The First And Second Coming
(Jonathan Huang, Deputy Head of Administration)
Revelation 18:20 – “Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.”
Psalms 143:1-2 – Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
Today’s passage in Revelation 18 foretells the great fall of Babylon, oppressor of God’s people, for all her wickedness and impurity. Those who shared in her indulgences mourn her loss, no doubt themselves terrified that a similar fate awaits them.
In Psalm 143, David pleads to God to spare Him judgement, for “no one living is righteous”, and calls for God to show him mercy and instead bring an end to his foes.
Christmas is a celebration of the two critical moments in human history – the first being the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem to be the Saviour of the world, and the second also being the celebration of the hope of the Second Coming of Christ, where He will return as the true ruler of the heavens and the earth, and make all things right. In doing so, He will also bring judgement upon the earth – both the bringing down of evil powers and also the uplifting of the righteous.
This Christmas as I look at the world, with various powers vying for influence and conflicts new and old, it seems that nothing much has changed from the time of Babylon. Evil is abundant, seemingly with many friends, with the righteous few and far between. The Church in various nations has also aligned itself with various political entities, sometimes for good, many times for worse.
My burden this Christmas is for the Church and Christians to be much like David – to seek first the Kingdom of God, and pursue righteousness, relying on God’s help and mercy. And may we not suffer the same fate as those who had aligned themselves with Babylon.
I am convicted more than ever that the Church of Christ needs to stay true to our mission of faithfully living out God’s word, no matter what is happening in the world. Key to our mission is to faithfully tell the story of a God who sent His Son down to earth to give us hope. The power of this Christian hope is that it is a promise that this Son will one day come again to make all things right.
This hope is what I cling on to and what I want all around me to know – that Jesus is here to save us, and He is coming again. May Christmas be a time when the love we share with our loved ones and everyone around us reminds us of His first coming, and prepares us all for His second.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ. We remember the first coming and look forward to the second.. May the Church and Christians be found true, and may we take the opportunity this Christmas to tell of the greatest story this world has ever known – that God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not die, but have eternal life. Amen!