Leftovers from Red Letters, Part 3: The End is Near!

By - Dana Hicks

Here is some of the material that I had to cut out of last Sunday's message because I didn't have time to cover it all: 

The signs of the second coming of Jesus is throughout the whole New Testament.  John says this --  “Children, it is the last hour!  As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come.  From this we know that it is the last hour.”  (1 John 2:18; NRSV) One Bible scholar as put it this way, “Through much of history, people have been looking more for the Antichrist than for Christ…. There's more interesting speculation about who the Antichrist is.” In other words, don’t waste your time looking for the “Antichrist.”  Most Bible scholars believe that the Antichrist is not a person but a “spirit of the age”

Peter offers another sign of the end of the world in Acts: “God says: In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people…” (Acts 2:17; NCV) Peter is explaining that what is going on at the day of Pentecost is a sign that this is the last days.

The point is that Jesus could come back any moment: No more preliminary things need to be fulfilled. He may come back tonight and we need to be ready for that. He may not come back for a million years and we need to be ready for that too.

But when it comes back, it will be decisive.  In Jesus’ story, when the master comes back to claim what belongs to him - his reign will be total, unchallenged, unhindered, uninterrupted, unending. The book of Revelation describes it like this: “…Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the commander of all the rulers of the world.”  (Revelation 1:5; NLT)  Or, “kings” of this world

Reflect on that image with me: We tend to think of kings or rulers in the context of politics. We divide up life: politics, art, media, education, etc. In Jesus’ day, there were no such separations – the king ruled over everything: So when he says, “Jesus, the one who returns, is the ruler of the kings of the earth,” he is saying Jesus' lordship extends to every area.  Jesus is Lord over all powers -- media, the arts, business, everything.

Jesus is Lord over Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Jesus is also Lord over Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer. He is Lord over Elen Degeneris and Oprah. He is Lord over Sponge Bob Square Pants and Big Bird. He is Lord over Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. He is Lord over Adam Lavine and Bono and Placido Domingo, Lord over Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

He is Lord over Main Street and Wall Street and State Street. He's Lord over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and over Constitution Avenue and over Madison Avenue and Park Avenue and even 14th and Grove streets, Lord over Hollywood Boulevard, and Lord over Times Square. He's just Lord over it all. You go home and look at your address, and he's Lord there too.

The point is – you had better surrender and recognize it.  It says that he's coming as a judge. Again, that image is a little different in scripture than it tends to be in our day. It's not just a judicial concept. It's a leadership concept. It's one who defines reality. The book of Acts says it this way: “Jesus is ordained of God to be the judge of all – the living and the dead.”  (Acts 10:42; NLT) In other words – he is coming to define reality for this planet.