Friday 2 December 2011

The return of Jesus

Sunday is the 2nd Sunday in Advent, the season in which we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord, but also to think of the time when Jesus will return to earth.  This is a cause for contemplation.

Jesus made it very clear that His coming back will be a time for judgement, something so many people do not want to hear, think or accept as fact, they totally refuse to acknowledge judgement as a reality.  But Jesus left no room for doubt, He spoke of sheep and goats, tares and wheat, heaven and hell, a broad road which leads to destruction and a narrow road leading to eternal life with Him. 

From Genesis to Revelation the Bible warns that a day of judgement will come and that one day we will all have to stand to answer to God for the way we have lived our lives.  People think this is all fancy talk for a mixture of reasons.  Some don’t think that God would punish anyone for He is a God of mercy and love, which He is, but also a God of wrath who hates sin.  Some don’t even believe in God, others have the idea that as long as you are sincere in what you believe and are kind and honest with other people, that is enough.

In this week’s Epistle, (2Peter 3.v8/15) Peter refers to the coming judgement.  He begins the passage by referring to the ‘Day of the Lord’.  This is a regular phrase from the Old Testament by which the Jews thought of two ages, the present one which is all bad, and the future age in which is good when God will come.  It was believed this would come suddenly and without any warning and be the age of judgement.  Peter sees this as the return of Jesus Christ.  He says the day is surely coming, so we should all be living holy godly lives.

Peter meant we should order our lives so that when Jesus returns He will find our lives have proved worthy of His approval, for we will all have to appear before Him.

We live in a very secular age in which the opponents of religion, and particularly our Christian faith, appear to have dominance and seek to oppress and harass Christians.  They have convinced the majority to believe there is no need to be religious or worry about the future, and people have readily  been  willing to accept this false assurance, for it gives them the excuse to be eating, drinking to excess, and engage in immoral sexual activity. 

Jesus said, ‘as it was in the time of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be’

Jesus lay it on the Church to give bring His words to all people so they may know they can be saved, and it is the solemn duty of the Church to ensure the words of Jesus are brought to the notice of all men and women, so that they may have the opportunity of re-thinking their lives and be aware of what can happen.

Perhaps the next message can look at that responsibility which faces the Church

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