Published April 19, 2012
Matt. 24:9-14, 39b-44; Rev. 7:9; 22:12-14
Bible Studies for Life, April 29
When I was growing up my mom was a stay-at-home mom. When school was out, this meant mom had me and my two sisters to care for. My sisters and I would often push mom’s buttons to see how far we could get. We were little rebels. While mom could and did give out appropriate discipline, there was one phrase that always got our attention. It was the one phrase that could strike me with both great happiness and great fear, depending upon the context. That phrase was simply, “Daddy is on his way home!”
I remember some days that phrase would make me super excited, while other days it made me sick with dread. Some days I was ready for daddy to come home, other days I was not so ready. Either way, he was coming.
Our lesson today centers on the truth that Jesus is coming again. For some this is great news and met with great anticipation. They have a personal relationship with Jesus and are ready and waiting. For others, this is not good news. They live apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ and His return means serious trouble.
See the end game - Revelation 22:12-14
In this passage Jesus affirmed that His return is imminent. We do not know when He is coming. There are no secret codes in the Bible that reveal the time of His coming. He is coming at precisely the moment the Father has ordained. Jesus told his disciples that it is not for us to know the times or seasons our Father has set by His own authority (Acts 1:7). He is coming and it could be at any moment.
When He comes he said He is bringing His reward with Him, “to repay each person according to what he has done.” For believers we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ where our works will be judged. It is important to note that our sins will not be judged, as Christ has already paid for our sins. However, our works will be judged, resulting in gain or loss of reward.
Unbelievers face the terrifying reality that they have not been forgiven by Christ. His work on the cross has not been credited to their guilty accounts. They will not be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven because they do not possess a relationship with Jesus Christ.
These two realities ought to awaken the church to action. We have been privileged by Christ to be a part of His work in spreading the Gospel. All around us are family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors in need of a relationship with Jesus Christ. We should desire to see everyone we know and with whom we come in contact “wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates” (vs. 14).
See that you are ready - Matthew 24:39b-44
Jesus stressed that He is coming at an hour you do not expect. We are to be ready. To be ready for the return of Jesus Christ means to have a personal relationship with Him. Apart from Jesus Christ, we are guilty before God. Because God is good He must make sure sin is punished. Some imagine that because God is good He would never send people to hell. Yet, it is precisely because God is good that He must make sure that justice is served.
He has made provision for you and me to be forgiven. He poured out His wrath on His Son, Jesus. Peter stressed that the Lord is “patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
It is amazing and humbling to realize that the God who created the sun, moon, stars, oceans, and galaxies beyond our imagination desires to have a personal relationship with each of us. He has relentlessly pursued us by His grace.
You and I have never known love quite like this. The God of the universe, Who is rich in mercy, sent His Son to die in our place, out of His great love for us. If you do not know Him, His offer of salvation is available to you even now.
Repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. He is coming again. See that you are ready.
See that you are faithful - Matthew 24:9-14; Rev. 7:9-10
As believers await His return, we can expect a growing hostility toward the things of God. Following Jesus will mean taking up your cross. The growing hostility toward the things of God is described by Jesus as the love of many growing cold (vs. 12). Even among professing believers there will be a growing intolerance toward sound biblical teaching, as they will “accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new” (2 Tim 4:3).
Our job is to endure hardship, by His grace, recognizing we are never alone in Christ. He will see us through the difficult times and will ensure that even those times are used for our good and His glory. In the Revelation passage we look forward to that great day, when after our Lord returns and gathers His church, all hardship will be over and we shall be with Him.
John wrote, “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev 7:9-10).
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