History of Redemption: Blog Post 42
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. - 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV
Jesus Christ will return to earth. We know this to be true because He has promised us this: “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3). For what purpose will He return? “To unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). Jesus will return in triumph and in glory to restore all things to Himself.
Restoration of this fallen world on which we live is part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Restoration is the great climax to the history of redemption. Restoration is our doctrine of future hope. Our knowledge of and understanding of the coming restoration is critical to our knowledge of and understanding of who God is, and what He is doing, and what He will do.
I am writing this blog post from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All around me is poverty. In two weeks I will return to my comfortable home in Bellingham, but these people will continue to live in poverty. This morning I visited a hundred orphans, being fed by the hands of a man and woman who understand that Jesus Christ will one day return to restore all things to Himself. Their hope is not found in their government, who has let them down time and again. Their hope is not found in the charity of westerners. Their hope is not found in their own labor to help the needy orphans of Ethiopia. Their hope is this, that one day, Jesus Christ will return, will restore and will renew all things. Their hope is found in the knowledge that one day Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God (what a terrifying and glorious sound that will be!). Their hope is in the fundamental truth that Christ will one day put an end to poverty and hunger and despair, and that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things (will) have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
How then are we to live now? “We are live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13). We are to live our lives based upon the hope of the gospel, the WHOLE gospel, including the promise of restoration by Christ for His people. We are to walk in faith, to labor for those in need, and to preach the gospel to those who are perishing. And we are to expect His return at any moment. And we are to long for His return at every moment. Let us not forget that He has testified, “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20).
Jesus Christ WILL descend from heaven at an hour and a day that no one knows (Matthew 24:44), and it will be terrifying and awful for those who have rejected Him (see Matthew 25:41). And it will be more glorious and wonderful than you could ever imagine, for those who have accepted Him (see Matthew 25:34).
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
If you are interested in supporting Yezelalem Minch, the above mentioned orphan care project in Ethiopia, please visit: www.futurehopecampaign.org