Sunday School lesson. August 23
Revelation 19 - 20
Title: The Second Coming of Christ
(Jesus Christ will return in victory over all evil).
The second coming of Christ should not be confused with the rapture. At the time of the rapture, we rise to meet the lord in the air. Then there is a tribulation period upon the earth. Most feel like this is a 7 year period. At the end of the tribulation, Christ will come back to the earth and there will be a great battle , which is referred to as the battle of Armageddon. Of course Christ wins this battle. Our lesson today is a description of that second coming of Christ. We will take some quotes from today’s lesson.
(1) This lesson examines the second coming of Jesus Christ, the great battle that will ensue with his coming, and the consequences for those who have opposed him. These events bring us
toward the climax of the book of Revelation. Gods great plan reaches a critical point as the powers of earth make a massive attempt to resist heaven. The end of this lessons passage speaks of what is called the millennial reign(Christs one thousand year reign upon the earth). While there are many areas one might discuss in the study of Revelation 19-20, This lesson emphasizes the overall theme of the passage: The glory of Jesus and his certain victory over evil when he returns.
(2) On the coast of Leyte island in the Philippines stand larger than life statues of U.S. General Douglass MacArthur and his staff wading onto the beach.The monument commemorates the return of MacArthur after having evacuated the Philippines during World War 2. When he left, MacArthur declared, “I shall return”. He kept his promise, returning victoriously to the islands. This famous story pales in Comparison to the return of Christ. He will come in heavenly power, bringing about an eternal victory that is certain. When he returns, monuments of human achievements will fade, in light of His glory.
(3) Jesus return stands in clear contrast to his first advent. Here, He comes as a warrior King.
(4) Jesus will come to make true and righteous judgements, unlike the corrupt judgements of the rulers of the Earth.
(5) Great armies of heaven dressed in clean white linen accompany the Lord. Recall that the overcoming Christians of Sardis were promised such clothing. This is also the raiment given to the bride of Christ.
This is odd dress for battle. Typically, armies wear armor. But this clothing speaks to the divine power of the Rider, the one who will do the actual fighting. Though the Lambs bride, the church, accompanied him to war, He will battle for her. Their participation is primarily as witnesses to and recipients of His victory.
(6) The description of Jesus in Revelation 19 Gives hope to his people who are harassed and oppressed by the powers of this world. Jesus future return should have an impact on our present situation. The evil ones in Revelation may be yet to come, but their influence is already felt among us. Johns vision gives us hope that these powers can be resisted and their doom is already certain. Our task is to remain faithful to the lamb and to worship him.
(7) In the secular world, descriptions of God today often depict a deity who is never stirred to anger. That is not the biblical depiction of God. Some things provoke Him to wrath. Clearly injustice, violence and oppression enacted in history has done so. When the lamb comes, He releases Gods wrath upon those evil powers. They will be shattered, and He shall rule over them with absolute authority.
(8) Finally, note the weapon of the Lamb. A sharp sword proceeds from his mouth. With this sword He fights His battle. This depiction fits with His name as the “Word of God”. His judgements reveal the truth and administer justice.
(9) Johns description of the battle in Revelation 19:19-21 is graphic. The Lambs enemies are defeated decisively. Leading the opposition to the Lamb is the evil triumvirate of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. The latter two are human lives wholly given to evil. The dragon empowers them and is the ancient foe of God, the devil. Here they all face judgement.
(10) Johns prophecy is as powerful today as it was 2000 years ago. The forces that oppose God are doomed to destruction. This should encourage, warn, and motivate us today. We are encouraged because the enemies we face cannot ultimately prevail. We are warned from pursuing evil, knowing that we will suffer the Lambs judgement if we do. Finally, we should be motivated to share the good news of the Lambs triumph with those who need salvation.
(11) The scriptures make clear that Jesus will be victorious over all evil. While we rejoice in this great, future victory, it can be a challenge to face daily opposition in the here and now. And so, we must recall the warning of scripture. Going along with the way of the world leads to destruction. We are to live every day according to the way of Jesus, not the way of the world.