Our devotional series on the The Apostle’s Creed brings us round to now considering the line, “From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.”
The subject of the return of Christ to earth has stirred the hearts and imaginations of people since Jesus first spoke of it. It’s just one of those topics that captures peoples interest. Like sharks. Discovery Channel doesn’t put on a Pufferfish Week each year. It’s Shark Week that jacks up the ratings. Talking about “Christ’s return” or “the end of the world” has the same effect.
Whenever Jesus taught his disciples about the “last days” or spoke to them about “his return”, they became curious as preschoolers and peppered him with questions. “Lord, when will this be?” “Lord, are you at this time going to establish your kingdom?”
When the first generation of Christians heard Christ’s return taught, it excited them and agitated them at the same time. At Thessalonica, people started quitting their jobs and acting goofy. Paul had to write them and tell them to calm down. Down to our own time, the subject still grabs our attention. Remember the buzz about Y2K when the year 2000 rolled around?
Jesus spoke frequently about four things in particular: his death, his resurrection, his departure, and his return. He didn’t hide any of these facts from his followers, but discussed them openly. Since he told the truth about his death, and about his resurrection, and about his departure, it’s fairly safe to say that he was speaking the truth to us about his return.
We find ourselves in the season of Advent, a word which means “arrival” or “coming”. At Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ first advent, when the Son of God was born as a babe in Bethlehem. But we do not do justice to our Christmas preparations if we do not also bear in mind his second advent.
The Bible tells us plainly, “But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages