Motivated by the Promise of His Coming (part six)
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 five parts of the message, we have considered such passages from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1& 2 Timothy, and Titus. Now in this sixth part of the message, let us consider such passages from Hebrews and James.
In Hebrews 10:24-25 God’s Word states:
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Day by day our Lord’s Second Coming is approaching nearer and nearer. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to consider one another spiritually “to provoke [to stir up and motivate] unto love and to good works.” And this ministry we are to do one toward another “so much the more,” as we see the day approaching. Whenever we consider that our Lord’s Second Coming is drawing near, we should also be motivated to consider our fellow believers and how we might minister unto them and motivate them unto a godly love and a godly life.
Furthermore, in motivating us to “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works,” the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to be “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.” We cannot minister the more unto one another, if we are forsaking the assembling together with one another.
Finally, in motivating us to “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works,” the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to be exhorting one another daily to hearken faithfully unto God’s Word and not to harden their hearts against it. Yea, we are to be exhorting one another daily lest any develop “an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God,” and lest any “be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13)
In Hebrews 10:32-37 the Holy Spirit inspired author of Hebrews gave testimony concerning these Hebrew believers, saying:
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Again the truth is presented – Our Lord’s Second Coming is approaching nearer and nearer, “and will not tarry.” Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to cast away our confidence that we “have in heaven a better and an enduring substance,” as apposed to the temporal things of this world. Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to endure with patience the “great fight of afflictions” that we must face in this life for the Lord’s sake. Finally, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to do the will of God faithfully, knowing that at His coming we shall “receive the promise” and a “great recompence of reward.”
In Hebrews 12:28-29 God’s Word states:
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.
The promised kingdom of righteousness, “which cannot be moved,” and in which we believers shall take part, will come when the promised King of kings returns. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to serve the Lord our God acceptably and faithfully “with reverence and godly fear.” In addition, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to depend upon the grace of the Lord our God as our means to serve Him acceptably and faithfully.
In James 5:1-11 God’s Word states:
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Yet again the truth is presented – Our Lord’s Second Coming is drawing nigh. Therefore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to live for the material things and pleasures of this life, especially through methods of cheating others. Such a life of materialism will only heap to ourselves the miseries of judgment at the coming of our Lord. Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to be patient in faithful service to the Lord, having our hearts established in full assurance of faith that our Lord is full of tender mercy and suffering affliction for righteousness’ sake with endurance. Finally, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us not to hold grudges against one another, lest we be condemned at the coming of our Lord, the Judge.For the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, Abiding in Christ, and Christ in us, Pastor Scott Markle