When you hear the word APOCALYPSE, what comes to your mind; a Hollywood Movie, a world wide cataclysm, ancient Mayans, or nothing in particular? Perhaps some would be Biblically literate enough to think about the last book of the Holy Bible, called “The Revelation,” or sometimes called “The Apocalypse.” It is so called because our English word “APOCALYPSE” is from a Greek word, αποκαλυψις (apokalupsis) which literally means, laying bare, or making naked, a revelation. When we then talk about the coming apocalypse, we are talking about the coming revelation, the unveiling, the making known. The first five words in our English Bible of the last book of the Bible are as follows; “The Revelation (apocalypse) of Jesus Christ.”
It is true indeed that this Book of Bible prophecy does describe many great and horrible events that WILL take place at the end of the world prior to the Lord’s Advent, but it would be a great, howbeit common, mistake to think that these events are the main point of this Book. They are not. As the first words declare, it is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The most important point of Bible Prophecy is the revealing to the universe the true person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be revealed as the “Lord of lords and King of kings,” as the “Great God and our Savior.”
At His first coming, Jesus came meek and lowly. He came as the suffering Savior of His sheep. He lived as a poor man among men. When the Lord Jesus died, He owned nothing but the clothes He wore. But when He returns, He will come in “power and great glory” and take possession of the Earth and rule and reign “with a rod of iron” in righteousness and truth. At His first coming, Jesus was despised and rejected of men. At His coming again, He will be revealed as the Lord God and Creator and Sustainer of all things. At His name “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” To all who deny Him now, He will be revealed and they will bow before Him, and confess that He is Lord. Every deceived follower of Mohamed will then KNOW that Jesus is the Lord of lords and bow before Him Whom they have blasphemed. To every sinner that has stubbornly rejected Him, He will be revealed. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is His Apocalypse. That is, His Revelation. He will be made known.
The second coming of Jesus Christ is called, “the Day of the Lord.” It is called, “the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and “the Day of God.” When Jesus comes again, it will be “the times of restitution of all things.” It will be “the last time” and the end of time. It will mean the end of the world as we have known it.
“As a Thief in the Night”
At least six times in the New Testament, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is said to be like “a thief in the night.” How does a thief come? He comes unexpectedly, at a time when you think not. So will the coming of Jesus Christ be for multiplied millions. Jesus Himself said it will be like the judgment of God in the days of Noah. Read carefully the following verses of Holy Scripture from the lips of the Lord Himself. “But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 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 (Noah) entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Mat. 24:37-39 Notice that when the flood came, people were living their lives, eating and drinking. They were getting married and going about life until suddenly, unexpectedly, the rains began to descend and the waters from under the earth were opened up. Steadily the waters rose. Many may have tried to get into the Ark of God, but He had shut the door, and it was too late. They all perished. They all died.
Jesus said it will be exactly so when He comes again. It will come “as lightning” flashing across the sky. Sinners will be in bars, in casinos, at home, and at work. Some will be in the fields or at the office, and some will be asleep in bed when Jesus is “Revealed from Heaven.” They will not be ready! They will not be looking for it, but He will return.
Suppose a person living in a time before electricity and modern alarm systems was told that a thief was going to break into his house. What would he do? He would watch! He would be on the lookout and be prepared. That is, he would if he believed the threat. He would endeavor not to allow his house to be broken into, would he not? But if he did not believe it, he would laugh and do nothing. The thief would come and rob his house and perhaps do harm to the man and his family. So it will be when Jesus comes. Many will not be ready, because they do not believe in God and His Word.
The Wicked Will Scoff
The Bible teaches that many scoff at the idea that Jesus Christ will come again to the earth. They do not believe God, or His Word. “I have heard that all my life,” they will say. “He has not come back yet, and it has been almost 2000 years. It is a myth. It is hyperbole or a mystical return. The Bible does not really mean that Jesus Christ Himself, in flesh and blood, will come again.”
Let us see if this can be true. The night before Jesus was betrayed and crucified, He told His disciples, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and pre pare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3 Jesus said, “I will come again.” That seems very plain to me. It cannot be misunderstood. He will come again.
After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus spent about 40 days with His disciples. At the end of that time, He ascended back up into Heaven. The Bible says that “a cloud received Him out of their sight.” He disappeared in the clouds as He went up to Heaven. As the apostles stood there staring up into the sky, two angels of God stood by them and 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.” Acts 1:11 The holy angels of God plainly said, “this same Jesus…shall so come…” Not another. Not in another form, but “this same Jesus.”
Dear Reader, JESUS CHRIST IS COMING BACK! It is called The Revelation. He will come with all the glory that is due His position as God and the Creator of all things.
Jesus Will Come as Judge
One of the primary works of the returning Lord Jesus is to judge all men. He is the Judge before Whom we must all stand and give account. He will judge nations, Mystery Babylon the Great Mother of Harlots, Satan, all unbelievers, and believers. Allow me to give to you just a couple of texts, among many, of Holy Scripture on this point.
“…we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom. 14:10-12
“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. 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.
“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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:11-15
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:” John 5:22
There are a couple of important points to be learned from these verses of God’s Word. One, Jesus is called God. Let us never doubt it or deny it. This is part of what the Revelation is about. Two, there are no exceptions. Every one of us will be judged by the glorified Jesus Christ. And three, for those who are not prepared, it will be a time of terror and condemnation into the “lake of fire,” where Satan will be doomed by the Lord Jesus.
In this coming judgment, every secret sin, every evil thought and ungodly motive will be brought to light and judged in perfect righteousness. Every saint of God will be rewarded according to his faithfulness and obedience. Listen to what the Old Testament preacher said about this coming day, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccles. 12:13,14
Are YOU Ready for
If Jesus were to come today, would you be found unprepared and condemned? How can you or I know if we are ready for God’s Judgment Day? It is very simple, my Friend. Have you trusted upon the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior? Have you placed your hope and trust in Him? Have you obeyed the Gospel of Jesus Christ? By that I mean, are you trusting wholly upon Him alone for the salvation of your soul? No trust or hope in the Church. No hope in your own “good works,” such as being baptized, going to church, helping the poor, or any other such efforts of your own. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Gospel of God’s grace. It is all of God. Jesus paid the full and perfect price for our redemption and salvation. He made “one sacrifice for sins forever.” He said on the cross, “It is finished!” All that is required of us is to repent of our sin and cast ourselves in trust and hope upon Jesus alone for the salvation of our soul.
Remember Jesus’ coming again is His Revelation, His apocalypse. He will be revealed as the one true God and only Savior of men. For those who are trusting in Him for salvation, His return will be a time of reward and great joy and blessing. For those who have not, it will be judgment, sorrow, and death as the apostle said, “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
2 Thess. 1:7,8
Dear Friend, turn from your sin and cast yourself upon Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Cast out all hope in yourself, and trust wholly upon Him. He is coming again! It may be today. Remember the words of Jesus Himself, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
NOTE: This article is the first of what I hope will be a series on the subject of Bible Prophecy. In later Bible studies, we will endeavor to give more details. Here we have not made any distinction between Jesus’ appearing (παρουσια) and His Revelation (apokaluyis). We have not here made any distinction between the first and the second resurrection, or between the Bema Judgment and the White Throne Judgment of Christ. We hope to discuss the Millinneum, Great Tribulation and The Antichrist in future articles.
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