Saturday, June 22, 2013

P3 Understanding how Christ's 2nd coming finishes this present age

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Over the past few days we have been aiming to understand the second coming of Jesus Christ as explained in Revelation 1:3-8.  We have discovered the following truths about Christ's second coming thus far:

1. It is a fast approaching coming.    Revelation 1:3
2. It will be a fully glorious coming.  Revelation 1:4-7

It is a fast approaching coming in the sense that it will come immediately and that no man knows the day nor the hour of either His coming nor when the events surrounding His coming will get underway.  The glorious nature of Christ's second coming stems from the fact of His shared glory with the Father and Spirit as One God, His saving glory in rescuing His saints from coming Divine wrath and His Sovereign glory as the King who will set up His kingdom here on earth.  

In today's post we will consider one last thought from Revelation 1:3-8 on the second coming of Jesus Christ - namely that it will finish this present age.

Christ's 2nd coming will finish out this present age
Revelation 1:8 reads - “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."  As you study the Bible, five historic eras or "ages" can be discerned, in which Christ is either mentioned or central:

1. The Beginning Age or Creation in Genesis 1 through 2. After God created the heavens, earth, life and people, His work went from that of creation to that of maintaining the created order or providence.  We know the Son was with the Father and Spirit as One God creating all things. (Genesis 1:2; John 1:1; 1 Corinthians 8:6)

2. The Former Age or Old Testament Age.  Passages such as Ephesians 1:10, 3:9-10 and Hebrews 8:1-13 speaks of the Old Testament age prior to the cross and the sending of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.  Israel was the chief focus of God's redemptive purposes.  Jesus Christ appeared through the Old Testament in symbols and disguised as different people. (Luke 24:44; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4; Hebrews 1:1-2)

3. The Present Age or church age or what is also called the New Covenant age. Once Christ provided the foundation for the church age by His accomplished work and once the Spirit came at Pentecost to inaugurate the church age, the New Testament describes this age by the simple term "Present Age" in fifteen places.
Jesus Christ is the One who is spiritual reigning in heaven right now over His church. (Acts 2:34-35; Ephesians 1:20-23)

4. The Millennium or 1,000 year reign.  Scripture's presentation of history has this present age ending with Christ's return and His 1,000 year reign following as described in Isaiah 11; Zechariah 12-14; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 and Revelation 20.  

5. The Age to come.  The fifth and final age in scripture is what is termed "the age to come".  The power and glorious truth of that final age is so potent that in this present age, believers are getting a foretaste of it.  Both this present age and the age to come overlap in the 1,000 year reign of Christ, wherein He brings this age to an end and uses His Kingly powers to prepare for what will be the New Heavens and New Earth. (Revelation 19:6; 21:1-22:21) 

Now in all five of those ages, especially this current age, the five titles revealed to John about Jesus Christ describe for us how He alone has the power and purpose to finish this present age at His second coming to usher in His 1,000 year Millennial reign.

1. Jesus says: I am Alpha and Omega.  The first and the last letters of the Greek Alphabet are used here to represent every letter in between.  I heard an English teacher one time write all the  letters of the alphabet on a chalkboard and tells the students that those twenty six letters represent every book ever written and that every book that is English falls within the bounds of those letters. As the Alpha and Omega or Beginning and the End, Jesus Christ is stating He is Fully Divine, and that all things began because of Him and will end due to Him.  In Old Testament prophecies such as Isaiah 41:4, 43:10, 44:6 and 48:10 we see Jehovah God describe Himself as the "first and the last" and "apart from Him there being no other".  Hence by being a sharer with God the Father, Jehovah, in the Eternal Divine nature, Jesus Christ can legitimately classify Himself as Eternal.

2. Next we read that Jesus is "LORD".  This Divine title was revealed to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3:14 and describes Christ as being the Personal God.

3. By being Eternal and Personal, Jesus is thirdly described by John as being "God", referring to His Divinity.

4. As we read onward, the fourth title ascribed to this Jesus who will finish out all history with His coming is that He is "The One Who is, and Who was and Who is to come." Just as we read in Revelation 1:4 about God the Father, the Son shares the same nature as the Father. This trait of Christ speaks to Him being All-knowing as it pertains to His divine nature.

5. Then fifthly we see the title "Almighty" being attributed to the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation seven times and to the Father twice.   This title shows Jesus Christ being All-powerful and strong enough to finish out this present age at His coming.   

Concluding what we have learned about Christ's second coming from Revelation 1:3-8
In our posts of the past few days, we have learned from the Apostle John the following about Christ's second coming:

1. Fast Approaching 1:3
2. Fully Glorious        1:4-7
3. Finish out this Present age 1:8

May these studies raise our hearts and minds to new levels of appreciation, love, commitment and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

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