Ready or Not - Eternal King
The Eternal King
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Some Warnings about Bible Prophecy…
Don’t become obsessed with Bible prophecy.
I’ve known some Christians who “go to seed” over prophecy. It becomes their only biblical pursuit. That’s because it really is interesting to hold the newspaper in one hand and Bible prophecy in the other and say, “Yep, that’s what God said would happen.” But some have become so obsessed with prophecy they become repulsive. They sweat and strain to figure out the meaning of some horn growing from the foot of some symbolic animal and never use their feet to take the gospel to people who need Jesus. They become so preoccupied with the tiny details, they miss the larger picture.
Don’t be arrogant about Bible prophecy.
Bible prophecy is highly specific in critical details and amazingly vague in time and space. It’s a little like the numbered dot-to-dot puzzle that you did as a child. The ones where you start with number 1 and connect the dot there with a line to the dot labeled number 2. Then you went to number 3 and on to the end of the puzzle when a picture was revealed. Well, Biblical prophecy is like that – without the numbers! We have the dots but no way to know what comes next. As a result you can draw lines from one point to the next without really knowing if you are getting it in the right order.
A picture is revealed in every case – but is it the right picture? We only know once the prophecy is fulfilled.
In the case of Jesus coming there are over 300 specific prophecies of his birth, live, death, and resurrection – and yet when he came the people of God missed it and rejected the Messiah.
Don’t be afraid of Bible prophecy.
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: my purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
Some people read prophecies and consider them a Gordian knot: Beyond their ability to unravel.
God’s Prophetic Voice
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
There is much we do not know…
Pre – Millennial Coming of the King
Pre – Tribulation Rapture and Pre – Millennial Coming of the King
Post – Millennial Coming of the King
A – Millennial Coming of the King
There is one thing we do know…
King Jesus Will Come
9 “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
There is an event prophesied in Daniel 7:9. “As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.”
May I introduce you to the Ancient of Days? “Ancient” doesn’t mean “old” here. It means “eternal, ageless.” This is probably where most people get the idea God is some old man with a long white beard and long white hair.
Psalm 90:2 says, “From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” Jesus said it like this, “I am the Alpha and the Omega ... I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:8, 17) He is everything in between.
The Ancient of Days is a reference to the Triune God. It’s God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. His white clothing speaks of His purity. His white hair has nothing to do with age; it pictures His holy, sinless nature. This description of God sounds exactly like what the Apostle John saw in Revelation 1:14, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.”
Ancient of Days, an expression used three times (Dan. 7:9, 13, 22) to designate the divine judge in Daniel’s eschatological vision of the four beasts. The expression in Aramaic literally means ‘advanced in days’ but is not intended to suggest that God ages. Instead, it conveys the qualities of wisdom and venerability which one who is ‘advanced in days’ would possess. A parallel expression in the Ugaritic epic of Aqhat (3.6.48) describes the chief Canaanite god, El, as ‘the king, father of years.’
Keep reading in Daniel 7:10 to see what’s happening in this vision: “A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him [probably angels]; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court [or literally “judgment”] was seated, and the books were opened.”
When he comes…
There will be a Day of Judgment
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life.
There will be a Day of Judgment
The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
There will be a Day of Judgment
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is a vision of the Final Judgment linked to Revelation 20:11-15. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books…If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”
Books of Works
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
Every evil thought, every wicked deed, and every corrupt word I have ever spoken will be recorded in the book and revealed at judgement. Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, “But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” I think, “Uh, oh.” But it won’t just be my evil works and evil word but all my good works will be recorded as a testimony as well. Even if I filled up ten times more pages with good works than bad, fifty times more pages of good thoughts than wicked, a hundred times more pages of good words than evil words, still I will be lost. There are not enough good works in the history of the world to allow someone to earn their way into heaven.
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.
That means the Word of God, the Bible will be Exhibit A at the judgment. I will be reminded of every time I heard a Bible verse, or read the Bible. It will be there as a testimony that I did not heed it. The Bible, will either be “words of life” that lead me to God or they will one day stand in judgment against me. But there’s still a chance, because I see another, large book over to the side.
The Book of Life
“…They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”
The most important question we can ask ourselves is, “Is my name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life?” But can we know for sure? Yes you can.
Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, P., & Society of Biblical Literature. (1985). Harper's Bible dictionary. Includes index. (1st ed.) (29). San Francisco: Harper & Row.