Living In Light of The Lord’s Return

2 Thess. 1:3-10

 

     3We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

 

If you were a 1st Century Congregation, and I a 1st Century evangelist, I might simply announce to you this morning, Maranatha, Maranatha Jesus is coming , Jesus is coming.

 

The hope and anticipation of Jesus' 2nd coming was deeply burned in the church of the  1st  century. It was a master light of hope, it kept that early band of saints on the move. It was their motivation for living the Christians life. 

 

Paul writing to the church of Corinth, said:

26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.    1 Cor. 11:26

And so in Retrospect they looked back to Calvary, but in Prospect they  anticipated the second coming of Christ And the church of our time has lost that.

 

We recognize as we study the word of God there isn’t a more prominent theme in all the scriptures than that of the second coming of Jesus.  We read in the New Testament, of some 370 references directly, or indirectly to the 2nd coming of Jesus.

 

You know. there are but few references to baptism. and even fewer to the Lord's Supper. It has been estimated, that one-fifth of the New Testament either directly or indirectly points to this marvelous theme  The  2nd Coming Of Jesus”

 

Jesus often spoke of this special day during His ministry— in Matt 25:31-32

31When 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. 32And before him shall be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.

 

In John 14:1-3 the beautiful words 

1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In 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. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you………

I WILL COME AGAIN

 

Again of interest the first message of divine origin after Jesus left this earth, was a message about His second coming. Acts 1:10-11. As they look in on the marvelous ascension of our Lord states. and while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel ¾ which also said;

Ye men of Galilee, whey 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 up into heaven.             

 

 Without a doubt, God wanted us to we warned and alerted to this day ... a day that has already been marked on His celestial calendar... Paul speaking from Mars Hill stated:

 

30The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: 31inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.   Acts 17:30-31

 

The apostle Peter in his 2nd epistle speaks of the heaven and earth being reserved against a day of judgment and fire.  He assures us that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance

 

 And then in verse 12, seeing all these things are to be so —

what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness,

 

With all the preceding being true,  should we not be living in light of the Lord’s return? Our text answers certain questions relative to the Lord’s return.  I would like for us to study these.

 

The Coming Of Our Lord — “What will that day be like?”  Let us read this text again...   2Thess. 1:7-10

 

In the 1st epistle to the Thessalonians,  Paul made mention of the Lord’s return at the end of every chapter. Go back and read these verses. It is no surprise to find him beginning this second epistle with yet another reference to this day of days. 

 

1st- According to the verses we just read, the coming of Christ will be a day of “revelation”   It will be a day in which “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven” The Greek word [ajpokaluvyei"] translated “revealed” carries the idea of “uncovering something”  Consequently we read of the grace that will be brought to us at the “revelation” the uncovering of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13

 

We are also encouraged by the fact that we will be like the Lord “when He is revealed from heaven” 1 John 3 1-3

1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is. 3And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 

 As we often sing “the heavens will be rolled back as a scroll  and as a result we shall be blessed to see the Lord Jesus. And this means that we will hear His voice. John 5:28-29

28Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 29and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.

 

The voice that spoke through tears and unlocked the gates of Hades with these words “Lazzrus Come Forth   John 11:33

 

That means that we will look upon that same face that received Judas’ kiss of betrayal, and  look into the same eyes that penetrated Peter’s heart after his denial of our Lord. (Luke 22:47-48   &  59-62)

 

It may be that if we look close enough we might even catch the glimpse of a scar in the palm of the hands where the nails penetrated the hands of the one who died for our sins.

 

As we think of seeing our Lord and Savior face to face I am reminded of a song we sing often,   “Face to Face”   The Lord’s Coming a day of “revelation” we shall see Him face to face.

 

But next according to our text the coming of the Lord will be a day of “separation.  It will be a day in which He will come with all His might angels     Matt 16;27

7For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds

 

 In what is perhaps one of the clearest passages on our Lords return  Matt 25:31ff

31But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: 32and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; 33and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world....  41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels:

 

Angels announced his birth, Angels comforted our Lord as he was tried, tested by Satan himself, the arc enemy of God..... angels sat on the stone, and announced to  those women who had come to the tomb... Why seek ye the living with the dead? 

 

And angels will accompany our Lord when he comes again. I would remind you  In 1 Peter 3:22 we read that Jesus has gone into the heavens and angels are subject to Him when he comes again angels will accompany him Matt 25:41 Jesus will have the hosts the armies of heaven with him

 

 We are reminded that in Old Testament times two angels visited Sodom, warned Lot to flee, and spread down a vast sheet of fire, sweeping away the cities of the plains.   One angel descended on the morning of the resurrection, as recorded in the gospels,  and rolled away the large stone,  and sat there as the Roman guard fell on the ground as dead men. What may we expect then when the Lord shall come with all his holy angels to render vengeance on all  disobedient?

 

3rd – The Bible (not our text) but the Bible describes heaven  this way...  Revelation 21:1-5

 

When we stand over the narrow tomb of a love one and say goodbye to the dearest friend or loved one on earth....  passages like these give us hope. This is a text so compelling it should be firmly fixed into the memory of every child in our Bible classes....  It is so uplifting it should be written on a card and posted where we can be reminded of God’s ultimate blessing.

 

Heaven a place where God dwells and the passage teaches  Rev 21:3-4

3And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: : 4and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. 5And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.

 

God shall dwell with us .....  God shall wipe away every tear....  He will do so by removing all the things that produce sorrow..  No death.......  no more anxious moments, and mixed feelings “hating to see a loved one suffer, but I do not want to say goodbye.”   No crying......  no pain......  “NO MORE. “the former things are passed away”.  They shall be “no more”.

 

Such a description of heaven reminds us of a little girl who walked with her daddy under a clear starlit night. She said looking up to a sky that had been decorated by God’s handiwork.... .”Daddy, if heaven is so beautiful on the wrong side... just think what it looks like on the right side.”

 

Remember in closing this morning, every sane and sensible person should be  motivated to Live in the Light of The Lord’s Return.....   This being true....  what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness,

 

contact:

Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ

email:  RonCope@chestnutmtchurchofchrist.com

phone:  (678)617-9658