"THE LORD IS COMING"
I. JESUS CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN. THIS TIME TO REIGN OVER THE EARTH AS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
A. He promised His disciples that He would come again.
1. John 14
"Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in Me, in My Father's house are many mansions, I am going to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there you may be also."
2. "Then shall they see the sign of the Son of Man coming with clouds and great glory."
3. For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
B. There were many prophecies that spoke of His first coming. His birthplace, events surrounding His birth. His life and His death and resurrection. These He fulfilled completely and precisely in His first coming.
1. There are equally as many prophecies concerning His second coming as there were the first.
a. The Bible speaks of the events preceding His coming that would be signs of His return.
b. These very events we see happening in our world today, which lead us to the conclusion that His coming as He said was at the very door.
2. In the book of Revelation we read,
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
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.
C. At the close of his first letter to the Thessalonians Paul had spoken of how the Lord Himself was going to descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and of how the dead in Christ would rise first then those who were still alive and remaining on the earth would be caught up together with them in the air to forever be with our Lord.
1. He spoke of the day of the Lord's judgment and wrath that would come as thief in the night to those who were walking in darkness.
2. Paul assured the believers that they however were not appointed unto wrath.
D. In this second letter Paul seems to take up where he left off in the first letter as he again speaks to the of the coming of the Lord.
II. THE BELIEVERS IN THESSOLONICA HAD BEEN GOING THROUGH GREAT TRIBULATION FOR THEIR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. THEIR STAND FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PURITY WAS NOT WELL RECEIVED BY A WORLD THAT HAD GIVEN ITSELF OVER TO INDULGENCES.
A. Paul had to make a hasty departure from the city in order to escape arrest.
1. The populace then began to take out their wrath on those who had come to believe the message that Paul had brought to them.
a. Paul speaks of their persecutions and tribulations that they had endured.
b. He spoke of their suffering for the kingdom of God.
c. He spoke of those who had troubled them.
2. When the Lord comes again the first order of business will be to judge the earth in righteousness.
a. The righteousness of God will be manifested in His judgments on those who had persecuted His church. vs.5
b. It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to those who trouble you.
B. Throughout the scriptures is a consistant declaration that God is going to punish His enemies and those who hate Him and live in wickedness.
If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; [and that] with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revengers upon the enemy.
Rejoice, O ye nations, [with] his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, [and] to his people.
Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
But the LORD is my defence; and my God [is] the rock of my refuge.
And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; [yea], the LORD our God shall cut them off.
C. During the period of the great tribulation when God turns all of the fresh water supplies on the earth into blood the angel of the waters will say:
Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments.
1. When the judgments are completed and we see how God has judged the world we will say,
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
For true and righteous [are] his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
2. God is indeed a God of love, but He is also a God of righteousness. Judgment is righteous. Not to judge the wicked is unjust. The scriptures are full of warnings of the righteous judgment of God
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
3. Writing the believers in Thessalonica who were being persecuted Paul said,
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;
4. Jesus speaks of that day when He judges the world,
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
5. I believe that we would have to confess that the world that we live in today deserves the judgment of God.
a. We read with horror the atrocities that are being committed against the Sudanese. The horrible unrest and killings on the African continent.
b. The vicious suppression of the believers in China, the beatings, imprisonments, and torture.
c. We see the breakdown of morality in our society here in the United States.
d. The conditions of Sodom and Gomorrah exist in our own land.
1. The Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, where all decency and propriety are set aside as people publicly flaunt their wickedness.
2. The homosexual Father's Day parade in San Francisco that is a total affront to decency.
3. It seems that all fear of God has been cast aside and mankind is giving himself over to total debauchery.
e. God judged Sodom and Gomorrah.
f. God judged the world at the time of the flood, and once again, God is going to judge the world.
3. This day of the Lord will be a twofold event. A time of judgment for the wicked world, but also a time when our Lord will be glorified in His saints, and worshipped by all those who believe.
4. Paul assured them that he was always praying that they would be accounted worthy to be a part of the second group.
5. When Jesus was predicting the day of judgment and tribulation that would precede the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth, He said to His disciples, "Pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are coming on the earth and to be standing before the Son of Man."