Admiring the Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord’s coming for us and our gathering together unto Him at the end of this dispensation of grace is referred to by the Apostle Paul as our “blessed hope.”
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13)
There are many aspects of blessed-ness to our “blessed hope” which ought to fill our hearts with joy as we think about them and meditate upon them. For example, the Lord’s coming for us will be our “day of redemption” at which we will receive the long-awaited “redemption of our bodies.” Our bodies will be changed from their present mortal, weak, and vile condition, and will be “fashioned like unto His glorious body.” They will be made immortal, powerful, and glorified. The total victory over sin will be ours in that day, as “mortality is swallowed up of life.” Also in that day we will be reunited with ones who have died in Christ, and we will be assembled with the entire body of Christ. In addition, at that day and from then onwards we will “ever be with the Lord.” But that is by no means all. At the Lord’s coming for us we will receive everlasting rest from the “sufferings of this present time” and from the tactics of the Satanic policy of evil against us. We will also be taken into the heavenly places to begin to fulfill the vocation which God has purposed for us in that realm as His “new creation.” Following the Lord’s coming for us we will appear before the “judgment seat of Christ” and have our service evaluated for rewards, and then we will be presented to God the Father. From that time on we will be functioning to “the praise of the glory of God’s grace” in the heavenly places, with the astounding splendor and unspeakable glory of “the dispensation of the fulness of times” awaiting us in which the “exceeding riches of God’s grace” will be bestowed upon us. This is but just a few of the reasons for why the Lord’s coming for us at the end of this dispensation is spoken of as our “blessed hope.” And they certainly are blessed and happy things to think about right now, and all the more so in the day when they will be realized.
There is one special aspect of blessed-ness, though, which will be ours in that day which stands out from the rest because of the kind of happiness and joy it will produce within us. It is the issue of being delivered from the wrath to come and being on the Lord’s side as He, following His coming for us, will begin to have “His day” of “subduing all things under His feet.” Being delivered from the wrath to come is reason enough for joy to flood our souls. But in being so delivered we will also be ‘on the Lord’s side’ as He executes His day of wrath and vengeance. We will, therefore, be watching Him as He actively and victoriously puts all enemies under His feet and takes to Himself the reigns of the government of creation, both in the heavenly places and on this earth, and puts it all back under His rightful authority and dominion. We will not only watch the Lord do this, but we will revel in it and be thrilled to the core of our being. We will rejoice exceedingly as we gaze upon every move the Lord will make in “subduing all things unto Himself.” Indeed, the joy and happiness which will well up within us as we follow every aspect of the Lord’s activities in His triumphant day can right now be only weakly imagined.
This special aspect of the blessed-ness which will be ours at the Lord’s coming for us is what Paul refers to in II Thessalonians 1:10 where he speaks of the Lord being “admired” by us.
“When he (the Lord) shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”
When we truly admire someone for something we regard him with wonder and delight. We are greatly pleased both with him and what he has done. We are approvingly impressed with him and often excitedly marvel at what he has done. We are taken up with him, loving what he does and adoring him for it.
Such is how it will be with us regarding our Lord “when he shall come to be glorified in his saints.” For we will not only be gathered together unto Him and glorified with Him, but we will see Him execute His righteous judgment as He has “His day”, and that will fill us with admiration for Him. Our minds will be filled with the grandeur of the Lord’s day, and we will be occupied with every one of His activities. Our attention will be rivetted on Him and on the execution of His righteous judgments. We will be absorbed with the greatness of what the Lord will be doing as He puts down all contrary rule and authority, and with a true appreciation for the value of what the Lord is doing our hearts will sing in admiration of Him.
A measure of the greatness of what the Lord will do in His day, which will bring forth such admiration of Him on our part, is given to us in all the various passages in our epistles which describe the glorious position Christ is now in at the Father’s right hand as the “head of all principality and power.” Consider, though, for the purpose of this brief article, Paul’s jubilant words to Timothy regarding the foremost glory associated with “the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
WHICH IN HIS TIMES HE SHALL SHEW, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTATE, THE KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS;…” (I Timothy 6:14-15)
In view of the “mystery of Christ” and the “eternal purpose which God has purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord”; in view of Him being “the head of all principality and power” and “all things being put under His feet”; and in view of it “pleasing the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell”; when the Lord appears to receive us unto Himself, He will begin to have “His day” and administer “His times” in which He will show Himself to be the “preeminent one” in accordance with God’s plan and purpose. The Lord will show Himself to be “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
As the titles that Paul uses here indicate, the Lord will show Himself to be the all-encompassing ruler of creation and the one to whom belongs the rightful possession of its dominion. Hence, He will destroy Satan’s usurped domination of both the heavenly places and the earth, and He will reconcile both realms back to God, as the “head of all principality and power.”
Of particular note to us in this is that Paul says the Lord “shall shew” Himself to be the all-encompassing ruler. Since He will show Himself as such, we will see Him do this. We will be eye-witnesses as He actively displays Himself to be the “head of all principality and power” by personally contending with the Adversary and his co-horts in their very positions of usurpation and vanquishing them. We will watch as the Lord will declare war on them and will move Himself and His armies into their positions both in the heavenly places and on this earth. He will then carry out the physical eviction of them from their positions, and will personally destroy their dominion and demolish the evil effects of it. He will bring judgments and execute expressions of His wrath in both realms, which will see the structure of the implementation of Satan’s plan of evil destroyed, and the perversions and pollutions and abominable works produced by it burned up in the fire of the Lord’s jealousy. We will watch as the Lord destroys everything the Adversary erected and put into place, allowing no opposition to stand anymore. The Lord will indeed show Himself to be “the blessed and only Potentate,” (especially in the heavenly realm), and “the King of kings, and Lord of lords,” (especially in this earthly realm), and we will witness it all.
What glory this will be for the Lord Himself as “the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” comes to pass. What glory will redound to “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” as the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” comes to fruition, and all enemies are put under His feet. It will all be to “the praise of His glory” and to the admiration of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, we will be on the Lord’s side when He has “His day.” We will watch with glowing hearts every aspect of the Lord’s day. He will be “admired in all them that believe” for the greatness of what He does in subduing all things unto Himself. What a blessed time this will be for us too.
A small token of the magnificence of the expressions of the admiration which the Lord will receive in “His day” is given to us in the book of the Revelation where John sees the onset of “the great and terrible day of the LORD” on this earth.
“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, ALLELUIA: FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH.” (Rev. 19:5-6)
Though the Lord’s coming for us will have taken place before this time, for us, therefore, who will have already watched the Lord have “His day” in the heavenly places, how shall our expressions of admiration be anything less.
— K. R. Blades