Christmas Inspires Expectation of His Return

By | Dec 15, 2016

Once again our minds are drawn to that quiet and lonely night in Judea to the little city of Bethlehem. There in a stable we behold the Prince of Glory, cradled in a manger. As, in our imagination we approach  the manger, we do so with heads bowed in reverent worship knowing that we are looking at God’s anointed, and the Savior of men.

His coming was the fulfillment of scores of prophecies recorded in holy writ for a period of nearly four thousand years. It was in the Garden of Eden that God gave the promise that “the seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s head.” Jacob was coming to the close of his life on earth and he blessed his sons with the words “the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall be the gathering of the people.” Isaiah, seven hundred years before His birth declared, “for unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” The day finally came when an angel announced to Mary, “and behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest….and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

As the church centers its thoughts of worship of the first advent of our Lord born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, the hope of His second coming grows brighter and burns ever fervently in the hearts of His children today. Prior to His first advent in Bethlehem, the Messiah had been lost to the masses of Israel. Idolatry, wickedness, and war had inundated Israel and the worship of Jehovah had become cold and lifeless. The glory of Israel had departed from all but a zealous few, who, like Simeon and Anna, were expecting the coming of Christ. Simeon had a revelation by the Holy Ghost that he would not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. “He came by the Spirit into the Temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus….He took Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now let thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.”

The hope of the church in all ages has been the imminent coming of Christ. Twice in I Thessalonians (4:18 and 5: 11) Paul admonishes us to comfort one another with the hope of His return. As Simeon and Anna looked for His first coming, we look for His second coming. While we sing carols to herald His first coming our faith is looking forward to the return of the Bridegroom. Multitudes are not living in anticipation of His return. Moral darkness and stark confusion engulfs the entire world. As in the days of His birth, the world had corrupted much of the teaching of Moses and discounted the prophesies of the Messiah’s arrival in the world. So it is today that many are living in darkness. He tells us that, “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…..but to those who look  for Him are not in darkness, they are the children of light, and the children of the day…That day will not overtake them as a thief.”

We celebrate and rejoice this Christmas time in the gift of Christ who was the fulfillment of the promise of God to those who waited in faith. But let us today as we reflect on His wonderful, miraculous birth, renew our hopes of His second coming which will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to those who wait today. In light of world conditions let us heed the admonition of the Apostle Paul, “and that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” This Christmas time as we face the prospect of world disaster, let us comfort one another with the hope of His second coming. There is no other hope for the world. We know that this present darkness will not always last. Jesus will one glad day return to sit upon the throne of his father David. Then, instead of darkness and confusion, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

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