The Second Coming of Christ and Related Thoughts
Pr. P. I. Abraham
There are many branches in Christian theology. One of the more important among them is eschatology; that deals with the second coming of Christ. This is a subject which is very vast, solemn and one which is significant to our very life.
All the books of the Bible are tied together with a common idea, as if with a golden thread. Though very dim in the beginning, it is clear and most bright when it comes to the end of the Bible. We get an idea about the triune God in the very beginning of the book of Genesis. “In the beginning God” is an introductory statement of the Bible. Along with it the Spirit of God works in the midst of emptiness. Then the word of God is sounded like, “Let it be created”. So the Bible begins in the very presence of the triune God. In other words, the one who is the source of the entire universe is the triune God. In our language syntax, we depict God as one in three forms. But it is not very logical. The Bible does not accept the Indian way of thought about trinity. In many religious descriptions of trinity, there are differences among the persons in the trinity. Moreover we read in some religious books that they fight among themselves and even make injuries to one another. But we do not see any contradictions or any differences of opinions among the persons of Trinity revealed in the Bible.
It is not possible to utter the name of the triune God always as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In some places the name begins in the Father. Yet in some other places the name begins in the Son. Again in some places when the name begins in the Holy Spirit, we do not see the names of the Father and the Son. It is not a contradiction, rather it is mystery. Here I would like to describe a few points on Trinity. I will present one argument. We call our God as Father. It was in this point that Arius, the one who introduced the heresy called Arianism, fell into mistake. He argued that the Father comes first and the Son only next. This might sound true at first. But my argument goes like this. Is God father? Yes He is father. Is God the eternal father? Yes, He is the eternal father. If God is the eternal father, would he need an eternal son? Here the opponents bow down their heads without an answer. If there was any single day when the father had no son, then God was not a father before that time. But it cannot happen. Let me summarize that God is the Eternal Father, Son is the Eternal Son and Holy Spirit is the Eternal Holy Spirit.
All the adjectives used for God is applicable for all the three persons. When it ceases to be so, it is Trinity. But when there is likeness it is the Triune God.
We would be in confusion if we study the teachings and thoughts of the world religions. Once a poet wrote, “life is a road which shows both ends.” Many contradictory thoughts are trying to misguide us. There are things which are beyond our logic or reason. They are mysteries. It will be revealed somewhere. But contradiction of thoughts is dangerous. Ramanujan opposed the teaching of “Dwaitha” by Sankaracharya. Madhavacharya criticized both Ramanujan and Sankaracharya. This is the plight of the religions. But examine the Bible. We read in the Book of Hebrews, “Long age God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1). What a beautiful idea! God in the Bible is preparing to send His son for a great purpose. And the Son responds with readiness that He is most willing to do the will of His father. The Holy Spirit is coming down to fulfill this mission of the Son. The persons in the Triune God strive together for the same purpose. Once Jesus said like this, “The Holy Spirit, whom my Father is going to send in my name!” My idea on this topic is much clearer in this statement of Jesus.
The Triune God has been continuing His work of creation, redemption and its fulfillment since the beginning.
I remember the mistake committed by Israel, the early church. The prophets have drawn vividly the birth, life and death of Jesus through the 39 books of the Old Testament. But the people of the Old Testament could not understand that the Kingdom which God had envisaged was not an earthly one. They have also not understood that the Jerusalem Temple was only a shadow and that the real temple would be the Church of Christ. They were hoping for an earthly Canaan. They could not find out the Heavenly Canaan. They have not understood what the prophets have prophesied that the first coming of Jesus was to save the sinners from their sins. They were trying to enthrone Jesus and to dethrone the Caesar. They were wrong. The Son of Man came to His own and His own did not receive Him. In short, they rejected the Messiah in His first coming. Now when the Church of God is waiting for the second coming of Jesus, the Israelites are waiting for the first coming of the Messiah. How shameful! What a big loss! Let me also tell that our dear Moslem brothers have made Jesus, the world savior as a mere prophet. All have made the same mistake.
We, those who have received the wisdom of truth know that Jesus came once and that He will come again. If His first advent was to defeat the enemy, the second will be to redeem His people. For the full victory of a war three things have to take place. First, the enemy should be defeated. Secondly, own people must be delivered. Thirdly, all the lost things must be redeemed. This description is in the spiritual terms. More portions in the Bible describe the second coming of Jesus Christ than it deals with the first coming. All the writings of the Apostles are full of the topic- the Second coming of Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation deals with the second coming, the millennium reign, last judgment, eternity, the new earth and the new heaven and so on. John the apostle prayed, “Oh Lord Jesus, come!” Jesus replied, “Behold, I come soon.” Our hope of the second coming of Jesus is strongly based on the words of Jesus Himself. Jesus’ words are more authoritative than the words of the apostles or angels.
As these promises were made nearly 20 centuries ago, the delay for its fulfillment causes confusion and doubts in the minds of many. Many foolish people are misguided or mistaken by the thinking that either Jesus would never come or that he has postponed His second coming. We do not see anywhere in the Bible that Jesus will come when 2000 years completes after his first advent. There is difference in how one year is calculated by God and man. The Bible affirms that Jesus will not be delayed as some people think about it. There is no need for anyone to remind us about the times and seasons. It is already made clear in the Bible. But the day and the hour is not revealed. It is a top secret being kept in the heavenly council.
When unexpected and unexplainable things happen in the natural universe, man says many things out of his bewilderment. Many wise men of this world were mistaken in this point. The Bible clearly says that natural calamities are not the end of this world, but they are only signs boards. There were Bible based revivals among the Keralites, in India during the early decades of the 20th century. But all such revivals have now disappeared from among us. We have become lukewarm. In the New Testament we read about a group who misguide people by saying that resurrection is over. Only those who are strong in the Word of God and those who cherish a close personal relationship with Christ can withstand the moments of trials and temptations in life. However, the recent flood in Kerala and the events associated with it have made one thing clear. We have no permanent abode here and nothing is lasting on the earth. Human beings have no control over the land, sea and sky. We do not find any secure place for living even with all our modern scientific and technological projects. There are no political visionaries or religious prophets who can strongly express any suggestions or opinions on the insecure condition of human life on this earth or encourage the scared people. Our only help is the Word of God and the Spirit of God. We will not be deceived if we can see this world in the same way as Abraham saw land of Sodom, not in a way how Lot saw the same place.
Let us revive our hope. Let not the second coming becomes a snare for us. Let us seek for the upcoming Kingdom of God. How peaceful is the knowledge that there will be no ocean in the new heaven and the new earth. This Kingdom is not controlled by the solar system, but by the living God. Oh Lord! Come!