When we minimize the work of Christ to his death and resurrection, we neglect many aspects of the work of Christ. One of these aspects truly affects the life of a believer. If Christ has done everything for us, then why would it matter how we live? One aspect of the Christian life is that Christ is coming back. We live in the age between the two advents, one of his humiliation, and the second Christ returns with all of his glory and splendor. One day, Lord willing, I will preach through the book of Revelation. Even if you do not understand the book, you can see that Christ returns and wins. Some people call this ‘pan-millennial’ (that things will pan out in the end). Yet even while Christ was on earth, he taught his disciples that he would return (Matt 24:30, cf. Acts 1:11). We are told to be ready for his return (Matt 25:1-13). He is not coming in a manger, meek and lowly, but in glory (1 Thess 4:16, Matt 25:31).
Christ’s return is twofold. Depending on your relationship with him depends on whether this brings you comfort or discomfort. To the non-believer, significant discomfort. When the Son of God, they rejected, denied, mocked, ridiculed, and sinned against returns. To Christ, they are his enemies, whom he will cast into everlasting condemnation (We will look at this more next week). However, to his sheep, the people who are his, the second coming brings great comfort. So that as the Heidelberg Catechism says, “That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head, I look for the selfsame One, who has offered himself for me to the judgment of God and removed from me all curse” (HC 52).
To the believer, the worst has passed, and the best is yet to come. To the non-believer, the best has passed, and the worst is yet to come. Christ’s first coming came in humiliation, being born and placed in a lowly manger. However, Christ’s second coming comes not as an infant but as a mighty King coming to concur with his enemies and to recuse his subjects for good.
The one thing that we know about the second coming is that we do not know when it is. Jesus will come like a thief in the night. No thief calls up and asks if you will be home for them to rob your house. Christ will come on the day of surprise. Let us be awake and alert, not asleep and drunk (1 Then 5:1-11). Christ is coming back; do we live like this is the case? Or do we live thinking Christ has done all that he needs to do?
Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if I expected it would not be above an hour before I should hear the last trump. Jonathan Edwards
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art