These are the very words of Jesus Christ to His disciples of which we must keep reminding ourselves of now and again.
Heb 10: 25 Not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching. Amplified Bible
Ephes 5: 14-17 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. KJV
I Timothy 4: 1-2 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. NLT
There is a kind of excitement that overwhelms us whenever we hear or know that a loved one is visiting soon. How we always wish that such a day will come quicker.
One’s mind will just be going over all the things you anticipate will happen, even when the person had not arrived.
As the ministry of Jesus was coming to an end, He began to let His disciples know that He will soon depart. This was not good news to them. But in John 14:1-3, Jesus gave them a word they could rejoice about. This became the disciples’ source of faith, hope, joy and strength.
John 14: 1-3 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
As time progresses, many of the disciples began to die, many through martyrdom and few through natural causes, yet the promise of Christ coming back had not yet happen. So, Jesus revealed to John the beloved, about 100 years after His departure that He will be coming, even quickly. That the disciples should not lose faith, hope and focus.
In the final verses of the Book of Revelation, three times the Lord Jesus says that He is coming for the nation Israel. He spoke of His coming to save Israel at the end of the Tribulation and to commence the Millennial Reign of Christ (Rev. 19:11-21).
So, Jesus’ Second Coming will be in two phases: the first is for the rapture of the saints; and the second is essentially for the salvation of the Jews.
As believers of today, we are still waiting for the first phase of Jesus coming, even though the prophesy revealed to John is over 1900 years old. But we know fully well from the scriptures that the thought and the way of God are different from ours. So, His timing will obviously be different from ours as well.
To our own understanding, let us consider Jesus statement ‘Behold, I come quickly’. (Rev 22: 1-21). By our own definitions:
Behold would mean, ‘see, observe, view, watch, etc. (something or someone, especially that which is remarkable or impressive).
‘I come’ is an unusual sentence to express the urgency of a visit. When people are visiting, they will say ‘I am coming’, but they may later change their mind, and not come. For Christian not to think like that for this Messiah’s visit, Jesus said ‘I come’. Just two words, but eternally powerful!
‘Quickly’ would mean soon, urgently, at a fast speed, rapidly, swiftly or definitely.
So, if Jesus said He will come, let us be sure He will. If He said quickly, we better believe that as well. Just that His coming quickly may not totally fit into our own dictionary.
He also gave them an understanding to Whom will come: The Alpha and Omega; the First and Last; the Beginning and the End.
That tells us that Jesus knew what has happened before and He knows what will be in the future. So that tells us that He must know what is going on now.
In John 11:1-7, the sisters of Lazarus were expecting Jesus to visit them soon as their brother was gravely sick, but Jesus not only stayed 2 days more where He was but also traveled further away to Judea; to the extent that even His disciples began to question His logic!
Jesus must have tarried for a number of reasons, one of which was to boost the disciples’ faith and for many to believe on Him (verse 14-15).
Are you going through certain hard stuffs, it could be that God wants to help your faith to grow. Whatever it is, it will not be unto death in Jesus name. But for Jesus to be glorified.
So, Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.
You know, sometimes we think we know much about God, but we don’t. The disciples had been with Jesus for about three years around this time, yet Jesus said He was not going to heal Lazarus straightaway to help them believe more. He would only arrive when the case would have seemed impossible.
But how, I asked? So I consider their statement in verse 13-16. When Jesus already said the sickness is not unto death.
Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.
How can one die with someone Jesus already said his sickness is not unto death?
The disciples understood the power of Death, but not the power of Resurrection and Life. What do you understand of Jesus? Do you understand Him to be the Resurrection and Life? Do you understand He is coming quickly for you as well?
The Children of Israel were in Egypt for about 430 years. More than half of which must have be spent in slavery. But one day, God decided it was time to visit them (Ex. 3:7-8). The same God they thought had forgotten them said He has come.
The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 8″So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
God sees your state, hears your cry and know your pains. He has come down to deliver you from those who are mightier than you. He will also bring you to a large, comfortable and lovely place in Jesus name.
Jesus had to tell John three times that He is coming quickly so the disciples can know that it was not a joke. Verse 7a, 12a, 20a show this.
Revelation 22 is the final chapter of the bible, and a summary of God’s word to us. It requires our keen attention as the final words of Jesus recorded in the scriptures. It is similar to what Solomon said as his conclusion to life and living in Eccl 12:13-14. 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
We must know that whenever God visits, it is usually for two reasons:
- It is to give rewards for His own.
Some people don’t like to talk about rewards because they think that is a poor motive for obeying God.
It may be true in a sense. Reward should not be the only motive. Our love for God should be our greatest motive. God however want us to know that there are rewards for obeying, following and serving Him.
Mk. 10:28-30 28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
2 Cor. 5: 7-10 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Multiple passages in Scripture talk about specific crowns that will be given to saints as rewards. There is the crown of life, righteousness, rejoicing, overcomers, etc.
Rewards will however be determined by the works we have done for God which will be tested by fire I Cor 3:11-15.
If your work still remained after going through that fire, you will have a reward, if not, the word of God says you have none.
- It is to give judgement for those who are not His own.
Rev. 22:11-15 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Most people would accept that someone called Jesus Christ actually was here over 2000 years ago. But most people’s knowledge stops there, yet the Bible says, that the very same Jesus who came to die on the cross, is coming again! But not to die again this time, but to reign on this earth, literally, physically, visibly!
Where is the Promise of His Second Coming?
Just like His first coming was promised in the scriptures, His second was promised as well. First promised started in Gen. 3: 15.
Acts 1: 9-11 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 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.
Rev 1:7 7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him” [ So shall it be! Amen.
What is the Reason for His Second Coming?
- To reign on this earth from Jerusalem (Rev 11:15).
- To defeat Pain, Sorrow and Death – curse on Mankind (Rev 21:4)
- To bring in a reign of peace as God originally intended for the earth (Isaiah 9: 6).
- To purge Israel from their sin (Rom 11:26) They too can finally accept Him as Saviour.
What are the Dimensions of His Second Coming?
When will it occur? – (Matt 24:36,44) imminently (soon)! All signs fulfilled, except this gospel shall be proclaimed all over the earth (Mt. 24: 14).
How will it occur? – quickly, like lightning (Matt 24:27)
What will happen?
- Christians will be caught up in the firmament above and stay with Christ for 7 years – Rapture.
- Simultaneously, this world will suffer for those 7 years – Tribulation.
- Jesus Christ will after the 7 years come down to earth to rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords; and the saints as rulers over nations, and cities!
How not to miss out on this visitation of God
Be made righteous and remain holy (Rev 22:11-12). 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Don’t forget His promise (John 14:1-3).
Ask again, if you have forgotten (Gen 12:1-3; 15:1-6)
Confess God visitation till He comes (Rev. 22:20b). Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Heb 10:36-37 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. KJV
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay. NIV
Father, help me to do your will
Father, help me to persevere as I try to do Your will
Father, help me to receive what You have promised
Father, do not tarry in helping me.
Father, help me not to mis out in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Sermon delivered on May 9th, 2021.