The Glory of the Advents: The Second Advent

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood  6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.  8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”




On behalf of Grace Church, I want to say “thank you” to David Oman, to his faithful helpers, Johanna and Stephanie, and to everyone else who helped to make this program happen.  I love its simplicity, its faithfulness to the Biblical text, and its child-like joy.  I also want to thank the parents of Grace Church for loving Jesus enough to make it a priority to teach the story of His birth to your children in all kinds of ways—including this one.  I love that I get to pastor and raise my family around people like you all.

If you are a guest with us today, again, welcome.  Whatever brought you here this morning, know that we’re glad you’re with us.  Know also that what you just saw—as simple and child-like as it was—is at the heart of our church.  That is, through the singing and dancing and acting and reading of these little kids, you just heard the most significant story in the entire universe.  Don’t let the fact that it was presented by kids distract you from the fact that this story is the heartbeat of the Christian faith.

Did you catch it?  It was the story of God coming to earth in order to rescue mankind from our sin.  It was the story of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, leaving His heavenly throne in order to be born as a baby for the salvation of the world.

As you may know, though, that’s just the beginning of this story.  This baby grew up proclaiming the good news of God’s salvation and then dying on a cross to accomplish it for all mankind.  Over the last few weeks, in the sermons, we’ve looked carefully at the glory of this coming (or, this Advent) of Jesus.  We looked at the glory of its promises and the glory if its history and the glory of its accomplishments.

But, again, as you may know, that’s not the end of the story either.  This same Jesus who was born as a baby, suffered, died, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, will come again one day.  The great hope of all Christians is that Christ came and that He will certainly come again.  The great center of Christianity is the Advents of Jesus.

Having considered and witnessed the retelling of Jesus’ glorious first coming, then, we’re going to conclude our time together this morning by looking at the glory of Jesus’ second coming.  Please pray with me that God would be pleased to open our eyes to the glory of the great promise of the return of Jesus and that it would cause us to walk in faith as we eagerly await that glorious day!


The Glory of the Return of Jesus

In his first coming, Jesus put his glory on display in his obedience and wisdom and teaching service and miracles and death and resurrection.  He then ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father.  There, right now, even as I speak, He continually receives the praise of the heavenly creatures while ruling in power over all the universe (all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him).  It will remain this way until one day, when all things are in place (as Revelation 19 says), the heavens will boom (like the sound of great claps of thunder) with the voices of a countless multitude crying out, “Hallelujah!  For the Lord God the Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready’ it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.”

At that, the heavens will open and Jesus will burst forth riding on a great white horse and He will be called …

Revelation 19:11b-16  … Faithful and True, and in righteousness he [will] judge and make war.  12 His eyes [will be] like a flame of fire, and on his head [will be] many diadems, and he [will have] a name written that no one knows but himself.  13 He [will be] clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he [will be] called is The Word of God.  14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, [will follow] him on white horses…16 On his robe and on his thigh he [will have] a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Just try to imagine this day of Jesus’ second Advent; this power, this might, this glory!  The One who willingly came as a humble baby and allowed himself to be mistreated as a man, who kept hidden the fact that he commanded legions of angels and held the universe together, He will come back in all his glory and splendor for the whole world to see.  On that day, no one will doubt his authority or question Him as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  That He is, and has eternally been, the rightful ruler of all will no longer be in doubt.  That he alone can truly and fully satisfy the souls of men will be universally understood.

No one knows when this will take place, but all can trust in its certainty and glory.  Jesus came first, as we just saw, in humility and lowliness.  But he will come again, as we just heard, in power and majesty.  If you are a guest, know today, if you are a member of Grace, remember today, there is unimaginable glory in the Advents of Jesus.  Let us all, then, cry out to God that everyone here today might trust in the work of Jesus’ first Advent in order that we’d be able to joyfully partake with Him in the great supper of his second.

There is glory in the return of Jesus.


The Reasons for the Return of Jesus

Having seen that the bible says Jesus will come back, I want to close by mentioning just a few reasons why Scripture says he will come back.

  1. Above all, Jesus will return to display the glory of God. The entire universe, all of creation, all that exists, exists to display the glory of God.  The Advents of Jesus are the pinnacle of God’s display of His glory.  All that Jesus did and does and will do is, first, about accomplishing and displaying the glory of God.

Matthew 16:27  For the Son of Man is going to come [again] with his angels in the glory of his Father…

Grace, God is greater than you and I can ever imagine.  We will never know that more than we will at the return of Jesus.

  1. Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. In 2 Corinthians 5:10 Paul writes, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  And in 2 Timothy 4:1 he clarifies that Christ Jesus, will come again to judge the living and the dead…

At the return of Jesus all mankind, living and dead, will be brought before God to be to judged according to their hearts and deeds.  No one will escape the judgment.

Personally, like many of you I’m sure, for most of my life I felt confident that God would find me acceptable—that he would judge me innocent—because I wasn’t as bad as many of my friends and certainly not as bad as the really evil people like Stalin and Hitler.  I suppose I felt confident primarily because I thought of myself as a pretty good person.

Know today, though, that this is not the standard by which Jesus will judge the world.  Rather, the Bible is clear on the fact that the world (including you and I) will be judged by whether we constantly and completely delighted in God and in obeying His perfect will.  Grace, Jesus will come again in order to judge the living and the dead.

  1. Jesus will return to finally and fully crush his enemies. Those found guilty before God—everyone who found delight in something more than God and everyone who failed to perfectly and joyfully obey God, indeed everything that had ever set itself up against God—will be eternally condemned at the judgment of God.

Concerning the judgment of those who declared themselves enemies of God, including the devil himself, John says (Revelation 19:20-21) that they will be “thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  21 And the rest [will be] slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse…” He adds, they will “be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Concerning the judgment of death and Hades John says they too will be thrown into the lake of fire.  Death itself will be utterly destroyed.

And concerning the judgment of mankind Jesus himself says (Matthew 25:31-46), “When [I return in] glory, and all the angels with [me], then [I] will sit on [my] glorious throne.  32 Before [me] will be gathered all the nations, and [I] will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  33 And [I] will place the sheep on [my] right, but the goats on the left.  34 Then [I] will say to those on [my] right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…41 “Then [I] will say to those on [my] left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels… 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

What an overwhelming picture of the final and complete destruction of the enemies of God.  Jesus will return in order to accomplish this and rid the world of all that would rob God of his glory and His people of joy in God. On the cross, Jesus decisively and certainly defeated sin and Satan and death and all of God’s enemies.  It is not until His return, however, that their remaining influence will finally be stopped once and for all.

  1. Jesus will return to fully and finally bless the children of God. Don’t miss this…I just said that we will all be judged by Jesus based on whether or not we delighted fully in God and in obeying His every commandment.  And I just said that those who have failed to do so will be judged guilty by God.  The simple fact is, however, none of us have fully delighted in God and in obedience to Him.  We all deserve to be found guilty by God.

Who, then, can be saved?  Or who, then, are the children of God?  Or who, then, will be judged innocent?  Who, then, will be blessed by God?

The answer is that it is only those who have placed their faith in Jesus’ perfect delight in God and obedience to God rather than their own.  No one, save Jesus alone, will be welcomed into God’s presence on their own merits—for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Our only hope, then, is in Christ’s perfect obedience and death on our behalf (all that He did in his first Advent).  Jesus will return not to welcome those who had done enough good things, but those who realized that they couldn’t do enough good things and so instead trusted in Him.

This is great news because the blessing of the children of God means being welcomed into the new heavens and the new earth.   And this is great news because the new heavens and the new earth are eternally in the presence of God.  And this is great news because in the new heavens and the new earth all of the effects of sin and Satan will be erased forever.  Listen to John’s description of what awaits those who trusted in Jesus, the children of God:

Revelation 21:1-5  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Revelation 21:22-27  And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,  25 and its gates will never be shut by day- and there will be no night there.  26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.  27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

At the great judgment those left in their sin will be eternally condemned.  But those found to be in Jesus Christ will be ushered into glorious presence of God.  Grace, during this season where we celebrate the first Advent, consider the neverending season of celebrating the second Advent.  Jesus will return and he will return in order to fully and finally bless the children of God.

  1. Finally, Jesus will return to reign bodily and visibly forever and ever over the people of God. Never again will sin be allowed to come between God and man.  Never again will evil gain a foothold.  Never again will mankind be separated from fellowship with God.  Never again will we need to live by faith, for in heaven we will see God.

Revelation 22:3-5  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.  4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Again, I invite you, just for a few minutes to consider the glory of this second coming of Jesus.  Consider the fate of those trusting in their own merit.  Consider all that Jesus accomplished on behalf of the glory of God.  Consider all that Jesus accomplished on behalf of all who would trust in Him.  Consider the glory of God and the glory that awaits those who are trusting in God.  If it doesn’t take your breath away, you aren’t really thinking about it.



On one hand, we have the Bible’s glorious, but lowly account of Jesus’ first coming.  On the other hand we have the Bible’s glorious, yet fierce account of His return.  What are we to make of all of this—especially during this Christmas season and on the heels of the cute children’s Christmas program?  The answer is today as it was at Jesus’ first coming.

For all who are not yet trusting in Jesus, pray that God would grant you repentance and belief.   That is, pray that God would open your eyes to behold His glory, the mortality of your sin, and the unique sufficiency of Jesus’ cross to save you from your sin and reconcile you to God in order that you may trust in Him and be saved.

And for all who are already trusting in the work of Jesus’ first Advent, we pray and fight for ever increasing delight in God and his commandments even as we cry out, “Come Lord, Jesus, come quickly.”

Grace, there is glory unspeakable in the Advents of Jesus.  May God grant us all the ability to see it and joyfully order our entire lives around it.  Amen.