Motivated by the Promise of His Coming (part eight)
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 seven 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, Titus, Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter. Now in this eighth part of the message, let us consider such passages from 2 Peter.
In 2 Peter 1:5-11 God’s Word states:
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and ele ction sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Brethren, do we desire for our Lord to reward us greatly with His approval at our entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”? Then the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to give diligence to add unto ourselves the righteous characteristics of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity.
In 2 Peter 1:16-21 God’s Word states:
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
At our Lord’s Second Coming, the King of light (our Lord Jesus Christ) and His kingdom of light will dawn upon the earth. Yet while we live in this present evil world, we live in a spiritually dark place. Therefore, we need a light to guide our way in this spiritual darkness until the coming of our Lord. Even so, we should be motivated by and until our Lord’s Second Coming to take heed unto God’s eternally true and holy Word, “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.”
In 2 Peter 3:1-9 God’s Word states:
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of th e water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
In this time of spiritual darkness, there will be many scoffers who mock against the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming. Yet the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming is sure, for it is the promise of the Lord our God Himself. Therefore, we should be motivated by the promise of God concerning our Lord’s Second Coming to beware of any and all false teachers who speak against our Lord’s coming. Furthermore, we should be motivated concerning the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming to have full assurance that our Lord is not slack concerning His promise, but is longsuffering to us sinners, seeking for more souls to come unto repentance and salvation.
In 2 Peter 3:10-14 God’s Word states:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
After our Lord’s Second Coming, He will reign for a thousand years from Jerusalem over the whole earth. Then will follow the end of this world, wherein “the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up,” and “all these things shall be dissolved.” Immediately thereafter, the Lord our God will create “new heavens and a new earth,” to which we believers may look forward. Even so, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming and of these things to follow, in which all the things of this life shall be dissolved, should motivate us not to live for this life, but to live in all holy behaviour and godliness for the life to come.
In 2 Peter 3:15-18 God’s Word states:
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
The promise of our Lord’s Second Coming and of these things to follow should motivate us to beware lest we “be led away with the error of the wicked” and “fall from our own stedfastness.” Furthermore, the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming should motivate us to grow in the grace of God and in our fellowship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.For the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, Abiding in Christ, and Christ in us, Pastor Scott Markle