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

Missed any of the sermons on Mark 13? Catch up here:

Or head to our sermons page.

The Second Coming of Jesus - Motivation to Mission

By Jason McConahy,

As a church family, we just finished our study through Mark 13 where Jesus speaks about His second coming. One of the questions we sought to answer is the following… What effect should the doctrine of Jesus’ second coming have on us? In the previous blog post I highlighted the first of two important answers to that question. In this post, we look at the second - how this doctrine should give us motivation to be about the mission Jesus has given us.

In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus says that before the end will come, the gospel must FIRST be preached to all the nations (Mark 13:10, Matt 24:14). It seems strange that there is so much speculation within Christianity about the timing and details of Jesus’ return, and so little emphasis on the spread of the gospel to the nations. A certainty about the second coming of Jesus should manifest itself in a prayerful and active interest among God’s people about global missions, since Jesus purchased with His blood people “from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9-10).

We spoke about some of the statistics regarding the current state of unreached people groups around the world. That information came from the following website. I wanted to pass it along so you could spend some time educating your mind and heart, and with the hopes that it will fuel interest in prayer in what God is doing around the world.  http://joshuaproject.net

May we be a church that longs for Jesus’ return, and therefore is passionate about proclaiming His gospel, first in our own neighborhoods, and moving outward to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8-9)!

Missed any of the sermons on Mark 13? Catch up here:

Or head to our sermons page.

The Second Coming of Jesus - Hope and Perseverance in Our Suffering

By Jason McConahy,

As a church family, we just finished our study through Mark 13 where Jesus speaks about His second coming. One of the questions we sought to answer is the following… What effect should the doctrine of Jesus’ second coming have on us?  In the next two blog posts I want to highlight two important answers to that question. In this post, we look at how this doctrine should give us hope and perseverance in the midst of our suffering.

When Jesus comes back, He will bring in the fullness of His kingdom. Our hopes of heaven will become reality when He ushers in the new heavens and the new earth, which will be our eternal home. That will be a place (and the time) where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain…” (Rev 21:4). Until then, we live in a world that is still under the curse, that groans for restoration (Rom 8:22), a world where there will be wars and famine and earthquakes (Mark 13:7-8), where we will suffer the decay of our physical bodies (2 Cor 4:16), and also the persecution that comes from our identification with Christ (Matt 5:10-12). While (because of the gospel) we already have been made sons and daughters of God, and are already totally forgiven, and have His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and have every spiritual blessing in the heavily realms, we do not yet have the fulness of everything that belongs to us. That fulness won’t be ours until the eternal state is ushered in, and the eternal state won’t be ushered in until Jesus comes back. 

This is why the Bible suggests that the second coming of Jesus is our “blessed hope” and something that we “eagerly await”. We sometimes speak of heaven like it is the consolation prize - something to look forward to when this world fails to give us what we want. But that is to think wrongly of heaven. Heaven isn’t the consolation prize, it is the glorious fulness of all we have been designed for. Until we have it, we will groan. A certainty about the second coming of Jesus should give us hope and perseverance in the suffering and hardships we endure in this life. Take some time this week to ponder the many ways the Bible links Jesus’ return as the ultimate relief for suffering, and think about how this should give you hope and perseverance. Here are some passages to consider…

  • Relief from decaying bodies (1 Cor 15, Phil 3:20-21)
  • Relief from death (1 Cor 15:50-58)
  • Relief from suffering (Rom 8:18-25, 2 Cor 4:7-18)
  • Relief from persecution (2 Thess 1:3-12)
  • Relief from the manifold effects of sin (Rev 21:3-4)
Missed any of the sermons on Mark 13? Catch up here:

Or head to our sermons page.