Tuesday Apr 04, 2023

Sunday 03/26/2023 Series: ”Are we living in the end times?” Pt. 12 - The King is Coming!!

The King Is Coming!” (1 Thess. 5:1-11)

  • The Gospel stresses the imminency of the Lord in general.

    • Our frail life (James 4:14; Luke 12:20)

      • Before considering how no one knows the timing of the Lord’s return to this world, it is good to be reminded that we have no way of knowing when we will be taken out of this world.

    • His sudden return (Mt. 24:36, 42-44)

      • For all we have studied in this series, no Scripture gives us the hour, day, month, year, century, or millennium in which Christ will return. The Lord kept things purposely vague in this regard.

      • Moreover, we must not read our experience into the statements of Scripture, to think that Christ could not have returned earlier in history. His return has been imminent since He ascended from the Mount of Olives.

        • At this point one might wonder if septamillennialism stands opposed to imminency. While my explanation of Hosea 6:2 is certainly based on a diligent study of Scripture, the texts are not so clear as to require the septamillennial view. God left His Word open enough to permit different possibilities (See the Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible.). Indeed, it could be that the Hosea prophecy has more than one reference (See The Henry Morris Study Bible. Cf. Joel 2:231). If so, at the very least, the text promises the two-part salvation of Israel through the Messiah’s death and resurrection. At the most, it suggests the end of Israel’s unbelief in our lifetime. These ideas are not mutually exclusive (Cf. Hosea 11:1; Mt. 2:15). Such a double reference would be in line with God’s purpose of concealing the exact time of His return.2 Additionally, no one knows precisely when six thousand years will be reached, and in any case the question pertains to the Second Coming, not the Rapture.

  • The Gospel stresses the imminency of the Lord’s return in particular.

    • Encouragement for believers: Our longing will end!

    • Motivation for believers: Our suffering will be rewards!

    • Warning to unbelievers: Our flesh will pass away…

  • Conclusion: Our Gospel presentation must include the Lord’s return without excluding the obvious fact that we, and our hearers, may die before this event.

    • This concept of “dual imminency” is neglected by those who ignore the subject of eschatology in their preaching.

    • It is also neglected by those who deny the intermediate state of disembodied souls or those who promote post-mortem salvation.

1 It is interesting that the “latter rain,” or spring rain, is heavier than the “former rain,” fall rain. If the “former rain” refers to the second coming and the “latter rain” to the first, then we have God’s Word telling us that the first coming of Christ is more important than His return! We often think of the cross as somehow less than the conquest, but the reality is that the cross is the conquest. The payment has been made and it is only for Jesus to reveal what He has purchased (Rom. 8:19, 30)! Jesus has already destroyed the barrier between us and God. And at the appointed time we will go through it. Maranatha!

2 Consider Daniel 12:4. We live in the age of knowledge, including unprecedented interest in Bible prophecy. Perhaps the septamillennial view has become popular again because the seventh millennium is truly at hand.

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