Dele.A Ilesanmi-Bamigbade, Ph.D
The celebration of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ should not be trifling but should rather be carefully and soberly reflected upon. Christ’s death is for the whole world, for the redemption of humanity. To give the truth a clapping hand, His death is not the end of His ministry but the beginning of His redemptive assignment/ministry on earth.
It should be noted that the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ encapsulate the transitory journey of man in this wicked and transient world. His resurrection, ascension and the second coming (the prophesied return) of Jesus Christ denotes the beginning of unstoppable joy and hope of genuine Christians. This is a pointer to an eschatological epitome of a genuine Christian.
Retrospectively, what boosted the morale of Christian believers during the imperious Roman rule was the hope of the coming of the Lord as typified and encapsulated in Titus 2:13: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” The early church faced much persecution. The Christians were placed under severe, deadly penalties for not declaring that Caesar was god. The early Christians believed and knew that there is only one God and one Lord – Jesus Christ. In all good conscience, they could not call Caesar “Lord” because their Lord, Jesus Christ, is coming (maranatha).
The question now is: how are we preparing to meet this great Lord? For us to know, the Second Coming of the Lord is another biblical eschatological subject in Christian theology. His return is biblically sure: it will be physical and visible to all, the same way He ascended to heaven upon a cloud (Acts1:9-11;Rev.1:7); He is coming to come and take the saints, the real Christians (John 14:3; 1Thess.4:15-17); and His coming will be unannounced – i.e, no foreknowledge of His coming (Mtt.24:40-44). Hence, we should be readily prepared at all time to meet Him (Mtt.25:10; Rev.19:7-9). He is coming to judge everybody(2Cor.5:10). He is also coming to judge the sinners specifically (2Thess.1:7-10; Jude 1:14-15; Rev.19:19-21).
What is more, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the hope of Christian believers. It is not a creative imagination or philosophical idealism of a religious set to deceive the world, but it is an apocalyptic event of biblical account that transcends any philosophical and scientific enquiry. It does not fall within the purview of futurology but rather a Christian futurism/eschatology. It is not a ruse. It is biblical apocalypse that will certainly happen.
But the big questions are: how prepared are we for the glorious appearance of this great God, our Saviour Jesus Christ, considering the hedonistic and materialistic world we live in? How can we make it to heaven when our pastors’ sermons are full of falsehood and doctrinal errors? How can a new convert in our church make it to heaven when his money is much more important to his pastor than his salvation? Is the present “church” even prepares to meet the Lord, considering her frivolous and pretentious programmes? Or, when her trademarks are lies and strife? Or, where falsehood gains a major foothold than truth? Are we now ready and prepared to say, with audacity, O Lord come – Maranatha?
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