Parousia

My mom told me that when she was a young princess, Queen Elizabeth of England visited Cape Town. The roads were lined with people who came to get a glimpse of her as her royal visit kicked off. We don’t see things like that in our country anymore apart from the president’s motorcade of several cars speeding towards OR Tambo Airport or Johannesburg.

My first experience of such a motorcade was when visiting Harare in the early 2000s and hearing the sirens as the Zimbabwean president Mugabe who was either off to the office or returning from the office. Everyone had to clear the roads … or else.

The New Testament gives us insight into :royal visits” calling them “Parousia”. This was a first century Greek word, technical in nature to describe a royal visit from a king or emperor. In those days, it was a pretty well-known event because every “Parousia” (visit) had special payments and taxes collected to cover the costs of such festivities. Governments would have “advent coins” pressed and “advent sacrifices” would be offered apart from other great festivities. The word “advent” is the Latin equivalent of the Greek Parousia. Some even had a crown made from gold and given to the visiting dignitary. They even went as far as erecting a monument and designated a day of festivity to be “holy” … as in our public holidays. In English, the words Parousia or Advent are translated as “coming”. An example of this is found in Revelation 22:

Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon!”

And the Nicene Creed says, “He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead and His Kingdom will have no end.”

As soon as Jesus ascended to heaven, we read:

Ac 1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Not only is this the inspired Word of God, it carries a promise, a comfort and a doctrine that all of Christianity hangs upon … Jesus is coming again! So much so that the hymnist wrote the lyrics:

What a day that will be

When my Jesus I shall see

And I look upon His face

The One who saved me by His grace

When He takes me by the hand

And leads me through the Promised Land

What a day

Glorious day that will be

Coming again, coming again

Maybe Morning, maybe noon,

May be evening and may be soon

Coming again, Coming again

O what a wonderful day it will be …

Jesus is coming again.

If Jesus was not coming again, we would not have a Christian Church. We would not have hope. We would be damned! But … He is coming again. It will be a glorious day … for His status is not that of Queen Elizabeth or Robert Mugabe. See His status in 1 Timothy 6 and Revelation 19:

1 Tim 6:14 … until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Rev 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

The Parousia … Jesus’ Second Coming … carries the following messages for the child of God (I have dealt briefly with our hope and the Biblical fact above):

Jesus Second Coming is a Great Comfort to Believers

Jn 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Never forget that whatever Jesus says He says to you and me today as well.

The disciples were very concerned about Jesus saying He is leaving them … meaning His ascension after His death and resurrection. But here is the comfort … “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” He says that to you too, Christian!

Jesus Second Coming Requires Preparation

Mt 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

Lk 21:34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

We cannot deny the warnings of Jesus. Be prepared, for that Day will come like a thief in the night.

Jesus’ Second Coming Requires Patience

Jas 5:7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

One might become anxious as you see “signs” that appear in the world … when that Day arrives, if you are alive, you will know it’s that Day.

Jesus’ Second Coming Will be a Day of Judgment

Mat 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”

Every person will be judged … as the Nicene creeds says, both the living and the dead–those who are spiritually alive and those who are spiritually dead. The dead will be damned to hell and the living will be exalted to glory. Beloved, make certain you are ready and prepared, for once He comes (or you die), there will be no second chance.

Dear God, thank You for the assurance and guarantee the Jesus is coming to collect us, His people. Amen.

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