Monday, November 19, 2012

Reveling in Revelation ~ The First is All You've Got

          Here is the wonder of the way the unfolding drama of the first coming, and all the events surrounding Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, give us the certainty of things that we will never be able to see in the same way concerning Jesus’ second coming.

          When we look at Jesus’ first coming we have hundreds of years of prophecy telling us what would happen, we have all the eye-witness testimony of what did happen, and we have the after-the-fact declarations of how each aspect of Jesus’ life and ministry fulfilled the things that God said must happen.

          That is NOT going to be available to us concerning the second coming!

          Here is what I mean. Since Jesus’ first coming was just that, his first coming, and because it would, by nature, be followed by his second coming, there are things that surrounded his first coming that we can look back and marvel at as we continue to live in this world, but will never have the same opportunity to look at the second coming in the same way.

          With regard to Jesus’ first coming we have the prophecies telling us what must soon take place, we have the gospels telling us what did take place, and we have the gospels, the book of Acts, and the epistles, all telling us how to understand what took place, and how those prophecies were perfectly fulfilled. All of that together gives us our encouragement to trust the promises of God and live the persevering life of faith.

          Concerning the second coming of Christ, the only thing we will ever have in this earthly lifetime is the prophecies. We will never have some equivalent to the gospels telling us what is happening at the time it is happening. We will not have a gospel like Matthew’s being written as events unfold telling us, “this is to fulfill this prophecy”. In fact, both Jesus and Paul warned us to not get sucked in to any letters or claims that Jesus has come since his coming will be so gloriously public that not one person will miss seeing it.[1]

          When Jesus comes the second time, it will be over! When Jesus comes, the elect will be gathered to be with the Lord forever, and the condemned will call on the rocks and the hills to cover them because of their terror of the wrath of the one who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb[2]. There will be no gospels written during the time of Jesus’ coming because he will come like a thief in the night[3], the elect will be raised in the twinkling of an eye[4], and the doomed will be instantly resigned to utter hopelessness that the day of their judgment has come. There will be no time to write about anything because it will happen suddenly before our very eyes. We will not need a gospel account of Jesus’ second coming to encourage us to continue to live faithfully for the Lord because when Jesus comes we will become just like him when we see him as he is[5]Neither will we need any more Scripture to tell us what God is thinking or saying. We will see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ[6] and will never again need to read aloud the Scriptures, or hear the Scriptures being read, for we will be with the Word of God forever! [7]

          All of this simply makes the book of Revelation wonderfully significant. It is the last Scripture God has given us. Jesus’ coming is near. No one will need to tell us about it. When the disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of his coming he simply stated, 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.[8]

          In other words, the sign of Jesus’ coming will be his coming. This is why we are to live in the mindset that the time is near.[9] The sign of Jesus’ appearing will be that he appears. When he appears everything is settled. Those who belong to him are gathered to him, and those who do not belong to him immediately know that their doom is sure.

          Once Jesus, the Word of God, appears, we will no longer need any kind of Scripture to tell us about him. We will be too busy seeing him face to face. Until then, enjoy and delight in the book of Revelation, the Scriptural prophecy of what must soon take place.

© 2012 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, Canada, V1K 1B8 ~

[1] Matthew 24:23-28; II Thessalonians 2:1-2; Revelation 1:7
[2] Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 6:15-17
[3] I Thessalonians 5:2
[4] I Corinthians 15:51-52
[5] I John 3:1-2
[6] II Corinthians 4:6
[7] Revelation 21:3
[8] Matthew 24:30-31
[9] Revelation 1:1-3

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