Motivated by the Promise of His Coming (part five)
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 four parts of the message, we have considered such passages from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and 1 Thessalonians. Now in this fifth part of the message, let us consider such passages from 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 the apostle Paul gave testimony under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit concerning the believers at Thessalonica, saying:
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 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. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
At our Lord’s Second Coming, our Lord Jesus Christ will take vengeance on those who reject His gospel and will be glorified in all those who believe His Gospel. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to rest in the patience of faith and hope even under persecution from the lost world around us. In addition, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to live even now for the glory of our Lord’s holy name.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 the apostle gave testimony, saying:
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” At our Lord’s Second Coming, we believers shall obtain and join in “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
At our Lord’s Second Coming, we believers shall obtain and join in “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” At that time our Lord Jesus Christ shall appear with great glory as King of kings and Lord of lords, and we believers shall enter into that glory as we receive our glorified bodies in His presence. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to stand fast in faithful obedience to the truth and teaching of our Lord as revealed in His holy Word.
In 1 Timothy 6:11-16 God’s Word states:
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Yes, our Lord Jesus Christ shall come again and shall reveal Himself to all the world as “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Even so, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to flee the ways of this world and to follow after the ways of our Lord. In addition, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to fight the good fight of faith with faithfulness.
In 2 Timothy 4:1-8 God’s Word states:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
At our Lord’s Second Coming, “at his appearing and his kingdom,” our Lord Jesus Christ shall judge all mankind. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate every God-called pastor to preach the Word faithfully in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting “with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to make full proof of our ministry for the Lord, being on our guard in all things against temptation, enduring affliction without becoming weary in well doing, and faithfully doing the work to which our Lord has called us. Finally, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to fight the good fight of faith, finishing our course and keeping the faith with faithfulness.
In Titus 2:11-14 God’s Word states:
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
The promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to deny all “ungodliness and worldly lusts.” Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to live “soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Finally, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to be “zealous of good works” as our Lord’s “peculiar people.”For the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, Abiding in Christ, and Christ in us, Pastor Scott Markle