“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).