I don’t know if you realize it, but the central hope of the early church, a hope they could not stop going on about, one that saturates the New Testament and shaped the entirety of their lives, is one we hardly ever pay more than lip-service to in the contemporary church.
I mentioned last post a wave that will never stop flowing, a kairos moment to end all chronos. This hope is that wave, that moment.
This hope is the second coming of Jesus Christ.
When was the last time you heard a sermon on the second coming? When was the last time you read a book, studied, thought about, or had a conversation over a glass of wine concerning the second coming?
Every gospel account records Jesus’ promise that he will come again. Luke records in the book of Acts how the church began with promise that Jesus would return just as the disciples had seen him go up into heaven. This hope riddles the sermons of early church, the letters of the apostles. It is the central hope demonstrated in the physical symbol of communion – the universal act of worship of the whole church throughout time.
Often we focus on the cross and resurrection of Jesus (and these are a worthy focus!) but they lose all meaning when we ignore the promise of the second coming of Jesus.
If every kairos moment we’ve talked about so far is a moment where heaven invades earth, where God moves and chronos pauses – how much more significant will it be when Jesus returns for good?
So what is the second coming? What will it look like, what will happen?
When we talk about something as huge as this there is inevitably a large amount that remains mystery. Over this there are different views held by people who equally desire to respect and learn from Scripture. But there is still much that we can know clearly from the Bible, and that most orthodox Christians agree on.
- Jesus is coming back. When he comes everyone will see Him and He’ll come bodily, not just as a spiritual force or a good principle. Look at Acts 1:11 or 1 Thess 4:16.
- His coming will be sudden. We won’t know when it happens. Jesus himself described it as ‘coming like a thief in the night’…not because he is a thief, but because he will come just as unexpectedly. Matthew 24:44.
- All Christians should eagerly long for Christ’s return. Paul describes the Christian life as training to live sober, upright and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:12-23). We’re to keep faithful in the chronos as we await this ultimate kairos – our blessed hope.
What happens when Jesus comes back?
We know two things for sure. Both are huge topics that I urge you to study if you never have. Something like Wayne Grudem’s Bible Doctrine is a great, user-friendly place to start and one that has inspired this post.
First, there will be a judgement, and then there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth. These are incredible truths that needs a bit more looking into. We’ll continue with a post tomorrow – keep your eyes peeled!