The Second Coming of Jesus and Christmas Hymns

By Jason McConahy,

You might wonder why I am pointing us to Christmas, since the holiday season has recently come and gone. After all, we are in the middle of February already! We just finished a 3-week study through the Olivet Discourse in Mark 13, where Jesus speaks about his second coming. Our study through Mark has caused us to think of Jesus’ ministry in terms of the word “kingdom”. His ministry-launching words were “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” In other words, the kingdom of God has come in the arrival of the King. In the rest of Mark’s gospel, Jesus is shown to demonstrate His identity as the King through His miracles, His power, His wisdom, and His authority.

Our discussion of the kingdom of God has caused us to recognize the already but not yet aspect of the current nature of this kingdom. Jesus inaugurated His kingdom at His first coming, so through faith in Him we already are citizen’s of that kingdom and enjoy its abundant blessings. But Jesus will consummate His kingdom at His second coming, and only then will we enjoy the fulness of all that is ours as children of God. This means that the first coming of Jesus and the second coming of Jesus are inseparably linked.

For the past two Christmas seasons, we have been exploring that connection, the already and the not yet, and how the first coming of Jesus points us to His return. I recently saw this blog post that points out the beautiful connection between Jesus first and second coming in the famous hymn, Joy to the World. May this encourage your heart and open your eyes to a greater fulness as we sing this song again in 10 months...

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/joy-to-the-world-a-classic-christmas-hymn-reconsidered

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