Posts Tagged ‘king’

 Today we begin a series of teaching on Jesus’ second coming.

Now there are lots of debates about exactly how this will all unfold. For instance, what happens just before or after Jesus returns. And these discussions will continue on and people of good faith will disagree. That’s not our focus today.

Our focus is: What we have to look forward to when Jesus returns.

Scripture tells us that in our lives in this world we will have trials and tribulations. It will not always be easy.
We will suffer. We will experience disappointment, discouragement, even despair at times.

Yet as Christians we know and believe that there is hope for our future. Lets look at this . . .

1. Jesus will return

As bad as the world is around us; as much as it is broken and full of evil and seemingly beyond hope of repair – certainly with regard to what God’s will is for it – we know that there is one who is coming who will fix it.

Jesus said about himself, “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father . . .” – Matthew 16:27. He also said, “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory” – Mark 13:26.

 Paul said it this way, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

Jesus has not left us to ourselves. He will come. And he will come through on his promises to us.
 Here are several notes about his coming:

  • It will be a literal, bodily return – Acts 1:11. The angels said to the disciples, ‘Just as you saw him ascend into heaven (with his resurrection body), so will he return in the same way.’
  • Everyone will see him return – as Jesus said in Luke 17:24, “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.” He is countering here the idea that his coming will be a spiritual or secret return that only a few will know about (Luke 17:23; also Matthew 24:23-26). He is saying there will be nothing hidden about it. No one will be able to miss it.
  • It will be glorious – Mark 13:26 & Matthew 16:27. As we saw from these verses, he will come “with great power and glory” and “with his angels in the glory of his Father . . ..” It will not be like the humble infant born in a manger, who lived in poverty and was unjustly killed. He will come with the splendor and majesty of the king that he is.

2. Jesus will rule over the earth

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you . . . the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne” – Matthew 19:28. This throne speaks to his rule as King over the earth.

It is at this time that our prayer – “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” will be truly and completely fulfilled.

Now a part of his rule has to do with judging. Jesus said, “the Son of Man is going to come . . . and then he will repay each person according to what he or she has done.” – Matthew 16:27.

This is when what Jesus said in Luke 14:11 will come true, “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  • Those who are on top now because of evildoing and oppression will be put down.
  • Those who are on the bottom now because of righteousness and commitment to Jesus will be raised up and blessed.

King Jesus will right all wrongs and bring true justice and peace to the world.

3. We will be resurrected

In Mark 13:27 Jesus says about himself, “And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” The angels will “gather” us up, a common (harvesting) metaphor for the resurrection in the teaching of Jesus.

As Paul teaches in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

  • Christians who have already died will be raised first, and then
  • Christians who are still alive at Jesus’ return will be given new resurrection bodies

Resurrection means that our earthly bodies will be transformed. Paul says that Jesus will “transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”- Philippians 3:21.

Our resurrection bodies will be like Jesus’ supernatural body and like the bodies that angels have. We will be able to appear and disappear. We can eat food, but we don’t have to.

Resurrection also, of course, means that we will be immortal. Paul said, “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” – 1 Corinthians 15:52-53.

We will experience the full reality of Jesus’ defeat of death. Our new bodies will live forever, without suffering. What a blessed change this will be!

4. There will be a huge celebration

This is called the Messianic banquet; an end time celebration for the faithful, with Jesus.

Jesus said of this, “I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 8:11. He also talked about his disciples eating and drinking, “at my table in my kingdom” – Luke 22:30.

This is what he said at the last supper, “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” – Matthew 26:29. Think of it. He is waiting in heaven to celebrate with us!

This is also pictured as a wedding banquet: For instance in the parable that Jesus tells in Matthew 22:1-14 and also in Revelation 19:9 which says, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb.” It’s going to be an amazing party!

5. We who have been faithful will be rewarded

We will be “blessed.” This is the message of the beatitudes in Luke 6 & Matthew 5. As the word indicates, we will be happy, blissful and fully and truly contented. And with good reason!

  • The eternal kingdom will be ours. Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • We will see God. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” We will be close to God and be able to be in God’s presence.
  • We will have joy with Jesus. Matthew 25:21 says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . . Enter into the joy of your master.”
  • We will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” [Now, although it is often thought that we will spend eternity in heaven, the reality is that God made us for this earth and it is our destiny to be here. It would be better to say that when Jesus returns – heaven will come down to earth. This is also pictured in another way in Revelation 21. We do not go up to be in the new Jerusalem. It comes down out of heaven, and it says that now God dwells with us, that is, on earth.]

So, all of these rewards will be ours. God will give us the earth, we will have joy with Jesus, we will see God, and possess the kingdom forever. We will indeed be blessed!

6. We who have been faithful will rule with Jesus over the earth

As we see in the parable of Luke 19:17 & 19, those who serve Jesus while he is gone with their various assignments, will receive various levels of rule, based on their service.

Paul says it plainly – “If we endure, we will also reign with him” – 2 Timothy 2:12.

In 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 he gets more specific about this rule. He asks the Corinthians – “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” That is, the people that have lived on the earth. And also he asks, “Do you not know that we are to judge angels?” These are beings that are beyond our understanding and yet we will be involved in judging them.

7. All things will be made new

What Jesus will do will extend even to the entirety of the cosmos – the heavens and the earth.

Jesus talks about “the new world,” when he comes in Matthew 19:28. Literally, it means the “regeneration.” Another translation renders it “the renewal of all things.”

Romans 8:21 talks about this and says, “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” In other words, it will be made new and glorious just like our bodies will be new and glorious.

John saw this prophetically in Revelation 21:1 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . ..”

So the message today is, whatever your circumstances are, and this earthly life can be both difficult and cruel, as Christians we have something to look forward to.

To summarize Paul from I Corinthians 2:9 – what God has prepared for us who love him is:

  • beyond what any eye has seen
  • it is beyond what any ear has heard
  • it is beyond what the human heart can even imagine

That is what we have to look forward to. This is our hope.

And it is this that keeps our current struggles in perspective as we remember the bigger picture.  And this is what gives us the strength to move forward, faithfully following Jesus in the midst of our difficulties.

William Higgins

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