 Peter 3, verse 15. The long suffering of our Lord, almost done here. How many of you, this is the one time you get to raise your hand in the service. How many of you have been saved for more than 40 years and you've been wanting the Lord to come by? Now there's always one or two that say, that's me, but I'm not raising my hand.

We know who you are. Anyway, how many of you have been saved 30 years? A little bit more enthusiasm. How many of you have been saved 20 years?

Five or lower. You who were saved five years or so, 20 years, aren't you glad that the saints who've been praying for Christ to come back for 40 years, he's delayed his return? That's the long suffering. There are people still to be saved. Some of you didn't raise your hands. We've got you on camera. We'll be calling you up. We don't.

We don't. It's what Paul was trying to say to the Philippians. So he did say it, I am hard pressed betwixt two. Having a desire to depart and be with Christ is far better. Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. That is supposed to be our attitude.

Get me out of this place, but wait a minute, I've got stuff to do. Let the Lord settle how to handle that after such a prayer. And so, who would want Christ to come and find them still an unbeliever? Who would want Christ to come and find them almost a believer? Who would want Christ to come and find them a make-believer? These are things to settle.

They are very serious. Two scripture verses and one quote. Matthew 13, so it will be at the end of the age, the angels will come forth, separate the wicked from amongst the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. That is great sorrow and great anger. That's the verse that converted me. I read that. I am not a fan of gnashing teeth. Or get a mouth guard, right? The wailing part really got me.

I don't want a wail. Robert Murray McShane was a preacher of a couple of centuries ago. He died very young, lived with sickness almost all his life. Profound man of God. He said, God gave you time for saving your soul, and you have spent it in ruining your soul. You gave time to flee to Christ, you've been given time to flee to Christ, and you have spent it in the business without one thought of eternity.

Titus chapter 2 verse 13. We're talking about the return of Christ, the second coming. Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 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 believers basic 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 crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. 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 / 2022-11-29 09:51:11 / 2022-11-29 10:00:19 / 9

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