Christmas is Coming!
We have entered the season of Advent.
In the more traditional churches there is a preparation time before Christmas. Many people see this as a kind of symbolic looking forward to the birth of the Messiah, and we will make room for Him in our hearts so He won’t be left out in the cold like He was the first Christmas.
Something very important has got lost along the way.
Originally, alongside of remembering how Jesus entered our dark world as a baby, a long time ago, the main point is to look forward to the second Advent of Jesus. The word Advent simply means coming.
During the season – usually starting around four weeks before Christmas – the colour is purple, rather than the red and green associated with Christmas celebrations. Priests in liturgical churches wear deep purple robes and the church altars are covered up in purple. Fasting is common – or to use a biblical expression, many Christians “afflict their souls” during this season.
It is a time of repentance.
As I said, something seems to have got lost, namely the reality of the coming Kingdom of God on earth. Yes, the sheer physical reality of it.
The bible speaks of the “Good News” of Jesus, but also of the “Good News” of the Kingdom. Why is it good news, you may ask, and who is it good news for?
The good news is that the present order of things on this planet, with all of its sin and greed and violence; its degradation of the human soul and destruction of the natural world, is passing away. Not only did our Heavenly Father not make any plans at all to redeem the present world-order, but He has actually condemned it to death. The final sentence has yet to be carried out.
Instead of redeeming the present world-order, He invented a new one – namely the Kingdom of God. He has set a time in the future for the coming of this Kingdom on earth. It will occur when Jesus returns in glory, because He is the Messiah and He is the future for this planet.
That is good news, both for humans beings and for the whole of nature, as both will be set free from the bondage of death and suffering when He returns bodily to this earth. There is a catch however: this wonderful new world-order will be sin-free as well.
Maybe not such good news, depending on how attached you are to your sins, and your own ways!
Some more good news is that Jesus was born on the earth, among the crap in a stable, for one specific reason: to save His people from their sins. The Kingdom of God cannot come to this earth while we are in our present sinful condition. Who would be allowed in? Nobody!
“For all have sinned, and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
So He came to die bearing all of our sins – without any exception and no matter how vile – in order to free us and make us worthy of a place in His Kingdom. But you still have a personal choice whether to accept His salvation from sin.
It cannot be overemphasised – this GLORY – that will fill the planet when His Kingdom comes. Look at what Jesus said:
“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom every cause of sin and all who practice lawlessness.”
Jesus said it!
This is why many Christians fast and some churches cover everything in purple – the colour of deep mourning – during Advent.
We long for Jesus to return. We long for His Kingdom to come and for the Glory to fill this earth. The bible makes it clear with many wonderful promises, that even the lower parts of creation will be filled with everlasting joy and no human will be allowed to oppress another. Life to the full will be had by all. Life will be worth living. All pain will be removed but also the causes of pain [warning!]
“You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
God tells the truth! He never makes false promises or gives human beings false hope just to make them feel better. He tells it like it is – the good and the bad.
The Good News is not: “Hallelujah! Jesus has washed my sins away so when I die, after a lifetime of pain, I can retire in the Elysian Fields of Heaven for eternity”. The coming Kingdom of God will materialise on this planet. There will be work to do, carrying out the orders of Messiah, Jesus. We will have new bodies, souls and minds which will share in the present redemption of our new spirits, the latter being merely the first moiety won for us by Jesus.
There will be order, government, play, laughter and freedom.
No more politicians! No more lies!
But we must prepare for it now – because otherwise it could be an awful shock! And this is the reason for the season of Advent – a season to repent in preparation for His second coming.