Summary: At the second coming: 1. Christ will return with great power. 2. Christ will return with great glory. 3. Christ will return with great people.
Ray Bakke tells a story which happened during World War II: “I knew an old Glasgow professor named MacDonald who, along with a Scottish chaplain, had bailed out of an airplane behind German lines. They were put in a prison camp. A high wire fence separated the Americans from the British, and the Germans made it next to impossible for the two sides to communicate. MacDonald was put in the American barracks and the chaplain was housed with the Brits. Every day the two men would meet at the fence and exchange a greeting. Unknown to the guards, the Americans had a little homemade radio and were able to get news from the outside, something more precious than food in a prison camp. Everyday, MacDonald would take a headline or two to the fence and share it with the chaplain in the ancient Gaelic language, indecipherable to the Germans. One day, news came over the little radio that the German High Command had surrendered and the war was over. MacDonald took the news to his friend, then stood and watched him disappear into the British barracks. A moment later, a roar of celebration came from the barracks. Life in that camp was transformed. Men walked around singing and shouting, waving at the guards, even laughing at the dogs. When the German guards finally heard the news three nights later, they fled into the dark, leaving the gates unlocked. The next morning, Brits and Americans walked out as free men. Yet they had truly been set free three days earlier by the news that the war was over.”
The great thing about having a Bible is that we not only know some of the struggles the world will face, we have been told the outcome of the final battle. We know that we are on the winning side, and that good will triumph over evil, truth will win out over the lie, love will conquer hate and Jesus Christ will reign. There is cheering in our camp even though the guards and dogs may still be seen, for we know that they will soon be gone and the gates to the prison will be opened. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writing his fiancé from a German prison observed: “A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, does various unessential things, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened ‘from the outside,’ is not a bad picture of Advent.” We cannot open the door, but there will be One who will come and open it for us. That will be the greatest freedom we have ever known.
Here in the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation we are told of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Far from being something we should dread, it is one of the greatest events the world will experience, and which Christians should anticipate with eagerness. The Bible calls it the “blessed hope” when it says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13). The second coming is our great hope.