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Revelation - The Age of the Apocalypse

“The Return of Christ” Revelation 19:1-20:15

Date:November 16, 2022
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


Recently, one of man-stream media outlets published an article entitled “Rapture Anxiety,” They defined it as a type of “religious trauma” expressed by those who once believed in the return of Christ for His Church, but who have now left, or who are questioning their faith in the essential doctrines of the Christian Faith. That is very interesting in view of the latest surveys that said only 27% of those who claim to be born-again believers believe Jesus will return to the earth.

The truth is, the Lord’s return has two parts. The first is the Rapture, to which we refer as “Our Blessed Hope,” (Titus 2:13), when Jesus will come for those who received Him as their Savior and Lord, and the second part is His physical return with those He ransomed and redeemed, to establish His kingdom upon this earth for 1,000 years, and then reign in the New Heaven and New Earth forever, world without end.

We will explain this further in our next sermon, “The Age of Apocalypse: The Return of Christ,” based on our study of Revelation 19-20.

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The Age of the Apocalypse
“The Return of Christ”
Revelation 19:1-20:15

The second coming of Jesus Christ is the major theme of the whole Bible – it is the end of His Story!

  • One fifth of the Bible is prophecy, and one third of those prophecies relate in some way to the return of Jesus Christ as the King of King and the Lord of Lords.
    • Of the 333 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament:
      • 109 were fulfilled at the birth of Jesus.
      • 224 are yet to be fulfilled with He returns.
    • Of the 7,959 verses in the New Testament:
      • 330 refer directly to the second coming of Christ.
      • 25 were from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself.
    • Throughout the ages, unbelievers have scoffed at the idea of Jesus coming to earth again.
    • However, according to the most recent surveys, only 27% of those who claim to be born-again believers in Jesus Christ believe He will physically return and establish His kingdom upon this earth.

For thousands of years, God has allowed the wickedness of man to run its course.

  • However, in chapters 19-22 of the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John described a time in the future when God will pour out His wrath upon those who refused to receive Jesus Christ as the Savior, release His judgment upon the rulers of darkness, and reclaim the earth from Satan’s influence.
  • That seven-year period of time called “The Tribulation” will end with the literal, physical, visible return of Jesus Christ to this earth, which will bring about four major events.

1.  The Reunion of the Church – Revelation 19:1-10 – Verse 6 – “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

    • The “Church Age” began at Pentecost (Acts 2) and it will end at the Rapture, (1 Thess. 4:14-18) when every believer, alive or dead, will be caught up from the earth and taken to heaven.
    • Once the Bride has been made clean and the marriage ceremony is held at the Father’s House, the Church will be united with Christ forever. (1 Thess. 4:17)
    • At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will return to the earth, WITH HIS BRIDE, to end the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:14) and to establish His Kingdom upon the earth, and the Church will reign with Him for 1000 years.
    • At the beginning of the Millennial Reign, all the saints from every age will be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. (Matthew 8:11, Luke 13:28-29, Luke 22:16-18, Luke 22:29-30)
    • While the Old Testament Saints and the Tribulation Saints will be the “invited guests,” at this supper, the event will celebrate the eternal reunion of Christ and His Church. (Ephesians 5)

2.  The Return of Christ – Revelation 19:11-21 – Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”

  • Verses 11-13 describe the glory of Jesus as He returns to this earth as the Conquering King.
    • Verse 11- He will sit on a white horse – a symbol of victory
    • Verse 12 – His eyes are as a flame of fire – a symbol of purity
    • Verse 13 – His clothes are dipped in blood – a symbol of the destruction of His enemies that is about to take place.
  • Verse 14 – Great armies from heaven will come with Him – “Clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” Those who received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord during the Church-Age will return to the earth with the Lord.
  • Verse 15 – He will execute His judgment with the word of His mouth. “Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
  • Verse 17 – An angel cries out for the vultures to come and feast on the flesh of men and horses.
  • Verses 19-21 – the Antichrist and the False Prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire.
  • “These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

3.  The Reign of Christ and His Church – Revelation 20:1-6

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”

  • In the model prayer, we pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”
  • When Jesus comes again, He will remove all the ungodly, and He will rule and reign on this earth as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Verse 4 – “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

  • Every true believer will reign with Him for a period of 1,000 years.
  • The Apostle Peter said, as believers in Christ, we are members of a royal priesthood, and that Christ has made us to be kings and priests unto Him.
  • Every born-again believer will be assigned specific duties and responsibilities during the millennium.

Verse 7 – “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

4.  The Retribution of Christ – Revelation 20:11-15

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

  • This is the darkest hour of human history – the day of judgment for those who rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. (Hebrews 2:30)
  • John called it “Great” because so many will be there.
  • For 2000 years, Jesus has said “Come unto Me, all ye that Labor” – trying to earn salvation!
  • On this day, Jesus will say: “Depart from Me, I never knew you,” not because of their “sins,” but because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.