Looking For the Return of Christ

Looking For the Coming of Jesus

Book of 2 Peter 3:1-18

There are some doctrines of the Bible that are disputed by Bible scholars, but the return of Jesus Christ is not one of them.

The return of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 300 times in the Scriptures.

There are even whole chapters devoted to the Second Coming of our Lord.

Jesus Christ Himself that He would return, and He will return the exact same way He left this world!

Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

You see this is what the Second Coming is all about, restoring again the kingdom of Israel.

The Church will already be in Heaven before this takes place!

So how does Peter describe these things?

*2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2Pe 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The return of Jesus Christ will be an actual physical event that takes place after the Holy Spirit has taken the Church to Heaven.

Remember the Holy Ghost could not come until Jesus returned to Heaven!

Joh_16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

This thing works in reverse, the Lord will not return until the Comforter takes the Church home!

2Th_2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Before the Lord touches down upon this earth, He will meet His church in the clouds!

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 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:
1Th 4:17 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.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

We of the Church can say that this will be the greatest day we have to look forward to, of course besides the day we invited the Lord into our hearts!

Peter says we need to remember these things!

We are called to be rememberers!

The Second Coming of Christ to this earth, is all about the Jews!

Isa 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
Isa 62:7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

There are a lot of great things going on in Israel, but Jerusalem is not yet become the praise of this earth!

We must stir up our minds to the truth of God.

As I have gotten older it seems that my memory suffers in day to day things and this bothers me more than I ever realized.

We must stir up our minds to remember those things that are just too important to forget!

Our minds are so complicated that doctors have not yet been able to understand the workings of them.

The power of memory maybe the most amazing part of our mental equipment!

Our memory uses the power of recollection to recall things as far back as when we were toddlers and these things are precious.

Most everyone of us can recall that day we got saved and if not the exact day then the month. Something we will never forget.

Well there is something else that we need to implant in our memories.

The Lord Jesus is coming back first to get His Church and then to make a Second Appearance upon this earth!

We must be mindful of all the prophecies of the Old Testament because they are the voice of God!

When we see those words “thus saith the Lord” then our minds need to perk up and the doors of memory need to remain open because to read the prophets is to see the words of truth!

A man once asked, “what is truth”? Truth is the things that conform to reality. Things that have already been and things that will be.

The absolute truths are in the Words of God!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

We cannot grow in the grace of God, if we do not grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and then keep these things in active memory!

Why are these things so important?

Because we are in the last days!

Scoffers are all those who mock the truth of God!

These are people who speak the loudest. They are so full of malice and pride, they have reached a point where they will not be silenced, and they will not even listen to anything described as the truth!

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God knows those who will never turn from their wicked ways, but we do not!

We must understand the Christ Jesus demands our total dedication, the total commitment of our mind, and our life to His teachings.

We are to have no room in our minds to listen to scoffers or anyone else who denies the truth of our being!

Scoffers walk like they want to and do what they want to and will attempt to deny you your way of life.

They want the right to things they have not earned.
They want to right to live in any way they choose.
They want the right to dictate all these things to the world.

They say, “where is the promise of His coming”?

It has been about 1975 years since Jesus first walked upon this earth but without being date setters, it has not yet been 2000 years.

We will not know the day nor the time, but we should know that we are in the last days!

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
Mat 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

This is what the Holy Spirit is teaching us. It does not matter how much time goes by, we must keep our minds wrapped around the truth of the Bible.

We are certainly in the last days because the scoffers are making their voice heard all around this world!

They are willingly ignorant of prophesies that have already been fulfilled, and the promises of God that have been completed!

*2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

For instance all this talk about climate change. We as Christians do not doubt that the climate is changing. We do disagree that man has a great influence on those changes.

Every day we see where cities and islands will soon be underwater when there are lands and cities and pyramids and roads and many great things that are under water now, that happened when there were no great power plants and no automobiles everywhere.

It is God who is in control of our climate and one of the best proofs is the fact that God flooded this whole earth in the days of Noah.

The proof exists yet all those clamoring about climate change ignore these truths because it does not fit into their agenda.

We should ask ourselves, just what do they want the world to do? Just what power over the climate can we use to stop what they say is in our future?

I have not seen much honest things that we can do as human beings to stop anything that is in the hands of God!

For sure we need to do a better job in taking care of our environment and in my opinion, it should start with cleaning up the trash that is everywhere!

God destroyed all humans and land animals in the time of Noah for the same things that are going on right now in our world!

Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the exact same things that are going on in America today!

Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

These are all signs of the Second Coming of the Lord, and we need to wrap our minds around the truth and reject these things going on in our world!

God is still in control of our world and maybe all these changes we see are just God preparing to send His Son one more time back to this planet!

*2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

We need to wrap our minds around the fact that it is the Lord who sits at the right hand of God, the hand of power, and he has reserved the things necessary to burn this planet into non-existence.

Yes this earth will be restored as in the days of Adam because God made certain promises to the Jews and He will keep those promises but in the end there will be a totally new Earth and a totally New Heaven because those old places were places of sin and sin will not be allowed in God’s new Creations.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Now we can accept the truth of God or we can reject the Word of God, but we cannot in any way change the plan of God.

God will rid this earth of ungodly men!

Ungodly meaning, wicked men who reject the truth of God!

Thank God for His patience because He really wants everyone to accept His truths and be saved from His coming wrath.

*2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The truth is God does not depend on some clock to tell Him it is time to do something.

In fact God’s plan is in place and nothing and no one can alter the time frame the Lord chooses to abide by!

We must consider that the Lord has allowed a time frame that everyone who will receive Him will get that opportunity.

The Lord knows those who will never receive Him.

What did God say to Abraham before the destruction of Sodom?

Gen 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Gen 18:26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Gen 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
Gen 18:28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
Gen 18:29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
Gen 18:30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
Gen 18:31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
Gen 18:32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
Gen 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

We can be sure when the Lord returns to this earth, the church will have been taken to Heaven and all those left behind have rejected the truth of God!

This day may not be too far into the future.

Praise the Lord for His patience!

We need to ignore the mockers and realize the truth of what God says!

*2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Jesus made a promise that He will return in His person and He will keep that promise!

It does not matter how much time has passed God will do what God said He will do!

Time means nothing to God He dwells in eternity!

We must not be discouraged because of the time that has passed.

God does not want anyone to perish. God wants everyone to get the opportunity to meet our Savior!

The truth is, God is slow to give into the punishment He has also promised.

God’s love will not allow Him to feel good about judgment, but judgment is a necessary thing or God would not be God.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Noah when they come before Him at the White Throne Judgment.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Sodom when they face Him at the White Throne Judgment.

Judgment must come because this is also a promise that cannot be broken.

God does not want any of His created beings cut off from Him, but this will be something they have chosen.

When you choose judgment rather than salvation, then it is judgment that you will receive.

God has promised to allow us to choose!

God wants us all to walk away from sin and walk in righteousness!

So the Lord will return.

The Lord will stop in the clouds and call out His Church:

1Th 4:16 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:
1Th 4:17 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.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

It is only after this event will the Lord return to plant His feet on Gethsemane.

He has already announced His return so He will return unannounced just as that thief who comes to rob you comes without your knowledge!

The evil world that remains after the Church is in Heaven, will continue to go about its evil and immoral business until all of a sudden, they will realize the what God said was true and destruction and mayhem will be going on all around them!

1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

You see it is because we know all these things, that we need to be busy reaching out to our family and friends and the lost!

*2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

It is a fact that these words have more meaning today than they ever have. The world is hunting an excuse to all the catastrophes that are going on but are rejecting the true answer.

The lost world still believes that the stability of our world can be solved with science and technology yet there are no answers to what is going on now called climate change, except to blame man for bad practices.

There have been bad practices pushed by the lusts of wealth and that same lusts for wealth is the driving force behind what is called climate change.

In the end the guilty nations will be expected to pay for the damage they are accused of. My question is to whom will they pay? Surely not the UN.

The truth is our world is changing around us just like it always has, and we need to take notice because the Lord could return in the next moment.

What will those who are alive see then and who will they blame it on?

The heavens will be on fire!
The heavens will be dissolved!
All the elements that we see every day will melt in the extreme heat!

Who would want to be here to witness these things before their eternal death?

They will leave this inferno to go to and even hotter place called Hell, to even leave that place to go to an even hotter place called the Burning Lake of Fire.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Why do those who see the beginnings of these things think they can stop what God has said is going to happen.

The Lord is going to return to this earth!

What does that “Born Again child of God expect in his or her future?

*2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Why will the Church miss out on these things? Because God promised we would not see His wrath!

1Th_5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th_1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

It is only those who reject the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” who will witness the wrath of God!

This is also a promise! Do not let those false teachers deceive you!

Eph_5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

There will be and entirely New Heaven and an entirely New Earth and the most precious city will be an entirely New Jerusalem!

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

These are the reasons we are foolish not to believe the absolute truth of God!

*2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Who are the beloved of God? All those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God!

1Jn_2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

We must diligently prepare for the coming of the Lord by being busy in the work the Lord has given us to do and this work will not prosper until we live a life of righteousness ourselves!

We are to be at peace with the promises of God!
We are to be without spot, which means we need to live cleans lives according to the Word of God.
We are to be blameless, which means we are to innocent of any wrongdoing, according to the Word of God! Also obeying the laws of man that do not conflict with the Word of God!

Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

We may suffer in this world because we have given our life to the Lord, but that suffering has an ending when the promises of God reach perfection!

*2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

You see those that see the wrath of God and face Him at the White Throne of Judgment, will have reach that point because of their own actions.

The Lord came to save but it requires our faith in Him and the work He has done for our salvation!

Peter the Apostle to the Jews and Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles had the same exact message!

Heb_10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

And our faith must show in the things the Lord has ask us all to do!

Jas_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

These are all things that we should know if we have left the “milk” of the Word and are feasting on the “meat” of the Word of God!

*2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Again who are the beloved?

We see another warning of the false teachers that are filling the pulpits of today because we have no excuse not to know the truth of all these things today!

What is another part of our job until the Lord takes us home? We are to offer to all others the same “GRACE” the Lord has given to us and then we are all to grow in that grace!

We are to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior! We do this in personal Bible Study with the Holy Spirit and then truthful Preaching and truthful Sunday Schools and in any other way we can gain the knowledge of the truth, remembering we are to ask God Himself when we need that little bit more of understanding!

Amen!

Let’s pray!

Enduring Tribulations

Enduring Patiently

2 Thessalonians 1

Again the theme of our lessons this quarter is practical Christian living.

Once you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you will find out that we are all in a spiritual war.

Each believer must endure suffering in this world to be worthy to be called a Christian!

Christ Jesus will provide comfort through these troubles and abundant rewards when He returns to take us home. Not only this but Christ will bring judgment to all those that have troubled His people.

The “Second Coming” of Christ will reveal His wrath and power upon all His enemies and that same power will be magnified in the complete salvation of His saints.

The Church will not pass through any part the Great Tribulation period nor see the time of God’s wrath.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

These Thessalonians were still struggling with these things as some do today, so the Apostle Paul wrote this second letter to them.

Both of these letters were written from the city of Corinth.

The first letter dealt largely with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His saints and these Thessalonians misunderstood some the teaching.

For this reason we need to hear the Word of God over and over again.

These people were so convinced that the Lord could come at any moment, which is still true today, they came to the conclusion that it was useless to work for a living.

This was the wrong conclusion because of Christian persecution they felt that they were already going through the tribulation period spoken of by Paul.

Paul wrote this second letter to correct these views and bring them to the knowledge of what it means to walk worthy of God.

The Book of 2 Thessalonians will also teach us some important things about the Anti-Christ.

Let’s begin:

*****2Th 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

It is believed that after these Thessalonians had received the first of Paul’s epistles that some anonymous person had also written a letter to them claiming to be Paul and that stated that they were already living in the “day of the Lord” which is a lie.

2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

This teaching is still taught today in many places and was false then as it is now.

This brought confusion and fright to this newly formed church.

The “day of the Lord” will not begin until Jesus returns unto this Earth.

Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Jesus will return to the same spot from where He left on the Mount of Olives.

This will not be a secret thing.

Rev 19:11 And 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.

Silvanus or Silas and Timothy were still with the Apostle Paul and this only happened at Corinth on Paul’s second missionary trip.

This is where the Apostle Paul wrote both the books to the Thessalonians.

Notice Paul immediately recognizes this assembly as a church.

Jesus said:

Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

This is what constitutes the Church.

Remember a church is a house consecrated to the worship of God the Father, through the “Gospel of the Son, Jesus Christ” or a collective body of Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit!

One of the best weapons for fighting Satan is praise. No matter what our circumstances are we need to praise the Lord!

*****2Th 1:2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not the Church that saves, it is God through Jesus Christ.
It is not the Church that is to be worshipped it is Our Father in Heaven.
It is not the Church where we are to place our faith, it is in Jesus Christ.
It is not the Church building that is blessed, it is the “Body of Christ”!

Grace is still “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”.

Grace is the unmerited favor of God and it is only the love of God that can satisfy us enough to bring peace in our lives in this flesh.

When we think of peace as being the ending of war we have missed the point of this word in our scripture.

Peace with God is being reconciled back to Him.

2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

It is the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ that closes the gap between us and God.

It is God who decided that He wanted to do this.
It is God who provides the means for this to take place.
There is absolutely nothing we could have done to make peace with God!

God was in Christ Jesus and this is the only means of reconciliation!

Those that reject that God came down from Heaven to abide in Jesus cannot be reconciled and will never have the peace that God offers so freely by His “Grace”.

Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When God as a babe in the flesh, the angels got involved in God’s plan!

Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And this is why we must esteem those that are called of God.

Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

And this is why we must thank God for what He has already done and God tells us what He is about to do in His Word.

*****2Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

The Lord Jesus redeemed us and we have been pardoned!

Pardoned means “like it never even happened”.

Num 14:20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
Num 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

We are pardoned by the “Grace of God” and paid for on Calvary’s Cross.

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, “which he hath purchased with his own blood”.

That word “bound” means “we owe”.

We are obligated to thank God for what He has done and foolish if we do not do so!

When God calls and we answer, He does not hesitate to immediately forgive us all our sin.

Not just the sin we have sinned up to that point but of sin throughout our life time.

Our names are immediately written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and can never be removed, surely we can thank God for what He has already done.

The Lord Jesus paid the price for our redemption while we were all still sinners, surely we can thank Him for what He has already done!

We have been saved from a burning Hell.
We have been saved from the coming wrath of God.

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Surely we can thank Him for what He has already done!

When we abound in the love of God, then that love will abound even more toward each other!

These are just the proper things to do if you claim to be a Christian and walk the Christian walk!

Only when our faith is real can these things happen!

Our faith cannot be in miracles, nor in the history of the church, nor counterfeit, nor temporary.

Our faith must be in the unseen but the true Living God!

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Our faith must be that we believe the promises of God are so real, that we can live them in this life we have now!

This is the faith that can be seen by others!

*****2Th 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

The Apostle Paul had now been in Corinth for nearly a year and a half and not only had he heard of how these Thessalonians were enduring persecutions and tribulations but Paul had even boasted of it in his own sermons to other churches started in Corinth.

1Th 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

We can think what we want to, but even in America Christians may wake up one day and find that Christianity is outlawed!

We should pray much for those in certain places that are being beheaded and condemned to death just because they trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

These tribulations in the Church Age are those that all saints must endure and these tribulations come from men.

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The future tribulations that come after the Rapture of the Church, will all come from God Himself.

There will be a great difference!

It is hard for us in America to realize true persecution until we see what is happening in Iraq and Syria and throughout the world, today to Christians.

The Bible speaks of these thing in the Psalms:

Psa 74:7 They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.
Psa 74:8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
Psa 74:9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.
Psa 74:10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

Places of worship are being destroyed.

Even old places such as the tomb of Joseph, the Temple mount, and many other places are being systematically destroyed by those of false religion.

It astounds me that the Muslim call Jerusalem a holy place but “they turn their backside” to Jerusalem and pray toward Mecca 5 times a day.

They never pray toward Jerusalem!

**It is Jehovah God, not Allah who instituted and founded the Church.

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

These are the places where Jehovah God is to be worshipped and acknowledged.

But we should remember it is all those with faith and patience who inherit the promises of God.

Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

**Faith comes before suffering because we will all suffer for the name of Jesus Christ.

The faith of all Christians will be tested before the return of Jesus Christ to get His Church!

What is the greatest sign of faith? To grow in the love of God and for our fellow saints with great joy through all persecutions.

*****2Th 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

We are made heirs to the Kingdom of God by the “New Birth” but we prove our worthiness of that kingdom by the readiness with which we endure suffering for the things of Christ Jesus.

We are all subject to the same treatment that Jesus suffered.

Listen to what Jesus said:

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

We may never have to endure the cross but Jesus says to pick up your own cross daily and be prepared.

Jesus never said that that cross would not be heavy at times!

We may never be whipped by a cat of nine tails but some go through worse than this today in other parts of the world.

We are not standing on a mountain top with no escape and no food and water but there are some that are doing that in our world today.

We all will suffer some but many today suffer a deliberate attack on their person just because they claim Jesus as Lord.

Still at all times we are to praise the Lord!

We are to take a definite stand knowing that we will become the objects of the world’s hatred.

This is how we become worthy of God’s Kingdom!

We are to love our enemies.
We are to bless them that curse us.
We are to pray for those that despite-fully use us.

But in His own due time God will deal with all those that have persecuted His Church.

This is also a promise of God!

There will be a righteous judgment of the ungodly!

*****2Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

Righteous here in this verse means that God is justified in the actions He will take!

Most liberals do not like this verse.

God is not pleased with how the world treats His children.

And just as God made His own choice to provide this period of “Grace” we call the “Church Age” God has already made His own choice to recompense tribulation to them that trouble His children.

Recompense means to repay them for what they have done!

Psa 94:23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

From God’s standpoint this is the absolute right thing to do!

There are only two groups of people on this Earth.

Those that love the Lord Jesus Christ and those that do not!

Those that love the Lord will be in Heaven during this time of re-compensation and only those left behind will feel the judgment of God for all the things they have done and for rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ.

This re-compensation is righteous in the sight of the Lord!

Today we know of the Muslim who believe they will rewarded for persecuting the followers of Christ but God says that their reward will be His judgment not 70 virgins in Heaven!

After all Allah is not Jehovah God!

Where will the Church be when this takes place?

*****2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

In Chapter 4 we saw Christ Jesus returning in the clouds to possess His Church.

This when Jesus will return as a “thief” in the clouds!

We do not know much about this time.

Here in this verse, we see Christ Jesus returning to the Earth.

This will take place at the end of the tribulation period which will last 7 years.

These are two separate events!

Those who are doing the troubling will receive tribulation during those 7 years.

Those who are being troubled will already be at rest, where no troubles can ever reach them again, gathered by the Lord!

Those that are “at rest” are the “Raptured” Church.

Rest is the exact opposite of tribulation!

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Those angels that come with the Lord the first time testified of peace:

Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Those same angels that come with the Lord on in second return will bring vengeance and flaming fire.

The angels may not know the plan of God but they will always be involved in God’s plan!

*****2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

When God introduced Himself to Moses it was at the burning bush.

Exo 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

God guided Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of fire.

Exo 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

Fire is used throughout the Tribulation period.

Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Rev 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

This Earth we now live on will be burned up in the end by fire.

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

God will come in vengeance but this cannot be considered revenge, because to God it is only justice.

Psa 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
Psa 50:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

Our God is a consuming fire.

Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

There are only two kind of people in this world. Those that love Jesus and those that do not love Jesus and God has this warning.

Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

The world may mock these things but on the “day of the Lord” they will get to meet my God and it will not be a good day to be alive on this Earth.

Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Knowing God means much more than knowing about God!

To know God is to know Him as He is!

Knowing God requires a personal relationship with Him!

Knowing God is acknowledging Him as the Sovereign Creator of this Earth and all creation.

Knowing God is acknowledging Him as the only Redeeming Savior.

Knowing God is acknowledging Him as the all-seeing Righteous Judge.

Who are those that do not know God?

Those that do not obey the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

It is by the “Gospel” that people are saved.

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

No matter what the world says there is no other means of salvation!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The “Gospel” is the good news of the Bible and salvation is offered freely to anyone who has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Those that die in the “Day of the Lord” will have no excuse for rejecting the love of God as they face the Living God!

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

How will all these that reject the Lord perish?

*****2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2Th 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

This destruction this “everlasting judgment” is not an annihilation of being!

This destruction is “everlasting punishment”!

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

This destruction is “everlasting torment”!

There will no parties and no joy in the Burning Lake of Fire.

This destruction will be an everlasting separation from God and His power to change things for the better!

**This fiery hell cannot be located on this Earth.

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

This burning lake of fire was created for Satan and his angels and it exist now and will exist after the Earth is destroyed by fire.

This burning lake of fire will be as far away from the New Earth as possible!

God is pure.

God is love.

God is power.

God is righteous.

God is in all beauty.

God is the essence of intelligence.

These are some of the things that make man real and these are the things that have been rejected by the lost and none of these things will be found in hell!

While those that choose to be in Hell, and it is a choice they make themselves, God will be glorified in all His saints.

In Chapter 4 the Rapture of the Church was made clear.

God will be “admired in all them that believe”.

There is no such thing as a partial Rapture!

There will be a time of rewards at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” but “all the saved” will admire the Lord on the day He will judge this Earth!

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Knowing all these things then we need to pray for the saints and for the lost!

*****2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is in the hope of all these things that must keep us faithful in these days we live now!

In verse 5 Paul said we should strive to be worthy of the kingdom of God.

This is our walk with God after salvation until the day of the Rapture or physical death.

In this verse we that should consider this day by day.

God ‘s calling is in His “Grace and Love” and this is the same calling we all have to show to those around us!

We should not ever forget, it is a great privilege to be allowed to walk with God in this life, through a world that rejects Him and be given the opportunity to walk with God throughout eternity.

It is a privilege to bear the name of Christian, when the name of Christ is so despised in this world.

It will a great privilege to be counted worthy of His calling!

But for those that reject Our Lord Jesus there is this coming judgment!

Those that do not know the Lord today will certainly know Him when He is revealed from Heaven in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that obey not the “Gospel”!

Without a doubt every knee will bow to Jesus!

Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

This is also the “Gospel”!

Let’s Pray!