Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
We believe in the Lord who will come againHebrews 9:24-28
“So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”
‘Life after Death’ is one of the axioms of Christian faith. Lord Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth declared it clearly to His disciples. When there was an argument between Sadducees and Pharisees with regard to ‘life after death’, Jesus absolutely cleared their doubts by declaring “..For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him.” – Luke 20:38.
We can see in many places in the Old Testament, the evidence for the theory of the resurrection of the dead. The Book of Daniel is considered parallel to the Book of Revelation with respect to prophecy. Daniel prophesied that the angel declared to him “…and will rise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” -Daniel 12:13. So there is no room in Christian faith that the life we live on earth is the concluding chapter in our human existence. There is something tangible in our existence which is a continuation of our earthly life. Christians have a hope, a blessed hope, as Apostle Paul puts it (Titus 2:13) to inherit the reward beyond the curtain of flesh in the glorious ‘Kingdom of God’.
During his ministry of establishing churches and nurturing them, Apostle Paul had to deal with believers who doubted the resurrection of the Lord. The believers who were Jewish converts, in most cases, continued to carry the Sadducees version of belief that there is no resurrection of the dead. Paul rebuked them with piercing words, admonishing them that if it were the case, their faith itself is dead. Apostle Paul presented his arguments and drove home the point that there was no denying of the resurrection of the dead in Christian faith.
Jesus reserved His teachings of the ‘End Times’ towards the conclusion of His ministry. A few chapters of the gospels are filled with Jesus’ description of the ‘End Times’. He spoke clearly about the indicators of the beginning of such a time. He described that it will be filled with chaos and calamities. He forewarned that any human effort to calm the prevailing storm at that time will turn out to be useless. He declared in unambiguous terms that “..they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” – Matthew 24:30.
Apostle Paul reiterates the ‘Second Coming’ of the Lord in various places of his Epistles. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command with the voice of the archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. He was trying to rectify a false teaching that crept in the church community that Christ has already come and there is no need to look forward to a second coming.
The efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord is once and for all. Christ is not coming back as a propitiation for the sin of humanity. He is coming back to receive the saved church to His glorious Kingdom. The real question is: Are we ready to receive Him?
Along with warnings regarding the ‘End Times’, Jesus also warned his followers about unpreparedness. The parables of ten virgins and the lazy servant are illuminating the need to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. The Church has seen all the indicators of the impending and irreversible ‘End Time’ events. The most prominent among them is the rebirth of Israel as a political nation. The other signs are also appearing clearer and clearer on the horizon – chaos in the arena of world politics, wars, natural calamities in increasing proportion, all of them are eye-openers for the present-day church. It is high time that the church should sound the alarm for the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a follower of Christ, are you in the rehearsal camp?
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming – Matthew 24:42
Abraham Mammen, Sehion Mar Thoma Church, Dallas