And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war…And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11, 16)
This may well be the most magnificent passage in all of scripture. Since the awful day of disobedience in the Garden of Eden, the world has been waiting for the entrance of creation’s gracious King. He visited us before under different circumstances and for a different purpose. He did not appear as the royal King; He did not project the fierceness of a mighty warrior; He did not come with fire in His eyes to bring vengeance upon His enemies. He came as a humble, meek servant with compassion in His heart. He came to seek and save that which is lost. He came for helpless sinners doomed to suffer the wrath of Almighty God for their crimes against Him. He came to take away the guilt of sin for all that believe by satisfying the divine justice of God.
The first advent of Christ was for you and me that trust Him. He came to give us salvation. He had to come in the humiliation of human flesh in order to do it. So, He appeared the first time as Hebrews says to “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” He was the pure innocent Lamb slain for the vile and guilty. The Second Advent is also for us. The writer of Hebrews adds to the first statement: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)
The second time Christ comes it will not be as the sin bearer, but nonetheless it is also to bring us salvation. In this sense, salvation means our final deliverance from this sin cursed world. The Second Coming is for believers as Christ enacts His plan to rid the world of all opposition and bring us the blessedness of the new heaven and new earth. But, there is also a sense that the Second Coming is for unbelievers. They humiliated Him the first time. They despised Him and turned their backs on Him. They beat Him without mercy and then nailed Him to a rugged cross. The second time He comes He will not permit this. All will be forced to give Him the honor and glory He deserves. At the end of the 19th chapter, He destroys so many unbelievers that the fowls feast to the full upon their bodies as if it was carrion.
Revelation 19 is very unlike Luke chapter 2. There is no stable; there is no manger; there are no swaddling clothes of peasants. There is no lowly humility. This time He comes as a mighty warrior to conquer the world, to make it His kingdom, and to force His enemies to submit to His rule. This is the side of Jesus most never hear about. And yet, you must understand the wrath of God before you will ever understand the love of God. Do not take your ease because you think you are not guilty. Do not comfort yourself in the erroneous hope that God will never punish the guilty. Revelation 19 is as true as Luke 2. The KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS is coming. Are you ready? Repent of your sins, trust Jesus to save you from them, and you shall be!
Pastor V. Mark Smith