Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Judge is Coming: Encouragement to Endure

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is one of the most pervasive doctrines of the Bible. There are over 300 references to the return of Christ in the New Testament alone.

And the emphasis of the vast majority of the references to Christ’s coming is the way in which Christians should live in hopeful expectation for the return of Christ. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is supposed to make a difference in our everyday lives. We are to live a certain kind of life because we know that our Savior and Lord is coming again.

This truth is so basic yet so neglected. Our Christian culture is fascinated with the end times today. If you want to sell a bunch of books or pack out a conference today, just advertise that you have “secrets of the Second Coming.” Our culture is fixated on the timing of Christ’s coming and the events surrounding Christ’s coming.

Those are certainly important issues that we should discuss. However, the Bible’s emphasis regarding the coming of the Lord in power and great glory is in the sanctifying effect it should have in our lives right now.

Knowledge of Jesus’ return to Earth is meant to be of help to our everyday lives.

In 2 Peter 3, Peter speaks about the certainty of Christ’s coming and then says, “Since all these things are true, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming day of God…Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” (2 Peter 3:11, 14).

In Matthew 24 and Mark 13, Jesus speaks of the certainty of His coming again and then issues this command: “Be on your guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.”

The doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming is immensely practical.

And, in James 5, we see that James understood and taught the importance of Jesus’ second Coming. He bases his exhortations here in the fact of Jesus’ coming again.

There are at least 3 commands in James 5:7-12 based on the coming of Christ to judge:
1. The Judge is Coming...therefore, be patient (5:7-8, 10-11).
2. The Judge is Coming...therefore, don't grumble against one another (v. 9).
3. The Judge is Coming...therefore, speak with integrity (v. 12).
  • We are not waiting for a particular person to take political office to rescue us from taxes.
  • We are not waiting for some military maneuver to free us from the fear of terrorism.
  • We are not waiting for our financial portfolio to mature or for the market to bounce back.
  • We are not waiting for those who have wronged us to pay us back or for them to get what they deserve from the legal system.
  • We are not waiting for the check to be in the mail that will finally solve all our problems.
  • We are not waiting for the medical report to give us the news that we are healed.
We are waiting for one thing: we are waiting for the Savior to rescue us from this sin-stained world. We can be patient because we know He is coming and His coming will indeed alleviate all our misery.

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