Thursday, March 13, 2014

The relevance of Christ's 2nd coming to you

Revelation 22:20-21 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Over the past couple of days we have been focusing our attention on the second coming or advent of Jesus Christ and comparing it to the rapture of the church. Such studies are important in clarifying what the Bible teaches. However if we're not careful we can make the study of Bible prophecy (eschatology) to be only about charts and graphs. Studying the Bible's teaching on endtimes is so much more! In focusing on such future events as the Lord's second coming (or advent), I discover the Biblical truth of His return that gives direction for the Christian faith and that warns sinners to believe and repent to escape God's coming wrath. Today's post aims to sketch out three relevant reasons why the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ is important to you:

1. Purpose to life.
To know that Jesus Christ is returning at the end of history to set up His Kingdom reveals that history has a purpose.  History as we know it has been determined by five major events: Creation, The Incarnation, The Cross, Pentecost and the Resurrection.  Two major events have yet to occur that will signal the ending of history: the rapture and Christ's second coming. What does all of this mean? History and life has a direction, a purpose.  Life is not and endless circle but a line with a beginning (creation) middle (incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection & pentecost) and end (rapture & second coming). Acts 17:31 states - "because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He hasappointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

2. Hope. 
The second coming of Jesus Christ is the source of hope in both its related but distinct doctrine of the rapture and the fact that Christ's second coming plays such a huge role in scripture.  Titus 2:13 reminds us - "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."
Is it worth living for and serving the Lord? Do the dissapointments of life and opposition of the enemy determine the horizon of faith? Certainly not! The horizon of the faith life is the fact that Christ has risen and coming again! At the end of what is perhaps the most important chapter in the Bible on the subject of Christ's resurrection and second coming, we read in 1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
The second coming of Jesus Christ gives us purpose for living, hope for tomorrow and finally the tone of preparation in our evangelism.

3. Preparation.
The tone of preparation reverberates like a might echo through the cavernous truth of Christ's second coming in the scriptures.  This idea of "being prepared" or "being alert" supplies the chief evangelistic component to our Christian faith.  Note Matthew 24:44 "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." Also too, Hebrews 2:3 "how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard." 

Though the above reasons are only a thumbnail sketch, the hope is that the reader has seen the practical, relevant meaning of the truth of Christ's second coming to the 21st century Christian.  I close with the familiar, one worded prayer at the end of 1 Corinthians 16:22 "maranatha" ("Come Lord"! or "the Lord cometh!").

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