When Jesus Returns

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 29, 2012

“A consideration of the startling contrasts between His first and second advents will heighten our appreciation of what the latter will mean to Him. Then He came in poverty and humiliation, now in inconceivable riches and glory. Then He came in weakness. Now He comes in power. Then He came in loneliness. Now He is accompanied by innumerable angels and the company of the redeemed. Then He came as a Man of sorrows, but now with radiant joy. Then in mockery the soldiers placed a reed in His hand as scepter. Now He receives and wields the scepter of universal dominion. Then men placed on His brow a crown of acanthus thorns. Now His brow is adorned with the many diadems He has won. Then He was blasphemed, denied, betrayed. Now every knee bows to Him, acknowledging Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Small wonder that Frances Ridley Havergal burst into doxology:

O, the joy to see Thee reigning,

Thee, my own beloved Lord!

Ev’ry tongue Thy name confessing,

Worship, honor, glory, blessing,

Brought to Thee with one accord,

Thee, my Master and my Friend,

Vindicated and enthron’d

Unto earth’s remotest end

Glorified, adored and owned.

When Jesus offered His sacerdotal prayer just before His death, He only made one personal request of His Father: ‘Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou has given Me, for Thou dist love Me before the foundation of the world’ (John 17:24). How amazing that the yearning of His heart was the continuation in heaven of the intimacy He had enjoyed with His people on earth!”

J. Oswald Sanders

Enjoying Intimacy with God, 146-147

Posted in Christ's Return

The End Of History

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 1, 2012

The end of history is all about the beauty of God. The consummation is all about the admiration and adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ as he is to be revealed in heaven. I’ve heard and read countless explanations for the second coming of Jesus, but none that has adequately grasped the ultimate reason for his return. The inspired rationale is found in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian church. Jesus is coming back, said Paul, ‘to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed’ (2 Thess. 1:10).

I need to return momentarily to my love affair with prepositions. Here Paul says that Jesus will be glorified ‘in’ his saints and marveled at ‘among’ all who believe. This calls for careful thought. After considerable study, I think John Stott best captures the essence of Paul’s emphasis. He writes:

So how will the coming Lord Jesus be glorified in relation to his people? Not ‘among’ them, as if they will be the theatre or stadium in which he appears; nor ‘by’ them, as if they will be the spectators, the audience who watch and worship; nor ‘through’ or ‘by means of’ them, as if they will be mirrors which reflect his image and glory; but rather ‘in’ them, as if they will be a filament, which itself glows with light and heat when the electric current passes through it.

Stott’s point is that we will not only see Christ’s glory, we will be enveloped within it, engulfed by its surging splendor, and made experiential participants of it. And that for eternity! We will not glow with his glory for a moment, only to diminish yet again into the darkness of self and sin. ‘We will be radically and permanently changed, being transformed into his likeness. And in our transformation his glory will be seen in us, for we will glow forever with the glory of Christ.

All of this will lead to one passionate, universal response among Christians to Christ: Marvel! This glorious Greek word emphasizes the experience of being overwhelmingly astonished and utterly astounded and absolutely amazed and joyfully surprised and fully filled with wonder and awe. That’s why he’s coming back. All else is subservient to that end. Whatever events may transpire at the end of time, whoever may arise and how ever many may fall, whether it be near at hand or centuries afar, Jesus is coming to be seen in his saints in the beauty and splendor of his eternal majesty”

Sam Storms

One Thing, 185-187

Posted in Christ's Return