During the 1970’s, the Second Coming dominated life in evangelical and Pentecostal churches. “Rapture” fever infected most of the Believers I knew. Remember those awful movies – “Thief in the Night” and “Distant Thunder”? They scared the sin out of Christians for at least a week every time we saw one of them! We didn’t want to be left behind to face the horrors of the Anti-Christ. Prophecy preachers saw signs of the Return of Christ in every newspaper article and painted fantastic pictures of a world in flames which awaited anyone not ‘ready for the coming of the Lord!’
The book of the Revelation became a kind of horror movie, mesmerizing but awful, at the same time. I still am not certain if it was my twisted perception or generally skewed presentations- but the “Blessed Hope,” was anything but blessed or hopeful for most of us. The mentality was escapist and a ‘get those sinners, God!’ race to judgement. It should not be so!
The season of Advent is our annual reminder that Jesus Christ came into the world as its Savior and that He will come again as its King! The story of a baby born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger, the incarnate Deity, is like a brilliant flash of lightning whose rolling thunder still echoes through time two millennia after the Event. This season is full of the songs that declare that we are not alone, scrabbling to make a life on this planet by our own wits. God stepped over the threshold of eternity and into time, humbling Himself to become a man. The Christmas story is a declaration to us that our purpose here goes beyond the propagation of our DNA.
Advent’s most wonderful message is the Blessed Hope. In your prayers and ponderings today think on this:
“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” (Revelation 1:7, NIV)
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:4-7, NIV)
Join the conspiracy that changes not only perspective but life! This Advent worship the King! Connect the Incarnation and the Revelation; the Baby and the King of Glory. Advent will take on new meaning – not only of remembering a baby’s birth, but of hope of the King’s coronation.
Joy to the world,
the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
and Heav’n and nature sing,
and Heav’n and nature sing,
and Heav’n and Heav’n and nature sing!
Isaac Watts, public domain