I know some of you think of me as a preaching machine, and wind him up and, you know, out comes a sermon. Even when you ask me questions you get three points and an illustration. But I really do have feelings. I’m not a robot and I’m not just a machine. I go through all of the anxieties that you do. I have all of the pain, and all of the trouble, and all of the temptation, and all of the factors of life that make up your life make up my life. And I’m not any different. I like share sometimes just what I’m feeling as much as out of the Scripture, and I don’t get a chance to do that, because I realize that God is primarily concerned that I teach His Word to you, and that I communicate to you the principles out of His Word, so that you can relate to His truth and then you can govern your life according to truth.
But on the other hand, there are some things that are just kind of how I kind of look at the second coming of Christ and I want to share them with you, just some simple things. I want to give you several reasons why I’m anxious for Jesus to return. When John says in the end of the book of Revelation, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” I know why he said that I think, because I’m going to take a guess and think that John probably had the very same reasons that he wanted Jesus to come that I have, probably weren’t any different at all. Let me give them to you. And these are just kind of from out of my heart. They have no particular scripture, although we may look at some along the way, we’ll see.
Number one, I want Jesus to return because I want Satan to get what he deserves. I don't know about you, but I’m tired of the way he’s been running the world. When I think about the fact that we just can’t wait to get to heaven and we just can’t wait to experience the fulfillment of what heaven must be like, and then I stop to realize that Satan was once there and it wasn’t enough for him; I can’t imagine that. And that knowing that God like he must have with perfect knowledge as the highest of all angels, and adoring and worshipping God as he must have, somehow pride got into that and God wasn’t enough for him; I can’t conceive of that. And then to see him turn into a terrible rebel and be thrown out of heaven. And that isn’t enough, he spent his whole career rebelling against God and trying to destroy everything God has established.
God made a world and He made it perfect, and He looked at all His creation and He said, “It’s good, that’s the way I want it.” Satan infiltrated His world and messed it all up. And then he has his fallen angels, the ones that went with him, infiltrating the society of man, weakening the nations, the Old Testament prophet says. He’s brought death, he’s brought disease, he’s brought pain. He’s brought into our world every conceivable evil thing: murder and lying of which he is the father, evil, false religion, false truth.
Every time I see a blind man, every time I see somebody in a hospital, every time I see somebody with a disease, every time I see somebody die, I think of Satan. And I’ll tell you, just from a personal standpoint I’m tired of buying people. I get weary of trying to explain to moms and dads why their children are sick. I’ve had enough funerals of little babies. I get tired of talking to older people about the pains of life and how difficult it is when you’re old.
I don’t like what Satan’s done to this world, do you? I don’t like it at all. He attacks God. He’s continually defaming the character of God. He blasphemes God’s attributes. He denies the very work of God and twists it around so it appears as though God didn’t do it at all. He counterfeits the truth. And God is endeavoring to accomplish his will and Satan is busy to try to stop Him. And then he attacked Christ; the lovely spotless, absolutely pure and holy Son of God was the object of his attack. He tried every way he could to destroy Him, every way he could to dishonor Him, to defame Him, to delude His teaching, to direct people away from Him, and finally even brought Him to the cross.
And since that time he has considered Christ as the primary objective of his attack. And throughout the history of the world he has continued his persecution against Christ. He attacks Christians. He slanders them. He plants doubt in their minds. he tempts, he persecutes, he hinders, he infiltrates, he divides, he accuses the brethren. Beyond that, the people in the world are held in his power.
John says, “The whole world lies in the lap of the Evil One.” And I think about what it says in the Bible in Matthew 25:41, I think it is. It says there is a place prepared for the devil and his angels. And although I feel sorry about that, and I’m like John, you know, who ate the scroll and said it was sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach, and what he meant was that when he sees his enemies get what they deserve and the righteousness of God is vindicated, that’s sweet; but when he realizes what they’re going to have to pay, that’s bitter. But there is a place prepared for the devil and his angels. What is tragic about it is is that he doesn’t want to go alone, so he’s taking as many people as he can. I want Jesus to come because I want him to end Satan’s rule.
I think all of us have had enough of death, and enough of disease, and enough of pain, and enough of crime, and enough of sin, and enough of evil. And I feel like the martyrs, you know, I was thinking about this earlier in Revelation chapter 6. The martyrs are under the altar in verse 9, “And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw into the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, how long, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’”
How long? How long can evil sway? How long can injustice rule? How long can the persecution of Your own children go without avenging? How long? I thought too of the 18th chapter of Luke, a passage that you may not be as familiar with. It says in verse 7, “And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust saith. And shall not God avenge His own elect who cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you He will avenge them speedily.’” And the next phrase it says, “When the Son of Man cometh.”
Yes, you see, Satan is going to get what he deserves. In Revelation chapter 20, it says that he’s going to be taken with the Beast and the False Prophet and thrown into the lake of fire that burns forever and ever. Satan is no victim, don’t you think so for a minute. He is no victim. He chose, and he chose against the perfect knowledge of God. He didn’t want God, he doesn’t want God now, and he won’t want God in eternity. But I’ll sure be glad when he can’t corrupt a whole lot of people along with him. I want Jesus to come because I want Satan to get what he deserves.
Then I thought of a second thing. I want Jesus to come, because I want Jesus to get what He deserves. Think of what He endured. In John 1 it says, “He was in the world, the world was made by Him,” – and what? – “the world knew Him not. He came unto His own in His own” – what? – “received Him not.”
The choir sang so beautifully this morning, Isaiah 53, “And when He came He was a root,” - the rod of Jesse as it were - “a root out of the dry ground; and there was no beauty, there was no form, there was no comeliness that we should desire Him.” There was no beauty in Him hanging on a cross, and yet He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our inequities.
Think of what He endured. He came into the world. Even when He was growing up He had to endure the animosity and the bitterness and the resentment of His own brothers who didn’t want a thing to do with Him. In chapter 7 in verse 5 of John, “Neither did His brethren believe in Him,” and then they mocked Him here. And Jesus said in verse 7, “The world can’t hate you, but it hates Me. Why? Because I tell it because its works are evil.”
All through His life Jesus was misunderstood. When He came back to the town in which He had been raised in Nazareth and started to do some mighty works, they didn’t believe Him. He was rejected. He was turned away. In the 7th chapter of the same book of John in the 53rd verse - and I go back to this so many times - it says, “And every man went to his own house.” And that doesn’t seem too significant until you read the next verse, chapter 8, verse 1, “And Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.” You say, “Why didn’t He go to His own house?” He didn’t have any. “The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has” - what? – “no place to lay His head.” Here was the Lord of glory, here was the King of all kinds who dwelled in the universe as a temple and He had no place. Everybody went home, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
There was never any place for Him. Even in His birth there was no room in an inn. He was born in a buried stable, He was crucified on a Roman cross. He was buried in a borrowed tomb, didn’t even belong to Him. He fellowshipped in an upper room that wasn’t His own. And when they gambled for His garments, they had one thing to gamble for, that’s all.
He who was rich for our sakes became poor. He said, “For the Son of Man has come not to be” – what? – “ministered unto, but to minister, or to serve and give His life.” And that’s why He came. In John chapter 15, verse 18, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” Verse 24, “If I had not done among them the works which no other man did, they had not had sin. But now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father.”
Imagine God condescending to the creatures that He made and being hated by them throughout His entire time spent with them. He was betrayed by one who followed Him for three years, Judas, who betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver. He was denied by an apostle who promised he would even die before he would do that. He was persecuted. They plotted to kill Him. He was mocked.
There’s a scripture that kind of sums up the attitude of the world towards Jesus in Mark, I think it’s chapter 10, verse 34, “And they shall mock Him, and beat Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him.” And they did. I read time and time again the 27th chapter of Matthew because I need to be reminded of it. We read it this morning from John’s gospel, the similar passage, and it just says, verse 29, starting there, “When they had planted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and a reed in His right hand, and they bowed the knee to Him and mocked Him saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews.’ And they spit on Him and took the reed and hit Him in the face. After they had mocked Him and took the robe off from Him and put His own raiment on and they led Him way to crucify Him.” And the story tells how they did it.
Yes, Jesus endured tremendous, tremendous humiliation. Still does. Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Jesus Christ, to being in the form of God thought it not something to hold onto to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation,” - the lowest of the low – “took on Him the form of a servant,” - or a slave – “and was made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
You know, that isn’t what Jesus deserves, is it? I want Jesus to come back, because the next time He comes it’s going to be all different. He’s not going to come again as a servant. I want Him to come under the conditions of verse 9 of Philippians 2, “Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of the glory of God the Father.” That’s what I want to see.
I’ve spent so many years of my life learning to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and the more I love Him, the more it is intolerable for me to see Him defamed. Or when I hear His name taken in vain, it just does something to me. When I see people who are either indifferent or antagonistic toward Him, it just tears at my heart. He doesn’t deserve that.
I want to see what was originally promised when He came. It said in Luke 1:31, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, Mary, and bring forth a son and shall call His name Jesus. He should be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there shall be” – what? – “no end.” That’s what I want to see, because that’s what He deserves.
And I got to Revelation sometimes when I want to get a glimpse of Jesus Christ and, “I see the scroll, the title deed to the earth in the hand of the Father, and everybody’s looking around and saying, ‘Hey, who can unroll the scroll? Who can take back the earth?’ And John begins to weep and he says, ‘There’s nobody that can do it. The earth is going to stay in the hands of the usurper because there’s nobody who’s worthy.’
“And one of the elders says, ‘Weep not, John, behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and loose the seven seals.’” There is somebody, and it’s none other than the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.
And Jesus Christ comes out described as a lamb that had been slain. “And He takes the scroll and unrolls it, and they sang a new song, ‘Thou art worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for Thou was slain and has redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, and made us unto our God a kingdom of priests, and we shall reign on the earth.’
“And then the chorus begins, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.’ And every creature that is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, ‘Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto Him that sits on the throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’”
Now I don’t know what’s going on there. I don’t know whether the fish are singing and the birds are singing and everything else, but every single thing in the universe that’s still around is echoing the worthiness of the Lamb. And I go over to chapter 11 in Revelation, I just love it, in verse 15 it says, “And the seventh angel sounded and there were great voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.’ And the four and twenty elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped Him saying, ‘We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou has taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.’” That’s exciting.
Further on in chapter 19, the most beautiful picture of Jesus Christ, “And I saw heaven opened,” – verse 11 – “and a white horse; and He that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns, and He had a name written that no man knew but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.” That’s no baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, folks.
“And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, and with it He’ll smite the nations and rule with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and His thigh a name written,” – what’s that name? – “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Yeah, I want Jesus to come, because I want Him to get what He deserves.
There’s a third thing that I thought about. I want Jesus to come, because I want to see the world the way God intended it when He first made it. Did you ever think about that? Boy, I often think, “I would love to have been around when Adam was in the garden before the fall.” I mean I’d just like to see it, an earth with no curse, no pollution; everything grows automatically; no weeds, no smog, nothing. I would just love to see the world the way God intended it when He made it.
In Genesis 1:31 He got all done with everything and He said, “That’s good, that’s good.” And then in chapter 3, sin came in and it wasn’t good. Yeah, and I kind of feel like those in Romans 8 where it says regarding anticipation, verse 19, “The earnest expectation” – this is terrific – “of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Now there’s coming a day when all the sons of God are going to be manifest. That’s the day when Jesus comes.
Did you know that the creation is waiting too? You know, the trees, the sky, the whole creation, the animals, the birds, the fish; you know they’re waiting for that day. You say, “Well, how does it affect them? Are they going to be raptured?” No, no. But there’s coming a day when creation is going to find the curse reversed, for the creation was made subject to vanity not willingly, but by reason of Him who have subjected the same in hope, because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.
Do you know there’s coming a day when the whole globe is going to be transformed? You’ll no longer have to work to make things grow, they’ll all grow and flourish. And the entire structure of the animal world is going to change dramatically, and of the plant life. Animals and plants are going to change dramatically. You know, the Bible calls this time, which is the kingdom, calls it the time of regeneration. Regeneration of what? Of everything. It calls it the times of refreshing, the times of restitution, it calls it the fullness of times. Man, I think about it and it’s exciting. I’m going to just take a minute and show you some things if you don’t mind.
Isaiah chapter 11, and I’ll just read them, you don’t need to try to follow me, I’m just going to run around here, whatever comes to my mind. Isaiah chapter 11, verse 6. Here’s what’s going to happen when the world is the way God made it, again paradise regained, “The wolf will dwell with the lamb.” Do you know how many shepherds in history have spent their whole career trying to keep the wolf away? “The wolf is going to dwell with the lamb. And the leopard is going to lie down with the goat, and the calf and the young lion and a little child’s going to lead a whole bunch of them.”
Can you imagine a little kid herding a herd like that? No problem. “And the cow and the bear shall feed together.” Can’t happen, folks, not now. “Their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the nursing child will play in the hole of the asp.” Children will play in snake pits.
“And the weaned child” – the little terrible twos, you know, just – we all them the rug rats – “shall put his hand in the adder’s den.” Why? It can’t harm. No more poisonous snakes, no more animals that are going to kill, no more conflict in the animal kingdom. Fantastic. “And they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.” Every animal is going to have the right relationship to God, whatever that means for animals. Animals are going to have total peace. All the problems of the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom, everything resolved.
Let me tell you something, folks. Do you know there is going to be food like you can’t believe? I mean food, and I just believe that you won’t even get fat. But the Bible doesn’t say that, I just believe that. But listen to this. We’re going to study Joel on Wednesday night but here’s a preview of Joel. Joel 2:21, “Fear not, O land,” – now he’s talking to the land. See the, whole thing is getting ready for the kingdom - “be glad and rejoice, for the Lord’s going to do great things with you, land.”
What’s it going to do? “Don’t be afraid, ye beast of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness do spring.” Do you know things are going to grow all out in the desert? The word “wilderness” means desert. “The tree is going to bear her fruit, the fig tree and the vine are going to yield their strength,” - stuff’s going to flourish all over the place, even in the desert.
“Be glad then you children of Zion, rejoice in the Lord, your God, for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I’ll restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you,” - no more plagues – “and you shall eat in plenty” - can you believe that? – “and be satisfied,” - and not get fat. That’s not in here, but I just throw that in.
“And after all of this is done you shall praise the name of the Lord your God who has dealt wondrously with you, and My people shall never be ashamed< and you will know that I am in the midst of Israel and that I am the Lord your God.” Isn’t that terrific? I want to be there. I want to see that.
You know, it also tells us in Isaiah that that’s going to be a healthy world. You know, there’s so much disease in this world, and God never intended that, not at all. Even the pain of childbearing is strictly a part of the curse. Isaiah 29:18, “In that day,” – this is the kingdom, wasn’t it – “in that day shall the deaf hear,” - isn’t that exciting? - “and the eyes of the blind shall see.” Health. God’s going to do tremendous things with people’s physical problems. Chapter 33 of Isaiah has more to say about that.
Chapter 35 of Isaiah said again similar things, verse 5: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the dear shall be unstopped” – now listen to this – “and shall the lame man leap as a hart,” – H-A-R-T, it means a deer; lame people leaping around - “and the tongue of the dumb will not only speak but sing.” And then a little more on the land: “In the wilderness shall water break out in streams in the desert, and the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water.” What a place. What a place.
Isaiah 65:20, now this is super, “And there shall be no more in it an infant of days.” No more babies are going to die. No more infants dying a few days after birth. That’s such a sad thing, isn’t it? Not going to be in the kingdom. “Nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for” - listen - “the child shall die 100 years old.” In other words, when somebody dies at 100 years old, we’ll say, “Oh, died in infancy.” Fantastic.
I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that. Imagine a world where justice always prevails. Imagine a world where righteousness is always honored, where godliness rules and holiness dominates; a world where everything is absolutely right, absolutely good and absolutely fair; a world where there’s total joy and lasting peace; a world where someone who dies at 100 dies a child; a world where children play in snake pits; a world where food abounds; a world where the loving, all-powerful, blessed Son of God, Jesus Christ, reigns and rules.
And then you’ve got the world that God intended in the beginning. And I don't know about you, but I’d like to be there, wouldn’t you? I want Jesus to come, because I want Satan to get what he deserves. I want Him to come, because I want Him to get what He deserves. And I want Him to come, because I’d just like to see the world the way He intended it in the beginning.
I thought of another thing. I would like Jesus to come, because I’d like to see what perfect human life is like. You ever think about that? What would I be if I was perfect? Boy, I think about that sometimes. My wife reminds me that I’m not, so that’s always in the front of my mind.
My body gets tired, it gets sore, gets older. I suffer from the curse. I have great dreams and great ambitions and I visualize great things, but I sometimes can’t get myself there. I do the best I can in my studies, and the best I can in my prayer life, and the best I can in the struggle to be like Christ; but I always come up short, and I always have to deal with discouragement.
And I look in the world and I say, “Man, this whole world is just a world of shattered potential, isn’t it?” I mean really, how many people have you met who never had their dreams realized? How many of you are those people? This is a world that makes it tough.
When I was thinking about this, my mind was drawn back to Ecclesiastes. Solomon looks out on the world, and I mean Solomon was looking at it from the best vantage point there was, he was rich and wise. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”
“I’ve done it all in the world,” he says, “I just keep coming up empty.” He says, “What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun? One generation passes away, another generation comes; but the earth abides forever. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down.” Life is a cycle and where’s it going?
And he goes on and on through here, and it’s chapter 1 clear through to the end of verse 18, chapter 2, all the way down to verse 11, down to verse 17, on and on and one. He says, “I’ve looked at the futility of life, I’ve looked at the emptiness of life, I turn to myself and I saw wisdom. And I said, ‘Well, what’s the difference between wisdom and madness? I’m going to die, and what’s going to happen after me?’ So he says, ‘It happens to me, it happens to the fool, what’s the difference?’”
Life is a difficult thing because of the curse. Romans 3 says, “Every mouth is stopped, and all the world is” – what? – “guilty, for God we’re all cursed.” I wish there were more hours in the day. Do you ever think about that? But only if I didn’t get tired. I wouldn’t want a 36-hour day if I had to sleep 16 of them.
I wish there were more hours in the day, because I’d want to study more, because I want to know God’s Word better. And I’d like to have more time to spend with my wife and my kids and the people I love. Time is short. I can’t believe we’ve been here seven years. I wish there was more time in the day. I wish I didn’t have to sleep at all. I wish I could have my body rejuvenated just as I was going along. I wish my brain worked better.
I think that deal that Dr. McGee said when he was here. That was funniest thing. He said somebody was asking him how he was, and said something like, “My eyes do well, my ears are fine, my nose still smells, but I sure do miss my mind.” You know, sometimes I think like that. I wish I could think more clearly. You ever wish that? I mean I wish I just had instant knowledge. You know, the Bible says, “Someday I shall know as I am known. I want to be there when that happens. I’m going to enjoy that.
I wish I had better sensitivities. I wish the curse hadn’t affected my sympathy, whatever that organ is inside of you or that thing in your mind. I wish I was more sympathetic, and I sometimes struggle with that; and I wish that sin didn’t mess me up there, because I don’t want to be unsympathetic to people. And I wish that there was more love in me. I wish the curse didn’t affect my love, because I want to love people, because that’s right; and that’s what God does and that’s what Jesus does.
I mean I don’t like living in a cursed body, do you? And, man, I just want to know what it’s like to have a perfect existence. I get excited about that. Boy, I start thinking about the potentially, the apostle Paul says in Romans 8 that, “The sufferings in this world are not worthy to be” – what? – “compared with a glory that shall be ours.”
When I think that someday He’s going to make me like Jesus Christ, oh, I get excited. “We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works that God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10. He wants us to make us like Christ. What a realization.
Boy, I just think about what I’m going to be like and I go over to Revelation 21. You ever read this? This is terrific. What is perfect human life going to be like? What is it going to be like when everything is as it ought to be?
In Revelation 21, verse 3, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people;’ – listen to this – “and God shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away’ – what? – ‘all tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.’”
No pain, no sorrow, no crying, no dying; ooh, that’s terrific. Well, that’s the absence of things. Well, what is the presence of things? Perfect knowledge, perfect love, perfect joy, perfect peace, perfect gentleness, perfect goodness, perfect everything, and the full potential of all that I could ever be realized.
I want Jesus to come, don’t you? I want to experience that. Imagine, just think about it. Imagine being everything God made it possible for you to be without any limits. And you know what; God will look at that and He’ll say, “It’s good again. That’s the way I meant it to be.”
You know, I think about what kind of body I’m going to have. Boy, you know, I spent enough years playing ball, and there was a time when my body recovered fast. My body doesn’t hear my mind, do you know that? My mind says, “Body, do this.” My body says, “Forget it.” My body has reached a place where it is definitely non-cooperative.
I was reading the other day in 1 Corinthians 15:49 it says, “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Oh, boy. What does that mean? I’m going to get another body. “I show you a mystery;” - verse 51 - “we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be” – what? – “changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, this mortal must put on immortality as a glorified body.”
You say, “What’s it going to be like and be like Jesus?” “We shall be like Him, for we shall” - what - “see Him as He is.” You say, “What was His body like?” Listen, boy, I get to thinking about that and I really get excited. You know, the disciples were in the upper room having a prayer meeting, and they were all huddled in a corner, “Oh, God, protect us. We put all our hopes in Jesus and He’s dead.” And the Bible says, “Boom, He came right through the wall, the door being shut. And they looked, and He said, ‘Peace.’”
That’s exciting, to be able to transport, rearrange the molecules in your body, whoosh, right through a wall. You know, you’re mostly space anyway. Did you know that? You don’t look it, but it’s true. You’re mostly space, science tells us that, In between all the little electrons that are firing around and the atoms that make up your constitution. But imagine, imagine standing on the mount and saying, “I’m leaving,” and just leaving. I’m going to be like Jesus. I want to see what perfect human life is like.
And then I thought of a fifth thing. Rick and I were singing a song that we used to sing when we were down in Mississippi; and maybe we’ll get Rick to come and sing it again for us. But it said, “I’m going to see Paul and Silas when that first trumpet sounds.”
I like that thought. I got some people I’m looking up as soon as I get there. I mean I’m going to catch them on the way up, I think, when I meet them in the air. I know who I’m looking for. I don't know if you know who you’re looking for. That’s the fifth thing, I want to see the believers of all the ages.
Take your Bible for a minute – I’m kind of wrapping it up. So look at Hebrews chapter 12:22. And I’m not going to go into all the background of this, but just to pull out a couple of thoughts, Hebrews 12:22, “But you are come onto Mount Zion,” – that is the mount of grace as opposed to Sinai, the mount of law – “onto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” The believer who comes to God by grace comes to heaven.
Who’s going to be in heaven when we get there? Look at this: “To the general assembly and the church of the firstborn.” As soon as we get there, we’re going to meet everybody in the church of the firstborn. Who’s the firstborn? Who’s the prōtotokos? Christ. “The church of Christ who are written in heaven, and to God” - He’s going to be there – “and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” Who’s that? Old Testament saints.
When we get to heaven we’re going to see the church, and they’ll be in glorified bodies already; but we’ll see also the spirits of Old Testament saints still waiting their resurrection at the end of the tribulation. You see that? And somehow those spirits are going to be – I mean we’re going to be able to see them, if not with the physical eye, somehow to understand their presence. That’s going to be all the grace family of all the ages.
Do you enjoy Christian fellowship? Do you enjoy that? I enjoy that. Imagine. You know, the only drawback in Christian fellowship is some Christians just aren’t that much fun. You know, they have a lot of imperfections. Just imagine heaven, all wonderful Christians and no imperfections. Well, that’d be bliss.
Imagine having only the greatest divine love toward everybody and just being all together. I mean talk about interesting. Just get old Elijah in a corner and spend a few decades with him. It’s incredible to think about. I want Jesus to come, because I want to meet the saints. I want to see Adam. I think Adam and Eve are going to be there. I’d like to know what it was like.
I think Abel’s going to be there, and I’m going to ask him once and for all, “What was the deal on the sacrifices?” Get that thing straightened out. I want to know how it felt to go to heaven in a chariot and not die. I want to find out where Enoch went when he took the walk that ended up in heaven. My son always tells me, “The first person I’m going to see when I get to heaven is Samson.” Hero worship.
I want to talk to David, because I just love David. And I want to spend some time with some of the prophets. I’d particularly like to see Hosea, because he really intrigues me. Such a patient man, loving, forgiving. And then, of course, I’ve just got to see Paul, and Silas, and Barnabas; and I want to see John and I just can’t believe, people, do realize this, that I just sometimes can’t believe that I’m a split second away from being with all those people. It’s incredible, because sometimes I feel like they’re out there somewhere, but it’s sort of long ways away. And then somebody that I know dies and I say, “Ugh. I was in the wrong spot again.”
Well, those are a lot of things, but let me give you the last one. Most of all, most of all I want Jesus to come because I want to be with Him. Do you think about that? I just want to tell Him, I just want to say, I don't know to say this, “Lord, I want to say thank You. I want You to know that I blew it so many times, and I failed so many times, and my life was so incomplete. But I just want You to know that I really love You. I don’t know how to say thanks. And maybe something that I did somewhere along the line made You smile; and if it did, boy, that would be terrific.”
I want to His, according to Malachi 3:17, in the day that He makes up His jewels, and I just want to be there. I’ve loved Him, I’ve longed for Him, I’ve prayed with Him, I’ve communed with Him, I’ve served Him with my limitations, and I’ve desperately all my life wanted to know His fullness. And that’s what I want more than anything else is to know that fullness and experience His presence without any hindrances, without any hang-ups, without any flesh in the way, without any obstacles.
Well, those are the reasons that I want Jesus to come. And I don’t know about you, but I am looking for His appearing. Are you? I hope so, because Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, so give me at that day,” – now listen – “and not to me only but unto all them also that” – what? – “love His appearing.”
Do you love His appearing? Let me tell you something, people. You can’t love His appearing unless you - what? - love Him.
Father, thank You. Thank You for your sending the Son once, and thank You for promising to send Him again, in Jesus name. Amen.
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