I hear many people talking about the Second Coming. That is good. We are looking forward to another dimension of life where we van exchange this dispensation with something that might feel more real. However, we do not know when or how it will come. At the moment death is our only link with life after death. Despite surprising numbers of people who experience a near-death vision and a “coming back” to their bodies, nobody really knows what death really is and what comes after.
If death does not “save” us from a broken and evil world, then our only “escape” is the Second Coming. If we think along these lines, we are no better than some ancient Greek philosophers who thought that this world is so bad, a full replacement is the only option. Everything and everyone must be annihilated for a new beginning – the Flood all over again.
In the meantime we are prisoners of earth and life and live with discouragement and hopelessness perceiving the overwhelming evil around us. One hears words like “making the best of it”. If we view the Second Coming as an escape, we do not live the purpose of Biblical promises.
What do we do with a powerful Gospel that flows from the life-changing force of a crucified Saviour, that paid the full price for the salvation of mankind? He came as an almighty God to sort out the biggest imaginable mess for the benefit of those who invite him to do so. We have the miraculous solution for the here and now. We are God’s witnesses.
“You are My witnesses,” says the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me. (Isaiah 43:10)
We are the Kingdom of God on earth.
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20,21)
The death of Jesus unleashed an immeasurable, indescribable spiritual strength in the unseen realm where He was victorious over every power or evil. (Revelation 12:10,11) There is nothing in the history of mankind ever that will be bigger or more important than the life and death of Jesus Christ. Even the Second Coming is not possible without the First Coming – the birth in the manger that we will be celebrating next month. His life divided the centuries, for the unbeliever as well as the believer. Even if you do not believe in Jesus as the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, you cannot deny him. Proof of the historical Jesus is overwhelming.
Jesus is the Word of God, the thoughts and character of God incarnated. He is God’s plan for mankind – a plan of hope, healing, redemption and love.
The good is uncreated; it never could have been otherwise; it has no shadow of contingency; it lies, as Plato said, on the other side of existence. It is the Rita of the Hindus by which the gods themselves are divine, the Tao of the Chinese from which all realities proceed.
But we, favoured beyond the wisest pagans, know what lies beyond existence, what admits no contingency, what lends divinity to all else, what is the ground of all existence, is not simply a law but also a begetting love, a love begotten, and the love which, being between these two, is also imminent in all those who are caught up to share the unity of their self-cause life. God is not merely good, but goodness; goodness is not merely divine, but God. [CS Lewis: Christian Reflections]
We are the Kingdom, we know the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. We’ve got what it takes. We have Jesus. One drop of the Blood of Jesus is enough to save man from all the sin since Adam. He will redeem us from the devastation of this world.
Devastation? Maybe it is a good word to describe the chaos and confusion in our communities. It is not hell for one day after death. It is hell for today. Hell is where God is not. Heaven is where God is, that is why we pray that his Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Where God is, is order and peace. It is heaven.
In our world we see hell burning with a voracious craving to destroy. We do not have to search for people that seek identity in things that could never satisfy. Modern life is a stormy see of seemingly endless choices and a desperate claim for acknowledgement and confirmation of those choices. The perplexity of their own inner beings propels them to reach out for approval from institutions and governments and even bystanders that grapples with their own chaotic thoughts.
Let us be the witnesses to the Gospel of power, love and compassion that can save and redeem. Our equipment is the words of God, written and protected in an ancient Script. In prayer we “see” Jesus, just like Jacob at Pniel. (Genesis 32:30) It is more than enough for now. In his Face are all the answers.
“I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
“Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Excerpts from the Song of Moses – Exodus 15)