Sermon title:  JESUS RETURNING ANGRY             2 Peter 2:4  -  3:11

    Immanuel Baptist Church – October 28, 2018

 

 

 

 

It isn’t popular to think of our Lord Jesus as angry. 

 

But, in recent weeks,

we’ve been reading how Revelation chapter 19

describes Christ returning

as the rider of a white horse

at the head of heavenly armies.

 

It shows him with a sword

that he’ll use to destroy the nations.

 

And it says in Revelation 19:15 that he will express

“the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”

 

Some translations render that,

“the fierce anger of God”

or

“the furious anger of the Almighty God”

 

Yes, God does get angry.

And the return of Christ will express God’s anger at today’s world.

 

There are many, many examples in the Scriptures

of God expressing his anger

in past centuries.

 

Speaking to the people of ancient Israel, Deuteronomy 9:8 says,

 

“You made the Lord your God angry in the desert.

You would not obey the Lord...” (NCV)

 

On another occasion, Deuteronomy 32:10 says,

“The Lord's anger was aroused that day.”

 

Joshua 7:1 says,

“the Israelites acted unfaithfully...”

and then the verse concludes,

“So the Lord's anger burned against Israel.”

 

2 Samuel 24:1 says,

“Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel”

 

God is angry with today’s world

for the same reasons he was angry

when he brought the flood of Noah’s day.

 

God is angry with today’s world

for the same reasons he was angry

when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

God is angry with today’s world

for the same reasons he was angry

when he punished ancient Israel.

 

1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us

we can learn from those earlier episodes. 

It says,

“These things happened to them as examples

and were written down as warnings for us,

on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” 

 

God has not changed.

 

He is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 

So, the bad things people did in the past that angered God

will anger God now,

if people do those same bad things today.

 

And the world around us

has fallen into the condition

of the world that provoked the Flood of Noah’s day.

 

The world around us

has fallen into the condition

 of the world that brought down fire and brimstone from Heaven in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

And at Luke Chapter 17[  OPEN  ]

our Lord Jesus compared

the situation when he returns

to the situation at the time of Noah

and at the time of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

At Luke 17, beginning with Verse 26, Jesus said,

 

26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah,

so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.

 

27 People were eating, drinking, marrying

and being given in marriage

up to the day Noah entered the ark.

 

Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

 

28 "It was the same in the days of Lot.

 

People were eating and drinking,

buying and selling, planting and building.

 

29 But the day Lot left Sodom,

fire and sulfur rained down from heaven

and destroyed them all.

 

30 "It will be just like this

on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

 

And Jesus accompanied that with a warning.

 

If we turn over a few pages to Luke Chapter 21,

we’ll see the warning Jesus gave,

beginning with Verse 34.

He said,

 

34 "Be careful,

or your hearts will be weighed down

with dissipation, drunkenness

and the anxieties of life,

and that day will close on you

unexpectedly like a trap.

 

35 For it will come upon

all those who live on the face of the whole earth.

 

36 Be always on the watch,

and pray that you may be able to escape

all that is about to happen,

and that you may be able

to stand before the Son of Man."

 

And we will escape these things,

if we truly belong to Christ

as his faithful followers.

 

Beginning at 1st Thessalonians 4:16, it says,

 

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command,

with the voice of the archangel

and with the trumpet call of God,

and the dead in Christ will rise first.

 

17 After that,

we who are still alive and are left

will be caught up together with them in the clouds

to meet the Lord in the air.

 

And so we will be with the Lord forever.

 

In the next few verses,

Paul goes on to say this Rapture of believers to heaven

will be followed shortly by

the angry Christ

pouring out destruction on this world:

“While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly.”

 

But not everyone who claims to be Christian

really is.

Not everyone who goes to church

will be raptured to heaven.

There are many false churches today

and false ‘Christians’ in the churches.

 

At Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus said,

21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'

will enter the kingdom of heaven,

but only he who does the will of my Father

who is in heaven.

 

22 Many will say to me on that day,

'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name,

and in your name drive out demons

and perform many miracles?'

 

23 Then I will tell them plainly,

'I never knew you.

Away from me, you evildoers!'”

 

So, just calling Jesus, “Lord, Lord,”

doesn’t get us into the Kingdom of heaven.

 

We need to really mean it—

to look to him for salvation

and to obey him as our Lord and Master.

 

 

===========================

 

After he rose from the dead,

our Lord Jesus appeared alive to his followers

over the course of several weeks. 

 

Scripture records that

there were more than 500 eye-witnesses

that Jesus had risen from the dead,

and was alive again.

 

Then, as His disciples watched,

He rose into the sky until he disappeared from their sight.

 

We read in Acts 1:11, that two angels told Jesus’ followers,

“You men of Galilee,

why do you stand looking into the sky?

 

This Jesus,

who was received up from you into the sky

will come back

in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.”


Jesus himself  had often spoken to the disciples

about His return — His second coming. 

 

It will not be like his humble birth

as a baby wrapped in swaddling bands

and laid in a manger,

an animal’s feeding trough in a barn.

Christ’s return won’t be like His submissive death on the cross. 

Rather, Jesus said he will return with great power and glory.

 

At Mark 13, beginning with verse 26, Jesus said:

 

“Then they will see the Son of Man

coming in clouds

with great power and glory. 

 

Then he will send out his angels,

and will gather together his chosen ones

from the four winds,

from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.”


Jesus will return as King of the kingdom of God. 

 

And in Matthew Chapter 13,

he compared it to harvest time,

when farmers harvest their grain, but burn the weeds.

 

Beginning at Matthew 13 Jesus said,

 

40 "As the weeds are pulled up

and burned in the fire,

so it will be at the end of the age.

 

41 The Son of Man will send out his angels,

and they will weed out of his kingdom

everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

 

42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace,

where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun

in the kingdom of their Father.

He who has ears, let him hear.

 

Our Lord devoted a significant portion of His teaching

to the subject of His return. 

Many of His parables are devoted to this theme,

describing how people would be caught by surprise,

and would be rewarded or punished at that time. 

For example,

 the parable of the ten virgins,

where those who aren’t ready

find themselves locked out of the Kingdom.

 

. . . the parable of the talents,

where the worthless servant is thrown out

into the darkness outside, where

“there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

. . . and the parable of the sheep and the goats,

where the sheep go into eternal life

but the goats “go away to eternal punishment.”

 

All of these parables deal with

what will happen when Christ returns.

 

In Luke Chapter 19 our Lord gave the Parable of the Minas,

illustrating how he will bless and reward his faithful people

when he returns. 

But he concluded with the king in the parable

who represents him saying,

“But those enemies of mine

who did not want me to be king over them—

bring them here

and kill them in front of me.”

 

Yes, Christ will return angry,

taking action to punish this world that rejects him.

 

All the evidence points to this happening soon.

 

Jesus encouraged us at Matthew 24:42-44 

to “keep watch” for His coming.

He said,

“Therefore keep watch,

because you do not know

on what day your Lord will come. 

. . . be ready, because the Son of Man will come

at an hour when you do not expect him.”

 

We can “be ready”

by living the way the Bible teaches us to live,

and we can “keep watch”

by eagerly praying for Christ’s return

and by paying attention to world events

that point to his coming soon. 

 

Over the past couple of weeks,

we’ve looked at some of the events in Israel and Jerusalem

that the Bible points to

as related to Christ’s return.

 

We looked at the conflicts and wars.

 

But 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5

also indicates that a Mid-East peace deal

may occur just before the destruction starts.

 

The Apostle Paul wrote

 in 1 Thessalonians 5, beginning with Verse 1,

 

1 Now, brothers, about times and dates

we do not need to write to you,

2 for you know very well

that the day of the Lord

will come like a thief in the night.

 

3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly,

as labor pains on a pregnant woman,

and they will not escape.

 

4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness

so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

 

So, we watch with interest

news reports out of Jerusalem

that a peace deal

worked out by the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner

may soon be announced.

 

It could turn out to be

the “peace and safety” declaration

that will be followed by sudden destruction.

 

But, we will have to wait and see.

-------------------------------

 

Meanwhile, there are a number of other events

that draw our attention

as we “keep watch” for Christ’s return.

 

We’ve talked in recent weeks about

the significance of

Jerusalem coming back under Jewish control

after 2,000 years.

 

Zechariah’s prophecy and our Lord Jesus’ own words

indicate Christ will return

to a Jewish Jerusalem.

 

And we’ve talked about

the international dispute over Jerusalem

being a focus of world tension

and United Nations resolutions.

 

Zechariah foretold that Jerusalem

would be like “a heavy stone” burdening the nations

a heavy stone they couldn’t move—

a problem for all the nations—

just as we see today.

 

We’ve also seen how the nations named in Ezekiel’s prophecy

have recently moved their armies

into position near Israel’s borders,

so that the stage is set for the End Times battles

described in Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah and Revelation.

 

On top of these things

there are other indicators

that the return of Christ is near.

 

I believe these things include:

--the hatred against Christians around the world.

At Luke 21:17, Jesus said,

“All men will hate you because of me.”

 

Bible-believing Christians are looked down on today

even in lands that were once thought of

as “Christian countries.”  

 

In England less than 5% of the population still attend church.

 

Here in this country,

prayer and the Bible are no longer allowed in public schools.

 

Saying “Merry Christmas” has become taboo.

 

And people who believe in the Bible’s moral standards

are considered old-fashioned, or homophobic bigots.

 

Churches are closing everywhere in traditionally Christian lands.

 

It reminds us of Luke 18:8 where Jesus asked out loud,

 

“when the Son of Man comes,

will he find faith on the earth?"”

 

I also believe the recent

ocean storms, tsunamis,

weird weather and climate change

are also indicators that we are in the End Times.

 

At Luke 21:29, Jesus said,

nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

 

Many today are concerned about what they call “global warming.”

 

Maybe that is what the Apostle John saw in vision

at Revelation 16:8, where it says,

8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun,

and the sun was given power

to scorch people with fire.

 

9 They were seared by the intense heat

and they cursed the name of God,

who had control over these plagues,

but they refused to repent and glorify him.

 

Another indication that we are very close to the end

is today’s world becoming like Sodom & Gomorrah.

 

Jude 1:7, says,

 

7 In a similar way,

Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns

gave themselves up

to sexual immorality and perversion.

 

They serve as an example

of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

 

The Apostle Peter wrote at 2nd Peter 2:6, that God

 

“condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah

by burning them to ashes,

and made them an example

of what is going to happen to the ungodly.”

 

It was the violence and the sexual immorality

of Sodom and Gomorrah

and the world before the Flood

that triggered God’s anger

and the destruction he poured out at those times.

 

And the violence and sexual immorality of today’s world

are among the indicators

that the return of Christ

will soon come upon us.

 

Are we ready?

 

Let’s conclude our discussion of the End Times

by looking again at some of the verses we read

in our Responsive Reading,

beginning with 2nd Peter 3: 2.

Peter wrote,

 

2 I want you to recall

the words spoken in the past

by the holy prophets

 

and the command given by our Lord and Savior

through your apostles.

 

3 First of all, you must understand

that in the last days scoffers will come,

scoffing and following their own evil desires.

 

4 They will say,

"Where is this 'coming' he promised?

Ever since our fathers died,

everything goes on as it has

since the beginning of creation."

 

5 But they deliberately forget

that long ago by God's word

the heavens existed and the earth was formed

out of water and by water.

6 By these waters also

the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

 

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth

are reserved for fire,

being kept for the day of judgment

and destruction of ungodly men.

 

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,

and a thousand years are like a day.

 

9 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.

 

10 But the day of the Lord will come

like a thief.

The heavens will disappear with a roar;

the elements will be destroyed by fire,

and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

 

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way,

what kind of people ought you to be?

 

You ought to live holy and godly lives.