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Just Thinking

I Was Just Thinking … About the Next Advent

“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” one of the many songs we enjoy during the Christmas season, is not really about the past. It begins there, but it quickly moves to remind us about how we should live while we await Jesus’ second advent. Since we live in the present so that we can enjoy living in the future, reminding ourselves of what will occur when Jesus returns will help us live more competently and compellingly while we wait. “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; then he will appear a second time to those who eagerly await him, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.”

So we want to be able to say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who have loved his appearing.” Therefore, we should “treasure our relationship with him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back.” We do this by “denying ungodliness and worldly desires and by living sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, as we await the blessed hope of, and the appearance of, the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” We must be the sort of people who “conduct our lives in holiness and godliness while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.”

Indeed, “we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.” “He will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.” In other words, “when the Chief Shepherd appears, we will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.”

All that Jesus did during his first advent, he did “so that in the ages to come he might display the surpassing riches of his grace in useful kindness toward us.” When he returns, as he promised he would, he will “be glorified among his saints and admired on that day among all who have believed.”

Therefore, let us all pray for each other “that God will make us worthy of his calling and will fulfill by his power every desire for goodness and every work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus might be glorified in us, and us in him.”

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