The Shocking Sign of the Son Himself (Luke 21:25-28)

The Shocking Sign of the Son Himself (Luke 21:25-28)

August 15, 2019 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


We return in our study of the Word of God,
then, to Luke chapter 21. And our text is Luke 21 verses 25 to 28. Let me read that text establishing it in your
mind and then we’ll go in to it in some detail. “And there will be signs in sun and moon and
stars and upon the earth dismay among nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and
the waves. Men fainting from fear and the expectation
of the things which are coming upon the world for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming
in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place,
straighten up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.” As you will recall, if you have been following
this particular series, the disciples had asked Jesus some questions about His parousia
, His dominating presence as judge and ruler. They were asking about when He was going to
end the current age and establish the glorious Messianic age, when He was going to bring
the Kingdom, if you will, when He was going to bring judgment upon the ungodly and blessing
to the saints, when He was going to fulfill all promises regarding the Kingdom, when righteousness
and peace would dominate the world, when salvation would come to Israel and Israel would be restored
to a place of glory in the world and from the throne of David in Israel, in Jerusalem
the Messiah would rule the world…when was that going to happen? And what signs would indicate its nearness? These are the questions that are on their
mind. Now remember, it is Wednesday of Passion Week. All day long Jesus was in the temple engaging
the leaders and the people. It is the last time He was in that temple
until He comes again. He left. He left with the people still uncommitted
and the rulers committed to executing Him. On Thursday He will celebrate Passover with
His disciples. On Friday He dies. On Sunday He rises. Forty days later He ascends to heaven where
He now intercedes for us, awaiting the perfect timing of God for His return. His disciples, of course, had no idea that
the Messiah would come twice. They assumed that if He is here, and He is,
and they believed in Him as the Messiah that the Kingdom has to be very near. And if there must be a destruction of Jerusalem
and Jesus said there would be, it will come soon and right after it will come the Kingdom. They had no concept of Him leaving, being
gone a long time even though He told them a story about a king who went on a long journey,
they thought it would all happen in their life time and in His. So, in order to straighten things out for
them, when they posed the questions about the signs of His coming, He gives them a very
long answer. It stretches in Luke 21 from verse 8 through
verse 34…36, I should say, all the way down to verse 36. It is the longest answer Jesus ever gave to
any questions on any single occasion. It also involves the thirteenth chapter of
Mark and two complete chapters in Matthew…Matthew 24 and 25, a very long and careful and thoughtful
and comprehensible answer. The flow of chronology we have already looked
at. Jesus says…”From My first coming to My second
coming, here are some general things to be expected.” And He lays them out in verses 8 to 19. What are they? First of all, you should expect religious
deception. And we talked about that in detail, the flourishing
of a false kind of Christianity which is very well aware…very well known to us, we’re
very well aware of it in the world in which we live today. There are more false Christians than true
ones, more false Christian teachers than true ones, false Christianity is dominating deception
in the world. Jesus said it would be that way in this period. The second thing He said to expect, not just
deception but disaster. There will come wars and disturbances of all
kinds, kingdom against kingdom, nation against nation, earthquakes, famines, plagues, terrors
in the sky, etc., etc. We went through that in detail. That defines a disintegrating planet life
in this fallen cursed earth. We’re all very familiar with the history of
natural disasters that continue to escalate and worsen as this planet winds down. Third thing He said to expect is persecution…persecution
of true believers. And He went into that from verses 12 to 19. So the verses 8 to 19 cover the stretch of
time from the first coming to the near end when He returns. That whole period of history will be characterized
by these three things, and we’ve shown you that that is in fact what we all know and
experience in the history of the world between the two comings of Christ and it escalates. Then He said, as you get near the end, expect
a sign, a specific sign indicating you’re near the end and that is in verses 20 to 24. We looked at that. Jerusalem surrounded by armies. We compared that with Old Testament prophecies,
the book of Revelation. Antichrist creates a coalition from all nations
in the world who amass themselves against Israel to wipe out the people of God and to
wipe out believers in Jesus Christ anywhere they exist around the world. This great conflagration in its final form
under the final Antichrist marks the nearness of the return of Christ and launches a period
called the Tribulation. Matthew and Luke both say in the middle of
that period there’s an abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet which triggers
this assault, this attack, this conflagration, this war that stretches for the last three
and a half years into the final Armageddon when Christ actually returns. And so, we have seen what the period of time
looked like in general. We have seen what that final period of time
will look like called the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. And then we came to verse 25 last time and
we saw in verses 25 and 26 that at the very end of the time called the Great Tribulation,
more signs will proliferate, signs in sun and moon and stars, the roaring of the sea
and the waves, verse 26, the powers of the heavens will be shaken. The universe as we know it is dramatically
altered. We saw that in numerous Old Testament texts,
we saw it throughout specific judgments defined for us in detail in the book of Revelation. So you have the general period. You have the period called the Tribulation. In the middle of that you have an abomination
of desolation when the Antichrist sets up the worship of himself in the temple and desecrates
the rebuilt temple the Jews will be using. Then all out war begins on the people of God,
the Jews, and on believers all over the world. And that triggers the last period, the Great
Tribulation, the judgments increase and the universe and the earth begins to disintegrate
in chaos that is unimaginable and unequaled in history. Now let’s go back to these final signs that
lead right to the return of Christ. In our first lesson in verses 25 to 28 we
said I’m going to give you some words…five words, at least, to think about. Sequence is the first word and we’ve given
you the sequence in a quick summary. The second word is staging, the staging of
the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sequence we laid out. The staging is given in verses 25 and 26. Sun and moon and stars…what happens to them
in that period of time? They go out. The sun goes out therefore the moon goes out. The stars go out as well, blackness covers
the universe. At the same time the seas begin to roar, the
waves turn into a tumult and we see th powers of the heavens being shaken. This is all final staging and parallels the
Old Testament prophets and the book of Revelation. Now that brings us to the third word and where
we pick up the text this morning. The third word is shock…shock. There’s only one possible response to this
unimaginable chaos, verse 25, “And upon the earth dismay among nations in perplexity.” Verse 26, “Men fainting from fear and the
expectation of the things which are coming upon the world.” And again I remind you, this is how history
ends. This is the real story of the end of the earth
and the universe as we know it. This is the first step in the beginning of
the eternal state. There will be a dramatic, severe alteration
of the universe in which we currently live at the end of the time of Tribulation. And then will come the Kingdom of our Lord
Jesus Christ in a suddenly renewed earth, followed by the creation of a new heaven and
a new earth after the millennial reign of Christ. So we are in the end of the time of the Tribulation
when the universe as we know it is being dramatically altered. And first is chaos before there is reconstruction. There’s only one way to deal with all of the
things that happen which we went through last time, dismay among nations. The word in the Greek is sunoche and it’s
only used one other time in the New Testament, it’s a rare word. It means anguish. It describes a kind of human emotion which
is overwhelming and overpowering. It even could be translated severe anxiety. There is…there is a sense of terror and
a sense of anxiousness that knows no bounds and no relief. It is compounded by perplexity. The word aporia only here in the New Testament. It’s as if the Holy Spirit uses words that
define a time the likes of which has never existed and picks words that are very, very
rare for such a rare time. Aporia , perplexity, it simply means confusion
in its most severe form, confusion in its most severe form. The confusion comes because people can’t do
anything about it. There is absolute chaos. There’s no way to solve this. You’ve got a third of the oceans destroyed,
a third of the fresh water destroyed. You’ve got mountains exploding. You’ve got heavenly bodies crashing and careening
into the earth. You’ve got the skies going dark. You have horrible storms, hundred-pound hailstones
and other things described in the book of Revelation. And the confusion comes because they can’t
sort it out. They can’t even react to it because it’s coming
in such rapid-fire succession. There’s reason to believe that the trumpet
judgments come in months and then the final judgments described in Revelation, the bowl
judgments come in weeks and days…rapid-fire succession. Shock is so great that we are told that men
are fainting from fear. And fainting is a rather benign way to translate
another rare word used no where else in the New Testament, aposuche(?) . What that word means is to breathe out or
to expire. That’s another word for to die. People will be scared to death. People will be scared to death. People all over the world will die of terror
because of what is happening and because what is happening they know will lead to further
horrors. As they watch everything turn into chaos,
they understand the implications. It’s not just what’s going on in the moment,
it’s what all this means in the immediate future. That is to say the terror comes from the immediate
and the terror is compounded by the total absence of any hope of relief. You might be able to mitigate your anxiety
if you thought there would be an end but there will be nor can there be…there will be no
end nor can there be any end. The chaos is too great. This is not, by the way, hyperbole. This is lethal emotional trauma causing rapid
pulse, low blood pressure and cardiac collapse. Rapid-pulse, low blood pressure, cardiac collapse,
scared to death. This is not something the disciples wouldn’t
have heard about before. This is shocking coming from Jesus and yet
this is what Isaiah said. Listen to Isaiah 13:8, “All hands will fall
limp, every man’s heart will melt. They will be terrified. Pains and anguish will take hold of them. They will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look at one another in astonishment,
their faces aflame.” Listen again to the Revelation chapter 6,
as we read familiar words. “The kings of the earth, the great men, verse
15, the commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, every free man hid themselves
in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains and they said to the mountains and to the
rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne and from the
wrath of the Lamb for the great day of their wrath has come and who is able to stand?'” They want to die. Some will be scared to death. Others will be scared but cannot or do not
die, they will wish to be buried alive just to escape what’s next. In the ninth chapter of the Revelation and
verse 6, “In those days men will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die and death flees from
them.” In the sixteenth chapter of Revelation and
verse 8, “The fourth angel pours out the rapid-fire judgments called bowl judgments and the sun
scorches men with fire. They’re scorched with fierce heat and they
blaspheme the name of God who has the power over these plagues that didn’t repent so as
to give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on
the throne of the beast, his kingdom became darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of pain
and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores and didn’t
repent of their deeds.” The chapter ends in verse 21 with a statement,
“The plagues were extremely severe.” The eighteenth chapter gives us a description
of the disintegration of life at that final hour, in those final weeks, in those final
days. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation, we can
pick it up in verse 8. Plagues will come pestilence, mourning, famine,
fire, the Lord God is bringing judgment. The symbol here is Babylon, Babylon is the
unifying term to describe the final world coalition of religion and government, the
final world system. And it’s going to be wiped out. The kings of the earth who committed acts
of immorality live sensuously with this system will weak and lament over her when they see
the smoke of her burning. Standing at a distance because of the fear
of her torment saying, “Woe, woe, the great Babylon, the strong city, in one hour your
judgment has come.” Again indicating to us how rapid-fire the
final judgments will be. The merchants of the earth weep and mourn
over here, again symbolizing the whole economy of the earth in this one symbol of Babylon. Nobody buys their cargoes anymore, cargos
of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls, fine linen, purple silk, scarlet,
the clothing industry, the jewel industry, every kind of citron, wood and every article
of ivory, every article made from costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, the construction
industry as well, cinnamon, spice, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine
flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, cargos of horses, chariots, slaves, transportation industry,
food industry, everything goes…the fruit you long for has gone from you, all things
that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you. Men will no longer find them. The merchants of these things who became rich
from her will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning,
saying, “Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen, purple, scarlet,
adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls in one hour such great wealth has been laid
waste.” Again indicating the suddenness of this destruction. Every ship master, every passenger, every
sailor as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance and John is seeing
this in a vision, symbolic of this dissolution. And they cry, seeing the smoke of this system
burning up, what city is like the great city? They threw dust on their heads, were crying
out, weeping and mourning saying, “Woe, woe, the great city in which all who had ships
at sea became rich by her wealth in one hour she’s been laid waste. Rejoice over here, O heaven, and you saints
and apostles and prophets because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.” Then finally, a strong angel took up a stone
like a great millstone, threw it into the sea saying, “Thus will Babylon the great city
be thrown down with violence, will not be found any longer.” Here’s the end of all music. “The sound of harpists, musicians, flute players,
trumpeters not be heard in you any longer, no craftsmen of any kind will be found in
you any longer. The sound of a mill will not be heard in you
any longer. The light of a lamp will not shine in you
any longer. The voice of the bridegroom and the bride
will not be heard any longer. No more marriages, no more home life, no more
crafts, no more art work, no more music, no more anything…anything.” It’s all over. That is the catastrophic end of human history. That produces devastating shock. Some die of cardiac collapse, others live
but want to die and pray to be buried alive rather than to continue to be exposed to the
full wrath of God. Not all will die. The Lord Himself who comes, as we shall see,
slays many with the sword of His own mouth. But the world knows what’s happening. They know. You say, “How do they know?” Because the hundred and forty-four thousand,
twelve thousand from every tribe, have been proclaiming the truth around the world, because
the two witnesses have been seen by the whole world preaching the truth of the gospel and
of judgment and they have been slain and raised from the dead and seen by the whole world. And then you have people from every tongue
and tribe and nation been converted to Christ who are spreading the gospel and the gospel
is preached…Jesus said…to the ends of the earth. Judgment is preached. The gospel is preached. And when it all begins to happen, they know
it is God. Some believe, most blaspheme God and do not
repent. And as I said, some die, some want to die
but there will be many slain by the Lord Himself when He arrives. So the sequence, the staging, and the shock
leads us to the sign…the sign. What is the final sign? We have seen signs during this long period
of history…deception, disaster, persecution. We have seen in the time of Tribulation a
specific sign, Jerusalem surrounded by armies, the abomination of desolation as written by
Daniel the prophet, defined by our Lord and recorded in Matthew’s account and Mark’s account. We have seen the final staging signs that
we’ve described. But what is THE sign of the Lord’s coming
and the establishment of the Kingdom? What is THE sign? Remember, one of the questions, the one recorded
in 21:7, is what is THE sign? And here is THE sign, verse 27, “And then
they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” That is THE sign, the final sign, the sign
is the Son of Man. Listen to Matthew 24:30, the parallel account. The words of our Lord, “And then the sign
of the Son of Man will appear in the sky.” The sign of the Son of Man will appear in
the sky then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, they’ll already be emotional basket
cases, to put it mildly. They will now launch into a final mourning
as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. THE sign of THE Son of Man, that is a subjective
genitive, the sign which is the Son of Man. It is not another sign that points to the
Son of Man, it is the sign which is the Son of Man. Now remember, the whole world will be pitch
dark. As Joel puts it, the sun will go dark and
the moon will not give its light. The stars will fall. Heaven rolls up like a scroll. It’s pitch blackness. And out of that blackness, the whole world
sees the Son of Man coming. This is the moment to which all redemptive
history moves. This is its glorious culmination, when the
once humiliated Christ returns as the eternally exalted Christ. He came once to die. He comes now to kill. He came once to build His church. He comes again to establish His glorious Kingdom. Many of the early church fathers when writing
about the sign of the Son of Man thought it was something different than the Son of Man. Some of them decided it was a blazing cross. Chrysostom, Origen and others of the early
fathers thought there would be a blazing cross in the heaven. Other suggestions have been made. Some suggest some configuration or manifestation
of Shekinah glory. But the Scripture is crystal clear. The sign is the Son of Man. It is not a cross pointing to the Son of Man,
and it is not a Shekinah representation such as God who is spirit and therefore invisible
is represented, it is Jesus Christ in clouds, on a cloud, bathed in glory but nonetheless
it is Christ. Acts 1 says, “This same Jesus who was taken
up from you shall so come in like manner as you’ve seen Him go.” How did they see Him go? Physically, literally, bodily, in the familiar
form which they knew Him, He goes, that’s the way He returns. This is Christ Himself in full power and full
glory. This too is not new to the disciples. Immediately they would have been reminded
of very familiar words written in the vision of Daniel in chapter 7 where Daniel has the
vision of the coming of the Son of Man. Daniel 7:13, “I kept looking in the night
visions and behold, with the clouds of heaven, one like a Son of Man was coming and to Him
was given dominion, glory and a Kingdom that all peoples, nations and men of every language
might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which
will not pass away and His Kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” The Son of Man, that great term, used by Daniel
to indicate that the Messiah, God coming from the throne of God would also be man…glorified
man. The sign is Christ. And what is it in Revelation 6:13 that I read
you a moment ago? What is it that the people say who don’t die
of a heart attack? “They say to the mountains, fall on us. To the rocks, hide us from the face of Him
who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb.” Believe me, they’re going to know who it is. They’re going to know what’s going on. They’re not going to have trouble ascribing
the chaos to someone. There aren’t going to be any scientific explanations. They’re not going to say, “Oh, look what hydro-carbons
in the atmosphere have done to us. Whoa, we didn’t pay attention to global warning
and now look at what we’ve got. This is what you get for polluting the environment.” Nobody is going to say that. That message will not fly. It doesn’t fly now, frankly, it’s not going
to fly then either. We will not destroy this earth. It will be preserved until the Creator destroys
it. But before He finally destroys it, along with
the universe, He will devastate it and recreate it for His Kingdom and paradise will be regained. Now notice back in our text, Luke 21, it says
that Son of Man is coming in a cloud. That’s consistent with what Daniel said. Daniel said, “With the clouds of heaven..” John in Revelation 1, again the consistency
of Scripture on this is indicative of divine authorship. Listen to John writing of his vision in John
1:7. “Behold, He is coming with the clouds and
every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn
over Him, even so Amen.” He is coming with the clouds, every body sees
Him. Those who pierce Him are those who those who
are guilty of rejecting Him. Everybody sees Him as He comes with the clouds. So Daniel says with the clouds. John says with the clouds. Mark says in clouds. Luke says in a cloud. Matthew says on the clouds of heaven. What does that tell us? That He is on, in and surrounded by clouds. That’s not hard to put together. In fact, in Psalm 104, I think it is, it says
He makes the clouds His chariot. And in Isaiah 19 and verse 1 it says, “The
Lord rides on a swift cloud.” He was taken up from them in a cloud. That’s how He’ll come back. I want to take you to a passage, I didn’t
know if I’d have time but it’s so important. Zechariah 14, this is a fascinating Old Testament
insight into this same moment when Christ returns. This fourteenth chapter of Zechariah is clearly
looking at that time. It is a time for the Lord’s coming, a time
when all nations are gathered against Jerusalem, verse 2, which is consistent with what we
see in the Olivet Discourse of our Lord. It is a time, verse 3, when the Lord goes
forth and fights against the nations as when He fights on a day of battle. It is that day that He returns and His feet
stand on the Mount of Olives in front of Jerusalem on the east and the Mount of Olives split
in the middle from east to west, creating a very large valley so that half of the mountain
moves to the north and the other half towards the south. It is this time of the Lord’s return. But I want you to look at verses 6 and 7. “And it will come about in that day that there
will be no light.” The NAS says, “The luminaries will dwindle.” Literally, the bright ones will fade. That means the stars go out, the moon, the
sun, it’s pitch black…black like sackcloth, the Scripture says, pitch black, no light. What an amazing thought. Then verse 7 further describes it. “It will be a unique day.” That is so understated. What do you mean unique? A day like no other day that no one will be
able to describe because no one has ever experienced it nor has it ever been explained. So it is a unique day known to Jehovah. It is a day that no one could ever comprehend,
no one could ever imagine, no one could ever experience, no one could ever explain. It is known only to Jehovah, He will alone
understand this kind of day, this blackness that never ends. Then further it says, It’s neither day nor
night. “There will be neither day nor night. It is darkness that never goes away.” We endure the darkness because the light is
coming. This is darkness that never ends. That’s why Jeremiah 37 verse 7 says, “Alas
for that day for there is none like it.” And then this amazing statement. “But it will come about that at evening time
there will be light. Out of the darkness comes the light.” Who is the light? It’s the Son of Man coming in power and glory. And then light is restored. The heavenly bodies go back to their ordered
orbits. The earth rests. It’s a wonderful statement. There will be light and living waters, verse
8, will flow out of Jerusalem in the summer and in the winter. In one transition, you go from blackness to
chaos to light and a new earth restored. The deserts blossom like a rose and the rivers
run in Israel summer and winter. This is paradise regained in just passing
from one statement to the next, and this is the Kingdom, verse 9, “The Lord will be King
over all the earth.” In that day, the Lord will be the only one
and His name the only one. The glory of Christ in His return. Then God turns the lights on again and life
returns to a kind of paradise regained. Everything finds its way back into its orbit. The mountains become benign, lion lies down
with the lamb, children can play with a snake. People live hundreds of years. If you die at a hundred, you die a child. This is life in the Kingdom, paradise regained. I need to give you one other glimpse of the
coming of Christ. It is the most notable one in Scripture. Revelation 19…Revelation 19 verse 11, this
describes the same event, the Son of Man coming with power and glory. It describes the same event. “I saw heaven open. Behold, a white horse and he…” That, of course, was a symbol of power and
authority and war, typical of Roman triumphal military procession. “I saw heaven open, behold, a white horse. And He who sat upon it called Faithful and
True.” He’s coming because He will keep His Word,
He’s faithful and true to His Word. “And in righteousness He judges and wages
war.” He must act against sin. His holy nature demands it. Verse 12, “His eyes are a flame of fire, penetrating
omniscience.” Nothing escapes Him. He judges righteously because He knows everything. No one escapes. “Upon His head are many diadems because there
are no other rulers, none at all. He is King of kings and Lord of lords,” as
we’ll see in a moment. He wears all the crowns. He has gone from a crown of thorns to wearing
all the crowns. He has a name written upon Him which no one
knows except Himself. This is the unique name that identifies Him. No one of us can understand the full reality
of His person, the full majesty, the full authority, the full glory, the full power. It is a name that transcends our comprehension. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood. It’s already bloody because this isn’t His
first battle. It bears the blood of enemies in the past,
the blood of many in the time of Tribulation. And it will bear the blood of those who feel
His judgment when He arrives in this world at that time. His name? Who is He? He is the Word of God, John 1:1, “The Word
became flesh and dwelt among us.” First John 1:1, Christ is again identified
as the Word. So here is Christ, but He’s not alone. The return of Christ in verses 11 to 13, the
regiments that come with Him in verse 14, the armies which are in heaven, clothed in
fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. Who are these people? Who are these? Go back to verse 7. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory
to Him for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready and it
was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean, for the fine linen
is the righteous acts of the saints.” So these are saints already in heaven. We believe this is the church already in heaven. These are saints from the Tribulation who
were martyred already in heaven. These are Old Testament believers already
in heaven. It is the saints in heaven already clothed
in linen, already righteous saints, already there gathered in heaven, the church being
raptured before the time of Tribulation. The saints being gathered to Him during the
Tribulation, the resurrection even of the bodies of Old Chestament (meant Testament)
Jews comes at the end of the Tribulation, according to Daniel. These saints are already in heaven before
Christ comes so that when He comes back He comes with His saints. He also, of course, comes with holy angels,
Matthew 25:41, when He comes back He comes with the angels, Matthew 24 also says that. His angels are with Him to gather the elect
from the four corners of the earth. So when He comes, He comes with His saints. We having been caught up to be with Him in
the Rapture of the church, a signless event that has no judgment connected to it, no passage
on the Rapture has any element of judgment. We are with the Lord at the Marriage Supper
of the Lamb, receiving our rewards, clothed in fine linen. We now come back with Him to reign on earth
along with the saints who are still alive and gathered into His Kingdom. Then it tells us in verse 15 of His rule. “From His mouth comes a sharp sword so that
with it He may smite the nations and He will rule them with a rod of iron.” Instantaneous accurate judgment. “And He treads the winepress of the fierce
wrath of God the Almighty.” That is a very vivid image. He stomps on humanity, sinful humanity, like
you would crush grapes under your feet. “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a
name written ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.'” This too familiar to Isaiah…Isaiah 4, “He
shall smite the earth with a rod of His wrath…the rod of His mouth, the breath of His lips He
shall slay the wicked.” This is His coming in judgment and then to
establish His Kingdom. Go back now to Luke and a couple of comments
is all that remain. Luke 21 tells us that He comes with power
and great glory. It’s a staggering thing to think of that and
to contemplate that. Your mind can expand that. It’s so simple in the Scripture, the word
power. And yet how powerful is He that He can send
the entire creation into disarray and chaos? How powerful is He that He can then reorganize
it in a split second and create a paradise? How powerful is He to destroy Satan, destroy
demons, destroy Antichrist, destroy all enemy armies, change the topography of the earth,
the sea, alter the sky, defeat sink, establish His Kingdom? This is massive power as He in the words of
Isaiah 63 also treads out the winepress of His wrath. There is a power display that is absolutely
shocking, stunning beyond comprehension. And so, the Lord will return in power and
great glory. That is no humiliation, no veiled glory…His
full blazing glory. A final word in our little list, saints. A word to the saints in verse 28. These are the folks that will be alive at
the time and will have believed in Christ. “But when these things begin to take place,
straighten up, lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near,” engizo , about
to start. Jesus said, “No one knows the day nor the
hour.” But people will know the time. They’ll know the epoch. They’ll know because there are specific signs,
like the surrounding of Jerusalem. There are more signs in the sun and the moon
and the earth, etc. They’ll know it’s near. They won’t know precisely until the sign of
the Son of Man appears. But as you see these things, everything going
back to verse 20, everything back to that notable moment that launches the desolation
of Jerusalem, from then on, look up, your redemption draws near. Or to use the language of Matthew 24:31, “The
Lord is even at the door.” It is the time of His return. This will happen. We celebrate His first coming, it is history. This is history prewritten. God wrote His first coming history before
He ever arrived. God said He would come, He would come as a
baby. He would be a Son born. He would be born in Bethlehem, that’s what
the Old Testament said. He would be taken into Egypt. Details of His coming were laid out in the
Old Testament. And that’s exactly how it happened. And this is exactly how His Second Coming
will happen. This is the future history of the world. It’s not fiction. It is not fantasy. It is the truth. Which then forces the question…what about
you? Where are you in this scene? Are you a part of those who have come to Christ
in repentance and faith and will be taken to glory to be with Him in the Marriage Supper
of the Lamb, enjoying the bliss of heaven, to return with Him to reign? Or are you among those who perhaps will live
into the horrors and maybe end up a blasphemer and feel only judgment? I don’t know how soon this is coming. You may die before it happens. In that sense, you will find the same result. If you are Christ’s when you die, you go to
the glories of heaven. If you are not Christ’s, you go into the hell
of His eternal judgment. So we plead with you to come to Christ, to
embrace Him as Savior and Lord. That’s the gospel. Christ died for sinners, bearing the curse
that you might be forgiven and given heaven. Father, as we bring this service to its conclusion,
it is really not the end that we desire but maybe the beginning, the beginning of new
life. Do a glorious work of salvation in the hearts
of those who are here. Don’t let anybody be deceived by their own
minds, as to their true spiritual condition. This could all begin very soon. You could take your church any moment and
then the horrors will start. Or life could be snatched away from us in
any moment and we would be permanently either in Your presence or out of it, with no hope. Father, I just pray that You would be gracious
to sinners and that You would cause saints to rejoice. You are so good to us. All of this removes all fear about where history
is going, where the world’s going. We don’t fear what’s going to happen to this
planet. We don’t fear future. Our future is secure and You have already
written the story and we know it well. May we be faithful to the truth, to live the
truth, to love the truth, proclaim the truth written and incarnate, namely our Lord Jesus
Christ. Before I close our prayer, a reminder that
the front to my right under the exit sign is a prayer room. We would love to pray with you about your
soul, your salvation, your eternity, about any spiritual need, baptism. If you haven’t been baptized since you’ve
come to Christ, or you want to become a part of our church, we’re here, the folks are there
waiting in the front to my right, just go through the double doors and they will be
there to serve you. Father, now work Your mighty work in every
heart. We rejoice as saints because our future is
determined and secure, but we grieve as saints for those who are headed for judgment. Use us, Lord, as instruments of Your peace
and Your gospel to reach them, we pray, while we have time, and glorify Your Son, and do
it soon. In His name, amen.