Matthew 16:27 reads, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” What a wonderful promise is given to us in this verse – Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming again. As the song written by John W. Peterson proclaims:
Marvelous message we bring, Glorious carol we sing,
Wonderful word of the King: Jesus is coming again!
Coming again, Coming again;
Maybe morning, maybe noon, Maybe evening and maybe soon.
Coming again, Coming again;
O what a wonderful day it will be – Jesus is coming again!
Let us then consider three important truths out of Matthew 16:27 concerning this great and glorious promise of our Lord’s Second Coming.
God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is coming again.
In the opening portion of Matthew 16:27, our Lord Jesus Christ declared, “For the Son of man shall come.” Certainly scoffers abound, even as God’s own Word in 2 Peter 3:3-4 prophesied that they would. Therein the warning is given, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Yet God’s Word reveals that such scoffers willfully choose to be ignorant of the power and faithfulness of God’s Holy Word and promise. Yea, they willfully and stubbornly reject the power and promise of God’s absolutely true and eternally holy Word. Yet the teaching that our Lord Jesus Christ is coming again is not founded upon “cunningly devised fables.” (2 Peter 1:16) Rather, the truth that our Lord Jesus Christ is coming again is founded upon the “more sure” Word of God. (2 Peter 1:19) We may be absolutely sure that our Lord will surely come again because the absolutely sure Word of God has promised it to be so.
In John 14:1-3 our Lord Himself gave the instruction and the promise, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 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.” Again in Acts 1:10-11, after our Lord’s ascension into heaven, the report is given, “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Yea, this is the very last promise of God’s Word, as presented in the opening portion of Revelation 22:20 – “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.” Even so, in response we should join with the apostle John from the closing portion of the verse, saying, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.” As Titus 2:13 reveals, we should be “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is coming in glory.
It shall indeed be “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Even so, in the opening portion of Matthew 16:27, our Lord Jesus Christ continued, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels.” Again in Luke 21:27 our Lord spoke of His Second Coming, saying, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” It shall be a time when our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified by all believers. Even so, 2 Thessalonians 1:10 describes the Second Coming of our Lord as a time “when He 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.” In addition, it shall be a time when our Lord Jesus Christ will sit upon the throne of His glory as King of kings over all the earth. Even so, Matthew 25:31 describes the Second Coming of our Lord, saying, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”
Indeed, in Matthew 16:28 our Lord Jesus Christ connected His coming in glory with His coming as King of kings, saying, “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom [that is – as the King in His kingdom].” Then in Matthew 17:1-2 we receive a glimpse of our Lord’s coming glory and majesty as King in His kingdom. Therein the report of His transfigurations is given – “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Again in Revelation 1:12-16 we receive another glimpse of His coming glory and majesty. Therein the apostle John gave the report, saying, “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” Yet again in Revelation 19:11-16 we receive another glimpse of His coming glory and majesty. Therein the apostle John gave the report, saying, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on His vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Truly at that time every knee shall bow to Him, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. (Philippians 2:10-11)
God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is coming to reward us.
In Matthew 16:27 our Lord Jesus Christ continued, saying, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Again in Revelation 22:12 our Lord gave the promise, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Yet again in 2 Corinthians 5:10 the truth is revealed, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” And yet again in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 this time of judgment and reward is described, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” Finally, Romans 14:12 declares, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
So then, what is the standard by which our Lord shall try our life-work? In Matthew 16:24-26 He revealed the answer – “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” If we as believers seek to save our lives for our own sake, to live unto ourselves, unto our own purposes and pursuits, then we shall lose our Christian lives to spiritual emptiness and shall lose our heavenly reward to spiritual failure. However, if we as believers choose to lose our lives for our Lord’s sake, to live unto Him and not unto ourselves, then we shall save our Christian lives through spiritual fruitfulness and shall gain our heavenly reward through our Lord’s approval. He is coming again in glory and is bringing His reward with Him. Shall we receive that reward at His coming? Are we now denying ourselves for His sake? Are we now denying our own will in each step of our lives, and pursuing His will instead? Are we now, each day, taking up our cross of self-sacrifice and submission? Are we now presenting ourselves each day as a living sacrifice unto the Lord, to live, not unto ourselves, but unto Him who died for us? Are we now following Him in all things, wholly surrendered to His righteous direction and wholly dependent upon His gracious enablement? Are we now presenting ourselves to serve only Him and cleave only unto Him throughout our entire lives? Only in this way can we gain a spiritually worthwhile Christian life, and only in this way can we receive a heavenly reward at our Lord’s coming.