Jesus is Coming Again – Hear His Voice

 

Sunday July 31, 2016   Phone: 570.829.5216
Pastor David Miklas e-mail pdmikBBM@aol.com
Message: Book of Revelation 1-5 Text: Acts 1:11 ; ICo 16:22 

Jesus is Coming Again – Hear His Voice

 

INTRODUCTION: In Matthew 24-25 Jesus speaks to his disciples concerning the end times. In Matthew 24:3 the disciples ask “What shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” Here, people are asking, “How much longer does man have on planet earth?” Someone said,

 

“We who live in this nervous age would be wise to meditate on our lives and our days long and often before the face of God and on the edge of eternity. We are made for eternity as certainly as we are made for time, and as responsible mortals we must deal with both.”

 

What we think about the future depends a lot on our worldview. Our worldview determines how we behave, the choices we make, and often how we feel. Now when we come to the future, there are really only three basic worldviews. In each one, the perspective of how things are going to END is directly related to the view of how things BEGAN.

 

One: Everything will stay the same. This theory claims that the universe never had a beginning and has always existed in a steady state. In this worldview, history is nothing more than a series of cycles, as in reincarnation. You simply exist in an endless loop.

 

Two: Everything will get better. The idea that our world and the people in it are progressing to a better place is based on a NATURALISTIC worldview. This worldview, which leaves God out of the picture completely says,

 

The universe had an impersonal beginning. From that impersonal beginning, life evolved from the single cell to the ultimate of a human being. God is nowhere to be found, man is the measure of all things. As people improve, the world will get better.

 

This belief is referred to as HUMANISM. To the humanist, the future is bright, hopeful and wonderful. We are getting better, and so is our world. And because we are the center of the universe, we will determine its fate. Peter expected this so he wrote in II Peter 3:3-4a, “Knowing this… there shall come in the last days scoffers…saying, Where is the promise of His coming?” Men may mock the fact that Jesus said He’d return, but whatever men may say, “Jesus is coming!”

 

Three: Everything will get worse. This view of the future holds that life as we know it is in a constant state of degradation. To put it simply, everything that lives slowly dies. The world is not getting better, it’s getting worse, and it will continue to get worse.

 

So, “how will it end?” The Bible gives us a very clear and direct answer. All this brings us to the most significant single truth in all of biblical prophecy, the certainty of the SECOND COMING of JESUS CHRIST.

               

In Acts 1:10-11, right after Jesus ascended into heaven, two angels appeared and said to those gathered there, “Ye men of Galillee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN.”

Just as Jesus physically and literally left, He will physically and literally come again. Although we may speculate on the time when our Lord will reappear, absolutely no question exists that he will return!

 

Binyamin Elon, a Jewish Rabbi and member of the Israeli Knesset wrote, “I believe that if you do not know how to read the Bible, you cannot understand the daily paper.”

 

Dr. Dwight Pentecost wrote in his classic book on prophecy Things To Come: “God, the architect of the ages, has seen fit to take us into His confidence concerning His plan for the future, and has revealed His purpose and program in detail in the Word. A greater body of Scripture is given to prophecy than any other one subject.”

 

Statistical evidence abounds in the Word of God concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:

 

Prophecy occupies 1/5 of the Scriptures; and the Second Coming occupies 1/3 of that 1/5. There are a total of 1,527 Old Testament passages referring to the Second Coming. In the New Testament, 220 verses (1 of every 25) refer directly to the Second Coming.

 

The Lord refers to His return 21 times and over 50 times believers are exhorted to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ.

 

So the Word of God is at stake. If Jesus doesn’t 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, but all of them or God made a terrible mistake and we’re in real trouble.

 

Someone wrote, “While we don’t want to over-interpret prophecy, it’s hard to see today’s world – with its wars and rumors of war, with the Gospel being preached around the globe, with the rise of modern Israel, and with the constant danger of nuclear apocalypse – without recalling that all these events are predicted in Scripture.”

 

This morning we begin a brief study on BIBLE PROPHECY that will lead us in three weeks to a very, very extended study of the book of “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

Having said that let me relay several warnings regarding the study of Bible Prophecy and the Book of Revelation.

 

First: There is the DANGER of becoming spiritually proud of what you know instead of letting the Word of God humble us.

 

Second: There is the DANGER of studying prophecy without seeing the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember Christ is the THEME and the CENTER of all Scripture.

 

Third: There is the DANGER of studying prophecy just to satisfy our idle curiosity. That is not its purpose. God considers believers His confidants regarding His future program.

 

Before we begin to discuss the specific features of the Second Coming, we need to first examine the reasons why we ought to believe Jesus is coming back to earth.

 

Number 1: We have the promises of God in the Old Testament.

 

Messiah, a Savior, and a King who would deliver men, forgive their sins, bring justice out of injustice, make right out of wrong, and reverse the curse.

 

 

In fact, there are at least 333 prophecies in the Old Testament telling about this coming Deliverer. This Deliverer is Jesus. But the first time He came, He only fulfilled 109 of these prophecies. This means 224 prophecies have never been fulfilled.

 

Now, if they have yet to be fulfilled, He must return. Otherwise, God’s Word is unfulfilled, making Him a liar. Let me give you just two examples:

 

In Micah 4:1-3 we read, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. (2) And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (3) And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Has there been a cessation of war since Jesus came the first time? You know as well as I do, there has not been. Therefore, He must come again to fulfill it.

 

In Daniel 7:13-14, 18 we read, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (18) But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” Has Jesus returned to earth to have world dominion? Has He given His saints an eternal Kingdom? Not yet, but it will come in the future…when Jesus comes a second time.

 

Do you see what I’m trying to say? None of these things happened when Jesus came the first time. Therefore, He has to come again. These promises of God must be literally fulfilled.

 

Number 2: We have the statements of Jesus about the future. With all the voices that we are hearing today, there is one voice that surely needs to be heard, that being the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospels made it clear that Jesus, more than anyone else who walked this planet, knew what the future held. We can confidently make our claims about Jesus’ relationship to the future.

 

During the days of Jesus’ life and ministry, He made frequent statements regarding His return in all the gospel accounts. Perhaps Matthew 24-25 called “The Olivet Discourse,” delivered just prior to our Lord’s death contains the most complete chronology of future events found in Scripture, with the exception of the Book of Revelation. He gave several signposts to watch for.

 

False Prophets, verses 4-5, “…Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Today with the click of a mouse, you can summon up anyone of thousands of sects and cults and religions with millions upon millions of electronic pages devoted to an ever-growing number of false Christs.

 

Wars and Rumors of War, verses 6-7, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” Just since the year 2000, large portions of the world have been devastated by conflict. Today, somewhere in the world someone’s home is being shattered by war.

 

Famines and Earthquakes, verse 7, “…and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Be not oblivious to the RIKA virus, the death of bees that pollinate our food crops, lack of potable water, and therefore severe famines forecast around the world. Even here in the USA there have been deep tremors which indicate shifting ground which may lead to major earthquakes. .

 

Persecution, verses 9-10, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” It's estimated that during the twentieth century more Christians died (about 45 million) just for being believers than during all of the first 19 centuries (25 million) after the birth of Christ.

 

One expert wrote, "Millions of American Christians pray in their churches each week, oblivious to the fact that Christians in many parts of the world suffer brutal torture, arrest, imprisonment, and even death – their homes and communities laid waste – for no other reason than they are Christians."

 

The Spread of the Gospel, verse 14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” There was an explosion of evangelism in the twentieth century, yet 28.3% of the world still remains un-reached.

 

As He continued His discourse on the Mount of Olives, Jesus went on to say that other great and perilous events would take place – the Abomination of Desolation described by Daniel the prophet (v. 15), the Great Tribulation (v. 21), and the coming of the Son of Man (v. 27).

 

The credibility of Jesus is at stake in the prediction of the Second Coming. Not only does the promise of the Father and the statements of the Son demand that Jesus return to earth, but so does…

 

Third: The Testimony of the New Testament writers. From Acts to Revelation we have a constant stream of pronouncements concerning the Second Coming of Christ.

 

The writings of the Apostle Paul had a great impact on the early church. For example:

 

Thirteen times he mentioned baptism, and twice he touched on communion, yet he mentioned the Second Coming of our Lord 50 times. In Paul’s prophetic books of I & II Thessalonians, he mentions the second coming of Christ in each of the 8 chapters of these books.

 

Follow me as I take you through some of these great passages.

 

I Corinthians 1:4-7, “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ. That in everything ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance,, and in all  knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift, WAITING for the COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.”

 

II Timothy 4:1, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.”

 

Hebrew 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.”

 

Not only did the Apostle Paul write about the Lord’s second coming, so did the other New Testament writers.

 

James who challenges Christians to show their faith by their works said in James 5:8, “Be ye also patient, establish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth near.”

 

Peter, writing to the church undergoing trials of persecution, challenges the elders to be faithful leaders on the basis of the Lord’s coming. In I Peter 5:4 we read, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

 

John challenges us to holy living on the basis of Christ’s coming:

 

I John 2:28, “And now, little children, abide in him, that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

Revelation 22:20 establishes the last challenge to believers in all ages. John writes, “He who testified these things said, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” The word “quickly” means “suddenly.” Every generation of Christians should expect the Lord to come “suddenly.”

 

Jude a one chapter book gives us these prophetic words in verses 14-15 concerning the second coming of Christ, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed…”

 

In summary, 23 of the 27 books of the New Testament refer to our Lord’s coming again to earth. The sheer weight of evidence leads to the conclusion that if you believe the Bible youmust believe in the Second Coming of Christ.

 

Many years ago I had this conversation with an individual, who asked “Why would you ever think about preaching on the book of Revelation?”

 

He went on to say, “that he had come to the conclusion that prophecy isn’t relevant to our day. In fact most ministers (let alone laymen) don’t understand Revelation. It doesn’t have anything to do with where people are today in their contemporary situations. People have so many needs and so many hurts, it seems a shame to spend time showing them prophecy charts and talking about the future.”

 

Such wisdom may sound reasonable, but it ignores one enormous fact: “Every time Jesus or one of the New Testament writers talked about the future, they connected it to the present.” The prophecies of the New Testament are constantly undergirded with strong encouragements and admonitions about how to live today.

 

Our scriptural mandate for this series of messages is found in Revelation 1:3 where we read, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” The words “at hand” convey the idea of being “near.”

 

When the Apostle John wrote these words more than 2000 years ago, the time was at hand and it is nearer now than ever. The word “near” in the Scripture means two things: near with regard to time, and near with regard to urgency.

 

With respect to URGENCY, the Bible’s admonition is to watch expectantly for Christ’s return. In so doing we are to live a holy life, to love His appearing, and the task of spreading the gospel.

 

With respect to TIME Jesus’ coming is daily growing more real. In Luke 21:26-28 Jesus said, “Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (27) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (28) And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Many of the “things” He described in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 are indeed beginning to happen. It is time for us to “LOOK UP” toward the heavens in anticipation of His appearing.

 

As I draw this first message to a close, would you turn to I Corinthians 16:22 in which we read, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.”

 

 

The word “Anathema” means those that don’t love the Lord let them be “accursed.” The expression “Maranatha,” meaning “the Lord is coming,” as an expression in the first century became a common mode of greeting and parting.

 

The first century was the most fervent and evangelistic generation of the 20 centuries of church history. Christianity established such a foot-hold in the pagan world that by the third century it was acknowledged as the state religion.

 

By contrast, with all our sophisticated means of communication, the 21st century church’s program of evangelism lags behind the birth rate.

 

We are living in the post-modern Christian era.

 

If we possessed the same confident expectation as the “Maranatha” Christians, we could doubtless reach our generation for Christ. But strangely, the closer we get to the actual coming of Christ, the less confident the church seem to be about His coming.

 

As a teacher and preacher of prophecy for over 48 years, I can recall many “sleeping Christians” who were suddenly “turned on” when the truth of Christ’s imminent coming gripped them. That happened to me one night back in 1960 when I heard an evangelist from the west coast preach in such a way that it lit a fire of intense desire in my soul for sharing Bible prophecy and the Second Coming of Christ.

 

“Churchianity” doesn’t motivate anyone, but the “Maranatha” concept does. It makes carnal, cold, indifferent believers “fervent in spirit.” I suggest that each night before going to bed you read some of the Bible passages on the Lord’s coming and then go to sleep thinking about them.

 

The story is told of an old Scottish minister who passed the farm of a parishioner on his way to church on Sunday morning.  Obviously, the man seen chopping wood in his yard was not going to church. Their eyes met and the pastor felt he should say something, so he called out, “The Lord is coming,” and went on to church.

 

About five minutes after he started his message the farmer entered. After the service he admitted, “Pastor, the more I thought about the Lord coming, the more I realized I didn’t want Him to find me cutting wood during church time!”

 

The Bible instructs us to ALWAYS be looking for the day of Christ’s return, not with wild-eyed speculations fueled by some new movement, but with sober-spirited discernment. What else could the Bible mean? Hebrews 10:24-25 says:

 

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

 

The only way we can “see the day approaching” is to investigate what the Bible has to say and ask God to help us determine the day and the hour.

 

As we close let me remind you that the real issue is not coming to church and singing hymns or doing volunteer work; it isn’t even knowing the Bible; IT IS KNOWING JESUS CHRIST. It is having a personal relationship with Him who said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. So until we meet again my friends, I say, “Maranatha.”

 

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If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “Jesus is Coming Again – Hear His Voice” right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.

 

Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in

 

Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”

Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”

If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.

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In His Amazing Grace,

Pastor<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
David Miklas
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