Motivated by the Promise of His Coming (part one)
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.
Brethren, God the Son, God incarnate in human flesh, Jesus the Christ, our Lord and our Saviour is coming again. All throughout God’s Word, the promise is given, “Our Lord shall come again.” Oh, what a glorious truth this is! Even so, we are instructed in Titus 2:13 to be “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” In His Second Coming, our Lord shall come “with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30) Furthermore, at His Second Coming, we who are His own shall be glorified with Him in His glory.
Yet the truth of our Lord’s Second Coming is not just a glorious truth. It is also a motivational truth. The promise of our Lord’s Second Coming is not simply something for which we are to be looking forward with hope and with joy. The promise of our Lord’s Second Coming is also something through which we are to be motivated to live aright even now. In fact, this promise of our Lord’s Second Coming is employed as a principle of motivation at least once in every book of the New Testament except Galatians, Philemon, 2 John, and 3 John. So then, in this first part of the message, let us consider these passages from the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
In Matthew 16:24-27 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the instruction, the warning, and the promise.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
At our Lord’s Second Coming, He shall bring reward for every one who served Him faithfully in this life. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow our Lord with the submission of our hearts and the obedience of our lives. Yea, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to seek to save our lives unto ourselves to be lived after our own will, but to seek to lose our lives for Christ’s sake to be lived after His will.
In Matthew 24:42-46 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the instruction, the warning, and the blessing.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
We shall never know what day or hour our Lord will come again. Yet we are to watch and be ready for our Lord’s Second Coming as faithful and wise servants of our Lord. Yea, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to be faithfully doing the service that our Lord has assigned for us to do. Thereby, and only thereby, shall we be ready for His Second Coming.
In Mark 8:34-38 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the instruction and the warning.
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
This is a parallel account to Matthew 16:24-27. However, in this account we find a few additional elements to the matter. Herein we find that the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not only to seek to lose our lives for Christ’s sake to be lived after His will, but also to seek to lose our lives for the gospel’s sake to faithfully preach the gospel unto the lost. Furthermore, we find that the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to be ashamed of Him or of His Word “in this adulterous and sinful generation,” lest He be ashamed of us in the presence of God the Father.
In Mark 13:32-37 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the instruction and the warning.
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Again this is a parallel account to Matthew 24:42-46. Yet again in this account we find a few additional elements to the matter. Herein we find that our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to remain faithful in the fervency of our prayer lives as we watch and wait for our Lord to come. We are to take heed unto our daily walk, to be faithfully watching and praying. Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to become neglectful, weary, or faint in our service for our Lord, lest He come suddenly and find us sleeping on the job as unfaithful servants.
In Luke 12:31-40 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the instruction, the blessing, and the warning.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Yes, blessed are those servants whom our Lord shall find faithfully watching and serving when He comes. Even so, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness as the priority of our lives. Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to be filled with fear and worry over the cares of this life. Finally, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to lay up for ourselves eternal, spiritual treasures in heaven, rather than temporal, physical treasures upon earth.
In Luke 21:34-36 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the warning and the instruction.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
The promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to take heed unto our hearts and lives that we not allow worldliness to become the governing principle of our heart and lives.
In John 14:1-3 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the instruction and the assurance.
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.
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has ascended into heaven. At the present time, He sits at the right hand of God the Father in the glory of heaven. Yet He will come again. When He comes again, he will receive us who have trusted in Him as our eternal Saviour. Yea, He will receive us unto Himself, so that we may be with Him also forever in glory. Even so, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to allow our hearts to become troubled at the trials and tribulations of this life. Rather, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us ever to center our faith in our daily walk upon God our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.For the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, Abiding in Christ, and Christ in us, Pastor Scott Markle