THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS
One day the Lord Jesus Christ will come again. This present order will be ended by Him. The living and the dead will be judged. The New Heavens and Earth will be created. Those in Jesus will be given resurrection bodies to live in the New Heaven and Earth. Those who have rejected the Gospel will receive what they desire, eternal estrangement from the living God. Those who have received the Gospel, will once again walk with God in the cool of the day in the New Earth. This is the Christian hope. It is a basic biblical teaching. It speaks to the human longing that death and evil will not have the final word, but that life and love and goodness will have the final word.
There are some Christians who believe that through the Gospel the world will get better and better and better and then the Lord will return. I have never understood how a Christian can believe that and believe in “the fall” at the same time. It seems to me that the Bible clearly teaches that sin has touched and bent every aspect of every human being. If this is so, how can we “make” the world better and better so that the Lord will come? The majority of orthodox Christians throughout history have believed that the Lord will come and bring all things to an end. Humans will not bring the world to such a level of goodness that the Lord can come. He will come to save the created order, not receive a saved order.
Some Christians talk endlessly about the second coming. Often the very same Christians will male foolish claims, and talk as if they know the details of God’s sovereign time table and plan, and how current nations or people fit in the Lord’s plan. We need to be careful that their error does not lead us into the opposite error of never talking about the second coming. Abuse should not lead to dis-use, but proper use. The doctrine of the second coming will both fill us with proper hope, and protect us from believing the errors of popular thought.
The Lord wants you to have hope – to grow in hope. He wants you to grow in the confidence that He is sovereign and is in control of history. The Lord does not have a Plan B or C or D – plans He needs if human beings out wit or out manoeuvre Him. The Lord only has Plan A. We do not know the details, but we know Jesus. We know that the story of Him stooping like a servant to wash His disciples feet is a powerful picture of how He lived; why He died; how He rules – and what Plan A will be like.
This blessed hope, of our Lord and Saviours’ sure return, will help protect us from common errors in the culture. All “progressive” thought is mistaken at a very deep level. There is no “Just Future” that history is moving to – we human beings are fallen. It is the Lord, not ideologues, who will bring in the New Heaven and Earth. All technological dreams of a “perfect” future through technology are likewise mistaken. “Conservative” beliefs of a more perfect human past now sliding to inevitable decay are also mistaken. There is no great society of the past, and the Lord, not our ancestors, is sovereign. Finally, Christians who talk as if they are “renewing all things” along with the Lord are also mistaken – we cannot “baptize” an error in our culture – but show how the error is an error – and that the blessed hope is far better.