Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

 

Apr 4, 2019

In this episode Brother Jonathan discusses some important points about the fact of Christ's return, how He is coming, and when He is coming.

 

Remnant Bible Fellowship

S3EP10

The Return of Christ

 

  1. Intro
    1. We’re going to be talking about the return of Christ in this episode. Again, I want to remind you, in case you just found this episode, we’re doing a series on basic doctrines. This is not a deep discussion on exegesis or interpretation. This is an overview of some basic points.
    2. But the points we’re going to talk about today is the fact of His coming, how He is coming, and when He is coming.
  2. The Fact of His Coming
    1. There is a very simple reason that we can assert dogmatically that Jesus Christ is returning: because He said so. On top of that, the Apostles believed so. Let’s look at a couple of passages.
    2. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Joh 14:1-3)
    3. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 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.” (Act 1:6-11)
    4. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall 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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mat 24:29-31)
    5. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2Th 1:7-10)
  • How He is Coming
    1. Visibly – He will be seen by our eyes.
      1. “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 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.” (Act 1:10-11)
      2. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall 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.” (Mat 24:30)
  • “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev 1:7)
  1. Bodily
    1. “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.” (Act 1:11)
  2. With Power
    1. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:” (Mat 25:31)
    2. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2Th 1:7-10)
  3. When He is Coming
    1. There are different views, but the Lord warned us that some will try to deceive us about the timing/nature of His return.
      1. “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Mat 24:3-4)
    2. While this is applied immediately within the context of false Christ’s coming it should stand out to us that there is deception around the coming of Christ. But let’s look at some things from the context that Christ says.
      1. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Mat 24:6)
      2. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Mat 24:14)
  • “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Mat 24:15)
  1. “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” (Mat 24:23-28)
  1. From these few verses we can gather the following:
    1. There will be deception around the return of Christ.
    2. There will be wars and rumors of wars but this does not mean that His return is imminent. We can also understand that there will be something different about these wars and rumors of war because ever since the book of Genesis there have been wars on the earth. The Bible itself is filled with historical accounts of wars even with the nation of Israel. This shows us that there is something different about the wars and rumors of war that He is telling us of here. Perhaps because it is larger in scale as the rest of the signs He tells us imply.
  • The gospel will be preached to the whole world before Christ returns. This does not necessarily mean that every individual person on earth will have heard the gospel—though that may be what is meant. It may simply mean that the gospel will have penetrated every nation (the Greek word here is “ethnos”, as in ethnic groups). I believe it is more likely that what is meant is every ethnic group amongst the nations will have heard the gospel. This seems to be corroborated by Revelation 7:9-10 where a multitude is pictured in heaven praising God from every nation (“ethnos”):
    1. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Rev 7:9-10)
  1. Christians will see the AntiChrist. Jesus is specifically addressing His own disciples here. He makes no distinction about it being “tribulation saints” or those converted during the coming 7-year tribulation period. That’s a common counter-argument by some people. What I would like to ask them is who is discipling this great mass of new converts if Christianity is outlawed, all the previous Christians are gone because they have been removed from the earth before the trouble began (according to them), and who in the world is going to “have wisdom” as the book of Revelation states about those who can identify the mark of the beast and the number of his name? There is no discipleship going on if there is no one to disciple. Christian books? Which ones? Some will argue that God will supernaturally reveal these things to them? On the basis of what scripture, taken within its context, can you say that? You can’t. It’s arbitrary. The fact is that Christ Himself, and the Apostle Paul, and the first centuries of Christianity uniformly testify that Christians—those that are alive on the earth before and leading up to the 7-year tribulation—will see the AntiChrist with our own eyes. Anything else is an arbitrary opinion.
  2. Lastly, from these verses at least, Jesus said people will be saying Jesus has come before He has. He goes on to tell us that when He comes you’re not going to miss it. It’s going to be like lightning from the east to the west. He later says this:
    1. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall 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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mat 24:29-31)
  3. He says that it is immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days that the Lord will visibly return for all the world to see. He gives no indication of a “secret” coming.
  • Now, an argument that people bring up to the contrary is that we have not been appointed to “wrath”. That’s absolutely right. But Jesus didn’t say here “after the wrath of those days” He said “after the tribulation of those days”. In Matthew 24:29 the Greek word underlying our English word “tribulation” is “thlipsis”. It is translated as “affliction, anguish, burden, persecution, tribulation, trouble.” In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, where it says Christians are saved from the wrath to come, the Greek word underlying our English word “wrath” is “orge”. It is translated as “anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath”. Those are two separate concepts.
  • For those who may struggle with this distinction don’t forget to ask yourself the question: Who’s wrath are we talking about? We are certainly saved from God’s wrath, but we are appointed to suffer someone else’s wrath.
    1. Christ Himself told the church at Smyrna that the Devil was going to give them tribulation, “thlipsis”:
      1. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev 2:10)
    2. The Lord even warned the church of Thyatira that He would bring them great tribulation unless they repented:
      1. “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” (Rev 2:22)
    3. This does not mean what we call the Great Tribulation necessarily. The word just means persecution, trouble, tribulation. We must examine context to see what it means. I point these two passages out for the sole purpose to show you that either God or the Devil can bring Christians tribulation. That’s from the mouth of Jesus Himself.
  1. If you examine the context and timing of the wrath mentioned in Revelation you find that the time of God’s wrath, especially the “day of wrath”, if focused at the end of the 7-year time period. This is consistent with the words of Christ which indicate that it is “immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days” that He will return. For these, and many many more, reasons I only believe that two particular views of the return of Christ have any merit at all scripturally.
  1. Two possible views:
    1. Pre-Wrath View
    2. Post-Tribulation View
  2. Now, both of these fall under the post-tribulation camp. The basic idea being that Jesus Christ returns near the end, or at the end, of the 7-year tribulation period. Of course, there are variations with minor details with these two interpretations. People’s opinions are endless when it comes to prophecy.
  3. The other notable views regarding the return of Christ—Pre-tribulation and Mid-tribulation—I don’t believe have any scriptural support whatsoever.
  4. Some ministries that are very good in their teaching about this issue are Moriel Ministries with Jacob Prasch. I believe Prasch holds to a modified form of the Pre-wrath view. The other ministry is Blessed Hope Chapel, or Good Fight Ministries, with Joe Schimmel. Schimmel holds to a more straightforward Post-tribulation view I believe. I personally like Joe Schimmel’s teaching better on this issue. In fact, if you go to Blessed Hope Chapel’s Youtube page, or look up their podcast, you’ll find that he’s been teaching through the book of Revelation verse-by-verse. I highly recommend it.
  1. Problems
    1. We have to be careful where to draw the line of what is biblical on this issue. The debate of pre-trib, mid-trib, pre-wrath, or post-trib, is not the hill to die on when it comes to determining who is a Christian or not. People are not necessarily in a cult if they believe any of those options. And there are extremes on all sides of this issue. Just because someone holds to a pre-trib view doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a lax, non-vigilant Christians. And just because someone holds to a post-trib view doesn’t necessarily mean that they believe that they’re going to conquer the world for Jesus and stockpiling guns and ammo. These are both problems, but we can’t allow caricatures to affect our desire for the truth for God’s Word. If the Bible says something is true, then it is true. We can’t allow our fear of being looked down on by some person or some group somewhere out there make us biased against God’s Word.