Tag Archives: Second Coming of Christ

Advent Waiting: Watching for the Bridegroom

Advent: Second Week

Advent: Second Week

So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.

Matt. 24: 42 NLT

Watchfulness is a passionate desire for the presence of the bridegroom which awakens within us a spiritual sensitivity to the signs of his soon arrival. This spiritual sensitivity is a heart connection with the Holy Spirit who graces the believer with insights and discernment concerning the times and seasons immediately preceding Christ’s parousia. A watchful attitude is characterized by being spiritually alert, holy and ready for Christ’s return, as opposed to spiritual dullness typified by worldly attitudes and sinful passions. (HT: Mike Bickle)

We must not only have faith in [Christ], but must wait on Him; not only must hope, but must watch for Him; not only love Him, but must long for Him; not only obey Him, but must look out, look up earnestly for our reward, which is Himself. We must not only make Him the Object of our faith, hope, and charity, but we must make it our duty not to believe the world, not to hope in the world, not to love the world. We must resolve not to hang on the world’s opinion, or study its wishes. It is our mere wisdom to be thus detached from all things below. . . .

They, then, watch and wait for their Lord, who are tender and sensitive in their devotion towards Him; who feed on the thought of Him, hang on His words; live in His smile, and thrive and grow under His hand. They are eager for His approval, quick in catching His meaning, jealous of His honour. They see Him in all things, expect Him in all events, and amid all the cares, the interests, and the pursuits of this life, still would feel an awful joy, not a disappointment, did they hear that He was on the point of coming.

John Henry Newman,   “Waiting for Christ”

 

Advent Anticipation: The Blessed Hope

Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:13 ESV

The second coming (i.e., Second Advent) takes places when Christ returns in bodily form to receive the church and judge the nations. That coming is personal and real for we, the Christ-followers, will see him face-to-face and rejoice at his appearing. Knowing that one day we will see Jesus visibly, we are powerfully motivated to walk in holiness (1 John 3:2-3).

Christ died on our behalf, the Holy Spirit changed our hearts; as result, God freed us from our bondage to live for him. In gratitude, we desire to please our Savior by our behavior. “No shame,” is the watchword for the expectation of Jesus’ coming (1 John 2:28). We desire our lives, attitudes, and actions to honor Christ upon his return. The advent motivation for purity of heart and pleasing our Lord propels us forward in a world gone mad (2 Pet. 3:11). We await a blessed hope, not a terror in the night, or a tragedy of epic proportion, but a Savior who loves and is ready to receive us into his presence.

The Lord shall come! The Church in the early ages took up the subject as of profoundest and most pressing interest, ‘looking for that blessed hope.’ It was no minor hope to the primitive saints. It cheered them at parting with their Lord, and it comforted them at parting with one another.

It upheld them in evil days; it nerved them for warfare; it gave them patience under persecution; it animated them in their work; it kept alive their zeal; it enabled them to look calmly round upon an evil world, and to face its mustering storms; it showed them resurrection and glory, fixing their eye upon scenes beyond the deathbed and the tomb; it ever reminded them of the day of meeting, when Jesus will gather all His own together, and those who have slept in Him shall awake to glory, honor, and immortality.

Horatius Bonar, The Revelation of Jesus Christ

HT: Of First Importance  

The Point of the Resurrection

 

The Resurrection of the Dead

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

1 Thess. 4:16 ESV

When Christ returns, he will raise from the dead the bodies of all believers who have died in Christ since the beginning of time (1 Thes. 4:15-18).  Jesus will reunite these bodies with their spirits which have been residing in heaven (Phil. 1:21, Dan. 12:2-3). Also, he will change the bodies of all those believers who are alive, giving them glorified bodies. Therefore, all believers from all time will have perfect resurrection bodies just like their Savior. The resurrection of the dead is the final work of God in applying Christ’s work on the Cross to our lives and to creation (1 Cor. 15:50-57).

The point of the resurrection . . . is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die. . . What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it . . . What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it . . . ). They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.

N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York, HarperOne, 2008).

Judgment Day

The Final Act on the Final Day

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God.

2 Thess. 1:5

Judgment Day refers to a future event when God will call all men and women to account for their acts of righteousness or wickedness done on this earth. All wrongs performed on this earth will be righted, all righteous deeds honored, and all souls called into account. The Apostle Paul declared that our judgment is imminent, “The Lord is near” (Phil. 4:4). Christians will be accepted based on Christ’s work on their behalf. Their good works were all achieved through Christ’s shed blood and his most gracious grace. Believers do not have to demand justice in this life for the Lord himself will right all wrongs on Judgment Day. Believers are free to minister life not justice for God for in his omniscience is perfectly capable of knowing men and women’s hearts.

When the end comes and we are taken for judgment above, we will then clearly understand in God the mysteries that puzzle us now. Not one of us will think to say, “Lord, if it had been some other way, all would be well.”

Julian of Norwich, Showings

 

Ever Looking

The Second Advent and Christlikeness

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

1 John 3:2-3

The second coming (i.e., Second Advent) occurs when Christ returns in bodily form to receive the church and judge the nations. That coming is personal and real for we, the Christ-followers, will see him face-to-face and rejoice in his appearing. Knowing that one day we will see Jesus visibly, we are powerfully motivated to walk in holiness (1 John 3:2-3). Christ died on our behalf, the Holy Spirit changed our hearts; as result, God freed us from our bondage to live for him. In gratitude, we desire to please our Savior by our behavior. “No shame,” is the watchword for the expectation of Jesus’ coming (1 John 2:28). We desire our lives, attitudes, and actions to honor Christ upon his return.

Living in the reality of Christ’s return makes a difference in a Christian’s behavior. Since Christians someday will be like Him, a desire should grow within the Christian to become like Him now. That was Paul’s passion, expressed in Phil. 3:12–14 (see notes there). That calls for a purifying of sin, in which we play a part (see notes on 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Tim. 5:22; 1 Pet. 1:22).

John MacArthur, NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, Electronic ed. (Nashville, TN: Word, 1998), 1 Jn 3:3.

Those who denounce the doctrine of the second advent as speculative, fanciful and unpractical, would do well to reconsider the subject. The doctrine was not so regarded in the days of the apostles. In their eyes, patience, hope, diligence, moderation, personal holiness, were inseparably connected with an expectation of the Lord’s return. Happy is the Christian who has learned to think with them! To be ever looking for the Lord’s appearing is one of the best helps to a close walk with God.

J.C. Ryle, Day by Day with J.C. Ryle, “Second Coming”, 281.

SaveSave

The Blessed Hope (Sermon Series)

The Second Coming of Jesus

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

1 Thess 4:16-17 (ESV)

Sunday at Lamb of God, I began a series of sermons on the Second Coming of Christ. My burden is that our parish would come to experience the pure joy of anticipating Christ’s return. Too often, Second Coming teaching has generated fear and confusion in the church. My desire is to preach Christ and not a theological system. Our focus will not be on the mark of the beast, secret rapture, and/or secular events, but the final triumph of Christ. When Christ appears, he will completely defeat the world, the flesh, sin, death, and the devil. Paul describes the Second Coming as the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) not a tormenting fear, or a tragic disaster, or a lost cause, but a blessed hope.

Biblical hope is not a wishful desire, but the confident expectation that the good things that God has promised he will bring to pass. We hope to see Jesus face-to-face. We hope to see loved ones again who have died in Christ. We hope that sickness and suffering will end and death will be no more. This Biblical hope does not disappoint (Rom. 5:5) for one day Christ will appear in the clouds and death will be defeated (1 Cor. 15:25-26) and we will reign with him forever.

Salvation is not a matter that concerns only the destiny of the individual soul. It includes the entire course of human history and mankind as a whole. The coming of Christ is a definitive event for all men; it means either salvation or judgment. Furthermore, salvation is not merely an individual matter; it concerns the whole people of God, and it includes the transformation of the entire physical order.

George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974), 557.

My message can found at the Lamb of God Charismatic Episcopal Church website for listening or downloading.