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May 23, 2021 1:00 am
When history culminates in the spectacular return of Jesus, every eye will see him. He will appear in radiant glory, exerting absolute authority. Descending from heaven, He will destroy His enemies with the sword and set up a world government headquartered in Jerusalem. Jesus will end humanity’s wrongs and usher in a thousand years of peace.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
When history culminates in the return of Jesus.
Democracy will have run its course.
He will rule with a rod of iron.
He will appear in glory radiating absolute authority as he descends from heaven, he will destroy his enemies with a sharp sword and then set up a world government headquartered in Jerusalem. These future events are outlined in the Bible edit certain they will come to pass from Chicago. We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin lutes are today we continue attend part look into the future.
We're calling when he shall come later in our service will witness the time when he returns to reign Pastor Lutzer comes now to open our service, we come together today to worship, to give him our praise our adoration and ourselves Wilbur Chapman was an evangelist to live during the days of DL Moody.
Chapman also enjoyed writing hymns and the one that we are going to sing was written by him Jesus. What a friend for sinners. Jesus lover of my soul.
Friends may fail may pose a sale. May he, my Savior makes me whole. That wonderful that God gives to people the ability to put into words, ideas and thoughts that you and I have in our hearts and now we can sing them together. Perhaps it's been a busy week for you.
It has been for me. So let us take a moment to simply as silence our hearts before the Lord. Invite him to speak to us in a very specific way, and then we shall stand to sing Jesus. What a friend for sinners father draw our hearts toward you, toward one another. We pray that all of our thoughts shall be focused this morning and that we might be aware of your presence, and in giving ourselves to you that you might be honored in Jesus name, amen and 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the father who is qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created in heaven and on her visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him for and he is before all things and in him all things hold together, and he is the head of the body, the church is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead that everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Today I had the privilege of speaking to you about the most dramatic spectacular event in all of history that is still to take place. It is not only spectacular from the standpoint of earth, but nothing like it has ever happened in the universe before and nothing else like it will ever happen again. I'm speaking to you about the glorious return of Jesus Christ. And it's an event that we can all take a look forward to, but also may I say that it is going to involve us as a matter of fact, the return of Jesus. This return of Jesus will eventually affect all the people on the whole earth who have ever lived either directly or indirectly, and for those who are alive. The billions that are alive.
What an event it is going to be I need to read. I need to warn you in advance that the parts of this are going to be shocking because we usually don't think of Jesus in the way that I'm going to preach him today but if we accepted Jesus the loving Jesus.
We need to understand that with love. There is also meticulous justice, so I invite you to open your mind and your heart to God and to his word.
Now when we think of the return of Jesus. As I mentioned, it is best for us to understand it in two phases. In earlier messages. We talked about the rapture of the church when we are taken up and if you look at first Thessalonians chapter 4. You'll notice that it is quite a different event than the passages were going to return to today because that is the glorious appearing of Jesus that takes place and today were speaking about the glorious visible appearing of Jesus on planet Earth and what an event that will be just hang onto your seats because you wouldn't believe it unless it were in God's word. Now let me say also that Tim, the reason for this is first of all to judge the earth. You will be surprised at the unstoppable tsunami of justice that is hurled upon the planet almost affecting our sensibilities, but also another reason is so that the Jewish people who are alive at that period of time will believe on Jesus.
Remember, it says, Paul says, and so all Israel shall be saved very going to be a remnant of Jewish people who, when Jesus appears will recognize them as Messiah and they will be saved and they will go into what we call the millennial kingdom you sale. What's the millennial kingdom all about. I'm so glad that you asked your little bit ahead of me, but I'm always glad when you're thinking. And the answer is the next message in this series is on the millennial kingdom and I hope to answer at least a few of your questions at that time. Another reason is to show the absolute superiority of Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of lords before we open the Bible, I have to ask this question. What will be going on on earth when Jesus appeared antichrist will be in full bloom. If you're in with us last time. You know that the mark of the beast will be given to people and if you don't accept the market you will be put to death. We talked about that during the last 3 1/2 years. He has awesome power and all that dwell upon the earth to worship him, except those whose names were written in the Lamb's book of life as we covered in the last message but antichrist Satan who governs him.
He reads books on prophecy.
He knows what the Bible teaches. He knows exactly what it teaches. He probably understands prophecy a lot more than we do and he knows that soon Jesus is going to appear and what he wants to do is to initiate one more assault on massive assault on Jesus and that's why the 16th chapter of Revelation. You can read this on your own, but in verse 16. That's the only reference to what we call Armageddon the plain of Megiddo, about 60 miles north of Jerusalem and so the battle of Armageddon is in full swing.
What is the battle of Armageddon. It says in the previous verses in Revelation 16 that the Dragon remember the unholy Trinity. I explained last time the Dragon who is Satan the beast to his Antichrist and the false prophet who is representing the Holy Spirit in this godless Satanic Trinity. They open their mouths and from their mouths, evil spirits, and that these spirits are sent throughout the whole earth, to gather people together in Jerusalem.
Now the reason that they give for the gathering might be varied.
Maybe they're going to say were going to take on antichrist, but antichrist knows exactly why they are gathering. It says in the Bible in Revelation to be there for the great war of God in the day of God Almighty final showdown, final massive showdown between Satan and Jesus and that's the situation into which Jesus comes. Never every verse of Scripture in the Bible that talks about the first coming of Jesus. There are eight that referred to his second coming, so I have many options and I'm going to ask you though I've chosen three of the most prominent and were going to look at all of those and I hope that you have your Bible with you so that you can turn with me to three passages of Scripture all describing the same event, but helping us to understand it from a different point of view. The first one is Zachariah chapter 14 Zachariah 14 take your Bible and in turn with me to Zachariah. If you find it hard to find Zachariah remember go to the division between the Old Testament and the New Testament go back for five pages because after Zachariah there comes Malachi's so you're almost near the end of the Old Testament.
I'm go to pick it up in verse 14, excuse me, I'm going to pick it up in chapter 14 of verse one behold a day is coming for the Lord.
When the soil taken from you will be divided in your midst bride will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered.
There is going to be actually warfare house to house in Jerusalem when all the nations are gathered there and then you'll notice it says in verse three then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as when he fights on the day of battle and attach this on that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east and the Mount of olives shall be split in two, from east to west by a very wide valley so that one half of the mountain shall move northward and the other half southward how Jesus is going to come back to the Mount of olives. How appropriate that his feet shall stand there in the days of easy kill the prophet. We learned that the Shekinah glory left the temple area easy kill said, and then it went through the Kidron Valley and it disappeared over the Mount of olives. How appropriate that the Shekinah glory which disappeared over the Mount of olives that that glory should now return in the person of Jesus.
Triumphant, the one who embodies the very glory of God. Furthermore, it is appropriate because Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of olives and you never how the disciples as they were looking up. And Jesus disappeared behind the clouds and by the way, is going to come back with clouds, as we shall see. But when Jesus disappeared your member. Two men were there two angels actually said why do you keep gazing up into heaven. This same Jesus, who has gone up from you into heaven will like wise, back from heaven. And this is that event right there in the Mount of olives and that's what I always say to people that if you haven't had an opportunity to go to Jerusalem in this life and you won't have that opportunity. If you hang onto this message all show you that if you're a believer you're going to be there and it's going to be the best tour group that you've ever seen in your life and Jesus is going to be your leader. I mean, it is just unbelievable you read this and you say Lord, why not today but I have to finish this message. First, now Jerusalem. The Bible says is going to be the capital of the world and if you if you read the rest of the 14th chapter. It's got all kinds of symbolism it's talking about living water coming from Jerusalem it's talking about the name of God on horses, bridles, symbolic of the fact that God is going to be everywhere and this is the millennial kingdom that I'm going to speak about next time, but there's something else that is going to happen and that as I told you earlier that a Jewish remnant is going to believe on Jesus, you say well are you where you getting mad and that's a good question.
Whenever you hear somebody speak you should always say no words he get map from so let me tell you, you have your Bible open to Zachariah 13 Habakkuk chapter 2 to chapter 12. You'll notice it says in verse 10, I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and pleas for mercy so that when they look on me on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and we bitterly over him. They are going to deeply regret that they miss read the signals that they didn't understand that Jesus was the Messiah.
Look at what it says in chapter 13 verse one on that day there shall be a fountain open for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness. Verse nine and I will put to this third into the fire. Two thirds of the people are going to be killed, by the way, that's what it says in verse eight, during the great tribulation. Horrendous things happening but notice verse nine. I will put this third into the fire and refine them as one refined silver and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name and I will answer them. I will say they are my people, and they will pay the Lord is my God, just as Paul wrote in the book of Romans and so all Israel, a generation of Jewish people that are alive when Jesus Christ comes are going to believe on Christ be cleansed from their sins and will enter into the millennial kingdom because after all.even has some promises that he made to Abraham and to his descendents that have been fulfilled yet as we shall see. Next time, and of course it's not only Jewish people. There will also be Gentiles who will be there in the millennial kingdom. Those who trusted Christ during those difficult days during the tribulation. So that's the story from Zachariah Jesus comes to the Mount of olives. It is a spec macular return but also worldwide. For this we have to turn to the book of Matthew and that your member in a previous message I spoke on Matthew 24 when we were talking about the great tribulation.
But now I pick it up in Matthew 24 and verse 27 Jesus is saying that to know if somebody says the Christ is over. Here is a don't believe in don't even go see the guy somebody says I'm the Christ I don't even go see the imam or the man for whom some Muslims are waiting because they believe that he is the Messiah when he speaks. You don't even have to listen to them because if it were the real Messiah says in verse 27 for as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the West, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is there the vultures will gather.
That will become clear in a few moments immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be dark and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the heaven and the powers of the heaven will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven, the sign of the Son of Man 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 glory, and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Talk about a worldwide event. The Bible says that every eye shall see him now. How can that be possible. People of said well you know if Jesus ascends to the Mount of olives or descends to the Mount of olives every I can't see him.
Well, maybe television cameras would pick that up.
I'm sure they might, but maybe the infrastructure has been broken and then made the we are without electricity.
I can't prove this scripturally, but I would like to think that when Jesus begins to come out of heaven, and this will become clear in another passage I think that the sign of the Son of Man is going to appear. And of course as the world turns on its axis over a period of days they continue to see Jesus in all of his splendor and in all of his glory, appearing and coming to earth. So in that sense of it happens over a period of time.
Every eye will see him as the Bible says notice that when he comes, there are going to be all of these convulsions of nature son is going to be darkened. Of course the moon will not be giving a slight because the moon does nothing but reflect the light of the sun, stars of the heaven are going to fall. I mean, you talk about a cataclysmic event and you have it here and then in the Scripture says, the tribes of the earth will mourn, and some will mourn because they recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
As we read in the book of Zechariah, moments ago. Other people are going to mourn, possibly because they're going to mourn over their sin. Yes and believe on Christ. Others are going to mourn in agony and reject Jesus all the tribes of the earth will be aware that Jesus has arrived bodily on planet Earth, and that he has descended to the Mount of olives is next to Jerusalem. Now you'll notice it says he sends his angels to gather his elect and these angels which are asked by God to gather the elect. Some of the Christians of course have been hiding in caves, some of them have been all over some of the Jewish people who have believed and now many are believing in Christ, the angels are sent to the gods gatherers to gather the elect. Now all of that seems strange to us. It seems so foreign to our sensibilities.
But think about this for a moment when none Lazarus died. Luke 16 it says that angels carried him into Abraham's bosom. It says that the Angels accompanied him.
I suspect that when a Christian dies, it is entirely possible that they see angels who take them to wherever Jesus designates they be and that is to paradise.
So the Angels are sent to gather his elect from all over the world the second coming, the glorious appearing of Jesus is spectacular, but let me say that the glorious appearing of Jesus.
Not only is spectacular but it is world wide as the lightning comes from one side of the sky and goes to another, so will be the sign of the Son of Man, which I interpret to be Jesus Christ coming itself.
Well, now we get to a passage in which you and I are intimately involved. You want to know what will we be doing if you believe in the pre-tribulation rapture will be in heaven but during the tribulation. But imagine this.
You my friend as a believer are going to be part of this glorious appearing of all the passages in the Bible that I love the most, will give you also some chills is the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation, where we have a more detailed description of this same event to the return of Jesus.
And we learned that it is a very victorious event. Revelation 19. You have to see this now with your own eyes. Revelation 19 and were invited to use our imaginations. I will comment on the text in a moment after I have read it verse 11, Revelation 19 that I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, the one sitting on it is called faithful and true, and in righteousness he judges and makes his eyes are like a flame of fire on his head are many diadem's and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a row and blood and the name by which he is called is the word of God and the armies of heaven arrayed in fine linen, white and pure were following him on white horses from his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, king of kings and Lord of lords.
No doubt as to that is, who returns to the earth. Now let's look at the text more carefully. The means of transportation is a white horse.
Should we take it literally.
Possibly not John is receiving this revelation and John would understand by this revelation that to what we have here is the triumph of Jesus most assuredly Jesus absolutely triumphant because in those days the Romans as victors always rode on white horses and I think it was during Julius Caesar's reign of that he was allowed to ride on a chariot drawn by white horses. So what John wants us to understand is the triumph of Jesus and he is depicted as coming on a white horse totally victorious, totally unquestioned authority so you have about the white horse that the means of transportation. His name is faithful and true. Now there are dozens of names that have been given to Jesus throughout the Bible that we could quote today. Why faithful and true because he said that he was going to return and here he is, he's as good as his word. Amen Donald Ray Barnhouse, the pastor of another generation said that there was an unconverted minister who was visiting a woman in the hospital who was about to die, you know that there are unconverted ministers don't and that she was so assured in heaven that the young minister felt that it was his responsibility to warn her about being presumptuous about having that kind of assurance and she said to him, if when I die, I find myself among the lost, God will have lost more than I will is and how so she said I would've lost my soul, but he would've lost his good name. After all, if Jesus promises eternal life to those who believe on him is he believable are his promises true. Can you count on those promises even when judgment seems to be coming. Will he be there for you when you die because he says I'll never leave you nor forsake you.
And if you believe on me, you have eternal life. Tell me what he will you be there for you. Yes, amen, he is faithful and true. Now let's look at his appearance, look at all by the way in righteousness. You'll notice that it says them in righteousness he makes war and everything in this passage note becomes very gruesome.
Remember it is righteous and true and just now notice what it says verse 12 his eyes are like a flame of fire with to stop there. These are the eyes that were born in Bethlehem that had to adjust to the dim light of the stable.
These are the eyes that wept over the city of Jerusalem. These are the eyes of compassion that all of us associate with Jesus, but these are the same eyes they are of the resurrected Christ. Of course, but this is the same Jesus as painted in the New Testament. As we look at his life and death and burial. It is the same Jesus, and now his eyes are like a flame of fire, as he's coming.
People say God didn't see what I was doing. I did it in secret, and his eyes will pierce at them and he they all will know that he can see right through them. These eyes are symbolic of the omniscience of Jesus.
Nothing has escaped his site or his knowledge. The Bible says all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do well so's eyes are like a flame of fire. You'll notice that Tim it says on his head are many diadem's a diadem you so how could he wear many actually many of them were like head bands filled with the jewels and other expensive ornaments and depth when one man would conquer a country that King would then take the diadem of the other king, whom he conquered and he would wear it because that would now be symbolic of the fact that I've conquered you Jesus has many diadem you know why every country and every kingdom of the world is his and all the diadem's of the world are on his head.
Jesus has many diadem's. We continue you'll notice it says that he is a robe dipped in blood, that robe is not of robe symbolizing his death, but it is a robe dipped in blood, of judgment, as the book of Isaiah makes very clear garments dipped in blood, symbolic of the fact that judgment is coming to planet Earth and it is a very very severe judgment, but I want you to notice. I told you that you would be involved in this. If you're a believer. Notice what the text says, and the armies of heaven arrayed in fine linen, white and pure were following him on white horses who were these armies of heaven arrayed in fine linen.
Fortunately, we don't have to guess earlier in the chapter, you'll notice that it talked about the marriage supper of the laminate spoke about those who were arrayed in fine linen, and it's talking about believers is speaking about those who are arrayed in flight because there is sin has been covered by Jesus Christ. Death and because of that they too are able to come with Jesus and come with Jesus and and the church which has been enraptured in heaven now returns with Jesus and look at the text. I'm not making it up. We get the same means of transportation. As Jesus himself. We to come with white horses over symbolic that may mean and we get to come and to return with Jesus, we participate in his victory. We follow him to victory as he does send this to the Mount of olives and begins to slay those who have been his and enemies.
We are there to and we get to participate. Now there's no evidence that we do any fighting. And the reason that I think that we don't have any weapons, and the reason that we don't have to do any fighting is because Jesus actually does it all. Jesus lays the wicked and how does he do it. Does he take a sword and kill them one by one, know the Bible says the sword that comes out of his mouth is the word of God. He does it by his command as the text says in the last verse.
It talks about Jesus. The word of God. He speaks set and it happens. Think of the power of Jesus. Think of the fact that when he was here on earth and you have a storm that was taking place on Galilee and Jesus speaks to the storm and says they still columnists. The wind stopped blowing. Jesus comes to the tomb of Lazarus and says Lazarus come forth. He's coming out staggering buddies alive and is there even though he was late in the grave four days earlier. It is by the command of Jesus that he find I told you last time that in second Thessalonians. The apostle Paul helps us to understand how Jesus fights and how he destroys the wicked, and it says this he destroys them by the breath of his mouth are gone all the enemies that have been arrayed against him find themselves helpless in the presence of Jesus and he comes in. The Bible says that on his robe and on his thigh is written, King of Kings and Lord of Lord, don't ever put Jesus on the same shelf as Mohammed or Krishna or food or any of the other prophets don't ever put them on the same shelf. This one is King of Kings and Lord of lords over all the prophets of the world, and over all the religions in the New Testament. When we think about Christmas we discover that Jesus came to redeem now. Jesus comes to judge one other thing I want to point out before I summarize this for us. You'll notice it says in verse 17 then I saw an angel standing in the sun and with a loud voice.
This gets gruesome now. I warn you, they called all the birds that fly directly overhead. Come gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, and all those others while couple of things.
First of all, the angel invites the birds of the heavens to come because the vultures remember the words of Jesus were the carcasses the vultures are the vultures are going to have lots to eat and noticed that the angel proclaims this before Jesus has slain anyone by the word of his mouth. The angel knows that this is a done deal is not true that the battle has taken place yet the battle isn't over. But a the battle is over. Jesus has come, the battle is over.
And so what happens is here in this text, the angel announces that ahead of time that Jesus has come in and the beast and the false prophet. We mentioned this last time there cast into the lake of fire. There is a message in this series going to take place on the great white throne judgment and we will talk about hell at that time, but the reason that they are instantly cast into the lake of fire getting ahead of everybody else is because of their influence. Remember this the sufferings of hell are not the same for everyone. By no means those who knew better, and then misled others their suffering is going to be greater the impact of that and the import is unbelievable but will get into that when we talk about the great white throne judgment. What I'd like to do is to just summarize a few ideas in your mind.
The first is this that in terms of lessons I want to say a word about Jesus. This Jesus that were talking about you know the Jesus who was born in Bethlehem was loved by everybody always and that ever sweet. Here's a little baby and he touches our heart at Christmas and all of us rejoice in that and I preach on that all the time and we love the Christmas story remember that there's more to Jesus than just the loving Jesus who perhaps is the one who is misinterpreted today as a Jesus with endless compassion. He does have endless compassion but is also a Jesus of judgment. Perhaps I could put it to you. This clearly and as clearly as I would like to put it is this. It is not possible for us to overestimate Jesus Christ's hatred of sin. That's why you have such a tsunami here of judgment taking place, but having said that, I want to also say that it's not possible for us to over exaggerate Jesus Christ's love for all those who believe on him. In fact, his love for them is like the love that he has for his father and his father has for him. It is absolutely over whelming. The love that Jesus has as we see in John chapter 17.
So when you talk about Jesus, you can talk about the compassionate Jesus and well you might remember it says in second Thessalonians that when he returns and is speaking of this event. He will return in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not dogged and obeying not the gospel that's Jesus to the same Jesus, and we need to keep that in mind. Second, I want to say a word about salvation. A word about salvation. This is very crass in a sense and I debated as to whether or not I should say it but I am going to say it in this passage. In the 19th chapter of Revelation.
There are two suppers there is the marriage supper of the Lamb. And then as the angel said there is the great supper of God, two suppers, but to different destinations to different kinds of people there. Those you see who are clothed in white. They attend the marriage supper of the Lamb and then there's another supper here and I guess to put it little more clearly than I showed you either participate in the supper of the Lamb or for the birds. At least you become supper. That's what the text is saying you know it makes all the difference is the white robes say we had the robe of righteousness credited to us and we stand clothed in that righteousness, my friend. Have you ever even thought of the amount of sin that is covered by the white robe. I'm thinking about you. By the way, and think about myself.
Think of the difference it makes when you are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus and you go into heaven as if you are Jesus because it is nothing to do with you. Really it is the free gift. Jesus gives to those who believe on that amazing. So, my friend. If you've never believed on Jesus please. After this message.
Don't think that you will have an excuse when you stand before God. It won't I'm I'm inviting you to to get a robe, a white robe. Jesus will give it to you if you come to him. So please don't say in the day of judgment. I'm going to say I didn't hear and I didn't understand. I'm helping you to hear and I'm helping it on. There's a final word and that is the obviously two different destinies here I will talk about that in another message here you have the saints who are with Jesus for ever and then you have those who are in the lake of fire forever, and the division is eternal and endless, all because some trust Jesus and receive the free robe and others say. I think I'll stand on my own like one man told me on a plane I'm going to do okay I'm going to stand on my record, my dear friend. You stand on your record and you're not going to do okay after stand on Jesus Christ's record now friend. Do you understand why we sing all hail King. All hail Emmanuelle King of Kings and Lord of lords right MorningStar throughout all eternity. I'll sing his praises and I will reign with him through all eternity.
Amen. Let's all stand to sing it right now. Would you please and on today's church.
Our Dr. Erwin lutes spoke about when he returns to reign the glorious appearing of Jesus when every eye shall see.
Next time, what it will be like when he reigns in his kingdom. This entire series can be yours on CD is our thank you for your gift of any amount to support The Moody Church. Our just call us at 1-800-215-5001.
Would you call Vince in the series.
The King is coming.
Call 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another Moody Church. Our with Dr. Erwin lutes are in the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago