Sunday, 6 December 2015

Christ is Going to Appear

We wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ   (Titus 2:13)

Here is a clear affirmation of Christ as God.  True, the original New Testament Greek could technically mean, ‘the appearing of our great God (the Father) and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ – but nowhere in the New Testament is God the Father ever said to ‘appear.’  Every one of the ten ‘appearing’ references are of Jesus.  Certainly this is how the Greek church leaders of early Christian history understood the passage – and I guess that their Greek was better than ours!

Actually the reference HAS to be to Christ, because the sentence runs straight on to describe his sacrificial death (v. 14).

So Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our God, will ‘appear’ at the end of the age.  He came first, in the ‘grace of God’ (v. 11), at Bethlehem.  That first coming was humble, localised – and witnessed only by a few.  The Second Coming will be different.  It will be ‘glorious’ and it will be universal.

You will witness it, whether or not you wish it.  Think of it.  Generals, dictators and terrorists will all see the Coming.  So will the stars of sports, screen and stage.  So will atheists, and devotees of every religion and belief-system going.  And – whether we wish it or not  – we will bow to His authority; either joyfully as one of ‘his very own’ (v.14) or in crushing judgment that will consign us to outer darkness.

About the present ‘leasehold’ of humanity’s stay on earth, Stephen Neill has written, ‘We know, without a shadow of doubt, that one day it will run out.’ 

Make the most of this day of choosing, and of ‘grace’ (v. 11).  It won’t last for ever.