- Sermon Notes
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ – 2
September 12-13, 2020
Much of the book of Revelation has to do with the seven-year period when God’s wrath will be poured out on the earth – the Great Tribulation. But in these verses, we come to the events that will happen after the Tribulation.
First, as we studied last week, Satan will be bound immediately after the Tribulation so that he deceives the nations no longer. But there are other significant events that will also happen immediately after the Tribulation, the most important will be an event the world has anticipated for more than 2,000 years, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
Jesus will return to rule and reign in what could be called the millennial, or 1,000-year reign of Christ. There will be a judgment of believers at the judgment seat of Christ and then there will be the great white throne judgment of unbelievers.
After this, at the end of the millennial 1000-year reign of Christ, Satan will be released for one final battle and then he will be cast into the lake of fire.
I. There will be a Thousand Years of Peace
- After the Tribulation will be the millennium, named after the thousand years that Christ will reign on the earth.
- Though there are not many verses here that describe these 1,000 years when Christ reigns on the earth, other scriptures of prophecy give more detail, particularly Isaiah 65.
- We know it will be a time when Christ will “shepherd the nations.” They will recognize Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Zechariah 2:10-11, “Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming, and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord. “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.”
A. The millennial reign of Christ in theology
- Not all bible teachers agree on how to interpret biblical references to the millennium. No one will be disqualified from heaven, however, by having an incorrect view. But it is important to understand how these verses have been interpreted and then study them for ourselves.
- This would be a good time to emphasize the importance of a good Berean; in other words, be diligent in bible study. Paul wrote that the believers in Berea were more noble-minded than the believers in Thessalonica because they studied the scriptures for themselves to verify the things they were learning.
Acts 17:10-11, The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
- Paul also wrote of the importance of rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- There are three distinct theological views on the millennium; the main question has to do with when Christ will return to the earth.
- The three main schools of thought are post-millennial, amillennial, and pre-millennial. In other words, does Christ return after the millennium? That would be a post-millennial view. Maybe there isn’t a literal thousand-year reign of Christ at all, that would be in amillennial view. Or does Christ return before that thousand-year period? That would be the premillennial view.
- Post-millennial view – This view teaches that Christ will return at the end of a literal 1,000-year period, but they don’t know when it starts. There are not many who hold to this view today. This position teaches that the church will influence the world to become a better and better place to the point that Jesus finally returns at the end of a 1,000-year period to a utopian world. He would then bring forth a new heaven and a new earth. This view was common in the 19th century, but with all the wars and troubles of the 20th century this view has not come to much.
- A-millennial view – This view teaches that there is no specific 1,000-year period, that it is symbolic of the period in which we are now living. They believe that Satan is now currently bound because of Christ’s work on the cross. They believe that Christ will return when it is time to judge the world and bring forth the new heaven and new earth. One significant problem with that view is that it teaches that Satan is currently bound now. If he is, he must have a very long chain! Secondly, this view teaches that God is done with Israel. That the church has replaced Israel so that all the promises given to Israel have been transferred to the church. But I heartily disagree, God is most certainly not done with Israel!
- Pre-millennial view – This is the view that I hold; it teaches that there will be a literal seven-year Tribulation period of God’s wrath poured out and after the Tribulation, Christ will come physically to the earth and begin a literal 1,000-year period to shepherd the nations with a rod of iron.
- The reason I hold this view is because it is the one which takes the scriptures as they are. I believe we should read scripture literally when we can and symbolically when we can’t.
B. We will reign with Christ
- The scripture teaches that the church will return with Christ at the end of the Tribulation, therefore we will be with Him to rule and reign during the 1,000-years. (See also verse 6.)
- Verse 4 says that those who came to Christ in the Tribulation will come to life and will also reign with Christ for a thousand years.
- It was God’s intent from the beginning that we should have authority; it’s part of the image of God.
Genesis 1:26, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and… let them rule… over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth…”
- In the gospel of Luke, Jesus gives a parable that shows that God rewards faithfulness by giving authority in the Kingdom of God.
Luke 19:11-12, Jesus went on to tell a parable because He was near Jerusalem and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself and then return… When he returned, he ordered that his servants be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over 10 cities.’”
In other words, how we live now will impact our eternal future.
C. The earth itself will be changed
- The earth is out of order. There are wars, deception, hatred, sickness, and on and on. Those in the world retreat into drugs, or parties, or the pursuit of material things, but one thing is important to remember… for the non-believer, this earth in its current condition is as good as it gets, but for the believer in Jesus Christ, this is as bad as it gets.
- There is not much discussion here in Revelation about what life will be like on the earth during the reign of Christ on the earth, but we read about that in other places of scripture.
- There will be peace – among men.
Isaiah 65:21-22, They will build houses and inhabit them; they will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat;
- There will be peace – even among animals.
Isaiah 65:25, “The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 11:8-9, The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand in the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Illus – That sounds awesome; “Mom, I’m going out to play with the cobras for a while.” “Okay, have fun, dear, be back in time for dinner.”
- People will live long and prosper.
Isaiah 65:20, No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought to be accursed.
- There will be healing for the nations.
Isaiah 35:5-6, Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah.
II. There is a Day of Judgment Coming
- John wrote that he saw thrones, and judgment was given to those who sat upon them.
- Judgment will certainly be part of the last days as we would expect, but there is confusion about who will be judged and when this will take place.
- There are essentially two major judgments of God: there will be a judgment for believers and a judgment for non-believers.
A. Christians are only judged in Christ
- Every believer in Christ is judged in Christ. In other words, the judgment of condemnation which we deserved already fell upon Him on the cross because of the great love He has for us.
Isaiah 53:5, He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.
Colossians 2:13-14, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
- There will be a judgment of believers. It is called the “Judgment Seat of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:9-10, Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
- The judgment seat of Christ is not a judgment of punishment or paying back for sins, but rather a judgment of rewards. An awards ceremony you might say…
1 Corinthians 3:13-15, Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet as through fire.
Illus – if there is a fire, the most important thing is to survive it; after that you discover what survived the fire. In March 1993 there was an earthquake of 5.6 on the Richter scale. It was 5:34 in the morning. My wife and I were was jolted awake and immediately realized I wanted two things; my kids and my bathrobe. The first thing is getting through it, after that it’s knowing what remains.
B. A great white throne judgment
- This is a judgment that comes to everyone who rejected God and the offer of life in Christ.
John 12:48, He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
- Vs 12– Books are opened – that suggests that everything people do is recorded and will be revealed at the Day of Judgment.
Illus – I was a waiter at a high-class restaurant while I was going to Bible College and worked alongside a certain non-believer. Knowing I was a Christian, he wanted me to know his view of hell. To him it didn’t seem fair. But God is completely righteous in His judgment and in that day, all who are judged will know that they have been judged righteously.
- There is a book of life and everyone who believes in Jesus has his name written there. That is a great reason to rejoice!
Luke 10:20, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
- These scriptures should cause us to be very concerned for those who have not yet believed. Keep praying, keep sharing your faith!!
Revelation 20:4-15 NASB
4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.