Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Why Jesus Must Return

In Jesus’ famous Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24-25,  Mark 13 and Luke 21,  Jesus and His disciples are together on the Mt. Of Olives, just across the Kidron Valley from the beautiful gold covered temple built by several generations of King Herods. As they are admiring its beauty and grandeur, Jesus shocks them with the truth that soon that temple will be totally dismantled, stone by stone.  That happened in 70 AD, just forty years later as the Roman soldiers    torched the city, including the temple and then dismantled the temple, stone by stone in order to get the gold that had  melted between the stones.

Understand that at this point, just hours before  Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, that fact has not yet hit them.  They are more concerned about the Kingdom age and their part in it. Their question concerns when the temple is going to be destroyed and the signs that are going to signal the return of Christ ,

Jesus does not give them that answer.  Instead, He warns them not to be deceived by false Messiahs.  Then He goes into much detail giving them the longest answer to any question they had ever asked Him. In His answer, which makes up most of the Olivet Discourse; He graphically describes future events which cover The Time of the Gentiles  and The Church Age.

The Time of the Gentiles began with Assyria’s capture of Israel in 722 BC and has continued through the past 2700 years.  It will conclude with the Battle of Armageddon at the close of the Great Tribulation when Christ defeats His enemies and prepares to reign from Jerusalem over the whole world.  That battle is described in Revelation 19:11-21.

The Church Age began at Pentecost and will conclude when the “called out”  church will be the “called up” church.

Let me give you five reasons why Jesus must return to this earth. All of these reasons are linked to His repeated promise that He would return.

 

 1. Christ is returning to this earth to be exalted.

Jesus’ first coming to this earth was in obscurity and humiliation. It concluded with His crucifixion, as He shed His blood on the cross as the  sacrifice for our sins.  That was the last time the unconverted ever saw Jesus; dead and hanging on a cross. Three days later, He arose bodily from the dead, showing that He had conquered death and that The Father was satisfied with His sacrifice for our sins.   I Corinthians 15:3-8 lists the only people who saw Jesus after His  resurrection. All of them were Christians only.  Hebrew 9:28  speaks of that first coming to offer Himself for our sins.  It also mentions His second coming to consummate our salvation by glorifying us in Heaven. No further sacrifice will be needed then,  because His sacrifice on the cross was the once for all, final sacrifice for sin forever.

Philippians 2:5-11 details both His first coming to die for our sins and His second coming to reign over the whole world. His second coming is as certain as His first coming.

Though only believers saw Jesus after His Resurrection and only believers will see Jesus when He comes back for us in the Rapture;  when Jesus returns to judge and reign, the whole world will see Him.  You can read of this in Matthew 24:25-31,  Revelation 6:12-17 and Luke 21:28-33  In the Luke 21 passage, it tells us that “this generation” (that is, the generation who is alive at that time) will not pass away until all these events are fulfilled and Christ establishes His Kingdom.  Revelation 1:7 announces that “every eye shall see Him”, including “they which pierced Him” when they crucified Him 2000 years ago,.

2. Christ is returning to this earth to Destroy Satan

Satan is presently the god of this present world system.  When satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, as recorded in Luke 4,  Satan offered Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world, if He would only bow down aand worship him.  Could Satan really make thatoffer?  Yes he could for the world system was his to offer.  I John 5:9 tells us that this whole world lies in the lap or under the control of Satan.

Why are we Christian so enthralled with this present evil world system that is doomed to destruction? I’m not talking about God’s wonderful creation. I’m talking about the sinful world system that attempts to shut God and the Bible out of their lives. We know that Jesus died to save us from hell. But are we as aware of the fact that Jesus died to also deliver us from our infatuation with this present evil world system. That’s what Paul tells us in Titus 2:11-15.

There are only two supernatural powers in this world: Christ and Satan. Whoever refuses to worship Christ, worship’s Satan.  Whoever is not devoted to Christ is devoted to Satan.  Whoever is not controlled by God is controlled by Satan.  Who controls you?

3. Christ is returning to fulfill His promise to Adam’s fallen race.

That promise is found in Genesis 3:15.  In that one short verse is the story of the whole Bible.  It is serving notice to Satan after He had tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God;  that although Satan would do damage to Christ and His Kingdom,  eventually God would strike a mortal blow to him by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to redeem sinners. Later, God will cast Satan into the Lake of Fire forever where he can no longer do Christ and His Kingdom any harm.

Paul, in Romans 16:20 encourages us with the truth that one day Christ is returning to this earth and He is going to allow us to have a part in crushing Satan :under our feet” forever.  What a grand day that will be!

 4. Christ is returning to fulfill His Covenants with Israel.

The Old Testament is filled with references to that Covenant. To Abraham God promised that through His Seed He would bless the world.  Read  Genesis 12, and 17.  Galatians 3;16 identifies that Seed by name, Jesus.

God’s Covenant to David, found I II Samuel 7  and in Psalm 89 promises that David’s Seed, Jesus, would one day reign over the earth forever.  Other promises concerning Christ’s future Kingdom over the earth are found in Isaiah 11, 35, and 40,  Jeremiah 23,  Ezekiel chapters 34-39,  and Zechariah chapters 12-14, as well as many other lesser known passages.

5.  Christ is returning to keep His promise to His own, His Beloved Church

Some of the well known passages to His Church concerning His return include: John 14:1-3,  Acts 1:9-11, I Corinthians 15;12-23,  51-58, Philippians 3:20-21, Titus 2:11-14, I Thessalonians 4:13-18,  II Thessalonians 1:7-10, Hebrews 9:28,  I John 3:1-3 and the final promise in the Bible, Revelation 22:20.

How should our study of the Second Coming affect our lives?

To approach our study of the Second Coming of Christ as we would try to solve a crossword puzzle or just out of idle curiosity, is of little value.  To try to pry into matters of the future that are not clearly revealed in Scripture are none of our business.

Rather as Romans 13:11-14 teaches, our study of prophecy  ought to affect how we live our lives daily.  II Peter 3:11-18 also challenges us to live holy lives in the light of Him imminent return. I challenge you to read these last two passages of Scripture and truly worship Christ and warn sinners  to come to Christ,  as you watch and wait for His return. 

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May 15, 2009 - Posted by | Olivet Discourse

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