End Times: Jesus our Soon Coming King
Over the past four years our Foursquare National Convention has centered on the Foursquare Gospel; Jesus our Saviour, Jesus our Healer, Jesus our Baptizer in the Holy Spirit and Jesus our Soon-coming King. Steve Falkiner opened our convention with thoughts of how we should live in light of Jesus’ Second Coming. There are various ideas regarding the “end times” or biblical prophecy that have been debated and discussed over the years… I went to a workshop on the Book of Revelation. And by way of introduction I want to show you visually what people think about the end times.
- Jesus’ First Coming is followed by Jesus’ Second Coming.
- From the time of the early church to now there has been hundreds of predictions about the return of Christ.
- There is belief in the rapture in relation to the tribulation; pre, mid and post rapture.
- Some believe in no rapture.
- Then we have both Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures about the End Times.
- Daniel, Ezekiel, Matthew…
- There is lots of discussion and debate about the Book of Revelation, the antichrist, 666, the beast and the false prophet.
- There are references to time; 3 1/2, 7 to a 1000 years…
- The church age and the nation of Israel.
- Then there are ways of interpreting Scripture and the End Times. The futuristic lens; events just prior to the second coming. The Preterist lens; events fulfilled in the Apostle John’s day. Timeless symbolic lens; no specific fulfillments but believes in an ongoing symbolic struggle between good and evil.
These various views and passages of Scripture have sparked lots of discussion and or confusion over the centuries. Many of these conversations have lead to disagreements and disunity within the Body of Christ. We need to make sure that the glasses we wear point towards Jesus and his imminent return. Jesus is the focus of End Times... AMEN!
Jesus our Soon Coming King
I want to highlight several thoughts and passages of Scripture that we spoken of at our annual Foursquare Convention. Various speakers shared about Jesus our Soon Coming King and brought great encouragement to all in attendance.
- Jesus’ First Coming is different than his Second Coming.
The First Coming of Christ is a matter of historical fact whereas the Second Coming of Christ is the fulfillment of prophecy. In the First Coming Jesus was born as a baby but in the Second Coming Christ will come as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The First Coming centered on Jesus being our Saviour who took away the sins of the world while in the Second Coming Jesus will be taking away his followers to eternity. Jesus came with meekness riding on a donkey the first time but in his Second Coming Jesus comes as a warrior riding a white horse.
One of the concerns that I have today is this, the Christian presentation of End Times tends to produce fear. Fear of the End Times has become a serious problem. We must remember that the End Times is all about the Return of the King Jesus; “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory…” (Matt 24:30b).
About the timing of Christ’s Second Coming “no one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matt 24:36).
- How we live is important in the last days.
In light of the world events we see on the news everyday, it is important for followers of Jesus to have a faith that is based in love and not fear. We are to live holy lives.
Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica with regards to the perception about the Second Coming. The believers had concerns about those who had died before the Lord’s return. Paul tells them everything will be OK for the pre-deceased on the Day of the Lord’s Coming. However, Paul does not stop there but goes onto exhort the believers to live holy lives. Dates and times are of little concern because the Second Coming of Christ will be like a thief in the night. In light of this “not knowing” the day or the hour, Paul tells the believers to live light children of the light - “…since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” (1 Thess 5:8).
The Apostle Peter repeats this idea. In 2 Peter 3, Peter speaks of the “last days” in reference to the Second Coming. By way of comment, the church has been living in “last days” since Acts 2. Peter tells us that in the “last days” there will be a generation(s) of scoffers and evil people. With this in mind Peter also speaks of the Day of the Lord coming like a thief in the night. And he too tells us how to live - “You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Pet 3:11–12).
- We must be committed to share our faith in Jesus with others.
Another key thought that was given at the Foursquare Convention had to do with sharing one’s faith in light of Jesus’ imminent return. We must not only be people who live godly bright lives, but also a people who share our faith and hope in Jesus.
Matt 24:14 tells us - “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” We live in a broken world that needs the grace, mercy and peace of a Saviour. Many people will become fearful at the world events, but these are the beginning of birth pains. We know that wickedness will increase and love will decrease in the world. People will be at a loss and have little hope. This is a great opportunity for the followers of Jesus to share their faith.
Peter again reminds us “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Salvation is available to everyone. As believers in Jesus was are the messengers of this “Good News”.
Jesus is Coming He’s Coming again…