12/25/S – The Second Advent

Zechariah 13:1-9; Revelation 19:11-21; Psalms 147:12-20; Proverbs 30:29-31

NT: “Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with justice he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from his mouth, so that he might strike the nations with it. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he called out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds flying high overhead, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of military commanders, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.” Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against his army. But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with it the false prophet, who had performed the signs in its presence. He deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image with these signs. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds ate their fill of their flesh.” (‭‭Revelation‬ ‭19:11-21‬ ‭CSB)

Today is Christmas Day. It is the day that Christians around the globe celebrate the advent of our Savior, the Son of God, the Light of the World, the Word of God made flesh. The Son of God, who was at the beginning with God – the very Word of God that spoke creation into existence, stepped out of eternity into time… stepped out of spirit into flesh… stepped out of unlimited immortality into the helpless mortality of a new-born baby. Born into a dirty and smelly stall in an insignificant village of a forsaken land was Emmanuel, God with us.

The little baby Jesus lying in a manger did not stay that way. He grew into man who, out of His great love for His Heavenly Father and a great love for all of humanity, willingly laid down His life to pay the ransom price for our sins. He lived the life that we should have lived – completely sinless and completely devoted to God. He then died the death that we should have died in our place. On the third day, He rose from the dead, proving that He was indeed the Son of God and offered the gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins to anyone who repents and believes in Him. He then ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. From there He sent forth His Holy Spirit to fill all His faithful and believing followers, and from there He continues to intercede for His Church until the day comes for Him to claim His bride.

As John continued his vision, He saw what would happen after Christ and His bride, the Church, were reunited in a glorious wedding. Christ, with His church, will return to the earth again to not only defeat the enemies of God – but to destroy them. In this second advent, Christ will not come as a helpless baby. He will come in the fullness of who He is: Faithful and True, the Word of God, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The beast will marshal all that is at his disposal to wage war against the Lord Christ and His redeemed and righteous church, but the beast and his forces won’t stand a chance. The beast and the false prophet will be quickly captured and thrown into the lake of fire – and with but a word from His mouth, the armies of the beast will be destroyed and left as food for the birds to feast on. The Word that set creation in motion, will be the Word that brings the enemies of all that is good and righteous to an end.

In 1529, in the midst of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther wrote these words as part of the hymn A Mighty Fortress:

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,we will not fail for God as willed His truth to triumph through us. The price of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers no thanks to them abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever!

Psalms: “He sends his command throughout the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes; he throws his hailstones like crumbs. Who can withstand his cold? He sends his word and melts them; he unleashes his winds, and the water flows. He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and judgments to Israel. He has not done this for every nation; they do not know his judgments. Hallelujah!” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭147:15-20‬ ‭CSB)

For those of us who have placed our faith and hope fully on the Lord Jesus Christ, we don’t serve a second-rate, garden variety god. We serve the one true and living God of all creation. We serve the God who spoke the cosmos into existence and maintains it with the power and authority of His laws. Through the words of Jeremiah, God said, “Is not my word like a fire… and like a hammer that pulverizes rock (Jeremiah 23:29)?” The writer of Hebrews wrote this about the word of God: “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than ay double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)”

The Lord God has given His powerful word to His people – those who love, honor and obey His word, will and ways. Psalm 149 goes on to say that when we, God’s people, exalt Him with the words from our mouths, our words become a double-edged sword on our hands to bring about God’s justice on the nations. This is the honor that God has given all His people – to bring His word to bear on the earth… to see His kingdom come and His will be done on the earth in the same way it is done in heaven. One day, those who remain faithful to Christ will return with the Lord and join with Him in sending His command throughout the earth. Until then, may we live according to that powerful word and allow that living and effective word to abide in us.

Prayer: Lord, I am eternally thankful for Your first advent. Thank You for giving Yourself as a gift to me, that I may be clothed with Your righteousness, filled with Your life and made a joint-heir of Your inheritance. I look forward with hope and expectation to Your second advent. Until then, empower me and equip me to represent Your kingdom and carry Your word here on earth. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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