We’re going to be talking about the subject: “Why Jesus must return to earth. Why Jesus must return to earth.” And this, I think, should form the basis or the justification of all the things that we shall say in the weeks to come.
It is said that prophecy occupies one-fifth of the Scriptures, and that the second coming of Christ occupies one-third of that one-fifth. For example, there are over 660 general prophecies; half of them are concerning Jesus Christ. Of these 333 prophecies concerning Christ, 109 of them were fulfilled in His first coming, which leaves 224 yet to be fulfilled in His second coming.
Of the 46 Old Testament prophets, less than 10 of them speak of events in Christ’s first coming, while 36 of them speak of events connected His second coming. There are a total of 1,527 Old Testament passages referring to the second coming. There are 7,959 verses in the New Testament; and 330 of those, or 1 out of 25, refer directly to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Next to the subject of faith, the subject of the second coming is the most dominant subject in the New Testament. For every time in the Bible the first coming is mentioned, the second coming is mentioned eight times. For every time the atonement is mentioned once, the second coming is mentioned twice. The Lord refers to His return 21 times, and 50 times plus men are exhorted to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ. Now that is an overwhelming indication that the Bible majors on the second coming of Jesus Christ.
This week I read an interesting article reporting on a convocation of church delegates that met in Evanston, Illinois. A national magazine reported that ten percent of the American Protestant clergyman questioned at that convocation found any significance at all in the doctrine of the second coming. Ninety percent saw no significance in it at all in spite of the fact that the Bible mentions it 1,527 times.
Peter said in the end times the scoffers will say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” mocking the fact that Jesus is said to be returning. But believe me, and believe the Bible, whatever men say, Jesus is coming.
At this point, even the scoffers are admitting that the whole world is in a state of rather fearful expectation; and men walk on eggs, at best, aware of the possibility of doom; and people are prophesying the destruction of the world through many, many different ways; and they’re not too sure how it’s going to come, but they’re afraid it’s going to come. Books, and articles, and pamphlets, and studies are being written in an endless chain of warnings that if man doesn’t change the way he’s living, he’s going to go out of existence.
And some would say that pollution is going to get us and we’ll gag to death. Or earthquakes will get us and we’ll topple into oblivion. Or population growth will get us and we’ll crush each other to death. Or bombs will get us and we’ll burn to death in nuclear fire. Or famine will get us and we’ll starve to death. Or war will get us and we’ll kill each other. Or maybe materialism is our doom and we’ll just spend ourselves out of existence. Or loneliness will get us and we’ll kill ourselves. And so it goes. And there doesn’t seem to be much comfort for even the scoffers.
In Lamentations 1:16, we find what may be a fitting description. It says this: “For these things I weep;” – Jeremiah – “mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the Comforter who should relieve my soul is far from me. My children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.” Hopelessness, doom with no possibility of alteration.
And the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 44:19 seems somehow fitting. The Psalmist said, “You have covered us with the shadow of death.” And even the scoffers who would never agree that Jesus is coming will all agree that if something doesn’t change the world is coming to the end; and they’re not too sure how, but there are at least 15 good viable options. How will it all end? How will the current system of the world end? Can we know? Yes, we can. The Bible gives a very clear and a very direct answer.
The present system, the present world as we know it will end in the return of Jesus Christ. The history of the world will climax in the literal bodily, physical return of Jesus to the earth. In Acts chapter 1, you’ll remember that two angels appeared when Jesus ascended into heaven. And the angels spoke unto those gathered at the mount where He ascended. And the angels said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from you shall” – what – “so come in like manner as you have seen Him go.” The promise is that just as He physically and literally left, He will physically, literally come: the same Jesus in the like manner, the same person in the same way.
Now the return of the Jesus Christ includes many features, and we have just kind of put them up here for you, and we’ll be following a little bit of a study as we go that will keep relating to this chart. Just look at it and see if you can focus your attention as I kind of talk my way through it very, very briefly.
The green area is the church age in which we live. The church age comes to an end with the rapture of the church. Incidentally, the word “rapture” from the Latin rapere, “to catch away,” “the catching away of the saints. Following the rapture, there will be a terrible time on earth known as the tribulation. A world government will be set up during those seven years. Satan’s man, known commonly as the Antichrist, will rule. He will make a covenant with Israel, and for half of that time Israel will live in peace, the peace will come to an end. The Antichrist and his kingdom will exert control over the whole world. In fact, he gets so enamored with his own control, that he announces to everybody that he’s God and demands the whole world worship him. Those who refuse to worship him during this period of time will be killed.
Now at the same time that he is doing this, that this political scene is going on, there will be catastrophic judgments coming down from God. These are recorded in Revelation 6 through 19, that during that seven year period, God is going to be judging the world in a way that the world has never even dreamed possible. And if it was ever any longer than three-and-a-half-years the Bible says no flesh would survive. The whole thing culminates, the seven year period, in a final expression of the battle of the Armageddon. At the end of that battle or really just when that battle gets going, they come to Jerusalem, and Jesus returns and sets up His glorious kingdom. During the kingdom Satan is bound. At the end of the kingdom, he’s loose, the rebellion is put down, and the great throne, the great white throne appears and the glory of God, and He judges; and many either go into heaven or into hell forever.
All of this period of time people, all of this, with all the events involved makes up what we mean when we say the second coming of Christ. It involves all of that. When we say the second coming of Christ, very precisely we’re talking about this moment when He comes to set up His kingdom. Very generally, we’re talking about everything from the rapture to the end of the kingdom age. And we’re going to start tonight just beginning in the end of the church age and by the time this series is over, we’ll either be here or we’ll be talking about it. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be there. It’s nice to be with you; far better to go and be with Him. That’s Paul said, and I’m with him. And you’re nice people, and you’re going with me anyway.
Now that’s just an overall view of how it all ends. And I just want you to focus on it, and we’ll go into it in more detail as we go along. Now all of these things are classified then, as we said, under the term “the coming of Jesus Christ” or “the return of Christ.” The next event then on God’s clock is the coming of Jesus Christ. Now the coming of Jesus Christ begins with the rapture. The first event is the rapture. The church age exists and Jesus catches away the church. When that happens, it is the beginning of the end.
Now tonight I want us to consider just one feature. In weeks to come we’re going to look at the rapture and we’ll take it in great detail. But tonight I want us to consider one feature, and I believe it’s very necessary at the beginning, because before we explain the second coming of Jesus Christ, we’ve got to have a reason that we ought believe He’s even coming, right? Why should I want to know all the details of the coming of Christ if I don’t know that He has to come?
Now most men today can see the end of man’s day out on the horizon somewhere. Some scientist say we won’t make it to the year 2000. And people are scared and they’re not too sure it’s going to end, we’re announcing to the world it’s going to end with the return of Jesus, and the scoffers are saying, “Not so. Jesus is not going to come, He doesn’t need to come. That’s all old wives tales.”
And so before we even begin discussing the features of the second coming, we’ve got to discuss whether it has to happen, don’t we. And so tonight, I want to give you what I’ve called the reasons Jesus must return to the earth. And if you doubt the return of Jesus, you’ll have no basis to doubt it after tonight. And let me tell you something else; if like the liberal theologians you have decided that you’ll explain it away spiritually, you’re going to find that you’re even in worse shape to say that. At least the first guy can be ignorant of Scripture. If you’re a theologian and should know Scripture and have concluded that Jesus doesn’t have to return and just spiritualized it all the way, you’re in even worse trouble.
Now why does Jesus have to return? And I’m going to give you these, so just jot them down as we go. Number one: the promise of God demands it, the promise of God demands it. Throughout the Old Testament, God made promises regarding the coming deliverer. And this morning in the book of Acts we saw a great number of these prophecies that were fulfilled when Jesus first came, right? We saw there were just many prophecies fulfilled in the first coming of Christ when He was living in Israel, when He was humiliated, when He was crucified, when He was resurrected – all that time fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies.
But listen; many more Old Testament prophecies – 224 as opposed to 109 in His first coming – many more Old Testament prophecies have to do with His second coming, and so you see the word of God is at stake. If Jesus does not come, if Jesus does not return, then God is a liar; then the credibility of God is invalidated. All the prophecies regarding Christ must come to pass; not some of them, all of them. If God ever said something would happen that didn’t happen, then God messed up. And if God messed up once then we’re in real trouble, because there’s no guarantee that it was only once; and it shows a flaw in the character of God; and God says He never makes a mistake, and He never does wrong, and He never lies; and that in itself indicates that even that is a lie if one prophecy doesn’t come to pass.
Oh, I know the liberals come along and they say, “Oh, yes, Jesus is going to come. What that means is He’s going to come into your life. The Spirit of Jesus is going to descend on you.” That’s what’s known as spiritualizing the second coming, and that’s what a lot of people do.
Well, that’s ridiculous. The reason it’s ridiculous is because every one of the prophecies relating to the first coming of Jesus Christ weren’t spiritual. They were what? Literal. If all of the prophecies related to His first coming were literal, then if God is consistent, all the ones related to His second coming will also be what? Literal. And nobody has the right to have a dual hermeneutic or a dual principle and say, “Well, those are literal, these will be spiritual.” The Scripture never makes that distinction. If the Bible says, “Jesus will be born in Bethlehem,” and He was, and then the Bible says, “At the time of the kingdom He’ll reign in the city of Jerusalem on the throne of David,” Why would say that the first time Bethlehem is literal, but the next time in Jerusalem is figurative? Who gives you the right to say that?
The first time Jesus came, He fulfilled Old Testament prophecies literally. Isaiah 7:14 said, “He’d be born of a virgin.” He was literally. Micah 5:2, “He’d be born at Bethlehem.” He was. Hosea 11:1, “He’ll be called out of Egypt.” He was. Remember where He descended into Egypt after the time when they were going to kill the babies and then He went to Nazareth?
Isaiah 11:2 “Anointed with the Spirit.” Literally, He was. Zechariah 9:9, “He entered Jerusalem on an ass,” said the prophet. Literally that’s what He did. “Betrayed by a friend,” said Psalm 41:9. It happened literally. “Forsaken by His disciples,” Zechariah 13:7. It happened literally. “Sold for thirty pieces of silver,” Zechariah 11:12. It happened, literally. Zechariah 11:13 says, “A potters field would be bought with the money.” It happened literally. A literal potter’s field was bought with real money.
Isaiah chapter 50, verse 6 said “The Messiah would be spit on and scourged.” Was He? Literally, actually, physically. Psalm 22, “He would be crucified.” Literally He was. Psalm 34:20, “Not of a bone of His body would be broken.” That’s exactly what happened. Psalm 69:21, “Gall and vinegar would be given to Him to drink.” That’s exactly what He received. No figurative language at all, it’s all literal.
Psalm 22, “His hands and feet would be pierced.” They were literally. The scars were still there when He showed them to Thomas, right? Psalm 22 says, “His garments would be parted, and lots would be cast for them,” and it was, and they were that’s literal. Psalm 16 said, “He be resurrected.” And was He? Literally, bodily, and He showed Himself alive.
Now all of the prophecies regarding the first coming of Jesus Christ were literal. How then can we say the rest are just spiritual ideas, that the return of Jesus is a vague kind of thing where the Spirit of Jesus kind of descends on you? Garbage. The character of God is at stake. The consistency of prophecy is at stake. God has promised certain things for the Messiah to fulfill. If Jesus didn’t fulfill them the first time, then believe it people, Messiah must return, right, to fulfill them.
Some examples. Genesis 49:10, and in this passage there is just one statement I want to pull out. Genesis 49:10, listen to this: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,” – the tribe of Judah, that is the king will come through the tribe of Judah – “nor a lawgiver from between His feet, until Shiloh come,” – that’s the messianic promise. Shiloh means the one whose right it is, or the one to whom it belongs. There’s going to be a king and He’s going to hold the sceptre, and he’ll be from the line of Judah.
Now watch the end of the verse: “unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” Listen to me, the first time Jesus came was the gathering of the people to Him?. No, John says, “He came unto His own and” – what? – “His own received Him not. He was in the world, the world was made by Him and” – what? – “the world knew Him not.” That prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, beloved, therefore He must return. The credibility of God’s prophecy is at stake.
Let me take you to another prophecy in the Psalm 2. Psalm chapter 2, verse 6, the prophecy is this: “Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, ‘Thou art My Son this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me and I shall give Thee the nations for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”
God says, “Messiah’s going to come, He’s going to be a king, He’s going to reign on the throne, and all of the nations of the world are going to be subject to Him. He’ll rule them with a rod iron.” Did that happen the first time Jesus came? Of course not. If it didn’t, what has to happen? He has to come again.
Let me take you over to Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6: “For unto us a child is born, unto to us a son is given.” Did that happen the first time He came? Yes, He was born. Listen to this: “And the government shall be upon His shoulder.” Did that happen? No. Who is the prince of this world? Satan.
Verse 7: “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David.” The first time He came did He sit on the throne of David? No, they crucified Him as a criminal. The second time, “He’ll sit on the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to order it, to establish it with justice and righteousness from hence forth even forever.” My friend the government has never yet been on the shoulders of Jesus Christ.
I’ll never forget a sermon I heard a guy preach. He preached on this passage and he preached on, “Is the government of your life on the shoulders of Christ?” That is not talking about the government of anybody’s life, that’s talking about the government of the world. It hasn’t happened yet, and it says – look at it. It says “Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end.”
The first time Jesus came did He bring peace? No. He said “I came not to bring peace, but” – what? – “a sword,” – to divide families, to chop up, to sever relationships, because some would come to Him and some would not. No, He doesn’t have any government of this world yet, Satan’s still the prince. There is no peace yet brought by Jesus Christ. If He didn’t fulfill it the first time, believe it He’d better come again, or God is a liar and God’s prophecy does not come true.
It says He’s going to be seated on the throne of David. Is He? No. That would be in the city of Jerusalem on the rightful throne belonging to David. That’s future friends. Let me quote you a verse, Matthew 25:31, listen to this: “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory,” – that’s which coming? Second one – “and all the holy angels with Him,” – listen to this one, here’s the next word, get it – “then, then shall He sit on the throne.” Not the first time, but – what? – the second time.
Let me take you to another prophecy, Micah chapter 4, verse 3. And there are just many, this is just a smattering, a very brief sampling. Micah 4:3. If you haven’t got it, don’t worry about it. “And He shall judge among many people and rebuke strong nations afar off.” Did Jesus do that the first time He was here, rebuke strong nations afar off? No.
“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Has there been a cessation of war since Jesus came? Afraid not. Afraid not. You say, “Well, Messiah didn’t fulfill the prophecy.” That’s exactly what I’m saying. If He didn’t fulfill it the first time, He must come again to fulfill the second time; the credibility of God is at stake.
Look at Isaiah 11:10. As long as we’re doing this, might as well give you the whole thing. Isaiah 11:10, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,” – and you remember Jesse was the father of David, so he was just saying His lineage will come through Jesse – “who shall stand for an ensign of the people;” – listen – “to Him shall the nations seek and His rest shall be glorious.”
When Jesus came the first time, did the nations seek after Him? Was there any rest at all, let along a glorious one? No, that hasn’t happened. That can’t happen. Go to Isaiah 33, verse 20. He says, “Look unto Zion, the city of our solemnities, thine eyes shall see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation.” Has Jerusalem been a quiet habitation? Afraid not. Jerusalem has never had peace. And what is it that the Jews of Jerusalem are always praying for? Peace of Jerusalem.
He has to come back. Isaiah 35, verse 1: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto to it the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency our God.” Has Israel seen the glory of the Lord and the excellency of God? No, not even recognize their Messiah. He says their nature is going to change. Has nature made a great transformation? I was just over there. Those deserts, some places, are looking good; some places, they’re not looking too good at all. You know what Paul said in Romans 8? “The whole creation groans, waiting for the great day when the earth is going to be redone.”
Look down in verse 8, same chapter: “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” What he means is salvation is going to dominate, and saved people and holiness. “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.” Is that true of Jerusalem today? Of course not. Verse 10: “And the ransomed to the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” There is not a Jew in existence who would tell you that that’s a description of 1973 Israel. He has to come back and bring it all to pass.
Isaiah 45, verse 23, messianic prophecy, listen: “I have sworn by Myself,” – there’s no higher authority than God, so He just swears by Himself – “the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return,” – what word? – “that unto Me every knee shall bow.” Has every knee bowed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Of course not. No, it hasn’t happened. Men weren’t made to bow the first time.
Well, I can’t leave old Jeremiah out. Jeremiah 23:5, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I’ll raise unto David a righteous Branch, and the King shall reign and prosper.” Jesus came the first time and said He was a king, and they said, “We will not have this man to” – what? – “reign over us.” He didn’t prosper. “And shall execute justice and righteous” – where? – “in the earth.” This isn’t talking about – some people say, “Well, that’s a heavenly kingdom.” What does it say? “In” – what? – “in the earth.”
The amillennialist says, “There’s never any earthly kingdom.” Oh. It says, “In the earth.” “Hmm, I wonder what that means?” Jesus Christ doesn’t reign in any kingdom in the earth now, He’s going to have to come back again, that’s the point. “And in those days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely.” That hasn’t happened yet. Israel doesn’t dwell safely, do they? You see, Messiah must come again.
Well, we can’t leave out Ezekiel chapter 21:25. You know, demons control governments, don’t they? And even in Israel, apart from God, apart from a belief in Messiah, Satan’s forces control the country. Verse 25 of Ezekiel 21: “Thou, profane wicked prince of Israel,” – the demon behind them – “whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end,” – God’s going to get back to the situation when iniquity’s run its course and deal with them – “thus saith Lord God, ‘Remove the diadem and take off the crown. You’ve been ruling in that land, but it’s over.’”
Verse 27: “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, until He comes whose right it is; and I’ll give it to Him.” God says, “I’m going to take back that whole thing and give it to the one who it really belongs to, Jesus Christ.” Has God done that yet? Has God turned over the land of Israel to the rule of Jesus Christ? Not yet, not yet. That’s why He must come.
Same prophecy is in Daniel chapter 7, verse 13: “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 there before Him. And there was given Him dominion,” – Messiah is going to have 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.” In verse 18: “And the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” Has Jesus Christ returned to have world dominion and given to His saints an eternal kingdom? Not yet. It’ll come in the earth, in the future, when Jesus comes.
The great prophecy of Zechariah closes out our little look at the Old Testament. In Zechariah 14:4, listen to this, I just love this prophecy. Oh, I hope I’m there when it happens. I know I will be, because the Bible say we shall appear with Him in glory. I just want to be in front so I can see it all.
“And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives.” When Messiah comes, He’s going to come at His second coming with His saints, not for us; the rapture then seven years, then we come with Him, and His feet are going to hit the Mount of Olives – “which is before Jerusalem on the east,” – and I just couldn’t help but think about that as I stood on a Mount of Olives – “and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst toward the east and toward the west, and there’s going to be a valley created there;” – that fast – “and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”
Did that happen the first time He came? No, obviously not.
“And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains, and the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints” – what? – “with Him.” See? “It shall come to pass in that day, the light shall not be clear, nor dark; but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night; but it shall come to pass, that in evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward hinder sea: in summer and winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.” All religions of the world wiped out in one fell swoop. That didn’t happen the first time, did it? Do you see what I’m trying to say? None of those things happened when Jesus came the first time. Therefore – what? – He has to come again. They must be literally fulfilled.
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie.” Did you know that that’s a good definition of men? They are the ones who lie; God does not. Romans 3:4, what does Paul say? “Let God be true if every man is a liar.” Titus 1, “God who cannot lie.” God doesn’t lie. When God tells us something it’s true. And God said His Messiah would do all of these things. If He didn’t do it the first time, believe it, He’ll be back and do it the second time.
Let me give you a second reason. Jesus must return not only because of the promise of God, but because of the statements of Jesus Himself. His own statements demand a second coming. You see, during the days of Jesus’ life and ministry He made frequent statements regarding His return. Most of His parables, for example, are related to His return. And there are several whole chapters in the Gospels connected with His second coming. Let me give you some examples.
Turn for a moment to John 13. Now here we have Jesus in the upper room in preparation for His leaving, and He is talking to the disciples, having a wonderful time sharing with them. And He knew it was the end; and I love verse 1: “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” And He knew they were going to be lonely, and they were going to be shaken. They were going to be apprehensive ,and it was going to be tough to handle His leaving.
In verse 21 and 22, He announces that He’s even going to be betrayed. “One of you is going to betray Me.” Everything is going to crumble in the eyes of the disciples, and they’re going to see the end of everything they put their dreams in. And so He wants to make an announcement that’ll encourage their hearts, and He does it at the beginning of chapter 14. And I just love it, and I know you do. Look at it. He says this: “Fellows,” – and they must have been troubled; they must have just been so troubled – “let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you.” Watch this one: “I’m going to get it ready for you.” Now watch: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will” – what? – “come again.”
You want to hear something, people? Not only is the credibility of God at stake in the second coming, but so is the credibility of Jesus. Did you hear that? If Jesus doesn’t return, He’s a liar, right? “I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am,” – what? – “there ye may be also.”
Listen, He’ll be back. Let me give you a footnote that just blesses me. Oh, I get excited about this, verse 3, watch: “I will come again and receive you” – what are the next two words? – “unto Myself.” Have you ever thought about that? We’re not waiting for an event, we’re waiting for a person. You like that? I’m not waiting for a great eschatological epic, I’m waiting for Jesus personally to gather me into His arms and take me to the Father’s house. I’m not waiting for a cataclysmic event, I’m waiting for a loving Savior. I like that.
Let me show you another one, Matthew 24. It’s those little things in the Bible that just devastate me, that you just could pass over so easily, and they’re so rich. Incidentally Matthew 24 and 25 are two whole chapters where Jesus says He’s coming back, right? And in Matthew 24, let me just show you a couple of verses, 24:27. I like this. “For as the lightening cometh out of the east,’ – fast – “and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the” – what? – “coming of the Son of Man be.” He says, “I’m coming.” And He tells them how.
Verse 30: “Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He shall send His angels with a great sound of the trumpet, and they shall gather together the elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Go over to Chapter 25, verse 31. And this is Jesus talking; He’s doing all the speaking. “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory.” Listen, people, Jesus said, “I’m coming,” and He said it over and over again, and the credibility of Jesus Christ is at stake. For somebody to come along and say, “Oh, yes, I believe in the deity of Christ, but I don’t believe in His second coming,” is a paradoxical statement that makes no sense. If you believe that He is God, then you believe that He spoke the truth, and the truth is, “I am coming again.”
Luke chapter 19, verse 11: “And as they heard these things, He added and spoke a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, because they thought the kingdom of God should immediately appear.” These disciples were so anxious for the kingdom, they thought it was coming any minute. Listen to this: “He said, ‘Therefore,’ – oh, this is powerful – ‘a certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom,’ – what are the next three words? – ‘and to return. And He called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, “Occupy until I come.” He went in there to get the kingdom and said, “Now you occupy,” but the citizens hated him and sent a message after him saying, “We’ll not have this man reign over us.”’”
Do you see who He’s talking about? Himself. He came to over a kingdom – right? – and they rejected Him. “And it came to pass that when he was” – what? – “returned having received the kingdom.” We’ll stop there. He came the first time, offered a kingdom, “We don’t want you,” He went back. But then He did what? The nobleman returned.
You say, “What happened the second time?” Verse 26: “For I say unto you,” – this time He comes back and takes the kingdom, he says – “unto everyone who hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away. But those mine enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, bring here, and slay them before me.”
You know what the parable says? It says the nobleman came, they rejected him, he returned in judgment. Jesus came, they rejected Him. He’ll do what? He’ll return. He says He will. Both by direct statement Matthew 24 and 25, John 14, by inference of a parable, Luke 19.
And you know something? Do you know that even after Jesus got back into heaven, He yelled through the clouds several times that He was coming back? Did you know that? You say, “Really?” Really. You know where He did that? You say, “Where was that?” The book of Revelation, six times. You know what He said? What’d He say? “Behold, I come quickly,” six times. We ought to get the message.
I always think of the guy who was preaching on that and couldn’t remember his next lines, and he smashed the pulpit thinking it’d bring it to memory; and finally he hit it so hard, he fell on a lady’s lap after he’d said, “Behold, I come quickly,” for four times. He apologized. She said, “It’s all right, you warned me four times.”
But He said even after in heaven, He said, “I’m coming.” He told John on the Isle of Patmos six different times in the vision that He’d back, didn’t He? You know something? All through the book of Revelation, He not only said it to His friends, He said it to His enemies. And in the parable in Luke 19, He was telling His enemies, wasn’t He? “I’ll be back. I’ll be back.”
You want to hear something, people? The credibility of Jesus is at stake in the second coming. He cannot lie. In John 14:6, He said, “I am the way,” – what’s the second one? – “the truth.” He can’t lie. So the character of God is at stake; the character of Jesus is at stake.
Let me give you a third one. Third reason Jesus must come, and this will be the last one. The third reason that Jesus must come – there are six more for next week. The third reason Jesus must come is this: the guarantees of the Holy Spirit demand it. The promise of the Father demands it, the statements of the Son demand it, and the guarantee of the Spirit demands it.
Just as God is truth and Jesus is truth, when Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, He said, “I’ll send unto you the spirit of” – what? – “truth.” Spirit can’t lie either. “The Spirit will come” – John 14:26 – “and lead you into all truth.” Do you know what the Spirit did when He got here? The Spirit started saying, “Jesus is coming.”
You say, “Well, when did the Spirit say that? When did the Spirit announce the coming of Christ?” Who wrote the New Testament? The Holy Spirit. Who inspired them? The Holy Spirit. Do you want to hear what the Holy Spirit told Paul to write? First Corinthians 1:4, “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 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.” The Spirit says, “Paul, tell them Jesus is coming.”
Does the Spirit ever speak anything independent of the Trinity? No, absolutely not. In John 16, “The Spirit speaks only those things which the Son tells Him to speak,” – right? “He shall speak of Me.” Over in Philippians 3, the Spirit said, “Paul, tell them Jesus is coming again, will you?” “For our citizenship is in heaven from which also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Then Paul sat down to write the Colossians and the Holy Spirit says, “Paul, tell them Jesus is coming will you?” Colossians 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.” Then Paul was going to write the Thessalonians, and he got the same message. The repetition of the coming of Jesus Christ in chapter 4, verses 13 to 18, he just describes it: “The Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel. The dead in Christ shall rise. We that are alive caught up to meet the Lord in the air,” and all the description of the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4 in total detail: the rapture.
You know that even our friend the writer of Hebrews was plugged in to the second coming. Remember this one, Hebrews 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” – isn’t that good? – “without sin unto salvation.”
And James; James knew Jesus was coming. Chapter 5, verse 7: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.” And then in verse 8, he says, “The coming of the Lord draws near.”
And Peter, he knew. He talked about the revelation of Jesus Christ in 1:13. In 5:4, he says, “When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory.” And John; oh, John knew. The Spirit told him, 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the children of God. It doesn’t yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him.”
Do you know that everyone of those men look for the coming of Christ? Why? Because the Holy Spirit kept telling them. The Bible was written by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit testified repeatedly that Jesus was coming. My dear friends, the credibility of the Trinity is at stake in the second coming. And that’s only the beginning.
I close with a little story. Father was leaving home, and his little boy, as little boys will do, said “How long are you going to be gone, dad?” And he was going to be gone for several months. But it wouldn’t do any good to say, “Well,” – to his three-year-old-son, “I’ll be back in September.” September didn’t mean anything to him. So he says, “Son, when you see the leaves turning red and brown and beginning to fall to the ground, then you can be sure that I’ll be home soon.”
Father was gone for months, and the little fellow ever morning up, peaked out the window; still green. But without knowing it, as he became less and less aware, they began to turn every so slowly, and he didn’t see it. And all of a sudden on night a storm swept through the little town, and he woke up in the morning, and all over every where red and brown leaves. And he jumped up-and-down and said, “Daddy’s coming, daddy’s coming.” Want to know something? I think if you look, the leaves are brown and the leaves are red; and I think Jesus is coming. Let’s pray.
Father, You said look around, and when you see the signs begin to come to pass, the Son is coming. Father, it looks like the fall. It looks like man’s day the leaves of the achievements of man are crumbling and turning into ashes. We know that Jesus is coming, because You said so, the Son said so, and the Spirit said so; and you are the Trinity of truth. And we know that You’re coming soon, Jesus, because the signs are all there. Thank You for that promise. God, may we be ready for that day, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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