Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | May 31, 2006

Return of the King

Someday in the future the day will come when our Lord returns in bodily form to the earth to judge the living and the dead.  We are not told the day or the hour of this return, which could happen tonight or in the next 2000 years.  It will be the consummation of God’s plan of redemption, which is not necessarily awaiting a final victory over evil but much more concerned with ensuring all of God’s people have been redeemed.  Once the full quantity of people intended to be redeemed are saved then Christ will return.  Thus, it appears that there remains to be people not yet born, that God intends to be included with His redeemed people.

We have reached the final portion of the Apostles Creed that is concerned with God the Son.  Today we conclude this section of the Creed by review Question 52 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which discusses the benefit of knowing our Lord’s will return.  It goes to state the following:

Q. How does Christ’s return “to judge the living and the dead” comfort you?

A. In all my distress and persecution I turn my eyes to the heavens and confidently await as judge the very One who has already stood trial in my place before God and so has removed the whole curse from me. 1 All his enemies and mine he will condemn to everlasting punishment: but me and all his chosen ones he will take along with him into the joy and the glory of heaven. 2

1.  Luke 21:28:  But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.  Romans 8:22-25:  For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body…Philippians 3:20-21:  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.  Titus 2:13-14:  …looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

2   Matthew 25:31-46:  But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…2 Thessalonians 1:6-10:  For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed – for our testimony to you was believed.

It is a great comfort to know that some day justice will be done to the evil that is perpetrated every day in our world.  God has ordained governments who have been delegated the task of executing justice in our world.  However, governments do this either imperfectly or are the perpetrators of injustice themselves.  Since they will never be able establish justice in every case it is important to know that those cases, which elude justice for now will not elude it forever.  Every action and thought will be accountable before the judgment throne of our Lord.  Nothing will be hidden or covered up from this court, which has the ability to pierce our hearts and minds to expose all the dirty secrets within.  The overwhelming evidence will be enough to convict all without dispute or objection.  Even the guilty will be compelled to acquiesce to their culpability and rejoice at just sentence they deserve. 

It is important to know that we all deserve God’s justice for violating His commands and rebelling against His perfect rule.  We can only escape this justice, because God’s justice against us has been imputed to another.  Our Savior Jesus Christ taking our punishment in our place allows us to receive mercy in lieu of justice.  As a result, when the great and terrible day of God’s judgment occurs we will be spared from the verdict that we deserve.  Although, we are not told the day or the hour we are warned to be ready at all times for our Lord’s coming.  Am I ready?  Are you ready?

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