BEHOLD, HE COMETH

Pastor James J. Barker

Text: REVELATION 1:1-7




INTRODUCTION:


1.     One of the great recurring themes of the Bible is the second coming of Christ.

2.     People that have taken the time to trace this great doctrine through the NT have discovered that one in twenty verses in the NT deal with this wonderful promise, “Christ is coming.”

3.     And this is not just taught a NT doctrine, for the second coming of Christ is taught throughout the OT as well.  Way back in the Garden of Eden, the Lord told the serpent that the seed of the woman (Christ) would bruise Satan’s head (cf. Romans 16:20).

4.     All of the OT types point to the second coming of Christ.  Our Lord said, “As it was in the days of Noah…” and “As it was in the days of Lot…”

5.     Many of the Psalms declare the second coming of Christ, as well as the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Micah, Zechariah, and several of the other OT prophets.

6.     Our Lord often spoke of His return, sometimes in parables, and sometimes more directly (cf. John 14:1-3).

7.     The preaching of the apostles often centered around the precious promise of the second coming of Christ.  Paul, James, John, and Jude refer to it often in their epistles (cf. Titus 2:13).

8.     Compare Jude 14 with Revelation 1:7; 3:11; 16:15; 22:7, 12, 20.

9.     When preaching about the second coming of Christ, we preachers often emphasize the signs of His coming – for example, the situation in Israel and the proliferation of false prophets.

10. Worldly people worry about the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  I am more concerned with the proliferation of false prophets.   They are leading people to hell by the truckload.

11. Other signs include worldliness and apostasy in the churches, wars and rumors of war, and earthquakes in divers places.   Our Lord said in Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”   That certainly describes our day and age.

12. But rather than focus on these signs, this morning I would rather that we look at the admonitions connected with our Lord’s coming. 

 

I.      AN ADMONITION TO BE STEADFAST (3:11-13).

II.  AN ADMONITION TO BE READY (16:15).

III.    AN ADMONITION TO BE FAITHFUL (22:7, 12, 20).

 

I. AN ADMONITION TO BE STEADFAST (3:11-13).

1.     Our Lord says in Revelation 3:11, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

2.     Because the Lord is coming back, we must be steadfast (cf. I Cor. 15:51-58).

3.    In the Christian life we are either holding fast or we are slipping away (cf. Hebrews 2:1).  There are many similar admonitions in the book of Hebrews (cf. Heb. 10:22-25).

4.    Let us consider our Lord’s admonition in Revelation 3:11.  He refers to the judgment seat of Christ.  “Crowns” are always associated with the judgment seat (cf. I Cor. 9:24-27; Phil. 4:1; I Thess. 2:19; II Tim. 4:8; James 1:12; I Peter 5:4; Rev. 2:10; 4:4, 10).

5.     All that is done now for the Lord will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ.  The fact that our Lord warns us, “hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown,” reminds us that is possible to lose our reward (cf. II John 8).

6.    “Spiritual indolence (laziness, slothfulness) is not only a dreadful sin but a dreadful loss.  It robs God of His service and it robs us of our crown” (A.J. Gordon, The Three Admonitions). 

7.    A J Gordon said, “Put capital into your religion instead of seeking only to draw interest out of it: strive for a heavenly crown instead of seeking for earthly comfort.”

8.    All that we do in service and in self-denial will be rewarded at the judgment seat.   Oftentimes Christians lose sight of this.  We have been saved to serve.  God could have saved us and sent us straight to heaven but he left us here for a purpose.

9.    Unfortunately many people misunderstand that we are saved by grace and rewarded by our works.  On the one hand, some churches teach we are saved by faith plus works.  This is heresy (cf. Eph. 2:8, 9).

10.    On the other hand, some churches teach our good works are unimportant, and that you can believe in Jesus and then disregard everything else in the Bible. 

11.    Consequently, there is no exhortation to pray, or to attend church services, or to give (not just money but time), or to win souls (cf. Eph. 2:10). 

12.    Let me be frank: this type of shallow Christianity is nauseating to God (cf. Rev. 3:14-16).

 

II. AN ADMONITION TO BE READY (16:15).

1.     Our Lord said in Luke 12:40, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”

2.     I heard about an artist who put great effort into setting up an appointment with the queen.  Finally the queen consented; he was given permission to paint her portrait.  This was to be his big break.  This would establish him as a great artist.  His fame and fortune was considered a sure thing now.  He made all his preparations, had his room all ready, his tools, paint and brushes all adjusted for this important picture. 

3.     But by an unfortunate mishap he was out when the queen came to his studio.  She could not wait for him and he missed his golden opportunity.

4.     Our Lord said in Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

5.     Study this theme and you will note that readiness and steadfastness go together.  Remember, our Lord said that the foolish virgins all slumbered and slept (Matt. 25:5).

6.     Let us look closely at the admonition found in Revelation 16:15.   “Garments” symbolize the righteousness of the saints.

7.     The songwriter put it this way, “Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?  Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” (Cf. Rev. 19:7-9; Matt. 22:8-14).

 

III. AN ADMONITION TO BE FAITHFUL (22:7, 12, 20).

1.     Three times in the final chapter of the Bible, our Lord says, “I come quickly” (22:7, 12, 20).  This is something the Lord wants to impress upon us.

2.     There are seven beatitudes in the book of Revelation.  The first one is in Revelation 1:3.  The last two are in the final chapter: the sixth one is Revelation 22:7, and the final one in verse 14.

3.     Revelation 1:3 promises a special blessing for those who read the book of Revelation, and hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.

4.     This Scripture indicates that there will be many people who neglect or ignore the book of Revelation.   Sad but true!  I have been teaching it now in Sunday School for about a year and many members have not bothered to attend the class.  What did our Lord say in Matthew 25:5?  “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.”

5.     I have heard people say that they have never heard a sermon from the book of Revelation.

6.     This promise of blessing, first given in Rev. 1:3, is repeated in Rev. 22:7.  Why this special blessing?   Because the book of Revelation exalts the Lord Jesus Christ.

7.     Why do so many Christians lack spiritual discernment?  Because they have neglected the book of Revelation.

8.     Why are so many churches worldly and cold and complacent?  Because they are not teaching the book of Revelation.

 

CONCLUSION:

1.     Christ is coming.  Are you ready?

2.     His reward is with Him (22:12).  Will you receive a reward?

3.     Those who have never been born again will be cast off into hell with the ungodly (22:15; cf. 21:8).



| Customized by Jun Gapuz |