The coming of the Lord

459 the coming of the LordIn your opinion, what would be the biggest event that could happen on the world stage? Another world war? The discovery of a cure for a terrible disease? World peace, once and for all? Maybe the contact to extraterrestrial intelligence? For millions of Christians, the answer to this question is simple: the biggest event that will ever happen is the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The central message of the Bible

The whole biblical story of the Old Testament focuses on the coming of Jesus Christ as Savior and King. As described in 1 Moses 3, our original parents have broken their relationship with God through sin. But God predicted the coming of a savior to heal this spiritual breach. To the serpent who led Adam and Eve to sin, God said, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and their offspring; he will crush your head and you will stab him in the heel "(1 Moses 3,15 LUT). This is the earliest prophecy in the Bible about a Savior who defeats the power of sin, which practices sin and death over men. "He should crush your head." How should this be done? Through the sacrificial death of the Redeemer Jesus: "You will stab him in the heel". He fulfilled this prophecy at his first coming. John the Baptist recognized him as "the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world" (John 1,29 LUT). The Bible reveals the central meaning of the incarnation of God at the first coming of Christ and that Jesus now enters the lives of the faithful. She also says with certainty that Jesus will come again, visibly and with great power. Jesus comes in three ways in different ways:

Jesus has already come

We humans need God's salvation - His salvation - because we have all sinned and brought death into the world above us. Jesus made this salvation possible by dying in our place. Paul wrote, "For it was pleasing to God that all fulness should dwell in him, and he reconciled all things with him, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace through his blood on the cross" (Col. 1,19-20 LUT ). Jesus healed the breach that happened in the Garden of Eden. Through his sacrifice, the human family is reconciled to God.

The prophecies of the Old Testament referred to the kingdom of God. The New Testament begins with Jesus proclaiming "the good news of God": "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come," he said (Mk 1,14-15 LUT). Jesus, the king of this kingdom, walked among men and offered "one and only ever valid sacrifice for the guilt of sin" (Hebr. 10,12 NGÜ). We should never underestimate the importance of the Incarnation, the life and work of Jesus about 2000 years ago.

Jesus is coming now

There is good news for those who believe in Christ: "You too were dead by your transgressions and sins in which you used to live according to the nature of this world ... But God, who is rich in mercy, has in his great Love with which he loved us, even us who were dead in sins, made alive with Christ - by grace you have been saved "(Eph 2,1-2, 4-5 LUT).

"God has raised us up and intervened in heaven in Christ Jesus so that in the ages to come, he will display the effusive riches of his grace through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus" (verses 6-7 LUT). This section describes our present state as followers of Jesus Christ!

When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God came, Jesus answered, "The kingdom of God does not come to be seen; It will not be said: Look, here it is! or: There it is! For behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you "(Lk 17,20-21 LUT). Jesus Christ brought in his person the kingdom of God. Jesus is now living in us (Gal 2,20 LUT). Through Jesus in us, he extends the influence of the Kingdom of God. His coming and living in us foreshadows the definitive revelation of the kingdom of God on earth at Jesus' second coming.

Why does Jesus live in us now? We observe, "For by grace you have been saved by faith, and not from you: it is God's gift, not from works, that no one should boast. For we are His work, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in it "(Eph 2,8-10 LUT). God has saved us by grace, not because of our own efforts. Although we can not earn salvation through works, Jesus lives in us so that we may now do good works and thereby glorify God.

Jesus will come again

After Jesus' resurrection, when His disciples saw Him ascend, two angels asked the question: "What are you standing there watching the heavens? This Jesus, who was taken away to heaven by you, will come again as you have seen him go to heaven "(Acts 1,11 LUT). Yes, Jesus is coming again.

At his first coming, Jesus left some messianic predictions unfulfilled. That was one of the reasons why many Jews rejected him. They expected the Messiah as a national hero, who would liberate them from Roman rule. But the Messiah had to come first to die for all humanity. Only later would he return as the victorious king and not only elevate Israel, but set his eternal kingdom over all the kingdoms of this world. "They have become the kingdoms of the world of our Lord and His Christ, and he will rule forever and ever" (Rev. 11,15 LUT).

Jesus said, "And if I go to prepare the place for you, I will come again and take you to me, that ye may be where I am" (Jn 14,3 LUT). Later, the apostle Paul wrote to the congregation: "The Lord Himself, when the command sounds, when the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God sound, come down from heaven" (1 Thess 4,16 LUT). At Jesus 'second coming the dead righteous, that is, the believers who have entrusted their lives to Jesus, are raised to immortality, and the believers, who are still alive at the time of Jesus' return, become immortal. All will meet him in the clouds (V. 16-17, 1, Kor 15,51-54 LUT).

But when?

Over the centuries, speculation about the Second Coming of Christ has created a multitude of disputes - and innumerable disappointments, as the various scenarios of the predictors proved wrong. The overemphasis on "when Jesus will return" may distract us from the central focus of the gospel. This is Jesus' redeeming work for all people, accomplished through his life, his death, his resurrection and his pouring out of grace, love and forgiveness as our heavenly high priest. We can become so engrossed in prophetic speculation that we fail to fulfill the legitimate role of Christians as witnesses in the world. We should rather illustrate the loving, compassionate and Jesus-oriented way of life and proclaim the good news of salvation.

Our focus

It is impossible to find out when Christ will come back and therefore unimportant in comparison to what the Bible says. What should we focus on? Best to be ready when Jesus comes again whenever this happens! "Therefore keep yourselves constantly ready," said Jesus, "because the Son of Man comes at a time when you do not expect it." (Mt. 24,44 NGÜ). "But whoever remains firm to the end will be saved." (Mt 24,13 NGÜ). The focus of the Bible is always on Jesus Christ. Therefore, our life as Christ's successor should revolve around him. Jesus came to earth as man and God. He now comes to us believers by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ will return in glory, "to transform our vain body, that he may become like his glorified body" (Phil 3,21 LUT). Then "also the creation will be freed from the bondage of transitoriness to the glorious freedom of the children of God" (Rom 8,21 LUT). Yes, I will come soon, says our Savior. As disciples of Christ, we all respond in one voice: "Amen, yes, come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22,20 LUT).

by Norman L. Shoaf

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