Given at Delano Evangelical Free Church, Delano, Mn
July 10, 2016
I.S.I.L bombings, China’s belligerent land grab, mass shootings in Tampa, sniper killings in Dallas. We “hear of wars and rumors of wars.” But Jesus is quick to say, “See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of *the birth pains.” This is only the start, it’s going to get worse!(Matt 24:6-11, ESV)
Cheery news, isn’t it? But we know one thing, “Jesus is coming!!” and today is one day closer than yesterday! In Revelation 22 Jesus made this perfectly clear. He starts out in verse seven (7) by say “Look. I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.” Then 5 verses later he says “Look, I am coming soon” (22:12). And finally to make sure we get it (22:20) Jesus who John discribes as as the faithful witness says “Yes, I am coming soon!”
But why is He returning? How does Christ’s return fit into God’s plan?
Throughout the bible God reveals his plan. One example of this is in Revelation 17 starting in the first 14 verses.
[17:1] Then* one of the seven angels who had* the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of* the great prostitute* who is seated on many waters,  * with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and* with the wine of whose sexual immorality* the dwellers on earth have become drunk.”  And* he carried me away in the Spirit* into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on* a scarlet beast that was full of* blasphemous names, and* it had seven heads and ten horns.  The woman* was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned* with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand* a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.  And on her forehead was written a name of* mystery:* “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.”  And I saw the woman, drunk* with the blood of the saints, the blood of* the martyrs of Jesus.*
The angel goes on to tell John about the beast who rises from the pit on the way to his destruction and how, those who names are not in the book of life, will be amazed because of his resurrection. In addition, Christ’s massager tell him about horns and hills that represent kings who were and who are coming and that they will, with one mind, hand some of their power and authority to the beast. But the power goes to their heads and…
 They* will make war on the Lamb, and* the Lamb will conquer them, for he is* Lord of lords and* King of kings, and those with him are* called and chosen and faithful.”
Remember, since the fall in the garden this world is Satan’s. Paul says Satan is
the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in* the sons of disobedience—  among whom we all once lived in* the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body* and the mind, and* were by nature* children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:2b,3)
John Chrysostom who was the Archbishop of Constantinople in the 4th century said about this passage:
“Why does he call the devil the ruler of this world? Because virtually the whole of humanity surrendered to him. All are his voluntary and willing slaves. Few pay any heed to Christ, who promises unnumbered blessings. Rather they follow after the devil, who promises nothing but leads them all to hell. He rules in this age, where he has … more subjects than God, more who obey him rather than God. All but a few are in his grasp on account of their laxity.” (Ancient Christian Commentary: Gal, Eph, Phil)
But enough is enough, the time has come! Look at verse 14 again,
 They* will make war on the Lamb, and* the Lamb will conquer them, for he is* Lord of lords and* King of kings….”
Jesus is claiming His crown and taking His rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords of this world. That is what the book of Revelation is about; that of Christ claiming his crown.
And this was God’s plan all along. Let’s look at the remainder of Revelation 17.
 And the angel* said to me,* “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.  And* the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast* will hate the prostitute. They will make her* desolate and* naked, and* devour her flesh and* burn her up with fire,  for* God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and* handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.  And the woman that you saw is* the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
All of history, all of the present and all of the future contains part of God’s plan.
Reading verse 17 again
for* God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and* handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
God is not letting go until his plan is complete.
Keep in mind that the plan of redemption came from the father to the son. We see that in the beginning of Revelation where it says
This is a revelation from* Jesus Christ, which God gave him (Jesus Christ) to show his (Christ’s) servants the events that must soon* take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John. (Rev 1:1)
Jesus expressly said in Matthew 24:36 that only the father knows when He is returning. Jesus did not know. Jesus, who is God, does not know, or chooses not to know everything that the Father who is God knows. This is the wonder of the Trinity. Each is God yet separate.
But Jesus the Christ is more than King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Paul says in Ephesians One that Jesus is the realization of Gods eternal purpose which is God’s plan for the fullness of time; to unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and earth. (Eph 1:9-10)
Christ is the focal point of God’s plan.
Christ is returning again and in him all time and space, all things in heaven and earth, all seen and unseen will be united in Him. That is what Ephesians 1:10 tells us and we see this happening in Rev 21 where is says
 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.  And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.*
All things will be united in Him.
So does Christ expect you and I to respond to his second coming?
The answer is simple. Look at Revelation 22:11
Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.
Let the sinner sin, let the filthy remain filthy, don’t worry about them; they will do what they want. Don’t be surprised… But you and I, who are righteous and holy due to accepting Christs work on the cross, we are to remain Holy and acceptable to God.
But we must be, as they say, vigilant
Know the signs of His return, live a holy life through the power of Christ and let the world do its own thing.
Maybe Christ will return tomorrow, next year or in 5000 years, it does not matter to what we do. God tells us to remain holy. Don’t slack off because Christ isn’t here yet because he maybe the next second.
Think about it.