Category Archives: Advent/Christmas

Our Lord’s Coming

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8 (NKJ)

I hope all of you have enjoyed the Advent reading for 2015: A Time of Devotion. It is my hope that this special devotional gave you an opportunity to experience God in new ways as you explored Christ’s return upon your life.

Advent is rapidly coming to a close and giving way to the glorious celebration of Christmas. Advent not only commemorates the historical entry of our blessed Lord and Savior into our time and space but also anticipates the prophetic promise that Jesus Christ will come again. The fulness and understanding of the meaning of Advent is not simply the understanding that Christ has arrived (past tense) but that He is still coming (present tense) AND will come (future tense).

Jesus has come. During His first Advent, Jesus brought peace to all “who were once far off” (Ep. 2: 13) and estranged from God. God manifested Himself in Christ Jesus to save us from the sentence of death, created by our sinful state. We are now are reunited and reconciled to God—no longer destined to suffer God’s wrath (Rom. 1:18).

Jesus is still coming. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jesus continues to reveal Himself (John 16:13. The Holy Spirit is the present manifestation of Christ in our lives. He teaches and directs us in all that we do. He empowers us (Eph. 2:19) to do the work of Christ in the church today.

Jesus will come. Much is written in the gospel accounts about Christ Second Advent (Matt. 24:44; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:28). Jesus’ return will be a time of judgment: to punish those who failed to accept the good news of the Gospel and to reward believers for their works of righteousness (Rev. 20:12). We don’t know when Christ will return but we can be assured, He will come.

Understanding the “supernatural fact” of Christ’s Advent is too wonderful for our “natural mind” to comprehend. Jesus Christ has made His presence known to us in such a way that cannot be limited to time but extends throughout time as we know it. So we await Christ’s second coming “rejoicing in His glorious appearance” (2 Tim. 4:8)—past, present, and future. Jesus has come, is still coming and will come again. Hallelujah and Amen!

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year as you receive more of God’s revelation through His Word.

The Second Advent, Part 2

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)

Expectancy influences preparation. One’s expectancy allows them to anticipate and plan for events that could potentially impact their life. We rise early to watch the morning traffic report and weather forecast for the day. Why? Because we want to be prepared–no surprises! If it’s true that expectancy influences our preparation, how are we to prepare for the certain return of Christ?

We are to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions. The 1990 War on Drugs commercial instructed young people to, “Just say no!” We are to be of the same mindset as we resist the pull of this present age. Christ has redeemed us from ALL iniquity. He has paid the price for our “freedom from sin and death”, a price that no one on earth could ever pay (Heb. 2:14-15).

We are to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. Christ has left us His presence and power to assist us in living a holy life. The Holy Spirit enables us to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4) Reading His Word and prayer daily transforms us into the image of Christ (Rom. 12:2). “He who began a good work in us, is able to perform it (keep us holy) until the day of Jesus Christ (His second return)” (Phil. 1:6).

We are to wait for the blessed hope. As we wait for His return, we are to be working. God desires that we be zealous, “eager to do good.” Uncertainty surrounding the future is the perfect backdrop for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. “The fields are already white for harvest.” (John 4:35)

Expectancy influences preparation. By anticipating future events, we can make adequate plans for events that could potentially impact our life. Christ’s return is a certainty. With His Second Coming the world, as we know it today, will change forever. That being the case, should we not give even more attention to prepare for His return?

Good to the Last Byte…

Christ is coming again. He will first return for His Church at a time called the Rapture. He will “meet us in the air” and take us back to heaven to be with Him (1Thess. 4:13-18). Nonbelievers, however, will be “left behind.” They will enter into the seven-year period of trouble and desolation known as The Great Tribulation.

At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will return to the earth to judge mankind for their unbelief and their sins (Rev. 20: 11-15). By accepting Christ as Lord and Savior TODAY, believers have made adequate preparation for Christ’s return TOMORROW. “God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:9).

The Second Advent, Part 1

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mat 24:36 NIV)

Retailers kicked off Christmas 2014 in October. They hope this will improve their chances to rebound from loses they experienced in the first half of the year. Parents utilize layaways and presales to fulfill   Christmas gift requests without “breaking the bank.” Recipes are being exchanged and updated as families prepare for special meals with friends and families. Christmas pageants and carols are being   practiced until perfection is accomplished. All this and more is being done in preparation for Christmas—the celebrated arrival of Emmanuel, the Messiah, The Christ Child.  However, I have this one question: “How are we preparing for the Second Advent—the Second Coming of Christ?”

The first arrival of Christ was foretold by many of the Old Testament prophets. We read many of these prophecies during Advent programs and church services; the most frequently cited are found in the Book of Isaiah.

  • (Isa 7: 14 NIV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
  • (Isa 9:6 NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • (Isa 11: 1 NIV) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
  • (Isa 28:16 NIV) So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

Luke chronicles two believers who faithfully and enthusiastically anticipated the first coming of Christ. Simeon awaited the “Consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25-32).  Anna, an eighty-four (84) year old widow “did not depart from the temple and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 236-38). That’s anticipation!

Jesus spoke of the certainty of His Second Coming (Matt. 24:27-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28).   Although He was pressed by His disciples to give the “day and hour” (Matt. 24:36), Jesus instead emphasized faithfulness, watchfulness, stewardship, expectancy, and preparation. As He ascended to heaven, the angels foretold the disciples that “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven (Acts 1: 11). That certainty!

It is important that we fully embrace the reality of Christ’s Second Coming. It is equally important that we prepare for it!  For nonbelievers, the reality of Christ’s return is an invitation to repent and turn to Him TODAY. For believers, it reinforces the need to share the Good News of Jesus Christ EVERYDAY to EVERYONE God places in our path. Are you prepared for His Second Coming? Next week I’ll share God’s instructions on what we are to do while we wait for Christ’s Second Coming.

Good to the Last Byte…

While Christ’s first arrival marked the offering of salvation and deliverance to all mankind, His Second Coming will be ”very different” (Read Revelations 19:11-16).   The child in the Christmas manger will return as the “righteous judge” (2Tim. 4:8).