Pastor Bill Meadows
March 5, 2014
Paul exhorted Titus to live “looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” During this period of time Paul was in prison and facing death. Paul tells Titus to be looking for Jesus to return; this is his and our only hope and glory. This verse boldly affirms that Jesus is God, for there is only one article in the Greek; “ the great god and our Saviour.” Paul did not go more into detail about the events surrounding the return of Christ. Believers should always be expecting His Return and live like those who will see Him face to face.
Paul goes on and says this; “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 timothy 4:7-8).
Think of it, Paul says that a special reward is waiting for him, “ a crown of righteousness“ not only him, this reward is given to any person who lives his or her life loving the appearing of the Lord. Are you a candidate for this reward? Do you have a zealous yearning in your heart for the Lord‘s soon return? Do you pray daily, Maranatha (Our Lord come)!” “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also“ (John 14:3) He promised that He would come back He is going to come back to take to Himself all the living believers. The dead believers are already with Him in heaven; when they died, they left their mortal corruptible bodies on or under this earth. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). The bodies which we left behind could not possibly compare with the new resurrection body they will receive when Jesus comes again. That expectation should be a source of great joy.
There is a Greek word, “Epipbaneis” which means the appearance of a thing corporeal and resplendent. It was particularly used by the Greeks to denote the appearance of their intervening gods for the purpose of helping with circumstances of external splendor. Such was Christ’s incarnation, “But is now manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”( 2 Timothy 1:10).Paul knew he was about to die at the hands of an executioner in Rome. He had no regret about his life, he knew that awaiting him after his death was a crown of righteousness which would be his due reward. This reward was not only for him, but also for all those that love the Lord appearing, (“epiphanies”).”Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 timothy 4:8).
“Love” in Greek is “egapekost,” the perfect participle active of the verb agapao, to love. This means that such love for Christ’s appearing for Paul and all believers started or should have started in the past when they believed and realized Christ’s promise, and continues now, during their entire life of faith.
Paul could not have been anticipating the tribulation described at that which the unbelievers face in Revelation 4 - 19. For him and all believers this “epiphanies“, His appearing, is the blessed hope (“ Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing”). It dispels all fear of persecuting and death. The Christian could not call the “epiphanies a blessed hope if this were going to involve the experience of the coming wrath of God upon this earth “And to wait for his Son from heaven, who he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
At the Rapture, (be fulfilled at any time) the dead in Christ will be resurrected and the living will be translated to meet Him in the air. It is at this time that both the living and dead in Christ will receive their glorified bodies, “Thank You Lord!” how about YOU?