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Archive for the ‘second coming’ Category

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Grace – God’s unmerited and undeserved favor – is amazing in more ways than we normally think. Titus 2:11-14 illustrates it: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” 

“The grace of God has appeared” (verse 11) in the person of Jesus Christ. That grace brought “salvation.” God saves us by His grace and we praise Him for it! He opened our eyes when we were spiritually blind; He opened our spiritually deaf ears; and He gave us a heart of flesh in exchange for the heart of stone each of us have by nature – and He did all of this by His grace! We didn’t deserve it, couldn’t earn it, and, in fact, deserve the exact opposite.

Everyone who has repented of their sin and has believed in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation did so solely because of God’s grace. We’ve been redeemed by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. But does that give us a “get out of jail card free card” with respect to our behavior and conduct as a Christian? Can we live any way we want because we’re saved by grace?

No, it doesn’t and no, we can’t! Still on the subject of “the grace of God” from verse 11, verse 12 begins with the phrase “instructing us.” The grace of God not only saves us, but instructs us (or teaches, disciplines, trains us). To what end? Grace instructs us “to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.” In other words, grace doesn’t softly whisper in your ear to go ahead and indulge yourself because God doesn’t really care anymore; rather grace teaches us, trains us, and disciplines us to say no to ungodliness and yes to godliness. While we’re at it, we await the second coming of “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (verse 13), who “redeemed us from every lawless deed” on the negative side, and is purifying “for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (verse 14). By His grace, God has redeemed us “from every lawless deed” and “for good deeds.” God is just as concerned with our birth (justification) as He is with our growth (sanctification).

God’s grace is truly amazing – through it we’re saved, taught, empowered, and changed!

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Harold Camping was wrong. The rapture didn’t happen Saturday as he predicted. But before we start the fist-pumping, name-calling, and finger-pointing, we’d do well to remember that the day of God’s judgment really is coming.

Whether it be our own death or at the second coming of Jesus Christ, every one of us will stand before God in judgment. That should be a sobering thought, but I’m afraid quite a few people, including some Christians, are directly or indirectly mocking it.

The writer of the book of Hebrews said in 9:27, “And just as it is appointed for a man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” As part of his charge to Timothy to “preach the word,” the apostle Paul wrote, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead” (2 Tim. 4:1).

the one who stands before the perfectly holy God in his own “righteousness” will instantly realize that his sinfulness and depravity merit only death. He must pay for his own sins against God because “the wages of sin is death,” according to Romans 6:23a. But for those who are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Another, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23b).

Our only hope against the judgment of God is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The wrath of God is averted by turning from our sin (and from the idea that we can do anything at all to earn our salvation), and trusting Jesus Christ and Him alone to deliver us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

In the midst of all of the “sound and fury signifying” very little in the matter of Harold Camping, Family Radio, billboards on the highway, and countless “see-I-told-you-so” statements, let’s not lose sight of the reality of God’s judgment and His grace.

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Harold Camping, head of Family Radio and purveyor of false teaching, has made news by claiming that “the rapture” of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will take place on May 21st (this Saturday). As the saying goes, this isn’t “his first time at the rodeo.” Camping has predicted the date of the return of Christ for His saints on several other occasions. All of them have been wrong, and I have no reason to believe this prediction will be any different.

Albert Mohler gives his thoughts here.

Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth someday (Acts 1:9-11)! We don’t know when, however (Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:7). We are to be busy and ready until He comes (Luke 12:40).

Not only do predictions like these disobey the Lord, they also hurt the cause of His kingdom.

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Why don’t we know when Jesus Christ will return to this earth?

Most likely for the same reason that when we hear that someone is coming to visit we vacuum, do the dishes, clean off the dining room table, and clean the litter box – we’re not paying that much attention and get lazy until we know we’ll actually have to do something. In other words, we procrastinate (why do today what I can put off until tomorrow?).

If we knew precisely when the Lord would return, it would be nearly impossible for us to resist the spiritual version of housecleaning before company arrives. If Jesus’ specific time of arrival was 9:29 a.m. February 19th, 2019 (that’s an arbitrary example – I’m not setting a date here!), most, if not all, of us would simply ignore Him and live in order to please ourselves until around 9:28 a.m on that day and then “get right with Him.” We’d know when He was coming, quickly do the housecleaning, and welcome Him with bright eyes and a bushy tail when we hear the doorbell ring.

Jesus said of His return,

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matt. 24:36).

“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour” (Matt. 25:13).

“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come” (Mark 13:33).

“You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Luke 12:40).

We don’t know when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth as King and Judge. Therefore, we’re told to be ready and on the alert because it could be at any time. He may not return for a thousand years, but the possibility exists that it could be a lot sooner, too. The point is to be ready and “occupy” till He comes.

We need to get our house in order, so to speak, now. We can’t wait until right before we think Jesus might come back – it will come when we least expect it.

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Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 resolutions for his life when he was 20 years old (that’s amazing in and of itself). Here is the seventh:

Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

There is coming a day when we will either die or the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth. We don’t know when either will happen or their order. Therefore, we should live in such a way that we would not have any reason to be ashamed when one or the other actually takes place.

Living with no regrets is what this resolution is all about.

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My reading of C.S. Lewis’ classic fiction series “The Chronicles of Narnia” has brought me near the end of The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader.”

Aslan says to Lucy, “Do not look so sad. We shall soon meet again.” Lucy responds by asking, “Please, Aslan, what do you call soon?” “I call all times soon,” said Aslan.

It’s the same with the Lord Jesus Christ and those of us who follow Him. We know we will meet and see Him again. We know that we shall soon meet again. Revelation 22:7a, 12a, and 20 record Jesus as saying, “I am coming soon!”

But what does He mean by “soon”? He calls all times “soon.”

So what do we do in the meantime? We occupy until He comes. “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Luke 12:40). One of the primary ways we can be ready is to be faithful to Him, consistently obeying and trusting Him as we look to His return.

His coming will be soon, just not in the way we understand soon. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

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