Throughout this series, we have been exploring the first chapter of the book of Revelation, seeking to learn how this chapter can help us in our upcoming Christmas celebrations. We have seen that Christmas should be a reunion between us and our Lord. We have also seen that if we see Christmas as a time of “reunion” between us and the Christ child, He will reveal Himself to us differently each time, thus giving us an even bigger picture and a better understanding of just who the Christ Child is. We have experienced how meditating on the different aspects of Jesus Christ, as recorded in Revelation 1, helps us to know the Christ Child more intimately, helps us put our faith more and more in the Baby who would save the world. I believe there is one more lesson to be learned. And perhaps, this lesson is the most important one of all in our day and age. Let’s first look at Vs. 7: “Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!” (Rev. 1:7 NLT)
To set the stage, we need to look no further than the world today. I don’t think it takes any astute historian to see that the condition of the world has deteriorated rapidly over the past few years. When you read the news, it is like you are reading Matt. 24: “… for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.And you will hear of wars and threats of wars … Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world…Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers … And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.” (Vs. 5,6a,7,9,11,12 NLT).
If we do go back in history, however, we will see that the condition of the world at the time of Jesus’ birth was also very bad. It was so bad that the Kingdom of Israel was searching the Scriptures, awaiting the arrival of their saving King. They were so focused on their King coming in power, leading the nation out of the oppression of the Romans, that they totally missed the prophecies of Jesus’ first coming. We tend to criticize them, actually, for missing the significance of Jesus’ birth, of His first coming. Yet when you are in the midst of horrible oppression and you know that the Scriptures have decreed the coming of a King to do away with all oppression, wouldn’t you also be tempted to gloss over these other details?
If I am to take this a step further, I would have to say that my hat is off to the people of Jesus’ day. At least they were looking for the coming of the Messiah! Doesn’t that put them a step ahead of the majority of Christians today? Of course, we all believe Jesus will return; but do we long for it? Or do we simply hope it won’t happen in our day and age?
That second option would be how I’ve always thought of the second Coming of Jesus Christ. “Great. I’m glad! But can’t You wait a bit before fulfilling those prophecies?” As a matter of fact, I don’t believe I am alone when I say that I don’t particularly like reading Revelation. I don’t like reading about the horrible things that will come to pass! Yet doesn’t the book begin with these words: “God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near…” (Revelation 1:3 NLT)? Doesn’t this indicate that when we even so much as read the Book of Revelation, we are blessed? And even more so when we listen to its message and obey what it says? As I mediate upon those words, I realize that what God is trying to speak into His church is a longing for Jesus’ return! We need to long for Jesus’ second coming in the same way and with the same intensity as the people of Israel longed for His first coming!
As we prepare to celebrate the greatest birth in history, as we prepare to commemorate Jesus’ first coming with all of its implications, let’s also remember this: He is coming again! “Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!” (Rev. 1:7 NLT)! As you accept anew Jesus’ Christmas gift of Salvation, humble yourselves before Him and ask Him to show you what you need to do to help the world prepare for His mighty return. When you do, you will be giving Jesus Christ the best Christmas present He could ever receive!
Friends, Jesus is coming back and it won’t be long! Let’s long for His return!
This concludes the short Christmas series based on Revelation 1. If you have missed any of the sessions, email me and I will send them to you. Or alternatively, you may click here and get them off the web!
In His Love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries
(To access the entire “Christmas Revelations” mini-series, click here)