Luke 21:25-28 The Lord Jesus Is Surely Coming Again! Advent 1 Dec. 2-3, 2018
By Pastor Kenneth Mellon, Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Pleasant Valley Rd., West Bend, WI
God’s grace and peace are yours as you wait for the coming of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
As the Advent season begins, we are warned and encouraged by the news of Jesus’ return: Luke 21:25-28
These are Your words heavenly Father. Keep our faith strong as we expect Christ’s return. Your Word…
Dear Christians, awaiting Jesus’ return,
We have begun the season of Advent which calls us to prepare for the coming of Jesus as the Lord of all and as our Savior. Just as people are making preparations during Advent to celebrate Christmas, season so we Christians are preparing our hearts for Jesus to return and give us full blessings of heaven! Now, we wait and listen to God’s promises. At His coming, we will see how God has been faithful to keep every promise He made about His Son.
The Lord Jesus is surely coming again!
First, be watchful! There were people at Jesus’ first coming who were waiting for Him to appear. Simeon and Anna were two of many believers who looked forward to Jesus’ appearing. The Pharisees and many others with false hopes also longed for the Christ to appear. They kept asking Jesus if He was the one who was to come from God. Jesus did come with miracles, but He didn’t change the politics or stop the Roman rule. The people in the world went about their business as they always had: not seeking Jesus.
As Jesus’ second coming approaches, the signs will be evident. Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken… It will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth” (v.25-26, 35). There already have been signs in the sky with lunar eclipses which make the moon look red and solar eclipses which turn day to night. Many people who only believe in evolution and cling to the physical elements of the earth as their “god” will be deeply let down in the end. A few days ago, there were news casts of powerful earthquakes in Alaska that left many roads in pieces and homes in a mess. Cameras showed high school students crying out that they might die in the violent shaking. Jesus said that these signs would continue until His return to get people to think about how dramatic a change it will be for the world when Christ appears to end it!
Jesus said in our verses, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (v.27). As Jesus appears a trumpet blast will sound across the world. Everyone at once will see Him, even unbelievers (Revelation 1:7). All will see Jesus as He really is: the Son of God, shining brighter than the sun! His power, often hidden now, will be seen as He raises all the dead with a shout and calls them to stand before His judgment seat. No one will be able to hide from Him. For unbelievers, it will be a time of terror and shame that will never end. Christ will reveal all sin and punish it with perfect justice.
But, at His coming, while unbelievers are crying in bitterness, it will be different for believers. Second, the fact that Jesus is coming again will give us joy! He said, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (v.28) Christians will not be hiding from God on the Last Day. We will be like mountain hikers who were lost in the wilderness who see the rescue helicopter above. We’d be standing and waving our arms to be seen by them to get rescued. So, it will be with Christ’s appearing. We will be glad to see Him for several reasons.
First, His coming means the end of this evil world. Hurtful things happen to us now, but they will be taken away. There’ll be no more temptations and no more grief over our sins. In heaven, there will be no more suffering, threat of death, or any fear. There will be no more earthquakes or storms that bring destruction. All will be made new before our eyes and even we will be changed. All this will happen in the twinkling of an eye at Jesus’ return. How can we be sure of this?
Second, Jesus said that at His return our “redemption is drawing near.” In our Bible study between services, we’ll be discussing what the term “redemption” means. The Greeks used the word to describe when a payment was made to set a captive or slave free. Many people were slaves at Jesus’ time through debt or war. Their only hope of escape was to have someone pay the full price to free them. We were slaves of the power of sin and death and on our way to eternal slavery in hell. But, Jesus paid our ransom to God with His own holy precious blood. We are freed from sin nor will we face the penalty for it. Jesus paid the price in full by His suffering and death on the cross. How blessed we will be to be set free. Now we know this truth by promise, but at Jesus’ return we will fully experience this freedom!
So, we believers can lift up our heads in hope of what is ahead. Christ will be our caring Savior to shepherd us forever. God has given His promise so that we know the truth about Christ’s second coming. We can be certain of a future glory with Christ as long as we trust in Him to save us. We can’t help but be glad as we think about Jesus’ promise to take us to be with Him.
He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (v.34). Many of us have heard God’s Word for years. It may not seem that important that we need to keep listening. But remember the contrast on Judgment Day between eternal life with Jesus or eternal death in hell. We cannot keep our faith alive by ourselves. Jesus warned, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation (a wasting of our lives), drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap…. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (v.34, 36) We will stand in joy as we turn from sinful desires and hold on the Christ as our Savior.
Peter wrote, “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire…. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then… since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.” (2 Peter 3:11-14)
Many things in life are not certain. But, we can be certain of being spotless, that is having no sin charged against us since we are in Christ. We are blameless in Christ, meaning that no one can accuse us or say that heaven is not for us. Jesus has the last word and He has promised to prepare a place for us and to come again to take us home (John 14:1-2). And we will be fully at peace because on the Last Day Jesus will appear to save us from our sins and their punishment. As we remember Christ’s warning about the signs of His coming and take to heart His promise to return, we trust in Christ’s free forgiveness and expect with joy that Jesus will come to take us our home of glory. Stand up! Lift up your heads and say, “O Lord, please come soon!” Amen.