The Second Coming
15 Sep 2001, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
THEME The Second Coming of Jesus Christ Our Saviour
SCRIPTURE READING 1 Thess 4:13-18
INTRODUCTION Information concerning future events is conveyed through notices using many different methods. The purpose is so that we can be aware of what is coming and when it is coming. At least when we can expect the event. Some person or persons with information that we need do their best to see that we are informed. When notices directly concern us personally, we would be stupid , at least foolish if we ingnored the notices. Doubtless we would be careless to ingore warnings.
Christ our creator who also created this world, is known as the first and last in Scripture. He is the first cause and the last word on all creation. The creator of the beginning is a natural for knowing the answer about the end and the signs of the end of the world.
Christ himself gave the most detailed information and notices (signs) of future events which herald His Second Coming. These are recorded for us in Matt 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. The books of Daniel in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures tell us of our times and the events that will transpire between Christ's first coming and His second coming. John made this clear in Rev 1:7,19.
READING HIS NOTICES IN MATTHEW
Matt 24:1-5 Tells us of the location where Jesus erected His notice board advising of future events. They are on the Mt of Olives after leaving the temple. One of the issues was the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. This finally took place when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70AD. The issue is broader than AD 70. The issue is clearly spelled out in the questions detailed by the disciples in verse 3. "Tell us, when shall these things be? " ( that is the fall of Jerusalem ). .."what shall be the sign of your coming and the end of the world." It is very clear that there are three issues here. Jerusalem, signs of the second coming and the end of the world at the second coming. What follows is Christ's notices concerning these three events. Some points overlap but the notice reads - Jerusalem will be taken. Similar signs will signal the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. The key warning is that we must not be deceived by those who try to ingnore the signs and notices. We are warned that there will be many false Christ's and Christians, who deny the signs and change the notices. Verse 24 gives emphasis to this fact. It in itself is a sign of the end. Christ's notices will be tampered with. False Christ's and false prophets will continue from Christ's first advent until the second coming and the end of the world. The name of the game is deception, intrigue and falsehood. Our only safety is the word of God and His noticeboard. Thes events are constant reminders of His true warnings. The end is not yet. The signs are the guarantee of the end and the truth of the Word.
Verse 6 that wars and rumours of war are a positive sign in all ages that His word and His notices are true and that He will return as promised. Thes things must happen. We must not be troubled or discouraged. Verses 7-8 warns of global and international war and strife. There will be global and international famines and disease with earthquakes in many different places.
Verses 9-13 All nations will eventually persecute the true believers. Betrayal by those who deny Christianity or relinquish their beliefs, will be widespread. Sin and evil will be rife and many Christians' love of Christ will dissolve. Genuine Christians will survive in mind and soul and will be finally saved at His Second Coming. Verse 14 The Gospel will be shared with all inhabitants of the world then the end will come. Prior to the end there will be global strife and trouble of a mangnitude never before experienced on this earth , verse 21. Jesus states in verse 15 that these times were forcast in the book of Daniel. No doubt the first application of this prophecy took place with the events of the Dark Ages, the 1260 yrs which commenced 538 - 1798 AD. These were followed by the darkening of the sun and moon and the falling of the stars in 1780 and 1833 respectively. That is an historical fact. see verse 29-30. I believe we will see this again just prior to Christ's Second Coming.
LUKE 21:25-26 Luke also records Jesus as emphasising the strife and global perplexity which would engulf the nations immediately prior to Christ's arrival. "Men's hearts (minds) failing them for fear because of those things coming on the earth." Surely this word is being fulfilled before our very eyes in 2001.
What is the purpose of the signs. To scare us? No No. To warn us that our Saviour is returning soon. Notice the next event is mentioned in verse 27. "Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory." The issue is, to be ready, to "look up and lift up your heads; for your (final) redemption draws near." "These things, (the signs) are to signal to us that the Kingdom of God is close to establishment. It is a call to be in love and at peace with our Saviour. To be longing to meet Him in person. see verse 31.
The primary reason for the signs of Christ's return is so that we can be ready. "Be ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of Man comes." Matt 24: 44 We have been advised and alerted in advance by Christ himself therefore, we should listen and act upon the evidence. Mark 13:23, 29, 33-37. The issue is we ought to listen, watch and pray. For the purpose of being ready to meet Him. Luke makes it clear when he says, " Watch and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the son of God." Luke 21:36.
Matt 25 is dedicated to the issue. The parable of the virgins and the talents is to convey to us the importance of preparartion for the coming King. In order that we may hear the King say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you..." Matt 25:34.
These chapters of the Bible are saturated with warnings promises and encouragement. Matt 24:13; Mark 13:13, 2 Luke 21:36.
The accuracy of Christ's predictions and prophecies are 100 percent spot on. We have all the evidence throughout history and currently the signs are coming thick and fast. The strife and commotion in the world is intensifying daily. We can be sure His word is true. He said himself, "my words shall not pass away." Matt 24:35.
"Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity follows by sea and land. ...Who can read the future? Where is security? There is assurance in nothing that is human or earthly. Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen. There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lord's appearing. ... The crisis is stealing gradually upon us. ...The highest excitement prevails, yet probation's hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally decided. Satan sees that his time is short. He has set his agencies at work that men may be deceived, deluded, occupied and entranced, until the day of probation shall be ended, and the door of mercy be forever shut."
E.G. White Desire of Ages p 636
Check God's noticeboard regularly. Compare his latest e-mails and faxes with the recorded Words of Truth.
He is saying to us , "I am coming ready or not!", "You do not know when I am coming, either the day nor the hour. Just be ready. You will certainly know when it is near." I beleive that it is very close.
Remember Jesus said, "Be ready", not "Get ready". Are you ready? Are you in love with your Saviour. He is coming SOON!.
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