The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Christmas stands as a monument to a tremendous fact: God came to earth in human flesh, but the greatest Christmas is still in the future. Actually the First and Second Comings of Christ are component parts of a whole. There is a "Christmas Day" that is yet to come.
When Christ came the first time it was to settle one question and only one - the question of sin. He did not come to solve the problems of government nor to set before the world a philosophy of living. He came the first time to settle the sin question, to die for the sins of the world. He came as Saviour.
When He came the first time the door of the inn was shut in His face, slamming so loudly that after 1900 years it still can be heard. He is still being shut out today. Even during the Christmas season that commemorates His birth, He is shut out. The cash registers have been ringing so loudly that you may not have heard the slamming shut of the door, but it is slamming, shutting Him outside.
Scripture refers to His coming in glory, the Christmas yet to come. References to it appear again and again throughout the Old Testament. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself reaffirmed the promises during His earthly ministry.
Before He left this earth to return to heaven, He said, "I will come again." These words have been the hope and the comfort of millions of believers for the past twenty centuries. He, as the glorified Christ, repeated these words to the apostle John on the lonely island of Patmos. Here He sharpened His promise and delivered it in a dramatic way, "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me," (Rev. 22:12).
He did not mean that He was coming soon - that is not what He said. He said that His coming, with all that is entailed, would occupy a very brief time - "I come quickly." This is the last promise that has come to us from heaven.
The Second Coming of Christ will be the completion of His First Coming. He must come again to complete the work of His First Coming. "But", you may say, "He said on the cross, 'It is finished.'".
Yes, the work of redemption was finished. He had wrought out for you and me a way of salvation. As Paul very definitely says, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus," (I Cor. 3:11). He put down the foundation for your salvation and mine. But the towers have not yet been put on.
Actually salvation is in three tenses. I can say that I have been saved; I can also say I am being saved, and I can say I shall be saved. I have right here and now eternal life. The moment I trust Christ, receiving God's gift of eternal life, I am as much saved as I will be a billion years from today - complete in Him, saved in Him.
Also I am being saved. There needs to be a continuing work within me. But it is equally true that I shall be saved. In a very real sense my salvation will not be complete until that wonderful day, the day when you and I will be like Jesus! Let us be patient with one another. Though we are now the sons of God, it does not yet appear what we shall be.
What are YOU going to get for Christmas? I'll tell you what I shall receive - perhaps not this Christmas, but whenever the great Christmas comes - I shall get a new body! It will be a body that will not have pain or disease or weakness, nor will it be subject to all the limitations of this life. But we do not have it yet. The package He gives is labeled "Do not open until Christmas." The redemption of the body is in the future. What a gift that will be!
Someone may be thinking. "I would like to have a stake in this which is coming. I would like to have a part in the Christmas of the future."
You may. The vital thing is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Saviour - now. Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship - a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," (Rom. 6:23). This can be yours in 1994, if you repent of your wicked sin. "I say nay, except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish," (Luke 13:3).
Christ came over 1900 years ago to be your Saviour. The Bible states the fact that offers a promise: "He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name," (John 1:11-12).
He came yesterday as the world's Saviour. He will come tomorrow as the world's Sovereign. Will you share the great Christmas still ahead? "Even so, come, Lord Jesus".