The Return of the King

December 28, 2008 / No. 3443

Dear radio friends,

When King Jesus comes, it will be great glory for Him. God has been busy exalting His Son. Philippians 2:9, 10 tells us: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name….” God has raised His Son Jesus from the grave. His Son Jesus is ascended up on high and has been placed at the right hand of God where, right now, He rules over all things, kingdoms, and men. But the culmination of the glory of Jesus Christ will be when He returns as King in judgment. All the earth will tremble before Him. The wicked will hide themselves and flee from Him and righteousness shall be brought upon the earth.

We read in Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” He will be surrounded by glorious angels as His attendants. And all the saints will accompany Him.

While on earth, Jesus Christ the Savior was despised. He was spit upon and He was hated and crucified. Now, today, mankind in unbelief refuses to acknowledge Him as Lord alone. They deny His truth, the Bible. They curse His name. They reject His gospel. But not then. Then He shall sit as King. He shall judge His enemies. He will be glorified. He will be seen in all of His awesome, terrible majesty. And we cry out at the end of this year: “Come, Lord Jesus, yea, come quickly.” The end of the year reminds us as God’s children that Jesus is coming. The King is coming. There will be the return of the King.

It will be glory for us. It is the culmination of everything for Jesus, but also for us. It is all of our hope. It is all of our faith. Everything is aimed at this. This is the goal, the heart, of our Christian hope in life. This is why we endure the loss of all things. David already said in II Samuel 23:4, 5, “And he [that is, Jesus] shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. …for this is all my salvation, and all my desire” and hope. To see Him come! Imagine!

This is the goal of our hope: Jesus shall appear, and we shall be with Him in glory.

Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the year comes to its completion, let us remind ourselves of our goal. This is what we are living for. This is what we are waiting for. This alone will give your heart ballast as you enter into another year. This alone will give you direction and purpose for your life as a young person. This is what we suffer for. This is what we labor for. This is why we bring up our children. This is why we desire to live godly lives and godly marriages. Because the King is coming! This is what we lay hold of by faith. This is what comforts us now in every sorrow. What is before our eyes in every grief? Jesus is coming!

This is before our eyes when we put a casket of a loved one into the ground. This is what pulls our feet out of the snares of temptations that Satan has laid for us. This is what keeps us out of the embrace of another woman or man when we are married. This is why we will not quit our marriages. This is why we will not party, why we will not engage in free sex, why we will not swear, why we will be honest and faithful and devoted to His cause on earth: the church. This is why. You want to know why? The King is coming!

When our King Jesus comes back, He comes back for judgment. It will be the great day of reckoning. Certainly He comes for other things as well. He comes to raise our bodies from the dead. Oh, what a day that will be, when our bodies are changed and we shall be like Him.

Right now Jesus does not forget the bodies of His dead, departed saints. He stands watch over their bodies. And one day He will raise them when He returns.

Still more. When Jesus comes He will create the new heavens and the new earth. II Peter 3:10-14 tells us that out of the destruction and cinders of this present world, righteousness shall dwell.

Still more. Jesus comes to gather the church into one. All of His children will be there. Every stone in place, every jewel upon His crown. Unity, joy and bliss, peace in the tabernacle of God. The church of God shall reach its pinnacle and shall dwell by the river of life. Ah, that shall be a great and a grand day for us.

But Jesus comes primarily for judgment. The King comes to judge all men. He comes to judge His enemies who do wickedly and blaspheme His name. Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” Those whose life is ruled by the pride of their heart; those who say, “I am my own. I do what I want. No one tells me. I am man!”—Christ comes to judge them. And today in His Word He says, “Be wise, O ye men of the earth, ye princes and kings of the earth. Kiss the Son with trembling and fear, lest He be angry when He comes.”

He comes to judge us His people. You will stand with the mass of humanity that day. For before Him shall be gathered all nations. And He shall separate them, the one from the other, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. There shall be one, final, public judgment, issuing in heaven or hell. Mankind summoned before the Son of man on His judgment seat. It is God’s purpose, God’s righteous judgment. It will be the declaration before mankind that God is righteous, always righteous, ever righteous, righteous in the condemnation of all who do wickedly, and righteous in granting salvation unto His children in the blood of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is coming to judge. The Bible is full of this. The creation is groaning for it. Romans 8 tells us that the creation will share in the glorious liberty of the children of God and that it longs for that day when it, too, shall be lifted from the bondage of corruption into that glorious liberty. The church that is worshiping at the throne of God right now is crying out: “How long, O God holy and true, dost Thou not avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Arise up, Lord. Stand up. Show Thyself. Send Jesus.” And the Scripture, in all of its parts, tells us that Jesus is coming to judge.

Before His coming, the Bible tells us, there will be a great falling away from the church of Jesus Christ. There will be the rise of nominal Christianity—Christianity in name—which will join itself to the cause of man. There will be the advancing of the man of sin, the Antichrist. There will be the attempt at and the gaining of one world empire united in hatred against our King Jesus and all who confess Him and who will do His will. Then, the Bible tells us, when sin has reached its foul depths and the last child of God, according to God’s election, has been born in this weary world and brought to Jesus by faith, thenJesus will come.

He will then be visible in all of His glory. He will immediately raise the dead, so that all men can stand before Him—all humanity. He will set up His throne of judgment. And He will appear at that throne. The record of man’s deeds will be read. And He will pronounce a just verdict over all—innocent or guilty. And He will execute that verdict: the wicked shall be cast into hell and the righteous into life eternal.

You will appear there. You will be there. II Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” You will not be able to lose yourself in the crowd. You will not be able to slink back, or hide behind the lines of the billions who stand there, and be unnoticed. Your name will be called, and you will step forward and you will be judged by the Judge.

Repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ by the wondrous grace of God.

This puts the lie to everything the world is saying. What is the world saying in its television, news, books, media? It is saying, There is no judgment from God. The truth of Jesus’ return is scorned by man because man detests the idea that he is accountable to God, and that Jesus is the Lord whom he must obey. We, that is, man, all men, are answerable to God. We are answerable for the treason that we have committed against our Creator and our failure to do the one right thing: to love, honor, serve, and glorify Him. God sent His Son into the world in order that His people should not perish but have everlasting life, removing their treason.

The Lord’s return puts the lie to what man says, puts the lie to His theory of evolution. Evolution is not a scientific explanation of origins. That is not the driving force of evolution. That is not its genius. It is not an honest attempt to discover where we came from. Evolution is the attempt to deny where we are going. It is not interested in science. Its real focus is on the questions of answerability and accountability. It wants to answer the question: Who am I? Who is man? And man says, “I’m God. I popped on the scene. I evolved. I’m answerable to no one. I’m going where I desire. It is all about me.” But God says, “No! I made you. I made all things. O man, you are dust. I made you out of the dust of the ground and I breathed into your nostrils the breath of life. I gave you a soul. And you must glorify Me, either in the flames of My justice in hell or, according to My mercy, in the songs of praise in heaven.”

Judgment is coming.

Be reminded today that the King is coming. My comfort and the comfort of the church saved by grace is that the One who comes to judge me is the very same One who came to die for me upon a cross. My comfort is not that my works will save me. My comfort is not that somehow in that day I will be shown by my works to be more righteous than another. The very opposite will be the case. But my comfort is that my Lord comes, my Lord Jesus, my King. My comfort is that Jesus is the Judge, the One who loved our souls in the depths of hell upon the cross, the One who is closer than a brother, the One who is called Faithful and True. The One who shed His own blood for my soul will be the Judge.

Will He, who is my Savior and the head of the church, condemn the members of the church? Will this husband damn His wife? Will this Savior abandon His children? I tell you, He will not! He will confess your name before the Father. He will say, “Father, this is one given to Me in Thy love, whom I knew in the agony of the cross. This is one of Mine. Come, ye blessed, into the kingdom that is prepared for you of My Father.” He will say, “This is Mine by eternal election. I remember paying for their sins. They shall walk with Me in light.”

Because Jesus who died is the One who comes to judge us, we, as children of God, do not want to be ashamed in that day. That is why we do not want to do anything that would bring shame upon Him in our life; anything that would disappoint Him; anything that should injure His love; anything for which I would have to say, “Lord, I confess Thy name, but I did not live as Thy child in the world. I was afraid to confess Thy name before men.”

Our comfort is that on that day all of His and all of my enemies shall be destroyed. Now those enemies ridicule Jesus Christ and persecute His church. The Lord said, “Marvel not if the world hate you. They hated me before they hated you. The servant is not above his lord.” The world watches the church, and they are very quick to point out our inconsistencies. And now, when we bring the word of God, they are very quick to call us bigoted and the enemies of sexual choice and those who are intolerant and against fairness. But in that day, the record will be set straight. The children of God who have suffered and endured slander and wrong—their cause shall be vindicated as the cause of the Son of God. And we shall be translated into heavenly joys and glory.

Here are the most blessed words that you could ever hear. Jesus spoke them in Matthew 25:34, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Those are the most blessed words. The most blessed words that you could ever hear on earth are not: “O babe, you’re everything to me.” The most blessed words that you could ever hear are not, “There will be a Christmas bonus this year.” The most blessed words you could ever hear are not, “You’re one of the guys. You fit in with this group.” The most blessed words that you could ever hear are not, “You’re our best salesman. …Your house and your yard are lovely and beautiful.” The most blessed word that you could ever hear is: “Come, ye blessed of my Father.”

In that day, everything of the earth and all of its honors will fall to the ground. In that day every proud look and every haughty spirit will be laid low. In that day the thoughts of men will perish too. It matters what God says of you! That is the only thing that matters today: what God says about you. It matters what He says in that last day. And it matters what He says this day. It matters that you confess that your only comfort is that you are not your own, and that you do not live as if you were your own, but that you belong to Him and that you live as one who belongs to Him.

The King is coming, robed in might, appareled in glory, scepter in His hand, seated upon His throne, issuing His commands. If I do not lift up my voice today and tell you who hear this program that Jesus is coming, and that you must repent and believe in Him—if I do not tell you that, your blood will be on my hands in that day. And if you will not hear this today, your blood will be required of you. You are not your own. You are not the master of your fate. You are not independent from God. You are accountable. You are answerable. This is life: to know Christ and to know God in Him. And He is coming.

Now go out to meet Him. Prepare yourself for His coming.

How do we prepare? By predicting the time? No. What folly. What unbelief to predict the day, the month, the year, the hour. That is unbelief. We prepare by fixing our eye of faith upon this day. This must be set before us when you marry, when you graduate from high school or college, when you leave the house at 6:30. You must say, “My Lord is coming.” If you do not live that way, you are on the wrong path and you had better get off that path right now because it is the path that leads to destruction. There is but one path for your soul. “My Lord is coming. I must be ready for Him. I must go out to greet Him.”

You in your business, He will require of you of His goods and how you conducted yourself with His goods. You with your riches and with your lands, your homes, your children, your strength, your body—He will ask what you have done with His property. He will ask, “How did you serve Me?” He will require of us our stewardship. Oh, what regret if we are to say then, “Lord, while you were away I lived in the kingdom of darkness. I saw first to myself. I let the causes of the kingdom go begging. I didn’t forgive my brother. I saw one of your little ones in need, but I was too busy. I thought someone else would help. I was too busy to take them in. I was too busy to read the Scriptures. I was too busy to come to Thee in prayer. I was too busy to involve myself in the prayer. While the trumpet blew, I slept. I did not put on the armor of God.” Oh, what regret.

We should prepare by living every day with this before us: Jesus is coming. And with patience, bear your sorrow now by crying into His bosom. Bring your dead bodies, the bodies of your loved ones, to the grave in the hope of His return. Endure the loss of all things for Him. Be ready to be called names. Give up your home. Give up your possessions. Give up your family. Give up your goods—for Him.

And be patient and hope to the end. The King is coming. It is just a little while now. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Let us pray.

Father, we pray for the blessing of Thy Spirit upon the word. And give us to look up, for our redemption draweth nigh. Amen.