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Series 1 - The Bible and You: Practical Answers—Real Hope

Hi friends! Welcome to the fifth lesson in our series about "The Bible and You: Practical Answers—Real Hope."

When we face problems, whether crime in our neighborhood or unemployment, threats of terrorism or potholes in the street, it is natural for us to look to our governments to help solve them. But we've all heard the cynics' comments about government:

Why does it seem that our governments are helpless in the face of problems or can become the cause of more problems? Corruption plagues governments around the globe. And conflicts between governments seem to spiral out of control as our world becomes a more and more dangerous place.

But Jesus Christ promised a solution to all these problems! He is coming back to this earth and promises a perfect form of government that will truly serve your needs and the needs of every human being! Explore this wonderful news from the Bible in this lesson, "A Real King Who Will Return to Rescue Humanity."

Lesson 5: A Real King Who Will Return to Rescue Humanity

Bible Study - A Real King Who Will Return to Rescue HumanityHumanity hangs on the brink of self-annihilation. Human governments can't or won't stop it, but Jesus Christ promised to come back to save us from ourselves. He also said He will come as the King—a real leader with real solutions to our most difficult problems!

The statistics, and the human stories behind them, are horrifying. Dictators, tyrants and leaders of every stripe have cheated, robbed, starved, repressed, jailed, tortured, raped and murdered their own subjects.

For example, some estimates claim Kim Jong Il was responsible for the deaths of 4 million or more of his own people, an incredible statistic considering North Korea has only about 23 million people. While he required his malnourished people to watch the public executions of people caught stealing food or trying to flee the country, he continued to spend extravagantly on his own lavish lifestyle.

According to the UN World Food Program, the average 7-year-old boy in North Korea is almost 8 inches shorter than a South Korean the same age and more than 20 pounds lighter (David Wallechinsky, "The World's 10 Worst Dictators," Parade, Jan. 22, 2006).

Sadly, there are many more stories like this today, as there have been throughout history. Think of Suharto, estimated to have embezzled $15 to $35 billion during his rule of Indonesia, and Stalin, who killed thousands in his purges of "enemies of the people" and starved millions more Russians with "the worst man-made famine in human history" (;

Before them were countless others—from Nimrod to Nebuchadnezzar to Nero to Napoleon—with power and the corruption that seems to inevitably follow.

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God's Rescue Plan: The Return of the King

This world desperately needs leaders to pull us out of the death spiral we seem to be in. We need leaders to protect us from terrorist attacks and wars, crime and poverty, epidemics and financial crises. But too often our leaders become mired in bureaucracy or entangled in corruption. Instead of helping solve our problems, sometimes our leaders become a major cause of our problems. The Bible shows that human leaders, both the best and the brightest and the lowest of the low, will bring humanity to the very brink of extinction.

But then God promises a new Leader will come to rescue us! This is the good news—the gospel of the Kingdom of God. The best news ever announced is that Jesus Christ is coming back soon as a real King to rule this planet. His rule will have none of the shortcomings of human leadership, and He will provide all the benefits earth's citizens dream of.

Jesus Christ is commonly known as our Savior. What other important roles and titles was He prophesied to have?

Isaiah 9:6-7
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Luke 1:32-33
"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

John 18:33-37
Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

Jesus came the first time to give His life to become our Savior. But as He said (and the Old Testament prophets and the angels proclaimed) He was born to be a King. His second coming will highlight this role, as His government and peace will increase forever (Isaiah 9:7).

The "throne of David" had messianic overtones (Jeremiah 23:5-6; compare Isaiah 11:1, 10 and Daniel 7:14). It symbolized ruling over not just one nation, but God's Kingdom, which will expand to include all nations.

When Christ said His Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36, Greek kosmos), He meant it was not of this order of things, this society. He was not saying it was not of this planet. Kosmos can also mean "the whole mass of men alienated from God" and "world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly" (Thayer's Greek Definitions).

What will the world be like just before Christ's return?

Matthew 24:5-8, 21-22
"For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

The religious deception, war, famine and disease epidemics mentioned in verses 5-8 parallel and help explain the four horsemen of the Apocalypse described in Revelation 6:1-8. (You can learn more about these in our reprint series The Horsemen of Revelation.)

Verses 21-22 go on to describe an unprecedented time of trouble called the Great Tribulation. Verse 22 also identifies it as a time when humanity can wipe itself off the face of the earth, something that was not possible before the invention of nuclear weapons. As the dangers in our world increase, we can see we are rapidly approaching this terrifying time. (See Are We Living in the Time of the End? for much more detail on this subject.)

What is the good news that Jesus and the New Testament Church preached?

Mark 1:14-15
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Luke 9:1-2
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Matthew 24:14
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

Acts 28:30-31
Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Gospel is an old English word that means good news. Christ, His original disciples, the apostle Paul and the first-century Church of God all preached the same good news—that Christ would come back and set up God's government, the Kingdom of God! This will not only prevent human annihilation, but begin a time of peace and prosperity that will spread around the whole earth.

How will Christ's return be heralded?

Revelation 11:15
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

The rulership of all nations will be transferred from the incompetent hands of man to the perfect hands of our Creator, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9). Christ will wear His title: "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16).

What will the King of Kings do when He returns?

Zechariah 14:3-4, 9, 16
Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south...
And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—"The Lord is one," and His name one...
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

After defeating the deceived armies of the earth who will make a futile attempt to stop His return, Christ will take over as "King over all the earth" (verse 9). Then will begin the massive effort to teach the way of peace to all nations and to repair the war-torn world. (More about this in the next three lessons.)

How is Jesus Christ's approach to leadership completely different from what this world has known?

Matthew 20:25-28
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Jesus' motivation and methods of leadership are never selfish. In fact, He gave everything—even His life! Everything He does is for the eternal benefit of those He serves. We will see more about how Christ is training His people to serve others in the Lesson 7.

In this lesson we have seen that Jesus Christ will come back as a real King to set up the Kingdom of God! In the next three lessons we will explore more about this central focus of the Bible and the only real hope for mankind: The good news of the Kingdom of God. A real kingdom has four necessary elements: the King (discussed in this lesson), the laws (to be discussed in Lesson 6), the subjects (Lesson 7) and the territory (Lesson 8). The reality revealed in the Scriptures is both a dream come true—and beyond our wildest dreams!


Apply Now

In discussing the times of trouble leading up to His return, Jesus Christ told His followers, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). The context shows there are two areas we are to watch and pray about: the conditions in the world and our personal spiritual condition.

As you watch the world news today, jot down items that show the seriousness of our times, and take them to God in prayer. Christ taught us to pray "Your kingdom come" (Luke 11:2). And pray also for God's help to make spiritual changes in your life. Make a commitment to watch and pray about these two areas every day this week.

Next Lesson: God's Law of Love: Making Life Work

Questions about this lesson? Feedback about this lesson?

Related Resources:

Are We Living in the Time of the End?

Priority #1: Human Survival

The Biggest News Story in History: CHRIST RETURNS!

The Horsemen of Revelation

What Is the Gospel That Jesus Christ Taught?

What Will the Kingdom of God Mean for You?

What Was Jesus' Gospel? from the booklet Jesus Christ: The Real Story