Calvary Road Baptist Church

“WHY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST MUST COME AGAIN” Part 1

 

Have you ever wondered how God could punish Sodom and Gomorrah and do nothing to San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles?[1] Are you aware that the Savior promised a divine visitation on Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Chorazin for their spiritual indifference, and those cities are bleak and barren skeletons to this day, while few pay heed to our modern day sins of allowing the murders of multiplied millions of unborn children while allowing the laying waste to the God-ordained institution of marriage?[2] Ever wonder what motivates professing Christians who claim their sins are forgiven, who seem to be concerned about the spiritual condition of loved ones and relatives, but who will not lift so much as a finger to reach out to the lost of this world, and will while having enough money to go on vacation and do fun things they enjoy doing refuse to support the ministry of their church or give to missions?

I know what does not motivate such folks. The Second Coming of Christ. They never give thought to it. This morning I want to bring to you a message from God’s Word about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and why God’s Son must return to this world in power and in great glory to reclaim what is rightfully His and to bring divine judgment upon those of you who through neglect or outright denial have refused His command to trust and to serve Him.[3] However, before that, and by way of introduction, let me bring three matters to your attention:

First, let me set before you some interesting Bible facts. The emphasis on the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ found in God’s Word is seen in the following details:

  1. Prophecy occupies one-fifth of scripture; and the Second Coming occupies one-third of that one-fifth. Therefore, you can see for yourself how important Christ’s Second Coming is and ought to therefore be to you.
  2. Of the 333 prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, only 109 of them were fulfilled at the time of His First Coming, leaving 224 predictions yet to be fulfilled at the time of His Second Coming.
  3. Of the forty-six Old Testament prophets, less than ten of them speak of events related to Christ’s First Coming, while thirty-six of them speak of events connected with His Second Coming.
  4. There are an amazing total of 1,527 Old Testament passages referring to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
  5. There are a total of 7,959 verses in the New Testament, 330 of which refer directly to the Second Coming (i.e., one out of twenty-five).
  6. Next to the subject of faith, the subject of the Second Coming is the most dominant subject found in the New Testament.
  7. For every time the First Coming of Christ is mentioned in the Bible, the Second Coming is mentioned eight times.
  8. For every time the Atonement is mentioned once, the Second Coming of Christ is mentioned twice.[4]
  9. The Lord Jesus Christ refers to His return twenty-one times.
  10. Men are exhorted to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ more than fifty times.

Next, let me remind you of the scoffer’s predicted reaction. Of course, a scoffer is someone who makes fun of someone or something through mockery.[5] In Second Peter 3.3-4 the Apostle Peter writes,

 

3       Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4       And saying, Where is the promise of his coming?

 

So you see, the apostle predicted that in the last days (which are the days in which we live) those identified as scoffers will ridicule the fact that Jesus Christ said He would return. But whatever men may say, Jesus Christ is coming! As I speak to you, even the scoffers of this world are admitting that all mankind is in a state of fearful expectation.

Men are walking on eggs, fearful of the possibility of doom; and people are predicting the destruction of the world, though they are not too sure how it is going to come about. Books, articles, pamphlets, news stories, and Internet stories are being written warning that if men do not change the way we live, we are going to go out of existence. People are saying, for example:

  1. Pollution will get us and we will all gag to death; or
  2. Earthquakes and tsunamis will get us and we will all drown or be crushed to death; or
  3. We will all starve to death. Used to be they would attribute mass starvation to overpopulation, but now it is thought our starvation will be the result of genetically modified foods going terribly wrong or some terrible plague that spins out of control; or
  4. We will die from a portable backpack nuclear bomb that is carried in by a terrorist going off, and because we live so close to a large population center we will die in the explosion or the magnetic pulse will so devastate our technology that nothing will run anymore, resulting in death by lack of water or slow death by starvation; or
  5. We will die by starvation due to famine by some other cause; or
  6. War will break out and we will die from multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles mounted atop Chinese or Russian or in the near future Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles;[6] or
  7. Materialism will be our doom and we will as a culture wildly spend ourselves into bankruptcy and become unviable as a nation and as a culture; or
  8. Loneliness will get us and our technology will so isolate us from one another (Ever watch a couple eating out while each is face down in a smart phone while they ignore each other?) that our desperation and desolation will result in the suicide rate skyrocketing; or
  9. Animals will rise up and turn against us, as depicted in the television series Zoo, . . . and on it goes.

Even the scoffers, who would never agree that Jesus Christ is coming again, will all agree that if something does not change the world as we know it will come to an end, leaving only a few Mad Max types alive. How will it all end? Can we know? Yes. The Bible gives us a very clear and direct answer. The present world as we know it will end with the return of Jesus Christ. The history of the world will climax in the literal, bodily, physical return of Jesus Christ to earth, and there will be no Mad Max types who cleverly survive.

In Acts 1.10-11 two angels appeared at the time of our Lord Jesus Christ’s final ascension to heaven to be enthroned at His Father’s right hand until He comes again.[7] Here is what they said to those gathered to witness that event:

 

10     And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11     Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

 

Moving from a consideration of the importance of Christ’s Second Coming as determined from the facts related to it in the Bible and the reactions of scoffers to Christ’s Second Coming predictions, let me now provide for you a chronological overview of events. Please note the diagram below.

The Church Age which we are now living in will end with the Rapture of Church Age believers in Jesus Christ. The word rapture is derived from a Latin word meaning “to catch away.” After the Rapture, or “catching away” of the saints, there will be a terrible time over all the earth known as the Tribulation. During the seven-year period of the Tribulation, a world government will be set up by satanic forces and ruled by a man known as the Antichrist. The Antichrist will make a covenant with Israel so that during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation, Israel will live in peace. However, at the midpoint of the Tribulation the time of peace will come to an abrupt end, and the Antichrist will announce to the world that he is God and will demand that the world worship him. Those who refuse to worship him during this period will be beheaded.[8] Isn’t that interesting? Also taking place during the Tribulation will be a series of terrible catastrophic judgments coming down from God taking the form of ecological disasters, destroying over one-half the world’s population, Revelation chapters 6-19. This seven-year period will culminate in a true world war involving armies converging on the land of Israel - the Battle of Armageddon. It is in the midst of this battle that the King of kings returns to earth, casts the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the lake of fire, destroys the wicked on the earth, binds Satan in the bottomless pit, and sets up His Millennial Kingdom.[9] At the end of the Kingdom, Satan will be loosed, his rebellion will be put down, and the Great White Throne judgment takes place.[10] All these events make up what we call the Second Coming of Christ. In a precise sense, the Second Coming refers to the moment Christ comes to set up His Kingdom; but in a general sense it refers to everything from the Rapture to the end of the Kingdom Age one thousand seven years later. The next event for us on God’s clock, then, is the coming of Jesus Christ; and this begins with the Rapture of all Church Age believers. If you are lost you will be left behind to fend for yourself.

You might wonder what role the United States of America plays in these end time events. The answer is simple; no role whatsoever. Whether literally or figuratively, our nation does not figure in any way in end time prophecy. Why not? Because the USA will either no longer exist come the midpoint of the Tribulation following the Rapture, or because our nation will by that time be reduced to irrelevance as a world power to be reckoned with on the world stage. Russia, China, the Middle East, and Europe will figure in the unfolding prophetic calendar, but not the United States.

We now come to one of the reasons why Bible believing Christians despite these terrible events taking place are confident enough to risk our very lives on its occurrence that Jesus Christ is coming once more to this earth; the very nature of our Triune God demands that Jesus Christ come again. Consider from the perspective of each of the Divine Persons why Jesus Christ must come again:

 

First, THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER DEMANDS THAT JESUS CHRIST COME AGAIN

 

Throughout the Old Testament, God made 333 promises regarding the coming Deliverer; but only 109 of them were fulfilled by and during Christ’s First Coming. This leaves 224 Old Testament prophecies to be fulfilled at His Second Coming. So the Word of God is at stake. If Jesus Christ does not return, God is a liar and the credibility of God is invalidated. All the prophecies regarding Christ must come to pass - not just some of them - or God made a mistake. And if God made a mistake, we’re in real trouble.

Is the Second Coming of Christ to be spiritualized? That is, are we to agree with liberal theologians who claim Jesus Christ’s Second Coming takes place not in the future but when He supposedly “comes into your life”? Why don’t we answer that question by considering the prophecies related to the First Coming of Jesus Christ, all of which were fulfilled literally? Thus, if God is to be consistent, all of the prophecies related to the Second Coming of Christ will be fulfilled in the same fashion as the First Coming predictions were fulfilled, literally. No one can legitimately insist on two different approaches to predictive prophecy, which those referring to the First Coming are to be interpreted literally while the ones referring to the Second Coming must be interpreted figuratively. Scripture never makes such a distinction. After all, if the Bible predicts that Christ would be born in Bethlehem (and He was) but will reign in Jerusalem, who is to say Bethlehem is literal but Jerusalem is figurative? What gives anyone the right to arbitrarily make such a distinction? Consider the following prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled literally:

 

 

All of the prophecies regarding the First Coming of Jesus Christ were literal and were fulfilled literally. How then can we say the rest are just spiritual ideas? They must all be literal. The character of God and the consistency of prophecy are at stake.

God has promised certain things that the Messiah must fulfill. The Lord Jesus Christ did not fulfill them the first time He came, so He must return. Here are a couple of examples of those unfulfilled promises:

 

Genesis 49.10: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come. . . .”

 

This is a Messianic promise. “Shiloh” means “the one whose right it is” or “the one to whom it belongs.” In other words, there is going to be a King, He is going to hold the scepter, and He will be from the tribe of Judah. Verse 10 continues, “. . . and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” The first time Jesus Christ came, were the people gathered to Him? No! John 1.11 says, He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” This prophecy has not been fulfilled. Therefore, He must return!

 

Psalm 2.6-9:   

6       Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7       I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

8       Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9       Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

 

Basically, God here says, “Messiah is going to come, He’s going to be King and reign on the throne, and all the nations of the world are going to be subject to Him as He rules with a rod of iron.” Did this happen the first time our Lord Jesus came? Of course not. So, He has to come again.

 

Isaiah 9.6-7:   

6       For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7       Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

 

The first time He came, did He sit on David’s throne? No, they crucified Him as a criminal. But the second time He comes, “. . . there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.”

The first time Jesus Christ came, did He bring peace? No. He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword,” Matthew 10.34. Christ is the cause of divided families and severed relationships because some come to Him and some do not. Does He have the government of the world yet? No. Satan is still the prince of the power of the air.[11] Is He seated on the throne of David? No. When will this occur? In Matthew 25.31 it says, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” This happens at the Second Coming.

But for time considerations we could consider Isaiah 11.10, Isaiah 33.20a, Isaiah 35.1-2, Isaiah 45.23, Jeremiah 23.5-6a, Ezekiel 21.25-27, Daniel 7.13-14, 17, Micah 4.3, and Zechariah 14.4-9, each passage predicting things the Lord Jesus Christ did not accomplish the first time He came, but which things must be literally fulfilled because God cannot lie.[12] When God speaks He speaks the truth. Therefore, because He said the Messiah would do these things, and because Messiah has not yet done these things, Messiah must come back to do these things.

 

Next, THE STATEMENTS OF THE SON REQUIRES THAT HE COME AGAIN

 

During the days of Christ’s earthly ministry He made frequent statements about coming again: In His Upper Room Discourse He revealed that one of the apostles would betray Him, that He would soon depart from them, but that they would eventually be reunited. I read John 14.1-3:

 

1       Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2       In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3       And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 

He said He would come again, did He not? Therefore, since He has not yet come again He will yet come again. Then there is His Olivet Discourse, which took place not long after the Upper Room Discourse, and is recorded in Matthew 24-25. Let me read but four of those verses:

 

24.27     For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

24.30     And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 

24.31     And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

25.31     When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.

 

Let us not forget our Lord’s parables, a number of which dealt with His Second Coming. We do not have the time to consider His parables, though I will mention in passing Luke 19.11-27, where the Lord speaks of those whose attitude is reflected by the words, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” It is an obvious reference by the Lord to Himself, displaying for the most part the attitudes of men toward Him in His absence. However, He will come again to hold each individual accountable. “And it came to pass, that when he was returned. . . .”

Our glorified Lord Jesus also made a number of statements recorded in John’s Revelation. Six different times in John’s Revelation our Lord is cited as declaring, “I come quickly.”[13] This is His last promise, His final word from heaven - not only to His friends, but also to His enemies. He is coming back. Keep in mind that the credibility of the Lord Jesus Christ is at stake in His Second Coming. He cannot lie. After all, He is the truth, John 14.6. Thus, the promise of God the Father and the statements of His Son Jesus Christ are in complete accord. Jesus Christ is coming again.

 

Finally, THE GUARANTEE OF THE SPIRIT REQUIRES THAT CHRIST COME AGAIN

 

Keeping in mind that John 14.17 describes Him as the Spirit of truth, and because He is of the same Divine essence as God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God simply cannot lie. Thus, what He inspired through those He used to communicate scripture must be true. Consider what we learn about Christ’s Second Coming by way of five human instruments used by the Holy Spirit of God:

First, the Apostle Paul.

 

First Corinthians 1.4-7:

4       I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

5       That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

6       Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

7       So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Philippians 3.20:   “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Colossians 3.4:   “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

 

First Thessalonians 4.16-17: 

16     For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17     Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

Next, through the writer of Hebrews.

 

Hebrews 9.28:    “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

 

Third, through James.

 

James 5.7: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.”

 

Fourth, through Peter.

 

First Peter 1.13 and 5.4: 

1.13    Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

5.4      And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

 

Finally, through John.

 

First John 3.2:    “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

 

Pay close attention to this last verse I read, “we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Please do not be comforted by this promise if you are not a child of God, for the “we” appearing again and again in that verse refers only to Christians, those who have trusted Christ, those of us who are born again. It will not go well for you at Christ’s Second Coming if you are not His, if you have not trusted Him, if you have not forsaken your sins for Him, if you have not come to know Him Whom to know is life. If you are not His when He comes He will arrive not as your defender and deliverer but as your conqueror and judge.

The entire human race knows something is about to happen, that things cannot continue as they are for too much longer. It is just that no one knows what will happen. No one besides Christians, that is. Noah and his sons knew what was going to happen before the Flood, though no one else knew. Abraham and Lot knew what was going to happen before the fire and brimstone fell, though no one else knew. Moses and Aaron knew what was going to happen that night of the Passover, though none of the Egyptians knew. And Jeremiah knew what would happen when the Babylonians attacked, though the people did not know.

Those of us who believe the Bible know what the next events on the prophetical calendar will be, and those who know Christ will be delivered from God’s wrath. Therefore, I urge you to consider the claims of Christ and flee to Him for safety and refuge from the consequences of your sins, before it’s too late.

 

 

[1] Genesis 19.24

[2] Matthew 11.20-24

[3] This message has been developed from The Second Coming Of The Lord Jesus Christ: Study Notes Selected Scripture, edited by David Sper, (Panorama City, CA: Word of Grace Communications, 1981), pages 1-12

[4] “Atonement refers to God’s act of dealing with the primary human problem, sin.” - Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), page 17.

[5] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 780.

[6] http://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-df-3a-mirv-multiple-us-targets-one-missle-2012-12 8/14/15

[7] Psalm 16.11; 110.1; Matthew 26.64; Mark 12.36; 14.62; 16.19; Luke 20.42; 22.69; John 3.13; 13.1; 14.2-4; Acts 2.33, 34-35; 7.56; Romans 8.34; Ephesians 1.20; 6.9; Colossians 3.1; Second Thessalonians 1.7; Hebrews 1.3, 13; 8.1; 9.24; 10.12-13; 12.2; 1 Peter 3.22; Revelation 19.11

[8] Revelation 20.4

[9] Revelation 19.11-20.6

[10] Revelation 20.7-15

[11] John 12.31; Ephesus 2.2

[12] Numbers 23.19; Romans 3.4; Titus 1.1-2

[13] Revelation 2.5, 16; 3.11; 22.7, 12, 20

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org