Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Messiah has come... and He is coming again!


1 Corinthians 15:1-6
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep."
1 Corinthians 11:26

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."

Not only was Jesus born over two thousand years ago in Bethlehem... Jesus is coming! He is coming to judge the world in righteousness. His coming should not be something fearful for the believer; but it should motivate us to holy living and witnessing. One in every twenty-five verses in the New Testament refers to the second coming of the Lord Jesus.

While there were hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in Christ’s coming long ago, many more Old Testament prophecies speak of His second coming than His first. Just as the prophecies of His first coming were fulfilled, those of His second coming will also be fulfilled to the letter.

In the Old Testament in the song of Moses they sang of the LORD as the King: "The LORD shall reign forever and ever" Ex 15:18. In the Psalms His kingship is mentioned frequently: "the LORD sitteth King forever" Ps 29:10; "The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all" Ps 103:19; "They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations" (Ps 145:11, 13). King Hezekiah praised the Lord saying of Him--"thou art the God, even thou alone, of all of the kingdoms of the earth" (2 Kings 19:15).

In the Old Testament, the LORD’s second coming often comes into view, as when Isaiah wrote of the time "when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously" (Isaiah 24:23). Daniel prophesied that there would be given to the Son of Man “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, ...and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:14). Zechariah wrote "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." (Zechariah 14:9).

The Kingdom of God came to earth when Christ came. The Kingdom began when the King came the first time. It had its beginning as a spiritual kingdom and is made up of those who have been born into it; as the Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). In Matthew 12:28 Jesus said, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”

The full manifestation of the Kingdom of God will be Christ’s Second Coming. As the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). In Matthew’s Gospel it is also recorded, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34). At the Lord’s table we remember His words to His disciples: "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29).

Those who are born into the Kingdom should not think that they are bound to the past or constrained by the present when it comes to how they should live. Rather, knowing the will of God for us is our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:4), and that the Holy Spirit strengthens the believer to obey the Lord, we should live by faith toward the higher calling of God. The Lord not only knows us as we were or simply as we are now; He knows us as we will be in a glorified body for a thousand years in his coming, earthly kingdom and throughout eternity future when heaven and earth will be joined. We should, by faith, prayerfully ask Him for strength to live toward what we will be. Pray for the coming physical manifestation of the kingdom of God.

The King has come and He is coming again to Rule all the nations! We need to get ready for His coming (sanctification), we need to proclaim His coming, and we need to help the nations prepare for His coming. “And He shall reign forever, and ever…” Jesus is coming!