More About Jesus – He is Coming Again Part 1

In past lessons we have looked at who Jesus really is.  He is the Almighty; the Creator; a co-equal member of the three in one God.  Jesus always existed and left the glories of heaven and became what is sometimes termed the God-man.  100 percent God and 100 percent man at the same time.

Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We also looked at His character and saw how He has a perfect flawless character.  He is the only one who is worthy.

We looked at His atoning work on the cross, how He is our Great Shepherd and is concerned about our everyday lives and is involved in caring for protecting, and leading us.

We looked at how He is the King of Kings, His faithfulness, and His heart for the lost.  Jesus is the Head of the Church so that He might have preeminence in all things. And then we took a brief look at His command to love God and love man.

To conclude this series we are going to look at one more thing about Jesus.  Something that is supposed to have profound impact on how we live.

He is coming again!

Jesus is coming and will fix the wrongs in this world.  No more war.  Swords will be turned into Plowshares.  And the lamb will lay down with the lion.  That all happens during the 1,000 year reign of Jesus.  That is a topic for another day.  Today we are going to look at how He is first coming and stopping in the clouds.

I  The Rapture

1Th 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Why in the clouds?  In short, because of prophecy.  There are two distinct lines of prophecy in the Bible about Jesus coming to earth.  This first as the lamb led to the slaughter to pay for our sins.  The second time as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  In Zec. Chapter 14 we have the prophecy of what will happen when He comes to the earth the second time.

Zec 14:3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

The next time Jesus comes all the way to the earth; the next time his foot hits the ground it will be with such power that the Mount of Olives will split into.  That must happen the next time He touches the earth, because God’s perfect Word says so.  Also connected with the next time His foot touches the earth He will go to battle with the nations.  Every single prophecy in the Bible will come to pass in every detail.

When Jesus comes to get us at what we call the rapture, He cannot touch the earth or He will have to go to battle.  And it will not be time for that yet.  First must come the tribulation and the Judgment seat of Christ.

II  The Judgment of Christians

The judgment after the rapture is for Christians and not for the lost.  During this time the lost remain on the earth going thru the Tribulation.  This judgment has nothing to do with whether you get to go to heaven or not.  That was determined when a person accepted Jesus as their savior.

John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Jesus taught that once you come to Him, there is nothing that can separate you.  You have His promise to never cast you out.  Period.  What is this judgment seat about?  So what will be judged?

a. Our works will be judged.

2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

2Co 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.

2Co 5:11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

A man’s works fall into two categories.  Wood, hay, and stubble or gold, silver, and precious stones.  The Bible often uses fire to stand for judgment.  When a work we did for Jesus was done out of the wrong motives or in a wrong way that is not acceptable to Him, when it is put to the fire of judgment it will be burned up.  It will be like you never did it at all.  It is gone, consumed, it exists no more.

On the other hand what you did for Jesus the right way and with the right heart.  Those things that are done according to His leading all survive the fire of judgment.  All of the things you did that are precious stones, gold, and silver, all remain for you to be rewarded for.  1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Notice what happens if you have no works that survived the fire of judgment.

1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

He is still saved.  He still gets to go to Heaven.  This is how we know that this judgment is for the saved.  Even if all a person’s works are burned, he is still saved.  All of his works burned up; he will have nothing remaining to be rewarded for; he has to go into Heaven empty handed.

I like the way this is worded, yet so as by fire.  He is saved, yet so as by fire.  Remember fire is being used to illustrate judgment here.  So he is saved basically by the judgment of God.  God said salvation is not of works lest any man should boast.  God said that the only way is thru Jesus.  And that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Once saved God always judges him saved.

b. Our entire life will be judged.

Mat 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

We will give an answer for not only our works but for every idle word.  Every single word.  The important things we said, the things we said that made a difference, and also every little idle word.  Every one.

After the fire of God burns away all of the wood, hay and stubble, He will reward us for all of the gold, silver, and precious stones that we have left.  We do not know everything about what these rewards entail.  We do know that God is good and He is perfect, so we know that whatever all the little details of the rewards are, they will be good and right and perfect.

c. Rewards will be given or not given based on our judgment.

Again, remember, the Judgment seat of Christ for Christians is not about punishment.

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

It is about, do we have works that can be rewarded.  God does want to encourage us to do right, and He wants us to work for rewards to cast at His feet, so we are told a few of the details about the rewards called crowns.

1 Crown of Righteousness

2Ti 4:7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

2Ti 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Sadly to say there are many Christians who are living in sin and will not love His appearing.  They will be ashamed and will not get the crown of righteousness.

2 Crown of life

Jas 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Rev 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

This crown goes to those who have suffered for Christ’s name and those that endure temptation.  Some call this the martyr’s crown because it mentions death in rev 2:10.  But the book of James tells us it also goes to those that endureth temptation.

3 Incorruptible Crown

1Co 9:25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

This one also has to do with how we walk with Him in this world.

4 Crown of Rejoicing

1Th 2:19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

This is often called the soul winners crown.  He is talking to people he had won to the Lord and calls them his crown of rejoicing.

5 Crown of Glory 1 Peter 5:4

1Pe 5:2  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

1Pe 5:3  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

1Pe 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

This is often called the pastor’s crown.  It is a crown for those who feed the flock of God.  Notice that they have to do it the right way and with the right motive.

d. Rewards in Heaven are to affect how we live.

Tit 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Tit 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Tit 2:15  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

It says that looking for the glorious appearing of Jesus that we are to speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke, and with all authority.  What things?

Denying ungodliness

Denying worldly lusts

Live soberly

Live righteously

We are reminded of the fact in verse 14 that Jesus wants to purify to himself a peculiar people who are zealous of good works.  A people who are looking for the blessed hope of the return of Jesus.  It is clear to see from all of this that the fact of Jesus coming again is to have an effect on how we live.  We are to watch.  Live each day like this is the day we are going to see Him face to face.

Mat_24:42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

1Th_5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Luk 12:37  Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

Luk 12:38  And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Luk 12:39  And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

Luk 12:40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Make no mistake we will stand before the Judgment seat of Christ.  Every Christian must give an answer on what He did or did not do for Jesus.  Every one of us will be rewarded or suffer lack of reward.  All of us are to be living in a state of watchfulness.  Living each day like this is the day we will see Jesus.

Too many Christians have a strange ideas about the rewards.  Many of them do not think that rewards will matter.  They think that getting to Heaven is enough.   I believe they will think differently when standing at the judgment seat or when they have to just stand and watch as everyone else honors Jesus by casting their crowns at His feet.

I have met a few who out of some twisted since of pride think that it is wrong to work for rewards.  They have this idea that doing something for Jesus for a reward is evil.  They will go on about some sense of wrong motivation, greed, and so on.

The problem with that is the rewards were not man’s idea.  They are God’s idea.  God tells us about them and encourages us to want them.  There is nothing wrong with wanting what God designed and wants us to have.  The simple fact is that living wanting the rewards is living in the will of God.  And that the right attitude towards the rewards does have a positive impact on the way we live.

Jesus is coming again in the clouds.  And when He does the next thing for us is the judgment seat of Christ where we will give an answer for how we lived for Him.  We should live in preparation for that day.  We should want to have some precious stones on that day and not have everything be just wood hay and stubble.

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