Motivated by the Promise of His Coming (part two)
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.” Certainly this is a glorious truth as we are “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
Yet the truth of our Lord’s Second Coming is not just a glorious truth. It is also a motivational truth. It is a truth that should motivate us 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. Already in the first part of the message, we have considered such passages from the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Now in this second part of the message, let us consider such passages from Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians.
In Acts 3:19-21 God’s Word states:
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Certainly the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate any lost sinner to repent of his or her sins and to receive Christ through faith as his or her eternal Saviour.
In Romans 8:16-18 God’s Word states:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
At the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we who are His own shall be glorified together with Him. Yea, “the glory which shall be revealed in us” at that time will be so great that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy” of any comparison. The present sufferings, as great as they may be, are not even close to being as great as the glory of that time. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to suffer patiently for our Lord’s sake in faithful service for Him without wavering.
In Romans 13:11-14 God’s Word states:
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day [that is – the day of our Lord’s Second Coming] is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Our Lord could return for us at any time. Therefore, the promise of His Second Coming should motivate us to cast off the works of spiritual darkness and to make no provision for the flesh, “to fulfil the lusts thereof.” On the other hand, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to put on the armor of spiritual light and to be abiding in our Lord Jesus Christ throughout our daily walk.
In 1 Corinthians 15:22-26 God’s Word states:
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
To this verses 51-58 add:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
At our Lord’s Second Coming, the last enemy death will be “swallowed up in victory.” Yea, at that time we who are our Lord’s own shall enter into eternal victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to remain steadfast and unmoveable in our service for the Lord. Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to continue always abounding in the work of our Lord. Finally, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should assure us that none of our labour in and for the Lord shall be in vain.
In 2 Corinthians 4:14-18 God’s Word states:
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
At our Lord’s Second Coming, we shall be raised up ever to live with our Lord in His eternal glory. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to faint during the time of affliction. Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to set our focus upon the circumstantial afflictions of this life that are just for the moment of this short life. Rather, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to set our focus through faith upon the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” that we shall enjoy in the eternity of the life to come.For the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, Abiding in Christ, and Christ in us, Pastor Scott Markle