The Glorious Appearing

This morning, I found myself reading from the Old Testament book of Zechariah and the New Testament book of Titus. My reading from these two scriptures spoke to me about our present times and also our only hope for the future. Paul’s letter to Titus makes a powerful statement about the hope that we as believers have in looking forward to the day when Christ returns to this earth.  

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” Titus 2:11-13. As Christians, we must constantly strive to live moral, upright lives in the midst of a world that is intent on denying God and all that is virtuous and pure.

We are living in an age where unseen, evil spiritual forces, are waging war on all that is good and decent. There is a powerful, invisible battle raging between the forces of evil and the spiritual forces of God. We know this from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

As I read from Zechariah about the second coming of Christ, it gave me the assurance that on that glorious day, evil will be defeated once and for all. Christ’s return will usher in his kingdom of righteousness and Christ will rule the entire earth. If you have not read the 14th chapter of Zechariah, I encourage you to do so and learn about the events that will take place at the battle of Armageddon.

In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! 6 In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. Zechariah 14:4-7.  

The Mount of Olives is important for several reasons. As Jesus was entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he descended from the Mount of Olives, as he wept for the city and the judgment that was coming. After Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus gathered his disciples, gave them the great commission and then ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12). And on the day of Christ’s second coming, “his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.”  

Just as Jesus lands on the Mount of Olives, a massive earthquake will cause the Mount of Olives to be “split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley.” This will be a day unlike no other and the entire remaining world will recognize Jesus as ruler and king over all the earth. Zechariah tells us that in that day there will be no light; the sun and moon will no longer give off light. Remember that in Matthew 24, Jesus spoke of the sun and the moon no longer giving off light.

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29-30.

Can you even begin to imagine what that day will be like? Zechariah describes just how unique this day will be: “In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light” Zechariah 14:6-7. This will be a day when everyone living on the face of the earth will realize that Jesus Christ is “king over all the earth.”

We live in a day and age where it seems that evil is winning in its battle to deny God. If you listen to or read the news, you hear almost every day of someone attempting to keep God out of various public places. Christians are verbally attacked for desiring to stay true to God and our long held beliefs. The forces of evil must sense that the end of the age is near and they are doing everything in their power to wage war upon God and everything that is good and holy.

But we as followers of Christ know how the story ends and how all of these world events will play out. Christ will come in a grand and victorious display of His awesome power. He will rule the earth and defeat the forces of evil, once and for all. So I urge you to read the 14th chapter of Zechariah and take comfort and hope in the fact that God is in complete control over all that is transpiring on the face of this earth.

And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. Zechariah 14:9.

 

 

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