The last days of history – Part 7
– Warnings about “The day of the Lord” Contd.
Abraham serves as an example for all God’s people: we are only travelling through this world on our way to God’s city and His home for us in heaven. We are not to seek ultimate security in or be fascinated with this present world (vv.14, 16; 13:14). We are strangers and exiles on the earth. This is not our homeland, but foreign territory. The end of our pilgrimage will be “a better country” (v.16), “the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22) and the “city…to come” (13:14).
(4) The Certainty Of Christ’s Return
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (Jn 14:2)
“My Father’s house.” This phrase clearly refers to heaven, as Jesus is going there (after His death, resurrection and ascension) to prepare a place for us (Mat6: 9; cf. Ps33: 13-14; Is63: 15). God has a home where there are many rooms and which “the household of God” now on earth (Eph2: 19) will be transferred; “here we have no continuing city” (Heb13: 14).
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (Jn14: 3)
“I will come again.” (1) As surely as Christ went to heaven, so He will return from His father’s presence and take His followers to be with Him in heaven, to the place prepared for them. This was the hope of NT Christians and is the hope of all believers today. The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s return is that believers may be with Him forever (see articles on The Resurrection of the Body and The Rapture below).
(2) The words “receive you to me” refers to Rapture, when all living believers “shall be caught up…in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Thes4: 17). (3) Christ’s coming for His faithful will enable them to escape the future hour of trial that will come upon the world (Luke21: 36; 1Thes1: 10; 5:9; Rev3: 10). (4) This glorious and eternal reunion is a comforting doctrine for all followers of Jesus, who desire to forever “be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1Thes4: 17-18).
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev1: 7)
“He is coming.” The primary purpose of the book of Revelation is to describe the triumph of God’s kingdom when Christ returns to establish His kingdom upon the earth; the end-time events surrounding that coming are also set forth (Dan7: 13; Mat24: 29-30). It presents an eschatology of victory for the faithful, teaching that history will end in the judgment of Satan’s system in this world (chs.17-18) and in the eternal reign of Christ and His people (20:4; 21:1-22:5).
John is announcing the returning of Jesus to earth (Matthew24; Mark13; 1Thessalonians4: 15-18). Jesus’ second coming will be visible and victorious. All people will see Him arrive (Mark13: 26), and they will know it is Jesus. When He comes, He will conquer evil and judge all people according to their deeds (20:11-15).
“They who pierced Him” could refer to the Roman soldiers who pierced Jesus’ side, as He hung on the cross or to the Jews who were responsible for His death. John saw Jesus’ death with His own eyes, and He never forgot the horror of it (John19: 34, 35; Zechariah12: 10).
“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev22: 20)
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