The Second Coming of Jesus

The Second Coming of Jesus

Scripture: John 14:1-3, Matthew 16:27, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Date: 09/27/2014  Lesson: 13
"When Jesus comes, the destiny of each human being will already have been decided... The fact that we are judged by works does not mean that we are saved by our works of by our own merits. Salvation is by God's grace and received by faith in Jesus which we demonstrate by our actions."
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Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. You have tuned into Sacramento central study hour from across the country - around the world. We come together every week to study God's Word and today is no exception. Before we begin studying we always like to sing together as one big family. Today we're going to be singing hymn #647 to begin - 'mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

' I can hardly wait for that day. Sing along with us. This comes as a request from ignacio in chile, Isaac in liberia, geralyn in saudi arabia, paige and serena in the united kingdom, and it says, 'plus many, many more people from around the planet.' So we are in a battle. We know that Christ is coming soon and we just want to proclaim his message to the very end, amen? So let's sing about it - #647 - 'mine eyes have seen the glory' - we will sing all three verses. I wish you, in tv land, could see what's going on in here.

Lots of singing. Lots of smiles. It's a beautiful thing. As many of you know there's been a lot of changes taking place here at Sacramento central church with Amazing Facts and Granite Bay and Pastor Doug is at Granite Bay. Central church is now a media church on their own starting next week.

And I just wanted to let you know that today is my last Sabbath recording for amazing facts - for central study hour here at central. I will be headed over to granite bay to help out with the amazing facts central study hour - or the Amazing Facts study hour over there; however, central study hour will continue with these lovely folks. Brand-new faces - kula is going to be the main chorister and so we are turning it over to her as of next week and I just want to say what a privilege it is to be able to do God's work singing and what a privilege it is to be able to be a media church. There's no longer just one. Now there's going to be two to finish up God's work and let's go home.

So as we all study together week after week, soon we are going to be studying and learning about Christ and more of his goodness and grace with him face to face. I cannot wait for that day. I pray that each one of you will stay tuned into him and we can be together in heaven. So let's sing together 'o sacred head now wounded' - hymn #156. This comes as a request from norma in barbados, eric in brazil, valerie in Massachusetts, and srikanth in Wisconsin.

We will sing all three verses of 'o sacred head now wounded.' One of my favorites. Let's bow our heads. Our Father in Heaven, what a privilege it is to come before you to worship you week after week, day after day because you are our creator, you are our Savior, and you are our lord. So I thank you for the pastors that are willing to stand up - to speak Your Words true and clear and that we have a choice to follow you. And so, lord, just keep us faithful until the very end.

No matter what comes our way, help us to stand for you and your truth - to know that we have a crown in heaven and that we can see you face to face. Lord, we look forward to that day. We thank you for your spirit and your righteousness that takes our place. Thank you for what you did. We pray these things in your precious name.

Amen. Our study this morning will be brought to us by pastor mike thompson. Thank you very much jolyne and singers. Praise the Lord, we're here again. Well thank you very much Michael.

Same to you and here's a book for you to hang onto if you don't mind. God willing I'll get that far in the lesson that I'll be asking for you - I mean asking you for it. Anyway, welcome everybody. We have an offer this morning, it's offer #105. It's 'the ultimate deliverance' and it's actually from the Amazing Facts lesson series and it's on the second coming of Jesus.

And it's offer #105 and if you call 1-866-study-more or -866-788-3966, Amazing Facts will send this to you free. This is, actually - as you know, jolyne mentioned - this is the last official joint effort between central church and Amazing Facts. It's lesson #13 in the Sabbath school quarterly, 'the teachings of Jesus.' Pastor Doug would be here but he's down under in australia so you have yours truly this morning. So it's kind of a moment for me as well. I've been here 16 years and so it's kind of a - quite a watershed for myself as well.

But, as you know, we're still carrying on. Pastor Doug - you can still see him on 3abn, Amazing Facts television - and we'll be here next week with our own little cameras doing their stuff and - yeah. We got them from toys r us. No, they're actually very good. They're very good cameras.

We'll find out next week. And so you can turn to 'saccentral.org' and we'll be here smiling large as life. We'll be on live stream as well so we're not done, you know? We're still going to carry on. We're on the last lesson of this quarter, 'the teachings of Jesus' and this lesson, of course - this booklet that you can receive free - it ties in with the last one today, 'the second coming of Jesus.' There are different ideas in respecting the way in which Jesus will make his appearance at the end and that end is almost upon us. There's the rapture theory.

There's all kinds of things. But today we're looking at what the Bible really teaches and you, hopefully, wouldn't expect anything else from us. But here we are and I want to begin reading on the introductory page of Sabbath's lesson. The memory verse is from John :1 through 3, of course. Jesus said, "let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me.

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. 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." Beautiful promise. So I want to read the rest of the intro of the lesson here on Sabbath afternoon's page, "the second coming of Jesus, mentioned more than 300 times in the new testament, is the capstone of our teachings. It is essential to our identity as Seventh-day Adventist Christians.

The doctrine is engraved in our name." There are those of you who have seen central church outside. We have a big mosaic. It came from italy or greece, I forget where, but there's three angels and right back here there's another mosaic from italy or greece. We don't worship it, by the way, but it's just a picture of the second coming of Jesus. So it's engraved in our name as Seventh-day Adventists.

"Without the promise of his coming, our faith would be in vain." And indeed, it would. "This glorious truth gives us a sense of destiny and motivates our missionary outreach. It could be argued that the stretching of time beyond our expectations would undermine our belief in Jesus' promise to return. However, this has not happened." Well, I think it has with some of us and we'll be looking at that this morning, but officially, no it hasn't. And it hasn't for us here - I know.

"For many, our passion for Christ's return is stronger than ever. This week we will review what Jesus said about the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." Eloquent, wasn't it? Just eloquent. So Sunday we're looking at the promise of Christ's return. Now God has given us many promises in His Word and I know it's true to say that every promise he has given for our good, satan has always sought to contest that because he knows it never works out for his best good. He knows there's always adverse circumstances.

Anything that God promises for us that's good, it doesn't mean that for him so he tries to stop it. And especially can we say this about the promise of the second coming. But as we look back in the history of God's dealing and the Great Controversy, in the very beginning when God gave the promise of a redeemer, satan tried to contest that. The promise was given in the Garden of Eden, right there beside the tree, Genesis 3:15, there was a promise given of a redeemer who would come and in the process his heel would be bruised - Jesus would be crucified - but the serpent's head would be crushed. Satan listened to that and didn't like the idea of that.

So what has he done? He's sought to contest that. Always the same. It never fails. When Jesus actually came - before Jesus came - time and time again, satan sought to destroy the bloodline through which the redeemer would come. You know this.

It's all history. It's in the Scriptures. And when Jesus actually came, we know well the story of how satan, working through king herod, tried to destroy all the baby boys in Bethlehem, up to two years of age. He did not like the promise so he wanted to resist that and destroy every hope of that promise being fulfilled. But, you know, praise God.

God's purposes, however much satan may contest them, God always succeeds. He comes through because he is God. And it's because he's God it's - it's with boldness, almost brazen boldness, we might say, that six hundred years thereabouts, before Jesus came the first time to this earth, through the prophet Daniel in Daniel 9, God stated boldly the very year when Jesus would come to begin his public ministry in ad 27. It's there in that 70-week prophecy, in fact, the last week - the seventieth week of the other - of the seventy weeks. In that prophecy it was boldly stated the very year that the Messiah would be crucified, to offer for us an atoning sacrifice.

Satan tried desperately to destroy that promise being fulfilled. But Jesus went to the cross as a sinless offering and the devil was thwarted again. And so God has fulfilled these promises to us regarding Jesus' first coming. They were sure. And, therefore, we know - we can know for a fact that the promises relating to Jesus' second coming, that will also come to pass and satan will not be able to overrule it, though he's sure going to try to mess things up.

However, that said, with Jesus - with the promise of Jesus' first coming, it was there that the year was given when he'd begin his public ministry in ad 27. But the promise of Jesus' second coming, that time is not given in Scripture. It's not given anywhere. We know that very well. But nonetheless, we know that it will surely come to pass because every other promise of God is being fulfilled.

But here's the thing. We don't know when it will be but this we do know: it can be delayed. God knows the hour and God knows the desirable time he would have loved to have fulfilled that, which was actually decades before this date in 2014. But time has lingered on. Do you know why? Because the promise is sure, but because we, God's people, are the ones who have delayed it and are delaying it.

There's two things - why this fulfillment is delayed. #1 If you look at that mosaic outside, we haven't taken the third angel's message to the world yet. That's one reason. And the second reason, as well, is that Jesus himself - it's not Jesus, okay, we don't worship this picture. Don't e-mail us, we don't worship it.

But Jesus, himself - there's a wonderful teaching in the Bible called righteousness by faith. And in its fullness, that teaching of righteousness by faith means that Jesus can come into the life, can forgive every sin - he can cleanse us from every sin and he can recreate us into his own beautiful, righteous, moral image. And the reason he hasn't come yet is because we haven't got that yet. We're not experiencing it as we should. That's why we're still here.

Last year our church celebrated years, officially, as a denomination. Some of us were inclined to celebrate, 'wow, we've been around 150 years.' I felt like weeping. There's no grounds to celebrate. 150 Years has gone by since we were established as a denominated church and we're still here. Why? Because of the things I've just mentioned just now.

And so, Jesus wants to change that. He's longing to change that. And here in 'Christ's object lessons' page 69, here the servant of God encapsulates what I've just been talking about here. Says it far better than me. It says, "it is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our lord Jesus Christ.

" But he hasn't come, right? It says, "Christ is waiting for the manifestation of himself in his church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in his people, then he will come to claim them as his own." There you have it. So we have a promise that is sure. But it's not fulfilled yet because of no fault on God's part, but because of us. And I'm supposed to be a leader so there's more onus and blame upon me than anybody else.

And pastor chris and pastor doug, you know? We're first in the firing line. But you folks are not far behind us. Don't forget that. Now let me read you this as well. This is from 'in this day with God' page 204.

I'm focusing a little bit on this issue of the character of Christ being perfectly reproduced so that that promise of his coming can be fulfilled. Listen to this: 'in this day with God' page 204, "Christ did not leave this world until he had made it possible for every soul to live a life of perfect faith and obedience. To have a perfect character. Christ has made it possible for you to practice his life." Did you hear that? There are people today in our church who say, 'well, I don't believe that.' Well, I do. I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that.

I ask you a question: do you have faith to believe that Jesus can do that? Because notice something important here. We're not talking about legalism or earning your way to heaven, it's what he can do in your life if you will let him. Let me read it again, "Christ did not leave this world until he had made it possible" - who made it possible? - "...he had made it possible for every soul to live a life of perfect faith and obedience. To have a perfect character. Christ has made it possible" - who's made it possible? "Christ has made it possible for you to practice his life.

" To practice his life. And then there's another one I'm going to throw in with this and I cited this the other week and I got some e-mails because I didn't give the reference. So if there's anybody out there who missed it - and I tried to e-mail everybody back - but for those of you who may have missed this, I'm going to read it. The reference is review & herald March 10, 1904 and I think it's in '3 selected messages' somewhere around there. But anyway, review & herald March 10, 1904 - the last statement I read I said, 'you know, if you have faith to believe, Christ will make it - he's made it possible.

' And here it comes, "he who is not of sufficient faith in Christ to believe that he can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the Kingdom of God." Is that plain enough? It's plain enough, right? It comes down to faith because he is the one who will make it possible if we'll give him our hearts. That's where our struggle lies. It's not overcoming sin, that's Jesus' job to do that. Our struggle is going to him to say, lord, help me, help me, help me overcome.' He'll do that. Our struggle is wanting to let him do that.

That's where it is. But, you know, every day, if we go to the cross and see what it cost him to pay the price for us - that's where the incentive comes when temptation comes and it may be tugging at your passions and your heartstrings and you think of that cross and you think, 'lord, how can I do that?' Like Jacob, Joseph - in potiphar's house. She came, you know, and she was hitting on him. His jacket came off and he said, 'lord, how can I do this thing and sin against my God?' And he was gone. Do you think he wasn't tempted? Sure he was.

He was a red-blooded young man but he lived - he lived for a higher purpose and that was to honor the God who created him. To honor the God who, in his day, had promised him a redeemer. That redeemer has already been and when you get tempted and you look at that cross and you think of the price that was paid you say, 'lord, how can I do this thing and sin against my God? How can I do this thing and crucify afresh The Son of God and put him to shame?' That's where the incentive lies. So if you will spend time before that cross, when the temptation comes, you will have the incentive to say, 'lord, help me.' And he'll do the rest. And you will find that you can live a victorious life.

Alright, let's move on. We've got to move on now. We've got to go to Monday. The purpose of Jesus' second coming - the first paragraph on Monday's intro reads as follows: "the great plan of redemption will find its culmination in the second coming." The great plan of redemption will find its culmination in the second coming. We're looking at the purpose of Christ's second coming.

"Without Christ's return to this earth, his incarnation, death and resurrection would have no effect for our salvation." And how true this is. If he hadn't come his incarnation, his death, his resurrection - the purposes would have come to nothing if he had not fulfilled those requirements. "And at Jesus' second coming, he will indeed bring forth the fruits of God's purposes." He'll bring forth the fruits of God's purposes that were enshrined in him coming to earth, his incarnation, his death, and his resurrection. And he'll bring forth the fruits of God's purpose as related to God's mercy, because God has purposes of mercy involved in all this. And at his second coming it will also bring forth the fruits of God's purposes of his justice relating to all this.

We have the blending of mercy and justice at the cross and at the second coming we see the fulfillment of God's mercy and also his justice. Those purposes will be fulfilled and we're going to look at that right now. In Matthew 16:27 it says, "for The Son of man will come in the glory of his father with his angels, and then he will reward each according to his works." So while the mercy - while in mercy Christ rewards the righteous according to their works, in justice he also rewards the wicked according to their works, right? As he finally brings in everlasting righteousness and his mercy and his grace, he finally brings evil to an end in this world - the purpose of his justice - both of them working together. Now, just concentrating a little bit on the latter half, God - his just purposes being fulfilled at the second coming. And we know, technically yes, we have to wait till the end of the millennium and that second resurrection before it's all fully gone.

But as far as we're concerned, at the second coming of Jesus we're off this planet. We're done. Our times of trouble are over. Praise the Lord. The sooner the better.

But nonetheless, God has set bounds beyond which he will not permit evil to continue any longer. He says, 'thus far and no further.' Like the antediluvians, there came a time when God finally said, 'enough!' And that was it. Everyone except Noah and his family were destroyed in the flood. Like the sodomites who refused to turn from their sexual perversions. There came a time when God finally said, 'enough!" And they all perished under a hail of fire and brimstone.

It didn't have to happen, you know? God plead with those people for years. When Abraham went first into the promised land as a preview, it says the cup of the - was it ammonites? I think it says it was not yet full. God gave them another forty something - four hundred and something years. His spirit was striving with these people but they still continued to burn their own children so God said, 'enough!' And he sent his people in to be his instruments of justice to clear them out. God is merciful but he's just.

Take advantage of his mercy but don't flirt with his justice because there's a high price to pay. And so, in like manner, Christ's second coming - he will stop the murderous purposes of evil - satan's last-ditch attempt - when he works through the governments of the world to finally pass a death sentence upon every one of God's faithful people, to wipe them from the face of the planet and it's going to look like satan is going to succeed and at the last minute God is going to say, 'enough!' Oh, it thrills me when I read 'Great Controversy' - God's people delivered - I'm getting off track but I can't help it so I'm on a roll here. You see God's people in these little groups and they're praying, you know? You've read it many times. And there's these murderous rabbling mobs coming with their guns and swords and they think, 'we've got you now!' And then suddenly - whoosh - this blackness descends all over the place and around each praying band there's a rainbow. And, you know, rainbows never shine as bright as they do against a black sky.

And this murderous rabble they just drop their swords. They don't know quite what it means but they know it doesn't portend good for them. And it is a sign that God has delivered his people. I want to be under that rainbow, what about you? Oh yes, that is the time when God will fulfill his purposes of mercy. Let's accept his mercy.

And he'll also fulfill his purposes of justice. Accept his mercy but don't flirt with his justice. There's a high price to pay. And just at that time God will say, 'enough!' And he will deliver his people from the snatch of the devil and those who he sought to work his purposes through. Revelation 19 - we should read a verse here, shouldn't we? Revelation 19, verse 11, "now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

" - And verse 15 - so he comes to deliver his people - verse 15, "and out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God." Whew, so in terrible justice it becomes the day of the fierceness of the wrath of almighty God for the wicked who are destroyed by the glory and the brightness of Jesus' countenance and yet it becomes a day of incredible joy for his faithful people who are snatched from the fire just at that intense moment. Because to the righteous, that face and that glory of Jesus is to them - they just bask in that glory of his love and the sweetness of being delivered. So it's a bit like the children of Israel and the Egyptians there by the red sea the night before the final showdown. To the Egyptians, that cloud was a cloud of darkness, but on the other side of that same cloud, to the Israelites, it was light and it was glory and it was sunshine. Make sure you're on the right side of the cloud and make sure you're on the right side of God's mercy and the right side of God's justice.

And, also in the lesson, it's been - I've got to move faster here - Matthew 16:27, "for the son of man shall come in the glory of his father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." In the lesson it makes the point, obviously, that for him to give rewards to people, there must have been an investigation first. Yes we believe, as seventh-day adventists, before Jesus comes there is the investigative judgment- the pre-advent judgment to determine who is saved and who is lost. Well, actually, correctly speaking, only those who ever have claimed to accept Jesus ever come up in the investigative judgment. People who've never accepted him, their cases aren't even looked at. They're just lost anyway.

But in that judgment, it is to determine who, among professed Israel, is being faithful to God? And that is where the rewards are determined. And Jesus, when he comes back, he will dispense those rewards. We could stop right here and do a whole section on the investigative judgment but I won't do that. I don't have the time and, hopefully, you should understand that anyway. And if you don't - if you don't, Amazing Facts actually has two lessons - I think it's #17 and #18 - on the investigative judgment - one on the sanctuary - the earthly sanctuary in the wilderness and then lesson #18 is a lesson on how that relates to the heavenly sanctuary and the investigative judgment.

And if you go on Amazing Facts' website - you go on 'Bibleuniverse.com' you'll find all the - I'm speaking to the people on camera, who may be looking in for the first time. If you go on 'Bibleuniverse.com' you'll find there - it's an Amazing Facts site - information on anything and everything about what I've spoken about this morning and other things besides. It's just a treasure chest so go there. Let's move on to Tuesday. How will Jesus come? Matthew 24 - Matthew chapter 24, verses 23 through 27.

We read the following: "then if any man shall say unto you, lo, here is Christ, or there;" - Jesus said, "believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." And then he says, "behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of The Son of man be." In His Word, Jesus has given a very clear description of his second coming - the nature of it - how it's going to take place - in what way he will return to earth. And it's important that we understand this so that we're not fooled.

I think you should all know this, but some of you may not. It's important that we understand how he's going to come back. We need to understand this so we're not fooled by satan's masterful attempt to pre-empt the true second coming of Jesus with a deceptive counterfeit just before the very end. He's got a purpose in that. He's going to pretend to be Jesus and say that, you know, he's changed the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day and it's just a whole big deception.

And gazillions of Christians are actually going to fall for that. But in Matthew 24:26 Jesus warned, "wherefore if they shall say unto you, behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." Here, Jesus makes clear that satan's counterfeit will consist of him, that is satan, appear in different locations upon the planet at different times. Now, regardless of how clever satan may be in impersonating Christ and - actually, in 'Great Controversy' the term 'personating Christ' is used. There are some - I don't watch them now, but I remember years ago I used to watch these impersonators. And you can tell that it's joe smith, you know, it's joe smith? But he's very good at doing an impersonation of the president.

So you go, 'oh well, this is joe smith but boy he can really look like the president and sound like the president.' He's really good at what he does, but I know it's joe smith, right? Satan is not just some earthly entertainer. He actually personates Christ. He looks exactly like him. He sounds exactly like him as far as we will understand. His voice will be sweet and melodious and he will quote from Scripture the Word of God.

But he'll quote those verses that suit his purposes. He'll make people sick - we won't know he's made people sick but they'll appear as sick and he'll come and he'll touch them and they'll be healed. And he'll kiss the babies and bless them and put them in their mother's arms and their mothers will say, 'oh, Jesus, he was so wonderful.' And then everybody will worship him and he will say - the great imposter - he'll do his punch line about, 'oh, by the way, my dear children, I do want you to understand that I have transferred the solemnity from the seventh-day Sabbath in the Scriptures - yes it's in the Scriptures, but I am the living word. I have changed the word. It is now the first day of the week.

' And everybody's going to swallow it, but there's going to be a little group that will look at this being and say, 'that's not Jesus, that's the devil!' Not going to be very popular, are they? But they will speak the truth nonetheless. But he's going to be so good, you see, at what he does. And so the only way that we can understand - or anybody can understand that it's not Jesus, it's two things. And you know what they are. You know what they are, right? We just read it in Matthew 27 - sorry, Matthew 24.

He says, "for as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of The Son of man be." When Jesus comes - Revelation :7 as well - when he comes, every eye shall see him. Everybody all at the same time. And if you even close your eyes and close them tight - have you ever walked out in a thunderstorm or you've looked toward where the thunder's coming? You clench your eyes. You still know when it flashes, right? 'Cause you see the light even penetrates your eyelids. So nobody is going to miss seeing him when he comes.

So this will tell us, 'this is an imposter.' 'Well, we saw him yesterday. He was down at - he was down at capital park. Now this afternoon he's over in reno.' Or 'tomorrow we heard that he's going to be in new york.' That's not Jesus. That's the devil. Everybody will see him come.

And the second point is - in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 17. I'm going to move fast here. You know, we use this - we read this a lot at funerals because it's speaking of the blessed hope and I've had the privilege of speaking these words to families of saints - being able to read these words with assurance that they would see their loved one again. Thessalonians chapter 4, verse , "for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." So does he touch the earth? No, he doesn't. You see? So everybody sees him come all at the same time and neither does he walk around on the earth.

So those are the two main things. We can know - we can differentiate between the true second coming of Jesus and satan's preposterous counterfeits. Oh, there's - in - because it speaks of the dead being raised and satan can't do that. And, of course, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God and - Revelation 6:14 - there's a great earthquake. Oh, this earth is going to - going to be falling to pieces when Jesus comes in the clouds of glory.

Revelation 16:20 and 21 it says, "and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent:" - so when Jesus comes - the plagues - the seventh last plague is also coming down as well. So there is a great - there's light years' difference between the description in Scripture describing how Jesus will come, contrasted between the false representation that satan is going to seek to palm off before the real thing. But I want to conclude this section by saying a little bit about all the glory. All the glory that's going to be flashing around at that time.

Matthew 24 - and that is the glory of Jesus and the glory of the angels. Matthew 24:30, "and then shall appear the sign of The Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn," - those who have been deceived by the devil or just blatantly refused to accept the gift of salvation - "and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see The Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." In Revelation 19:12 it speaks of Jesus when he's coming, 'his eyes were aflame' - afire. I want to read from that book there, mike, if you could pass it to me. Thank you. The glory of this - of this moment - 'Great Controversy' page 641, end of the first paragraph and just partway through the second.

It's not too long but it's glorious so I want to share it with you. Speaking of Jesus it says, "no crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on his holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun and he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, 'king of Kings and lord of lords.' Before his presence all faces are turned into paleness. Upon the rejecters of God's mercy falls the terror of eternal despair." This is from Nahum and Jeremiah - "the heart melteth and the knees smite together and the faces of them all gather blackness. The righteous - even the righteous cry with trembling, 'who shall be able to stand?'" Now, let's pause a minute here.

Even the righteous cry out, 'who shall be able to stand?' Let's remember this. This is the first time since the fall that human beings have beheld the full glory of deity. We need to think about that. We've had 4,000 years to kind of imagine what it's like, you know, think what it might be like. This is the first time since the fall that human beings have seen the full glory undimmed and unveiled of deity.

And that's why, even for the righteous, even they cry out with trembling, 'who shall be able to stand?' You see, we need deeper views of God - of his holiness, of his majesty. There's a song and I mentioned this a year ago in a sermon. There's a song - very nice song - it says, 'we shall behold him.' Have you ever heard that song? Beautiful song. We shall behold him - and it speaks of the beauty of Jesus and when he comes. And there are a lot of Christians - professed Christians today who have listened to that song, who sing that song, and they're just wrapped in joyous rapture.

'Oh, I'm going to see Jesus.' But here's the thing: they're living with a gospel that tells them, 'it's okay. The law's been done away with. Jesus loves you. Just as you are.' Of course he loves you. But you get the point I'm making here.

They're living this life of presumptuous disobedience against the law of God. We need to accept God's mercy, gladly, but we don't want to flirt with his justice, right? But a lot of people are and they don't realize it. But if they're honest in heart they'll hear a message before the end that will turn them around and they'll realize, 'lord, I've been presumptuous. Forgive me.' It says, "all faces are turned into paleness. Upon the rejecters of God's mercy falls a terror of eternal despair.

The heart melteth. The knees smite together and the faces of them all gather blackness. Even the righteous cry with trembling, 'who shall be able to stand?'" Woo, beloved, so we - you and me - we've got some heart searching to do, right? To make sure that we can really sing that song when he comes. To be able to stand in that glory and not be consumed or to be the presumptuous ones and they're waiting for him coming and they're singing that song and when they see that glory they realize they're all undone and in terror they flee away because they can't bear to look upon that face which is as a flaming fire. And the devil is so good at deceiving people so that so many at that time will not be prepared.

Don't be among them, right? So to those, that face is a flaming fire - that countenance - they have to flee from it. But let's get back to the righteous, okay? "Even the righteous cry with trembling, 'who shall be able to stand?" - I'll read the rest of the statement now. "Even the righteous cry, 'who shall be able to stand?' The angels' song is hushed." - It's quiet and there is a period of awful silence and even the righteous, they're looking at deity for the first time. Then the voice of Jesus is heard saying, "my grace is sufficient for you." Precious Jesus. "My grace is sufficient for you.

The faces of the righteous are lighted up and joy fills every heart and the angels strike a note higher and sing again as they draw still nearer to the earth." Oh, praise God. So won't you just be so thankful? Won't you just be so glad when - in that moment of awful silence, when you maybe start second guessing and you thought - your life is racing behind and you think, 'lord, have I really given you my heart? Have I been presumptuous and you stand there and he looks at you and he says - and you know he's looking at you. And the wicked know he's looking at them. And he's looking at you and you've been faithful. You haven't been perfect.

You're just a fallen human being. But in your weakness you've clung to him. You've clung to him like Jacob in his time of trouble and you've said,'lord, I will not let you go lest ye bless me. I'm a weak creature, lord. I stumble at this.

I stumble at that, but I believe in your righteousness and if I cling to you, you'll make me a victor. You'll make me a victor.' And he will. And in that moment you'll be so glad and you'll hear his voice say - he'll look at you and he'll say, 'Michael, my grace is sufficient for you, son.' And Michael's knees may have been trembling, but they'll be strong now. And his face may have turned to blackness, but there's going to be a joyful smile break out on his face and he'll say, 'oh, Jesus, through you I made it! Praise the Lord!' What a moment of joy. You know, I'm going to be delirious with joy.

I'm going to be delirious - when I was a kid and it was Christmas my - I used to do the Christmas thing when I was a kid. I'd go to bed, you know, and my uncle would come upstairs with some red thing over his head and I'd be laying in bed like this and my mom would say, 'don't look. Don't look. It's santa claus.' So my eyes would be like this. Then he - they'd lead him downstairs.

He'd go out the front door. Then my mother would say, 'okay son, you can get up now.' So I'd go downstairs and she said - I was a little tiny kid - she said I was ripping open presents and she said, 'you were shaking with excitement.' The time - my mom delighted to tell me that story. She said, 'your little hands, they were just shaking with excitement.' Delirious with joy. Well, that day is going to be worth more than ten billion Christmases for a little kid that's ripping open the best presents he's ever had. Oh, do you want to be there? You can.

You can. You can. Not in your own strength, but in Jesus. So if you're struggling, somebody here or somebody out there in cyberspace, if you're struggling, go to Jesus. He's got it all figured out.

He's walked in your shoes. And when he comes he's going to take you and he's going to take you home and you can live with him forever. And the trials and the difficulties that we get in this life. And maybe persecution from your spouse because you're a Christian. Or maybe at work or whatever else and whatever is to come.

When we get to heaven we're going to say heaven's cheap enough at any price. All we have left, friends, is a few short days upon this planet. Just a few short days left so let him have your heart and he'll do everything he needs to do and you will be there with him and we'll be there together, right? It does say - I'm going to skip Wednesday because we kind of answered the question, somewhat, 'when will Jesus come?' When the character of Christ is perfectly reproduced. That's taken care of. But it says, 'watch and be ready' in Thursday's section.

Jesus has given us all a work to do but, you know, that work is working for others in our personal work, our relationship with him, building a relationship. But it's easy for us to slack off. Let me read you this from 'acts of the apostles' page 565, "there are those who, for a time, are successful in the struggle against their selfish desire for pleasure and ease. They are sincere and earnest but grow weary of protracted effort of daily death, of ceaseless turmoil. Indolence seems inviting.

Death to self repulsive and they close their drowsy eyes and fall under the power of temptation instead of resisting it." Don't let that happen. Go to work. Go to work. 'Acts of the Apostles,' 105.2, "strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service." So get out there and do something for Jesus. And temptations will still come, but you know, as you're working for Jesus, it's part of the sanctifying process? And one way to resist temptation is to get up and go do something for somebody else.

There is power in that. Well, my time is gone. And, in closing, our offer is offer #105. Call 1-866-study-more or -866-788-3966 - 'the ultimate deliverance' - the second coming of Jesus, how you can know the genuine from the false. Well friends, God bless you.

This is the last joint effort between central church and Amazing Facts but you can tune in here next week and we will continue and go to Pastor Doug at 3abn and also Amazing Facts tv and you can watch 'amazing facts study hour' there. So God bless you and if we don't see you again, see you in heaven, right? Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last day events of Revelation, 'Biblehistory.com' is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's word. Go deeper.

Visit 'Biblehistory.com'.

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