Hallelujah, Christ Will Come Again

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When my son and I visited Israel a few years ago, it was our first time to be in the Holy Land and so much of the trip seemed surreal. We walked the bumpy cobblestone streets of the old city for hours, narrow streets that Jesus walked countless times, even the street that led to Golgotha with a criminals cross upon his shoulder.

We saw sites where Jesus taught, performed miracles and gardens where Jesus prayed and was arrested on the eve of his death. We visited holy sites believed to be where Jesus was crucified and buried. We visited the city of his birth and walked the Shepherds fields on the outskirts of Bethlehem. We took a boat out on the blue waters of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked upon that very water and we returned to shore, near where Jesus prepared breakfast over a charcoal fire for his disciples following his resurrection. We stood on the Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended into heaven in the presence of his closest friends. This was the land of our Savior where he lived, died and lived again on earth and visiting the sites for the first time was worshipful and exhausting. 

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Hallelujah, Christ will come again.

It was on that mountainside overlooking the valley that leads to the great wall surrounding the city of Jerusalem, that this song came to mind. So much of this trip was focused on What Christ had done, which is essential to our faith, no question. His teachings. His miracles. His compassion. Even greater, His death and resurrection. Praise be to God for the saving work of Christ on our behalf! But standing here in the place where the ascension of Jesus Christ took place, we realize what He is doing in the present: The fully risen and ascended Christ is now fully exalted at the right hand of God (Acts 2:33), fully and presently interceding to the Father on our behalf (Romans 8:34) and daily granting us full access to the Father through the mediator and High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16), Christ himself. He is risen, alive and seated on high. His work in us is present, not just a past work.

But what about the future? What is coming for those who believe? It is on that mountain, the mount of Olives,  that many scholars believe Jesus will return, based on Acts 1:11 which says “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” I’ll leave it to scholars to debate the exact location of Christ return and the Bible is clear that none of us, not even Christ himself, know the hour that He will come back (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7). But what we do know and believe is that Christ will truly return!

1 Peter 1:13 says that believers “set their hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 9:28 tells us that “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

Matthew 24:42 Jesus tells us to “stay awake for you do not know the day your Lord is coming.”

So much of my theology has neglected the hope of what Christ will do. God has secured our future! Our hope and trust is that He will come again to save all who are eagerly waiting and anticipating that reunion.

So what do we do as we wait?

Christ commands us in Matthew 28 — Go! By the authority given to Christ, be on the move. Where? Everywhere. Every nation. To do what? Share the gospel, baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teach the word of God and know that He is with us always.

As we wait and anticipate his glorious return, may we also worship with great expectancy. Pray with genuine belief. Gather with the saints and encourage one in another in this hope. Be on mission for the glory of Christ. And Stay awake. Hallelujah, Christ will soon return!

He is our past. He is our present. And praise God, He is our future.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Hallelujah, Christ will come again.