Celebrating Christ’s First Coming, Anticipating His Second Coming

Hebrews 9:28: “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” 

Every Christmas we make a big deal out of Christ’s first coming, as we should. What could be better news than knowing God sent His Son to save His people from their sins? But let’s not make the mistake of forgetting that Christ will one day come again in power and great glory. Scripture promises that He will appear “a second time” to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. 

The Second Coming is largely forgotten among Christians today, yet Scripture often speaks of this monumental event. Titus 2:13 says, “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Indeed, the Second Coming is our “blessed hope.” It constitutes the fulfillment of all our hopes and longings as Christians.

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. Not only do we enjoy food, family, fellowship, and plenty of other fun-stuff, but in an ultimate sense Christmas is about Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).. But let’s not forget about His Second Coming. As the apostle Peter puts it, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:11-12). 

While we don’t know when Christ will come, each day brings us a little closer to His return. In fact, the Bible teaches that the return of Christ is near and imminent. There will even be a sense of surprise and shock (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). 

Upon Christ’s return, we will stand before our Maker. Paul writes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). While the Second Coming remains our “blessed hope,” it is used in Scripture as incentive for holy living and gospel proclamation. Now is not the time to be sleepy and passive. Rather, we must be intentional, diligent, and sober-minded (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6). These are “evil days” (Ephesians 5:15-16) and we must make the best use of the time.     

I hope Christmas 2020 proves to be rich, meaningful, and memorable for you and your family. But in the midst of your holiday celebrations, don’t forget the uncertainty and brevity of life. The past year has been a good reminder of that. Remember that just as Christ appeared 2000 years ago, He will also appear a second time to gather His elect and take them to their heavenly home (Philippians 3:20). Praise God!  

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