THE PROMISED RETURN OF OUR LORD

Mt. 24:42

We noted in our last lesson on this topic that we are living in the last days which are characterized by perilous times, and that the Word of God is our only sure safeguard.

These perilous times will end for the child of God at the time of the rapture, but until that time, we must continue to look to our Lord for strength and to trust in the promises of His Word.

I. THE LORDíS RETURN WILL BE IN TWO PHASES

A. First, He will come in the air FOR His own (the believer).
I Thess. 4:16-17.

         He will come in the clouds to take His Bride, those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

B. The Lord will then come to the earth WITH His own. Rev. 1:7.

         The second phase of the Lordís coming will be to the earth with His own to set up His kingdom and rule and reign with them.

II. THERE ARE THREE MAIN VIEWS REGARDING THE LORDíS RETURN

A. There is the POSTMILLENIAL view.

1. The Postmillenialists believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is not coming until after the thousand-year Kingdom.

2. They believe that there will be such a wide acceptance of the Gospel that automatically there will be an era of peace and righteousness.

3. They tell us that the world will get better and better, and then the Lord will come.

4. This view is contradictory to the Word of God, because God tells us that the end of the age is to be characterized by perilous times rather than peaceful times.

B. There is the AMILLENNIAL view.

1. This group completely denies the millennium and spiritualizes the return of Christ.

2. Some of those who hold to this view tell us that the return of Christ takes place when a person is saved.

a. Though Christ comes and dwells in the believerís life, He does so in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

b. This is not the bodily return of Christ as promised in John 14:3.

3. There are others of this group that believe Christís return takes place when a believer dies.

a. The Word of God, however, teaches that when a believer dies, he goes to be with Christ. II Cor. 5:8.

b. Paulís desire was, ďto depart, and to be with Christ, which is far betterĒ(Phil. 1:23).

4. Those who hold to this view fail to take the Word of God literally.

They want to spiritualize everything that they donít understand or donít agree with.

C. The third view is that of PREMILLENNIALISM.

1. The premillennialist believes that Christ is coming back to this earth to establish a thousand-year reign.

2. He believes that both aspects of what we know as the ďSecond ComingĒ will take place prior to this event.

3. This position is most common among Bible-believing Christians, and is the position held by this pastor and this Church.

III. THE PROMISE OF OUR LORDíS RETURN

A. The ANGELS testified to the fact of Christís bodily return at the time of His ascension into heaven. Acts 1:6-11.

B. The apostle PAUL encouraged the believers at Thessalonica by speaking to them of the Second Coming of Christ. I Thess. 4:16-18.

C. PETER informs us that the Lordís return will be unexpected.
II Pet. 3:10-14.

- What we are doing to do for the Lord must be done before that day.

D. JAMES exhorts the believer to be patient because our Lord could come at any moment. Jas. 5:7-9.

E. JUDE reminds us that the Lord will come to execute judgment upon the ungodly. Jude 14-19.

F. The apostle JOHN points out that Christ is coming with clouds.
Rev. 1:5-7.

G. Our LORD Himself, promised that He would return for His own.
Jn. 14:3.

1. His disciples asked Him to give them a sign of His coming. Mt. 24:3.

2. He told them not to allow themselves to be deceived by man, but to always be ready and watching for His coming. Mt. 24:42-51.

         The underlying theme here is the immanent return of Christ.

         Are you ready to meet Him if He should come to day!