Advent. Bethlehem. Angels. Shepherds. Magi (or ‘wise men’). Herod. Virgin birth. God incarnate as a baby born in a feeding trough. We get used to the story of the first Coming of Christ, and may even lose sight of the great wonder and power in that story. Sometimes we forget about the second Coming too. Without the first, the second couldn’t happen. Without the second, the first has an incomplete conclusion – not with regards to His atonement for sins, but because His second coming demonstrates that Christ truly is the King who is rightfully asserting His authority over all creation.
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.Hebrews 10:12-13
In a previous post on the theme of authority, I questioned whether we are living under the authority of Christ, how we make decisions… whether we are just believers in Christ in a minimal way, or are we really living under His covering? Here, I am asking us to consider the authority of His coming because of who He is.
Throughout the holy Bible, we see various historical events involving rulers of other nations taking more territories, and coming against God’s chosen people the Israelites. We see that the Assyrians and the Babylonians were forceful nations. Further on in history, we see the Roman Empire’s reach and power. We also see arrogance and idolatry as very real elements in those nations. Yet as Jesus pointed out to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:11). Even those in positions of power do not have unlimited power – God is still in control, regardless of free will given to mankind.
When I was facing a difficult situation relating to a previous employment some time ago, in which a complaint had been made against me, I had to deal with being interviewed by my former manager while the matter was under investigation. I had to submit to that manager’s authority to question me. During that time, I had applied for new employment as my temporary role came to an end. But although my role there had officialy ended, I still needed to go through the process. I could have refused I suppose, but I had nothing to hide and wanted to respond. Yet I was concerned about how I would enter my new employment with an official complaint going on in the background. Then The LORD reminded me of something crucial. My life is in His hands, not the hands of any human manager. This helped me a lot, because God went on to demonstrate how only He could guide me through it all. He opened the door for me to be received into new employment without that particular former manager’s reference. God worked in other ways too, and in fact He took me “out of the fire and into the frying pan”, to coin a phrase! But that was all part of His good plan of refinement in my faith journey. You see, when God is the authority in your life, this overrules all earthly authority. There is a caveat to this though…
The caveat – God is the ultimate authority, but teaches us to submit to human authorities, as is written:- “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1). Because of sin, there is a requirement to have systems in place, otherwise there would be complete anarchy in society. Even with governing authorities, such as the police and law courts, there are still those who behave lawlessly. Yet followers of Christ are to be responsible citizens. When you apply for a job and are offered the job, you sign an employment contract. You are required to do the job you are paid for, and to submit to a line manager/supervisor. But what happens when those in authority over us in our earthly systems do something wrong that affects us? What if that authority figure responds to us unjustly? We must still behave responsibly for righteousness’ sake, yet we must remember not to fear man but fear our Maker. If we appeal to the great Creator, the LORD of heaven and earth, then we are appealing to the highest authority! As Moses said to God, when appealing to Him about Sodom & Gomorrah “… will not the Judge of the earth do right?”
Confidence in YAHWEH – the Great “I Am”. When Queen Esther decided to seek to approach the King, because of the plot to destroy her fellow Jewish people, she risked the King ordering her execution. The protocol was that only when summoned, should the King be approached. Yet, even though the Biblical account does not specifically mention God, we find that Esther was able to do something that had amazing results for the good of God’s chosen people the Jews. It could only have been by God’s sovereign hand that events turned out the way they did, through a man named Mordecai and his relative Esther doing the right thing. When we face testing situations that require courage, are we trusting in His authority to pave the way for us?
JESUS IS COMING.
There is no greater event than the one that is centred around the Creator of the heavens and the earth. His first coming, the wonder of God incarnate to become the sacrificial Lamb, and His second coming, with His full authority on display, cannot be matched in significance and power.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”Revelation 1:7-8
In the midst of the current world issues and even personal and family life challenges, having God’s authority at work for us means that no matter what we face, He reigns. If it’s sickness, He reigns. If it’s corrupt rulers, He reigns. If it’s the betrayal of a friend or family member, He reigns. Let’s trust our great God to do what is impossible for man but quite possible for Him. Let’s pray for and tell others about this coming King of Glory.
1 thought on “The Authority of His Coming”
Thank you for pointing to His second coming with such evidence and conviction. Yes our sovereign Lord will return… Come Lord Jesus!