Wednesday, June 9
The Kingdom and the Second Coming of Christ
When Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God, He spoke of two certainties: (1) God activity through Christ in history to save humanity from sin and (2) God’s closure of history by restoring the saved to His original plan-to live with Him forever in the earth made new (rev. 21:1-3). The first, as already noted, has arrived in the mission and ministry of Christ. In Him we are already in the kingdom of grace (Eph. 1:4-9). The second part, the gathering of the saved in the kingdom of glory, is the future hope which those in Christ await (Eph. 1:10, Titus 2:13). Jesus and the rest of the New Testament link that historical moment when the faithful will inherit the kingdom of glory to the second coming of Christ.
The second coming of Christ is the final culmination of the good news that Jesus came to proclaim when He came the first time. The same Jesus who defeated sin and Satan on Calvary is soon to return to begin the process that will eradicate evil and purify this earth from the tragedy that Stan inflicted on God’s creation.
Read Luke 21:34-36. In your own words, summarize the basic message. As you do, look at your life and ask yourself how these words apply to you. What do you need to do in order to make sure that you are following what Jesus tells us here?
As we await the return of Jesus, we are called to “’watch..and pray always that you may be counted worthy..to stand before the Son of Man”’ (vs. 36, NKJV).
Those who have experienced the kingdom of grace must wait, watch, and pray for the kingdom of glory. Between the one and the other, between the already and the not yet, the believers are to be occupied with ministry and mission, with living and hoping, with nurture and witness. The anticipation of the Second Coming demands the sanctification of our lives now and here.