The birth of Jesus marked the beginning point of the First Coming of Jesus Christ to planet earth. For this Christmas season, we rejoice in God’s fulfillment of the first part of Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6a). God will fulfil the second part at Christ’s Second Coming: “and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6b).
The FIRST COMING of Jesus began when the virgin Mary was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Christ, the Anointed One, was the promised Seed of the woman. He grew up as a son of a carpenter. As a carpenter, He worked on wood for most of his youth and young adulthood. Then He ministered full-time for three years. He led a sinless life. Finally, He was nailed to a wooden cross for our sins. He was raised to life from the tomb in victory over sin and death. His First Coming is history. Jesus is now crowned with glory and honor. He is seated at the right hand of God in the highest heavens.
The SECOND COMING of Jesus is future. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1Thess 5:2). It will catch many people by surprise. For those who are rooting for permanent residency on earth, investing and laying treasures on earth, they will suddenly be trapped in the Great Tribulation period. “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34-35).
Pray for people to hear and believe the Good News that Jesus saves them from their sins and the wrath of God to come. The wrath of God will be poured out during the seven-year Great Tribulation on all the earth dwellers (Rev 3:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:14). This is also the time of Daniel’s 70th week when God deals with Israel. When Christ comes again, He will establish His government of righteousness on earth and all nations will have peace.
The Bride of Christ expects and hopes eagerly for His imminent return. She will not be surprised. Jesus has promised, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3).
“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1Thess 4:17)
Living between the FIRST and SECOND Comings
In this Christmas season, let us be sober and not revel in drunkenness:
“Let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thess 5:1-11).
Blessed Christmas to all!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo