The statement, “The Shot Heard Around the World”, is synonymous with the American revolutionary war. The shot in question happened on April 19 1775, in Lexington Mass. On that day the War for America Independence began. Whether a single shot or many together, the sound has reverberated over the last 235 years. In the scope of world events our revolution has been just a blip on the map of human history. In the realm of human impact one event still stands as the most monumental shot fired; that of the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. History literally hinges on His life and Redemptive work.. In light of His first appearance on this earth, we look for another shot to be heard around the world….
Revelation 1:7(NKJV) 7Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
When we think of the impact of the American Revolution in light of the Cross, we see how its importance pales in comparison to Jesus impact. When we think of the Cross in light of the Second coming of Jesus, it’s importance is magnified, for all that is in the Cross; mercy, love, grace, justice and God’s wrath can be clearly seen. For us who are in Christ this, “Shot of all shots to be heard around the world”, should be our expectation and passionate desire. For the world who rejected Jesus it means fear, despair and judgment.
“He is Coming in the clouds”, is a very specific O.T. reference to the return of the Messiah to establish His everlasting Kingdom (Daniel 7:13), in fact when Jesus was being tried illegally on the night of His arrest, He was put under oath… “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God!” To this Jesus said, “It is as you say, Never the less, I say to You, here after you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” This was a shock to the priest who recognized what Jesus was claiming by referring to Daniel’s prophecy and for the world is a shock (shot) they will all be impacted by. This coming in the clouds is a gathering storm on the horizon. Like a summer thunder storm arising with stages of intensity until the violent unleashing of its force, so will be this coming, and this is why all will see it, and hear this shot heard round the world.
“Every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him and all the tribes of earth will mourn”. When speaking of those who “pierced Him”, in its primary context it refers to the Jewish people. As we draw near to Jesus return more and more of God’s people (The Jews) are recognizing Jesus as their Messiah. As we get closer and closer to His revelation, those who have not received Him, long for that One (Jesus) foretold to bring them back to glory. Because of this desire they will follow another (antichrist) who will deceive them and break a covenant with them and begin to persecute them to death. It is at this time that a remnant of the nation will recognize Jesus as the true Messiah, they will be cut to the heart, and national repentance will be sought (Zechariah 12:10-11; Daniel 9:24-27). This is a great hope for the nation of Israel and the hope of every Christian heart, but it comes with the specter of the judgment for all men had a hand in His piercing. The passage says, “all the tribes of earth”, will mourn. Let’s face it we understand that Jesus died and rose for the redemption of the world, Jew and Gentile alike. The Word of God tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). This glory is His mark for entrance into His Presence and peace. Quite simply it is Jesus perfect righteousness. This is the reason His return is our hope, for “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life” and why for the lost it is cause to mourn, “and he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). Oh, that man would know the clouds of the Son of man have already formed in the distance and He is soon in coming.
So what is on the horizon for those who have not received Him? Revelation 20:11-15, describes the reason for their mourning. In numbers to large to count, all who have rejected Jesus will stand before Him who created all things, sustains all things, knows all things, and is looking into the book of their life. Many feel that if there are enough good things to over come the sin, the rebellion and pride that they ran their life with that they will escape. The sobering thing is that these books will contain no works of righteousness, for the Lord declared in Isaiah 64:6, “All are as an unclean thing and all our righteousness is as filthy rags”. Oh the fearful and terrifying sight as men and woman receive the reward for their prideful disposition of sin before God. I wonder how many in that crowd will be those who heard the message and decided their way was better, than merely receiving the work of Jesus on the cross on their behalf? Revelation 14:10-11, describes what their choice earns them… “and the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night…” To those reading who may have not surrendered to God’s grace in Christ Jesus know that the clouds are gathering on the horizon of time, today is the day of Salvation, tomorrow may be to late. For those in Christ let us pray for God’s heart and compassion, His steadfast love and broken heart, to plead with them to be reconciled to God.
This shot to be heard round the world is the hope of all who have come to Jesus. In it we know we will finally see Him as He is and be known as He is known. We have the promise of never dying (as do the lost to unending punishment), no more tears, no more sadness, no more sickness, no more sin, a new body, but most importantly…JESUS. To embrace Him, behold His perfect purity, hear His voice, experience His love and gaze upon His mighty power is more than our minds can comprehend. History tells us that when this hope of the Return of Jesus is forefront in His church we grow and thrive even in the most difficult of seasons of persecution. When we ebb and drift away from this hope we become religious, mechanical, forgetful of the Power of God in the believers life and inching towards apostasy. His return should cause us to live soberly and watchfully knowing how easily we can fall from a life that is worthy of the Lamb who saved us (II Peter 3:8-13, 17, Ephesians 5:15-16). His return should lead us to live with great expectation and desire, with the words, “even so come Lord Jesus” on our lips. His return should bring expediency to all our relationships as Paul declared, “knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men” (II Corinthians 5:11, 20).
Jesus return is our hope and the world’s despair, how ironic? It is amazing that the hope which is our happiness is the damning truth to a world of people who reject Christ. We can say, “Well that’s what they have coming for rejecting the message”. Yes, or maybe they have not ever head the first shot. Is it possible for several years we have lost our way in the presentation of Christ? We have gone through so many phases, programs and evangelism ideas we don’t even call the preaching the gospel evangelism anymore… its outreach. Now there’s a Biblical word. How often do we present the truth to the lost in their life circumstances and context? We always speak of God’s love and this is good, but what of repentance, and the punishment that makes the good news so great. “Well that will push them away”, really, it’s what drew me to Him. Sadly many in our nation have not heard and we know that saving faith comes from hearing.
Romans 10:13-15(ESV) 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?£ And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, £“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Who are these preachers these men and woman who fire the shot heard around the world? It is us and we face a serious dilemma as the clouds of His return are forming. On average 155, 000 leave the earth for eternity daily. How many of them have never heard, or heard a stilted form of the truth? The question is why are we not more pressed in our pews about this truth? Ask yourself when was the last time you shared the truth of Jesus first advent and soon coming return? If you are a preacher I am not talking about a passing reference in a sermon either. When was the last time you prayed with God’s broken heart for those made in his image that have believed a lie and continue in darkness? In Romans 9:3 we get a glimpse of this heart in the apostle Paul where he states, he wished he could be cursed and cut off from Christ for his brothers the Israelites. Paul would have taken becoming a curse that they could find their way back to God. That is exactly what Jesus did, as He became our curse, that we could be made righteous and accepted in the Father. Oh to have Jesus loving heart.
With His return so near and apparent why is there not more fear on the part of the world? Well, it’s simple really. The world system set up by the Devil, inebriates them every waking moment with fantasy, so loud to deafen them to the cry of God and burning with so much sin as to scorch their soul into blindness (II Corinthians 4:3-4). But we believers are to have a greater more powerful and healing Light and we can reverse these effects if we will display Him in our lives (II Corinthians 4:2). This is the shot heard around the world but how can they hear if we stay silent, if the gun is unloaded or not even prepare to fire. Sadly we are distracted by the same noise and worldliness, ours is just a little cleaner and less easily recognized as such. Our hearts should be guided by His eternal hope not this worlds temporal junk. How can we feel God’s heart for them if He is not allowed to cut into our T.V. time, our NFL time, Our American Idol Time, or time period? We have a million clean things that the devil has told us are sanctified for our pleasure…sports, politics, career pursuits, entertainment and education and we consume them and grow insensitive to not only the cry of the lost, but to the Voice that is like the sound of many waters. Were we saved to have nice safe distractions? Or were we saved for an eternal hope that shows us the temporary junk of this world for what it is… garbage that can not satisfy just distract. How will they know if they have not heard the shot heard around the world, for this we are responsible, it’s our heritage, it is the worlds only hope, for God’s next shot is about to be fired.
Good stuff! We know people need to hear this.
Pastor Mike — if we are in Christ shouldn't we be concerned about judgement also ? If we are forgiven won't we also be judged ? I understand when you are forgiven – your sin is wiped away – do you still ” have to pay for it?” or is it as if it never happened?