Summary: “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight’” Matthew 3:3.
Theme: Prepare for the Lord
Text: Is. 11:1-10; Rom. 15:4-13; Matt. 3:1-12
Today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Advent simply means the coming or manifestation of Christ. It is used to refer to the first coming of Christ, the birth of Christ, and to His second coming, His return. Before His birth, as was customary in Roman times, this important event was announced by John the Baptist. In spite of this and the fact that the promise of His birth was revealed long before it was fulfilled only a few took notice of Him. This should remind us that the same thing is possible concerning His second coming in spite of the many revelations we have received about this event. Advent therefore should be a time of preparation. At His first coming Christ came to meet mankind’s greatest need, the need for forgiveness. At His second coming He coming for those who have availed themselves of His forgiveness and received salvation. It is important that we spend this time as we celebrate the birth of Christ, to reflect on sin and the forgiveness of sin made possible by the shedding of the blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Christ was born that we might be saved and made ready to enter His Kingdom at His return. How are we preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ? Do we see His birth as necessary for our redemption and restoration or do we see it just as a time of celebration? The best way to prepare for the second coming of Christ is to see the great value of our salvation made possible by His first coming. Let us be sure of our salvation and share the good news with others and live as if Christ was coming again today.
There is the need to prepare for Advent, the first coming and the second coming of Christ. Christ came to earth as the Scriptures revealed and He has promised He will return and we can be certain that He will. We can be certain because many of the things that He said and promised have already been fulfilled. His death and resurrection, His ascension to heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit happened just the way He said they would. The fulfilment of these events confirms that all He said that had not yet been fulfilled would also be fulfilled. Christ has not only promised He will return but that there will be a separation of believers from unbelievers. When Jesus returns He will take believers to be with Him in heaven and as they receive rewards at the judgement seat of God and partake in the marriage feast of the Lamb, those left on earth will go through a time of tribulation. Christ wants to spare believer’s the sufferings of the tribulation ending in the great tribulation. Jesus Christ came that we might have salvation and this is still available to us in this age of grace. God always sends us a witness to prepare us since in our sinful condition we cannot do anything that is pleasing to Him. Just as in Exodus God sent an angel ahead of the Israelites to prepare the way to the Promised Land so He sent John to prepare the way for the promised Lord. And today He is sending believers, His disciples, to prepare the way for His return.