The Coming Reign of Christ
Eschatological study by Pastor Wesley Darby
THE COMING REIGN OF CHRIST - I
INTRO: The greatest Bible expositors of every generation were devout adherents of the doctrine of Christ's return. They believed Christ was coming in glory to reign on earth - Rev. 20:6. This thousand years known as "Millennium". Latin "millie" - a thousand,, "annus"- a year . Millennium nowhere found in the Bible, but six times in Rev. 20. The Kingdom age is said to last a thousand years.
I. THREE VIEWS REGARDING THE MILLENNIUM
A. Pre-millenarian believes before millennial age can come into the world, Christ himself must return in person.
- As age goes on, the church will be less and less influential in affairs of the world.
- Instead of church overcoming world, the church will lose its hold upon the world.
- War, iniquity & lawlessness will increase, civil government will come under the power & influence of Satan.
- Lord will appear in air, raise up dead, catch up believers, church escape tribulation - Rev 3:10.
B. Post-millenarian believes civil & institutional life of man will be gradually transformed through the agency of the church.
- Preaching of gospel will have worldwide influence & will overcome greed, selfishness, hatred & war.
- World will grow better and better until by a gradual change the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God.
- The church will bring in the Kingdom and for a thousand years the ability and genius of man will be displayed.
- After millennium the Lord will come, separate the sheep & goats following a general resurrection.
C. A millennial school teaches there is no Millennium of any kind.
- God is calling out from the earth his church & will continue to do so until the word comes to an end.
- The end of the world will terminate at the return of Christ, one general resurrection & one general judgment, Christ will separate saved from the lost.
II. THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM
A. Many err in confusing the kingdom with the church.
- God's purpose for this age is the building of His church. Kingdom cannot be established until King returns.
- In this age He is offering a full & free Salvation to all- Eph. 3:6.
- The church is built gradually - kingdom is set up suddenly.
- The church is in the present - kingdom is yet future.
- Church age began with suffering - kingdom will manifest the glory of Christ - 1 Pet. 1: 10, 11
B. When we become Christians & members of His church we identify ourselves with his sufferings - Gal. 2: 20.
- Church age is that of gospel preaching & suffering - kingdom will be a manifestation of his regal splendor and glory.
- Church age will end at rapture - kingdom age will not commence until King returns the second time.
C. Both Jesus & John the Baptist preached - Matt. 3: 2, 4, 17.
- King was offering himself to Israel, Israel rejected her King & kingdom was postponed.
- Kingdom is not at hand- the Lord is at hand.
D. After rapture Jewish evangelists will once more preach the gospel of the kingdom.
- He will not offer himself to be received or rejected in that day, he shall rule with a “rod of iron” - Rev. 2: 26.
- During present age Christ can be received or rejected - in kingdom age he shall rule whether men want him or not.
- The distinguishing characteristic of the church age is grace - distinguishing characteristics of the kingdom age will be righteousness.
E. The grace of God is withholding judgment today & that is why he permits evil.
- In the kingdom age grace will not prevail but righteousness shall reign & all powers of evil will be subdued.
- Failure to distinguish between the church & kingdom results in confusion.
THE COMING REIGN OF CHRIST - II
I. IS THE KINGDOM SPIRITUAL OR LITERAL?
A. There is a spiritual Kingdom into which all those who believe enter.
- Must not spiritualize that Davidic throne that is to be rebuilt in Jerusalem.
- Two important passages: Isaiah. 9: 6-7 - Lk. 1:31- 33.
B. Modernist spiritualizes the truths in both these verses.
- Insists that neither virgin birth nor Davidic throne to be interpreted literally.
- Many aspects of divine revelation spiritualized away.
II. THE LAMB AND THE LION
A. Prophetic scriptures present Person & work of Christ in full.
- Seen as sacrificial Lamb & as restless Lion.
- As Lamb see His suffering- as Lion see His sovereignty. Zach. 9:8, Isa. 53:7.
B. David displays this twofold revelation of Messiah.
- Psa. 22- “The Psalm of the Savior’s Cross.”
- Psa. 24- “The Psalm of the Sovereign’s Crown.”
- Dying Lamb- Dominating Lion- Psa. 69:20-21.
C. These prophecies literally fulfilled in suffering Christ.
- David uttered another that awaits fulfillment- Psalm 89:34- 36.
III. THE DAVIDIC COVENANT
A. Davidic covenant holds important place in determining the purposes of God - II Sam. 7:12-16.
- David praised God for this unconditional promise - Ps. 89.
- The Davidic covenant included the provision of a Son, yet to be born, who would establish David's kingdom & occupy his throne.
- Some applied to Solomon, he sinned, kingdom declined.
B. Matt. 1:1-16 traces genealogy shows how God kept word in raising up David's Son.
- Mary was descendant of David, no matter how we view birth of Christ, He is entitled to throne of David.
- David looked to Solomon for fulfillment of God's plan to establish kingdom.
- Solomon ended in failure, David disappointed.
- Then David's Son, greater than Solomon was born.
- But where is the kingdom? Mk. 11:10
- Soon same crowd cried - "Crucify Him."
C. He died, He arose, seated on right hand, waiting - for what? - Psa. 110:1.
- The right to rule will never be transferred to any other.
D. David's kingship & reign will one day find its full realization in Jesus Christ.
- After David anointed king dethroned, enemies triumphed for a while, at last he triumphed over enemies, subdued them, broke their power, dealt with them in judgment, reigned in righteousness - II Sam. 8:15.
- This is type of Christ - He will occupy throne of David & shall judge the nations.
E. God will give to Christ the throne of David - Lk. 1:33.
- Note Jer. 23:5-6.
- Man will have nothing to say about this - Phil. 2:10-11.
- Acts 2:29-31 - no spiritualization here.
- Acts 2:34-35 - When Jehovah had sworn with an oath to David that David's Son would reign upon his throne, it was certain to pass.
- God cannot deny Himself.
THE COMING REIGN OF CHRIST - III
I. THE THRONES OF CHRIST
A. Several times in Scripture we read about thrones of Christ.
- Since God is eternal, conclude somewhere in heaven is an eternal throne - Psa. 11:4.
- Doubtless Son shared that throne, when man sinned, Son left throne, came to earth, His footstool.
- Exchanged crown for cross.
- One day will leave Father's throne return for His bride.
B. He will sit upon the judgment seat, the Bema, translated throne - Acts. 12:21.
- Often called "the award throne."
C. Following tribulation, Christ will return to reign upon the throne of His glory.
- Matt. 25:31-34 - nations mentioned here are living nations on earth when our Lord returns.
D. Following judgment of nations, Lord ascends the throne of David where He reigns over Israel.
- This reign lasts thousand years, Jerusalem capitol.
- Gentile nations who persecuted God's chosen people will be punished with everlasting punishment - Matt. 25:40.
- When King comes back He will provide an era of peace & righteousness for His people.
E. At the end of Millennium, all things subjected under His feet, Christ will occupy the Great White Throne - Rev. 20:11-15.
- This is the final judgment of the wicked dead.
- The throne of God is established in unquestioned authority - Rev. 22:3.
- This is the eternal throne from which He shall reign throughout eternity.
II. THE PEOPLE AND THE LAND
A. The Millennial reign of Christ & God's promises to Israel cannot be divorced.
- Does Israel have an earthly possession? Gen. 12:7, 17:8, 48:3,4.
- God will regather Israel to the Promised Land - Jer. 31:8,10.
- The Palestinian Covenant includes Israel's national conversion, restoration to the land, national prosperity & suppression of all Israel's oppressors - Isa. 8:8.
III. THE CITY OF ZION
A. Zion appears well over one hundred times in O.T.
- This is the earthly city of Jerusalem, II Sam. 5:7, 9, Ki. 8:1, Psa. 48:2.
- God speaks of Jerusalem's future - Isa. 52:1, 2, 7:70.
B. Zion shall be redeemed & the King shall come again to that city - Lk. 21:24.
C. Today Palestine is taking on new life.
- The day is not far away when Jesus will return as Israel's Messiah & King - Zech. 1:14-17.
D. Scripture pictures a coming kingdom of Christ, a new kingdom on the earth, centered at Jerusalem.
- God is not through with the Jews, Jesus was a Jew, Scripture penned by Jewish hands, apostles were Jews.
- We should the greatest friend the Jew has.