A Challenge for The New Year

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)

As the end of the year rapidly approaches, my devotions have me reading the concluding chapters of the book of Revelation, just as I have for the past 30 years (come Dec. 31 and Rev. 20-22, I will have read through the bible 30 consecutive times – and what a joy it has been. I am indebted to Perry & Rosemary Scott for challenging me to join them in reading through the bible via the Daily Walk devotional guide. I was “hooked” in year 1 and will continue in year 31).

Anyway, as I was “musing” over Revelation ch. 19 and the return of the Lord to the earth at the culmination of the Tribulation, I found myself “wondering” at the contrast between Jesus’ first and second coming. Think about this with me. When Jesus made His first entrance to earth, He was seen by only a small group of people – by a few humble and ordinary shepherds, and sometime later, by some Chaldean “Magi” (‘Wise Men’ indeed!). The birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem stable had a somewhat ‘limited’ effect on the rest of the world.  In fact, it was nearly 30 years before Jesus’ earthly ministry began and/or Jesus garnered much attention.

What a difference all this will be when Jesus comes for the second time to this earth – this time, not as a baby in a manger, but as a Righteous Judge and a Conquering King. The Bible tells us that every eye “…shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30). Indeed! Even those who Crucified God’s Son (the Jews) shall see… and they shall mourn – as will people from every tribe, nation, kindred and tongue, because of their rejection of Him (Rev. 1:7).

But this shall not be the case for the believer. For those who have trusted Christ as their Saviour, their days of mourning will be over, not just beginning. Therefore, for the true believer, the anticipation of Christ’s return is a most joyous prospect. Maranatha!

But getting back to my original point, I’m quite sure that you, like me, have enjoyed celebrating and remembering our Lord’s birth this Christmas season. Having said that, let me challenge you to begin the New Year pondering  what a dramatic event His second coming will be. And while you are at it, rejoice in the fact that as a born again, Spirit-filled believer in Jesus Christ, you will have an important place in His eternal kingdom. For Jesus Himself declared: “…to they who overcome and keep My word to the end, to them I will give authority over the nations; and they shall rule and reign with Me as kings (little “k”) and priests, for a thousand years” (Rev. 2:26, 5:10, paraphrased).

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

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