Robert Morris — A Glorious Day
This is the end of our series, and we've talked about a tough day, a tough message, some easy questions, a tough question. Today is a glorious day. And I'm gonna share with you about the second coming of Christ. This is actually the first time that I've preached on the second coming here at Gateway Church. It's the first time. Not because I don't believe in it, obviously, but because I just haven't felt led until this series.
But there are some things about modern-day teachings on the second coming that bother me. Our responses to those teachings, and even some of the teachings, really bother me. I think if we're not careful, you can get consumed with second coming teachings. The systematizing of prophetic charts, and I've seen many, many people get so consumed with this, that they stop witnessing, stop serving, stop giving, and that's, to me, exactly what the enemy would want. Or, people hear a very popular, but actually, a very new teaching, and I'll share with you in a moment why I say that, about the second coming, and they become very lethargic or complacent, and begin sitting around, just waiting for the bus. We're just waiting for the bus to come, and get us out of here. I think both of those responses are inspired by the enemy who wants us to not do what Jesus told us to do, until the second coming.
So here's point one, before we read Luke 19 here. Number one, do business 'til I come. Do business 'til I come. Luke 19:11. It says: "Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the Kingdom of God would appear immediately". And let me just make a comment: the reason He spoke what He's about to speak was because He was near Jerusalem. In other words, He's about to go to the cross. They're not gonna understand that even though He's already explained it to 'em, they didn't understand that, at the time. And because they thought the Kingdom would appear immediately. What He's going to tell them is, "Listen, something's about to happen you're not going to understand, and then I'm going to go away, and I will receive the Kingdom my Father has for Me, and then I'll come back. But you have a job to do before I come back".
And look at the parable. The other thing I want you to notice about this parable is last week, we talked about a believer. You will see a believer's judgment and an unbeliever's judgment in this parable. All right? Luke 19:12. "Therefore He said: 'A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants,'" servants would represent believers: "'Delivered to them ten minas,'" in other words, each got a mina. A mina is about two-and-a-half year's salary. All right? "'And said to them, 'Do business 'til I come.' But his citizens,'" — now, these would represent the unbelievers, the citizens: "'His citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.'"
Notice, again, it was their choice. "'And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant. Because you were faithful in very little, have authority over ten cities.'" Notice, responsibility, even in Heaven. "'The second came, and said, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.' Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.' Then another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief.'" Or you could say, hid my light under a bushel basket, you could say. "'For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, you reap what you did not sow.' And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant.'"
Notice, even servants are judged. "'You knew I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?' And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.'" This goes along exactly what we said last week with losing rewards and gaining rewards. "(But they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas.') 'For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given. And from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.'" Now, that's the servants. Now, we're gonna go back to the unbelievers. "'But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them,'" or be Lord in their lives: "'And slay them before me.'"
Now, here, he's talking, and if you didn't hear last week, please, please get last week's message, because that right there explained last week's message. That servants and unbelievers would be judged, but that it also tells us this: we have a job to do. We have a job to do while He's gone. Do business 'til I come. This is what bothers me about much of the modern teaching on the second coming. It tends to pull us away from the business at hand. We have a job to do, and we've got to get back to witnessing, giving, serving, loving. And by the way, when I say giving, you have to understand that every time we give, we are sharing the gospel. Every time we give, we are sharing the gospel here, with the things that — the local outreaches we do, and overseas. Every time we give, every time we love, every time we serve, every time we witness or share the gospel, we're doing business until He comes. All right?
So that's number one. Here's number two: don't get sidetracked. Don't get sidetracked. Now, go to Matthew 24, and I had looked at several passages to use. In Revelation, Thessalonians, several passages, and I thought about, you know, Matthew 24, Jesus probably talks more about the second coming, Jesus does, than any other one chapter that we have of — in red, where Jesus is talking. And so, I went over and read it, and I saw two words that kind of excited me. You remember, the title of the series is, "The End". Well, I just want you to notice those two words in this passage, and how many times they're in this passage. All right?
Matthew 24:3. It says: "Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives," — now, remember where this teaching is from. You'll see that scripture about that later. "The disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be?'" And watch this: "'And what will be the sign of Your coming,'" the second coming — now, watch this: "'And of,'" — would you mind saying those two words, all the campuses? "'The end,'" — I just want you to know Jesus confirmed the title of my series. I just wanted you to know that, all right? "'What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?' And Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you.'"
Can I say that in other words? Don't get sidetracked. Don't get sidetracked. "'For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,'" — in one passage, He says: "I have found the Christ". Many will say that. "'And will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled. For all these things must come to pass, but,'" say it: "'The end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to — shall be saved. And this gospel,'" — watch this verse carefully, Matthew 24:14. "'This gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.'"
He goes through all of these things, and I don't know if you've ever really thought about everything He's said there. Just about every generation has had those signs. Wars, and rumors of wars, and pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes, and — He goes through all these, and many false prophets, and many, many — and then He says, "But that's not the end". That's not the end. "Let Me tell you when the end's gonna come: when this gospel is preached in the whole world. Then, the end is gonna come".
So we have a job. Most people don't realize is what our generation has done, generations have done. And what we do is we just sit around, and we have this titillating conversation, and we talk about these exciting things, and it's just so much fun to dabble in the speculative word of prophecy, rather than read the sure word of prophecy. And then, we start arguing about it. Then, we become divisive. It's amazing to me, please hear what I'm trying to say. We don't base our theology on the perception of fulfilled prophecy about the second coming. We base doctrine and theology on the Bible. And so much has been said. Friends, I'm just trying to show you, you know, what else — this happened and this happened, and that means — that's what we say. And then, you have to understand, this has happened in every generation in the last 150 years. And then, that generation passes away.
For instance, in the 80s, a friend of mine told me the story of how one of his friends, who was a theologian, someone said to him, "Pastor, you know that Greece has joined the common market now, and that makes ten nations, and so, that means that ancient Rome has been restored, and you know what that means". You know, "That — the ten toes in Daniel are referring to ancient Rome, to the ten nations being restored". This is a very popular teaching. And so, now they've been restored, and the stone rolls down the hill, crushes the stones, and that means that — the toes, and that means Jesus is coming back. And you do know that since now Greece has joined the common market, prophecy has been fulfilled, Jesus can return now.
And this theologian said — and not meaning to be offensive or hurt the person's feelings, but he said, "Well, you do know that Ireland is one of the ten nations of the common market, but it was not one of the ten nations of ancient Rome. You do know that, don't you"? And the person, his face just fell, because his neatly packaged theory was blown away. Just like that. By the way, there are now 27 nations in the common market. All I'm saying is it continues to happen, and here's what gets me. People get so excited about that, instead of do business 'til I come. I'm just telling you that the enemy will do everything he can to keep us from doing the one thing that will bring the coming of the Lord, and that's preach the gospel to the whole world. That's what we should be focused on.
So, do business 'til I come, don't get sidetracked, and number three is gonna be a little different for us, but number three are the 21 irrefutable facts of the second coming. So I'm actually gonna now tell you 21 things, and I can easily cover it in the short hour that we have left. Everyone ready? Here, take your hands like this. Go ahead, take your hands like this. Buckle your seat belt. All right. Number one, Jesus Himself will come again. You know what? I know that we don't do this a lot, we're a little more dignified here, but say amen. Jesus Himself will come again. Amen. 1 Thessalonians 4:16. "For the Lord Himself," — I just love the word Himself: "Will descend from Heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God".
Here's number 2: Jesus Himself will receive us. John 14:3. "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".
Number 3, irrefutable fact of the second coming: we will meet Him in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:17. "Then we who are alive and remain," — just do you notice the word remain, by the way? This — that word remain is in this passage twice. The first time, it says: "And we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord," — personally, if I were going to write a footnote saying that we leave seven years before the coming of the Lord, I would not have written it on the footnote of the scripture that says: "We remain until the coming of the Lord". Just my personal opinion, all right? "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord".
Number 4: He will minister to those who are found watchful. I knew that amen would be a little less, 'cause you don't — "What does that mean"? So, all right. Let me tell you what it means. Luke 12:37. "Blessed are those servants whom the Master, when He comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you He will gird Himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them". Now, I want you to remember, the — when Jesus comes back, then we have the marriage supper of the Lamb, right? Remember, the Last Supper, He said to them, "I'm not going to eat of the bread or drink of the vine — the fruit of the vine until we do it in the Kingdom again". Okay? He's referring to that, I believe. But do you remember what He did at the Last Supper? This is amazing, because it uses the same wording. It says at the Last Supper, it says: "Then Jesus girded Himself," which means He pulled His robe up, like this, in the middle, so that He could bend down and wash their feet. Now, I don't know if He's going to do this in Heaven, but I don't understand why it said He had to gird Himself, and it used the exact same wording it did in John 13. So, we have something to look forward to, and here's what I mean by that, a personal encounter, every one of us, with the Lord Jesus Christ. All right. So, now — see, now you can say amen. See?
Number 5: He will return to the earth. Say amen. Acts 1:11. "Who also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven".
Number 6: He will return to the Mount of Olives. Zechariah 14:4. "And in that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives".
Number 7: He will return in flaming fire. You don't have to say amen to all of 'em, if you don't really feel it in your heart. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8. "And to give you who are troubled rest," — now, you can say amen. "With us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ".
Number 8: He will come with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30. "And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory".
Number 9: He will stand on the earth. These are irrefutable facts of the second coming. Job 19:25. "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth".
Number 10: He will destroy the Antichrist. Okay. We don't know who that is, but we all think we do, but let's just — okay, that's good. 2 Thessalonians 2:8. "And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His coming".
Number 11: He will sit on the throne of His glory. Matthew 25:31. "When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory".
Number 12: He will be given the throne of David. Luke 1:32. "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David".
Number 13: He will be given the nations. Psalm 2:8. "Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession".
Number 14: He will gather all nations and judge them. Matthew 25:32. "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats".
Number 15: He will reign on the earth. Jeremiah 23:5. "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'That I will raise to David a branch of righteousness. A king shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.'"
Number 16: He will be given the kingdoms of this world. Revelation 11:15. "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever".
Number 17: He will be given dominion. Daniel 7:14. "Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed". That's a good amen place right there.
Number 18: all who are in the graves will hear His voice. John 5:20 — that's good, if you've lost loved ones. John 5:28. "Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice".
Number 19: every eye will see Him. Revelation 1:7. "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him".
Number 20: every knee will bow, and we'll get to the Revelation — I mean, the Philippians 2 passage in a moment. But let me read you — a lot of people don't realize, this is — Philippians 2 is a quote from the Old Testament. Isaiah 45:22-23. "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself. The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath". And then, Philippians 2:9-11. "Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". Amen? Amen. Now, that's 20 of 'em, I'm gonna give you 21, and we'll make just a couple of comments about number 21, because this one might shock you, but it is an irrefutable fact of the second coming.
Number 21: we can hasten the coming of the Lord. We can speed up the coming of the Lord. 2 Peter 3:12 says: "Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of our God". And you say, "Well, are you sure it means speed up"? Well, let me just show you the Greek, and I wanted to show it to you, the Greek definition of the word hastening. It's pronounced speudo. I wanted you to know that there is no Greek word pronounced speedo. And I wanna state emphatically that the Bible does not support men wearing speedos. I don't care what you think you look like, you don't. It is not something that the rest of us wanna see.
Okay. Amen. But, let me tell you this. This Greek word is where we actually get our English word speed. This is where it comes from. Obviously, it goes from the Greek to the Latin to English. It is — this is where we get — this is the word, this Greek word, speudo, is where we get the word speed from, and you can see because of the way it's spelled there, the S-P-E-U-D-O, but it's not pronounced speedo, okay? This is what the definition is: "To cause something to happen soon, to hurry something up". And then, it has the quotation here, it is paraphrasing what we just read. It's putting the definition into the verse. "Making the day of God come soon, or hurrying up the day of God". Hurrying up, speeding up, the day of God.
Let me read it to you, this verse, and a few other versions. The New Living Translation says: "Looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along". The NIV says: "Look forward to the day of God and speed its coming". Today's English Version says: "Do your best to make it come soon". Isn't that good? Phillip says: "Working for the coming of that day," and the New English Bible says: "Work to hasten it along". Now, let me just remind you. Do business 'til I come. Do business 'til I come. "Well, Lord, when is Your coming"? Listen. Don't get deceived. Don't get distracted. Don't get sidetracked. All things are gonna happen. You're gonna hear about all sorts of stuff, and basically, you're gonna have people coming and telling you, "Well, this means this, and this means this, and this means this," but He said, "I wanna tell you, the one sign of My coming you need to know, this gospel will be preached in the whole world, and then the end will come".
Let's hasten the coming of the Lord, and here's the one way we do it according to scripture. Preach the gospel to the whole world, and you might say, "Well, I'm not a preacher". That simply means to proclaim. Proclaim the gospel. The gospel is the Good News that Jesus, God's Son, became a Man, lived the life that we couldn't live, died the death that we should have died, and then rose again on the third day, so that everyone who receives Him receives eternal life, freely, from the Father. And to preach the Good News is simply to tell people that gospel, that story, that Jesus is the Son of God, and died for our sins. I wanna encourage you, tell someone this week the Good News. Tell someone the Good News of the gospel.