Glory halleluiah, Jesus Christ is coming! Blow the trumpet, sound the alarm of your heart and make ready for the earnest of our expectations is upon us. The kingdom of Christ is coming on earth as it is in heaven.
Do I have any proof that there is a literal kingdom of heaven or hell? I was asked this question on a social media platform by a person that read one of my articles.
I could have given him multiple scripture references in the bible that confirms that there is a real heaven and hell. Plus, there have been so many advances in the field of astronomy that the scientists are starting to acknowledge that there is a realm in the universe that exists that humans can’t begin to fathom or comprehend.
However I didn’t feel led to come from either of those perspectives. I simply asked the reader had he ever experienced being in the room when a baby was being born or had he ever attended a funeral of a close family member? Both events are very sobering and they yield the clarity that life is much bigger than the years we spend here on earth. Life itself does not end when you close your eyes in death. So the question is, “What happens after death?”
The threshold of human comprehension comes to a stop after death. Beyond death mankind really doesn’t know what lies ahead. Therefore we need the aid of the One who is eternal in nature. We need the One that existed before we were ever formed. We need the One that formed us and wrote the instructional manual (bible) that teaches us how to live a quiet and peaceable life here on earth. And finally, we need the One who can convey to us about the life that is to come.
So as you can see, the only One that fits this description is God. Mankind needs God for He is the only One that can truly help us. The bible says that only a fool says in his heart that there is no God.
That’s why this is such an exciting time for the believer, the reality of God is about to be showcased to the whole earth. And the Lord has allowed our generation to witness this. Many believers have died in the faith hoping to see this great day, but God chose us.
I can somewhat identify with how some of the saints must of felt that were alive to witness the ministry of Jesus. It must have been so surreal to see the incarnation of God’s word walk the earth and to behold His face. We can gather a sense of the buzz that must have been present in the atmosphere by what the bible says in the Gospel of John 12:21. The scripture tells us that there was a group of Greeks that had heard about the fame surrounding Jesus and they came up to worship at one of the worship feast in Jerusalem. There they spoke with one of Jesus’ disciples named Phillip and they unashamedly said, “Sir, we would (desire to) see Jesus.”
You must understand that most Greeks did not believe in the Jewish religion. The Greeks worshipped images that they declared to be gods. They also built an altar for one of their gods, but no image was made of him. Therefore they called him the “Unknown God.” In the book of Acts the Apostle Paul rebukes the men of Athens (Greeks) on Mars Hill for their ignorance in worshipping false gods. Essentially, He told them that there is only One God existing in three persons; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is not an Unknown God, but He will make Himself known to whosoever wants to know Him.
However, the Greeks considered themselves to be intellectuals and the Jewish religion was beneath them. Traditionally they studied astrology and believed in Greek mythology. Yet, here they are prepared to worship the God of the Jews and were desirous to see and speak with a Hebrew preacher named Jesus. This speaks volume.
Why doesn’t the world believe in the Second Coming of Christ? If you don’t believe and embrace the First Coming of Christ and what He has done for mankind, it then will be almost impossible for you to believe in the Second Coming of Christ. God has hidden it from the world, to prevent the god of this world from finding out what His plans are. If the devil knew the details of what the plans of God were you can rest assure that he would certainly try to stop them, but he wouldn’t succeed.
However, if you are of Jewish descent and you whole heartedly believe in the coming of the Messiah then you will not be numbered with the unbelievers. You see the Church Age has been a mystery for most of the Jews and God allowed spiritual blindness to fall on them concerning who Jesus was. They are going to be dumb founded when Christ returns and they behold the nail prints in His hands and feet. They will then come to the shocking awareness that the promised Messiah, which is the Hebrew translation for Christ is none other than Jesus.
The devil thought he knew what the plans of God were the first time around therefore he anticipated the coming of Christ. But he didn’t know the details. He didn’t even know exactly where Christ would be born and he didn’t know that God had already predetermined that Jesus would have to visit the earth twice. Only God is omniscient. The devil had to inquire of the three wise men from the East to try and find out where Jesus would be born. It turns out that at the time in which the three wise men met with Herod that they didn’t even know themselves where Jesus would be born, so Herod commanded them that when they find out to come and let him know so he could come and worship Him, but the devil really wanted to kill Him.
Many of times the devil tried to kill Jesus as a baby hoping to spoil the plans of God. But every time he was either “a day late or a dollar short.” Why, because God wasn’t going to allow it to be. Yes the devil has some power, but only God has ALL POWER.
Apparently, God cloaked the life of Jesus in secrecy until the appointed time of His ministry. The bible really doesn’t speak much on the life Jesus until He shows up on the scene as a grown man, now ready to assume His role as the Savior of the world.
The devil would not have known who Jesus was if it wasn’t for those that declared Him. Remember when John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, “Behold the Lamb of God that comes to take away the sins of the world.” Nathaniel was so overwhelmed by Jesus that he declared, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God: Thou art the King of Israel.” And when Jesus asked Peter in the gospel of Matthew chapter 16 who do you think that I AM? Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
When Satan is certain who Jesus is, he appears to him in the wilderness tempting Him with the cares of this world hoping that he could lure Him away from the Master’s plan, but it didn’t work. Once the devil saw that Jesus was not interested in receiving the temporal blessings of this world the devil returned to his original plan of trying to kill Jesus.
Towards the end of Jesus life there was a growing desire of the devil to kill Him. There were multiple attempts on His life, but none of them actually worked. Finally, when the time of Jesus’ death had come, God allowed the devil to devise and execute a plan to kill Him. After being led from judgment hall to judgment hall by the Jewish leaders of that day the devil inspired them to convince the Roman government to kill Him by way of Crucifixion.
As Jesus hung there on that Cross the devil was somewhere celebrating because he thought that he had spoiled the plans of God. The Savior of the world was being killed and the devil thought that he had defeated God. It was a sad time for the followers of Christ. They thought that Jesus would be the One to lead them in a revolt against the Roman oppression. But now Jesus was dying and they didn’t know what to do. Can you imagine how they must of felt?
The death of Christ was a mystery hidden by God and He allowed the evil works of the devil to work together to fulfill His purposes. Once the devil got word of how he helped to fulfill God’s will I’m sure he was sick. God is so awesome that He allowed Jesus to publicly state what the plans of God were and the devil still didn’t fully understand it. In John 12:32 Jesus states, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” That’s why it was imperative that Christ died from the death of the Cross.
After Christ died, He rose again from the dead in three days. Although His glorious resurrection was another mystery, God dropped hints of what He was going to do before He did it. Jesus said, “If you destroy this Temple in three days I will raise it up again.” In fact it wasn’t until Jesus rose from the dead that the devil began to realize that he had been used to play a pivotal role in fulfilling the will of God.
Immediately after Christ rose from the dead, the devil started to try and do some damage control by putting word out that Jesus really didn’t rise from the dead, but that His body was stolen by His disciples. However, all of those lies were put to rest when Jesus showed Himself to be alive to His disciples and many other witnesses. It was such a powerful and miraculous event that it fueled the growth of the Church for over 2000 years.
When a person accepts Christ as their personal Savior, their soul is born again and eternal life is theirs. Christ settled the most pressing issue of the Sin condition when He died on the Cross of Calvary. Although the curse of Sin has been dealt with for the believer, mankind still has to grapple with the curse of the flesh also known as the fallen nature. The fallen nature lies dormant within every human being until physical death. The affects of this curse can easily be seen in the lives of those in the world, but we are beginning to see the affects of the fallen nature rise up in our churches. It causes mankind to place their attention more and more on themselves rather than on God. This is why modern day preaching in our churches has become so introverted. The subject matter of most sermons you hear these days usually centers on the believer and the material benefits/blessings of being a child of God. You hear sermons like, “God wants to promote you” “Your blessing is on the way” “Unexpected money is coming to your house” “Expect a Financial Miracle” “Supernatural Turnaround” etc…… Although I am a staunch believer in the blessedness that we are privy to as children of the Most High God, the focal point of Christianity is supposed to be centered on how God though Christ reversed the curse of sin and revealed His love to mankind through the personage of His Son, Jesus.
The material blessings and benefits that we now enjoy as children of God were never suppose to be the primary focus of the Faith. They are supposed to be secondary to the salvation experience. There has been a gradual departure from this, but we must return to the Faith that was once delivered unto the saints.
The time of the Gentiles is coming to a close. Many in the Church can’t accept this because this also means that the work of the Church is coming to a close. It was never intended for the preaching of the Gospel to continue indefinitely. Just long enough to give everyone the opportunity to avoid paying the penalty for sin by making a decision for Christ.
You can sense that the time of the Gentiles is coming to a close because: 1) the witness of the Church is not as effective as it used to be. 2) People are becoming more and more desirous of what this world offers over what God offers. 3) Born again believers are increasingly identifying with unbelievers whereas it is becoming harder and harder to differentiate between the two. Are you sheep or goats?
It is somewhat disheartening to see all of this, but what all of this really means is that the true Christians are on the cusp of receiving our reward for all of our labors, but we must remain sober and vigilant.
Although we must continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, our sermons these days should do more in admonishing God’s people to prepare to enter into the Kingdom of Christ. After all, that is the ultimate plan of God, to establish the Kingdom of Christ here on earth as it is in heaven.
This is the finest hour for the Church, the devil is trying to divert our attention. There is overwhelming evidence that the return of Christ is near. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 24 that if you want to know the season in which I’m coming back He said look at the fig tree, which in bible prophecy is the Nation of Israel. After being dispersed for hundreds of years God in His sovereignty brought them back into existence as a nation in one day, May 14, 1948.
Although Jesus cursed the fig tree in Matthew 21 for not yielding any fruit, He says in Matthew 24 that when the fig tree starts to blossom again you can know that summer is nigh. In fact Jesus said that the generation that witnesses the blossoming of the fig tree shall also witness the return of Christ.
This year will mark the 70th year celebration of when Israel was reborn as a nation in modern history. The prophet Jeremiah prophesied that something good was going to happen after this 70 year period. You can read more about it in Jeremiah 29:10, where it states that God will visit them and perform His good word toward them.
In closing, I am not trying to give you any false hopes, neither am I giving any specific dates for Jesus’ return for no man knows the day or the hour, but I admonish you to remain sober and vigilant because there is real evidence that points to His soon return.
Here we are in 2018 and Christianity has flourished. We have been successful in carrying out the Great Commission that Christ gave unto the Church. By far the leading religion in the world is Christianity. It is said that various aspects of the bible has been translated into over 2000 languages worldwide. The Lord is pleased, but the time has come for Christ to return to finish the work that He started. The transitioning from the Church Age to the Age of Messiah has come. The Church should start giving more of our attention to preaching about the return of Christ instead of focusing so much on the life of the individual Christian. I know it will be a challenge because for the last 2000+ years all of our day to day activities have revolved around the preaching of the Cross, but we can do it, we must do it.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!