We should never forget that the coming of Christ at the end of the world is a wonder and a miracle-indeed the last this world shall ever see. It is a work of God and therefore wonderful in our eyes and something that transcends our understanding. In fact, all that belongs to the end of the world is a wonder-work of God, a miracle.
The signs of Christ's coming, the resurrection of the dead, the catching up the saints to be with Christ, the destruction of the old earth and heavens by fire, the final judgment and the glorification of believers, all belong to those things which are wholly unexplainable in terms of what is natural and earthly. They all belong to the realm of the supernatural, and are therefore received only by faith.
There are various Scripture passages that make it clear that this is true of the coming of Christ. For one thing, Revelation 1:7 testifies of the fact that "every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him" (cf. also Matt. 24:27, 30). Not only does this indicate that the general resurrection will have already taken place when Christ returns, but it shows that the coming of Christ is a miraculous work of God.
How it will be possible for every eye to see Him when He appears it is impossible to say, but we have no doubt that the Word of God speaks truly. Indeed, every eye must see Him, for He comes as the revelation of God, both for salvation and judgment. Every creature, living and dead, will be judged and so saved or damned in relation to Him!
Another passage which makes it clear that the coming of Christ is a miraculous and wonderful work of God Almighty is II Thessalonians 2:8, which speaks of the fact that the man of sin, the Wicked One, shall be destroyed by the very brightness of the coming of Christ. Again, it is difficult to know exactly how we are to understand this, but it nevertheless reminds us of the fact that the coming of Christ is no natural event.
The coming of Christ will be wonderful in another sense, however, that is, it will be the delight and joy of God's people (Rev. 22:20) and the terror of the wicked (Rev. 6:15-17). That it will be the fulfillment of all our hopes is marvelous, especially when we remember that we too must stand before the judgment seat and give an account of our works there. Even that can destroy the wonderful hope we have in Him. In fact, our salvation in and through the judgment is part of the miracle of grace.
It is for that coming, therefore, that we wait and watch and hope. Our whole life as believers can be described from this point of view-it all has as its goal and purpose the appearing of Jesus Christ. Nothing else matters to us so much as that. Take away the hope of the coming of Christ and nothing matters any more.
What this all adds up to is that the coming of Christ is part of the miracle and wonder of salvation. From the beginning of history God has revealed Himself as the only Savior in that He does for us what is utterly beyond the power or even the imagination of man. He saves us by the miracle of grace in Jesus Christ. The return of Christ is the final revelation of that great miracle of grace and mercy!
- Volume: 7
- Issue: 19
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
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