I’m often amazed by the way some people view the 2nd coming of Christ.
Many are effectively communicating that they aren’t very happy with the first Jesus and would like a second Jesus more tailored to their liking.
The Pharisee’s expectation
The Pharisees were the most qualified to recognise the messiah as they waited for Him. They had studied the scriptures their whole lives to ensure they were ready. What’s odd, is that when He showed up, they completely missed Him.
Perhaps it was because, in-spite of their study of the scriptures, this is what they were expecting…
1) A messiah who would reward them for doing all the right things.
2) A messiah who would punish everyone else for not doing the right things.
3) A messiah who would remove them from the dangers and evils of the world and establish a perfect, safe kingdom in which they could stay away from the wicked forever.
Wait a minute
Did I just describe the Pharisees expectation, or did I describe the church’s expectation of the 2nd coming?
Who actually came?
You see when Jesus came he did not bring law, he did not reward the good and punish the bad… in fact He didn’t judge anyone aside from those who were peddling self-righteousness as the way to God! He basically told the disciples in the gospel of John, “I’ve been given all judgement and I choose not to judge”
Not only that but Jesus didn’t take the disciples out of this worldly system but rather changed the disciples, filled them with His Spirit and then put them right in the thick of sin, darkness and evil, and said “I’m equipping you to change it, go forth in the power of my Spirit.”
What was our response?
Well, we basically hated it. That’s why much of the church today has rejected that Jesus and has gone back to living based on what’s right and wrong and hoping for a messiah who will come back to reward the right (us), punish the wrong (them) and take us away from the world to a safe-haven (rapture to Heaven).
We are basically saying “we didn’t like the first Jesus, can we have another?”
Jesus is not coming back a different guy.
And everything you need today (and forever) was done on His first trip at the cross.
If His work on the cross wasn’t enough for you and you are waiting for His 2nd coming to fix your situation then I hate to break it to you but you are going to be sorely disappointed!
Now don’t get me wrong.
I fully believe in a second coming and I’m very excited about it, but I do not place my hope in it. My hope is in His first coming. Paul told us where our hope was to be found… “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. Christ in us was the result of the first coming, not a result we are waiting to be fulfilled at a future coming.
My purpose in writing this article wasn’t to ruin your end times theology (ok, maybe a little) but rather it was to get you thinking.
Which coming of Jesus is more important to you? What one are you living in and walking in? And which one are you placing your hope in?
Because, while there is going to be a second coming, if you don’t fully embrace the first one it’s not going to be half the party you think it will be!