We just completed a season of Advent. The word advent simply means “coming.” More specifically in Christian circles it means the coming of Christ. We celebrate Advent at Christmas time in memory of Christ coming to earth as a baby who would grow up to die for our sins. Now this season has passed, we look forward to a new season of advent.This is the second advent, the second coming of Jesus.
With Christmas in our rear view mirror, we now turn our focus for the next year to building His Kingdom on earth in preparation for His return. This is the future advent. While we celebrate the Advent of His birth in memory of what He did, we celebrate the Advent of His coming again in honor and praise for what He has yet to do.
Jesus is coming again. We don’t know when, but He told us to be ever watchful (Matthew 25:1-13; Luke 21:36). Many generations have lived and died looking forward to His coming again. Two thousand years is a long time. But here’s what I know: just as his first coming was at precisely the right moment in history (Romans 5:6), so will be His second coming. I don’t know what circumstances need to be in place before He returns, and that’s okay. My job is to prepare the world to be ready for His return. This is your job as well.
When Jesus taught us how to pray, one of the first things He asked was for God’s Kingdom to be the same on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9-10). God’s Kingdom is love, peace, and humility. We know this because the Kingdom of God looks just like Jesus, and Jesus was the very embodiment of love, peace, and humility. If we are going to transform the world into His image, we must begin with ourselves. Until we are loving, peaceful, and humble, we will be ineffective ambassadors of our King.
As this new year approaches, ask yourself how you might become more loving, more of a peacemaker, and humbler in the year to come. That’s bringing a piece of Heaven down to earth, and that is preparing the world for His return. What if He returns in your lifetime? Will you be ready? Will you have lived a life that looks like His?
This year, why not devote everything to Him? Why not surrender your life the way you told Him you would? What if each of us began living every day of our lives in devotion to Him and in anticipation of His coming? What changes do we need to make for that to be a reality?
Can you imagine how exciting it will be to say to your neighbor, “Jesus has come!” Indeed, Jesus has come, and He is coming again. It is our job to make ourselves and our world ready for Him. When He returns, will He find us actively in pursuit of His mission? Or will He find us asleep, lazy, selfish, and self-indulgent, wallowing in our luxury and false sense of security? Jesus has come and He is coming. What are you doing to proclaim the good news and prepare for His arrival? What must change for you to build His Kingdom this year? Don’t put this off. Jesus has come, and He is coming again.