We’re on a collision course with destiny. We live between two mountain peaks: Jesus’ first coming and His second coming. What a glorious time to be alive. We can’t afford to be indifferent or ignorant, for His return imminent.
In Revelation 19:11-16, John the Apostle describes our glorious coming King. But what will His second coming be like?
First, Jesus will come visibly.
Some say Jesus’ second coming is a past event. Others say it means Jesus carries us to Heaven when we die. Nonsense.
The angel at His ascension said He’s coming back just as he left: literally, bodily, visibly. “And every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7).
Jesus Himself said about His coming in Matthew 24:
Don’t let anybody set a date for you. (v. 36)
It will be a normal day, business as usual. (v. 38-39)
No one knows the day. (v. 42)
Be ready—it’s a time you don’t expect. (v. 44)
You may be thinking, “Every eye sees Him. That doesn’t sound like the Rapture. I’m confused.”
There are two phases, if you will, of the Second Coming. If you don’t know this, you’ll be hopelessly confused.
The Rapture, when He comes sweetly like a bridegroom for His bride, taking His church out. He comes like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). We’re caught up to meet Him in the air (Matthew 25:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1).
Then, His revelation, when He returns sovereignly as a king with His Church—a cataclysmic event. Every eye will see Him as He comes “in that Day, to be glorified in His saints” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Matthew 24:27; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 19:14).
“But the word rapture isn’t in the Bible.”
The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Raptio is the Latin word used to translate the Greek harpazo, both of which mean “to catch up, to snatch away.” See 1 Thessalonians 4:17. “Rapture” the English translation for raptio and harpazo.
“But doesn’t the Church go through the Tribulation?”
No. The Tribulation is the great day of His wrath. God doesn’t pour His wrath on the Church (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11). The wrath of God is for the unsaved.
If the church were going through the Tribulation, then when Antichrist desecrates the temple, we could just start counting the days. We’re not waiting on any signs to be fulfilled. Jesus may come at any moment.
We’ll be caught up beforehand for the Judgment seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Meanwhile, on Earth the Tribulation occurs. Then Jesus returns with His Church in power and glory.
Second, Jesus comes victoriously.
In conquest, riding a white horse, a symbol of honor.
In mystery. There’s a mystery about Him we’ll never fathom.
In majesty. He wears regal crowns, for He is King of kings.
In ministry. His vesture is dipped in blood, a reminder of Calvary.
Third, Jesus comes vengefully.
People don’t like the idea of vengeance, of judgment. God is Holy (v. 14-16). He’s too good not to punish sin.
If you refuse the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, trample under foot His precious blood, turn from His longing hand reaching out to you, you will face the wrath of God.
We must learn of His coming so we can teach others.
We must look for His coming, living each day as if Jesus were coming this afternoon.
We must long for His coming. “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
We should live for His coming. Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.”
When He comes, I want to be found faithful, serving Him. Our King is coming.
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Read more about Jesus’ Second Coming.
The Crown (1777)
Before Jesus was crucified, a crown of thorns was placed on his head. Though done by the hands of wicked men, this crown part of the magnificent plan of a sovereign God, who would use it as a message for all humanity. Matthew 27 sets the scene for the sacred mystery of that crown. In one sense, this was an act of mockery. Yet, there was a mystery here, known only by God: thorns symbolizes the curse that is upon humanity because of sin.
When God created man and put him in the Garden of Eden, there were no thorns. It wasn’t until after sin infiltrated the garden that God cursed it with thorns. When He was crucified, Jesus wore this crown of thorns because He bore the curse. The crown also speaks of suffering, pain and brutality inflicted on Jesus during His crucifixion.
Why were the Roman soldiers beating and mocking Him? Because of their rebellion; they were ridiculing His right to rule. Adrian Rogers says, “The root of all sin is refusing to bow the knee to your rightful king.”
We must also recognize the saving ministry of that crown. Through these thorns, God was teaching a lesson that Jesus, who knew no sin became sin for us. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Because of His holiness, God never has, never can and never will let one sin go unpunished. There’s only one question...who will bear that punishment: us or Jesus? Adrian Rogers says, “Sin will be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell, but sin will never be overlooked.”
Finally, we must remember: crowns have always been a symbol of authority. When Jesus wore this crown of thorns, He was the sovereign majesty, not a helpless victim. Even when it seemed out of His control, He was in perfect control.
Jesus, in His glory, wears a crown. A crown of peace, righteousness and glory. But on our behalf, He wore one of thorns, bearing our curse, our sin, our shame to save us from ourselves once and for all.
Thank God for the crown.
Apply it to your life
All sin is due to be punished. Who will bear the punishment… you or Jesus?
Today, ask God for His forgiveness of your sins. Thank Jesus today for wearing the crown of thorns. Bow the knee to the rightful King.All Sermons by Adrian Rogers