Behold I Come Quickly
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: I think we are all familiar with the events at the beginning of WWII, when the Philippines were about to fall to the Japanese. Roosevelt ordered General Douglas MacArthur to evacuate his staff immediately to Australia. MacArthur was very upset at having to leave his men and he made a promise to the Philippine people that "I shall return!" It was three long years before General MacArthur was able to keep his promise. Through the three years radio broadcasts to the Filipino people repeatedly carried MacArthur's promise that "I shall return!". On October 22nd 1944, General MacArthur waded ashore and declared "I have returned!"
We have another, more reliable promise and important promise to return that will effect everyone in this room. That promise was made by the Lord Jesus Christ and is the final promise in God's word. Jesus closes His revelation to man saying,
"Surely I come quickly." (Rev. 22:20)
That promise was made over 2000 years ago, yet it has been the source of comfort and encouragement to untold thousands of people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. It is called in God's word, "the Blessed Hope."
Titus 2:11-14 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
In Acts 1:8-11 the Bible records the last words of Jesus to His disciples and His ascension into heaven. Two angels appeared as men and told the disciples, "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."
I can remember some of the times I waited expectantly for something. One especially cold night I was on guard duty near the Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona. My unit was training in 1962 to for Vietnam and I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca, AZ and we were on training exercises. I was manned a fifty caliber machine gun on the perimeter of our camp. It had snowed some earlier that night and it was bitter cold. I had on two pair of socks, long underwear, gloves, scarf, and woolen fatigues. But the cold came right through. I could not move around cause I would give away my position, so I just sat there and suffered. I kept looking at my watch counting the minutes before I would be relieved by another soldier. Hour after hour went by....and then slowly in the east the sky began to be lighter and I could see sun light shining over the mountains to the east of us. The that big orange ball finally appeared and the rays of the sun began to hit my face and its warmth felt so very good. Without hope of the coming day and being relieved it would have been almost impossible to stay at my post. But I had orders, an important task to perform....I was guarding the eastern perimeter so the rest of the men could sleep and work.
The health and wealth TV preachers promise that everything will be wonderful when you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior. You will be rich and healthy and all your problems will go away. Yet, I wonder if they ever heard of Adroniram Judson, early Baptist missionary to Burma.
He felt called to India, to preach the Gospel to the Hindus and after a long voyage arrived to find that the English East India Company, would not allow him to enter the country. The missions board that supported him and his wife Ann, were Protestants and they sprinkled instead of obeying God's command to immerse for baptism. He had to resign his financial support was cut off, till a Baptist board began to help him. The experienced many trying, frustrations, fears, and failures, but finally found an open door to serve in Rangoon, Burma.
They were the only Christians in the entire country of Burma. They had a son, but eight months later he died and they buried him a mango tree. They preached and sought the lost, but for six long hard unfruitful years they had not even one convert. Yet, they were sure of their calling and of God's love and finally they had one person saved, then one more and later many others.
But the devil was on the prowl and the government convicted him falsely of being a British spy, and he condemned to die, but God intervened and he spent 21 months in a filthy prison. He would sit for days on a bamboo log in a torturous position. His wife pleaded for his release and it was finally granted. He died at 62 years of age and a government survey recorded that year there were 21, 000 Christians in Burma.
What kept Adroniram Judson going....the same thing that has always kept believers going.....the surety of the promises of God. The absolute surety of his eternal presence in the believer's life and the sure promise of the resurrection and His Second Coming to the Earth.
I. The King Returns! Rev. 19:11-14
2. Note too that he comes to make war.
3. When Jesus enter Jerusalem in what we call the Triumphant Entry in Matthew 21:1-7, just before He was betrayed and crucified..He came into the city riding a donkey. It was a peaceful entry of a coming king.
2. As millions are slaughtered the Bible says the blood will be up to the horses bridles.
2. On His head are many crowns. He is the Coming conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
3. He has a name written that no man knows...only Himself. This does not mean that no one could read the name, but no one but himself could fully understand the depth of its meaning, and a degree of sacredness, and a relation to the Father, which Christ alone could apprehend in its true import. This is true of the name here designated--"the word of God"--the Logos--logoV .
Revelation 2:17 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
Revelation 3:12 "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
2. The verse says they are driving on white houses, clothed in white linen, white and clean.
3. Verse 7-8 tells us that this is the Bride of Christ...who are arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.
B. His comes with His bride who are described as an army, yet they do not participate in the battle. That is the task of the King.
2. We are in a battle now....fighting not with flesh and blood but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." But to you understand our amour and weapons are the word of God. It is always the Lord who does the fighting....we are go forth in His power.
I have often stated that according to John 1:1, 14 Jesus is the very word. Jesus and His word are one and the same.
3. Here the Verse 15 says, "out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword." It is His word that comes from His mouth. His word is truth and it destroys the evil and condemns and judges those that oppose God. With is word He smites the nations and rules them with rod of iron.
Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The tragedy if all this is express in Jesus' solemn words spoken to Jerusalem that was rejecting Him as their Messiah:
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
ILLUS: When in Israel in October 2002, while visiting the Jezreel valley this passage came to mind when I began to notice the great number of large ravens, hawks, vultures and other birds that seemed to be everywhere in great numbers. As I watched these birds I thought to myself....these very birds could be the one's the Bible says will eat the flesh of the millions of slain soldiers who die at Armageddon.
B. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 refers to this catastrophe event in the future: "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."
C. The Jezreel Valley is Israel's largest and most fertile valley. It is also called Esdraelon, (Es-dra-e-lon) the Plain of Akko and the Plain of Megidoo.
There is a long list of battles fought there, right up to modern times, from the days of Nebuchadnezzar until the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Warriors of every nation under heaven--Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Crusaders, Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Turks and Arabs--have pitched their tents in the plain. It was the epic battleground where the Israelite Judge, Gideon, with only 300 men, defeated the Midianites and the Amalekites who were "thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore." (Judges 7:12). Here, too, Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanite general Sisera, Saul's army was defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:1-13), and king Josiah of Judah was slain while battling Pharaoh Neco of Egypt (2 Chronicles 35:19-25). Naboth owned a vineyard in the town of Jezreel, close to the palace of King Ahab.
E. The scene goes to the beginning of this great battle. Antichrist, called the beast, and the kings of earth who have been fighting each other see the Lord Jesus Coming in the air and they break off fighting each other and join together to fight the Lord Jesus.
2. Revelation 2:11-15 records a thousand years later the final judgment of the lost at what is called the Great White Throne Judgment. The unsaved are judged according to their works and then cast into the Lake of Fire in eternal damnation. The Antichrist and the false prophet are not afforded a judgment, but immediately cast into the Lake of Fire.
3. Verse 21 says that the remnant of these armies of men are slain...by the sword that coming from the mouth of the Lord Jesus.
4. Revelation 20:1-3 tell us that Satan and his demons are cast into a bottomless pit for a thousand years.
2. Folks everywhere we turn it seems the devil and those that follow him are winning. The saint of God are assaulted, churches attacked, and truth slandered.
3. Romans 8:36-37 says, "As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
4. 1 Cor. 15:57 "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 John?5:4 "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
5. Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ have no fear of these sure events in history. We will be there.....by the side of our Savior, Jesus Christ and we will see the victory we have longed for so very long.... We shall see Satan and his demons bounded and cast into the bottomless pit.
We shall see the ungodly, who blasphemed the name of out Lord, who belittle Him and slandered His name....once and for all shown the great and awesome power of God. The truth we preach and live by will be vindicated.....
Folks it is a sad and tragic day for the unsaved....oh the horror of that day....yet, it will be a great day too as Jesus Christ our Savior is glorified and His love and greatest declared to all the ends of the earth.