“The second coming of Christ is the blessed
hope of the church, the grand climax of the
gospel. The Savior’s coming will be literal,
personal, visible, and worldwide. When He
returns, the righteous dead will be
resurrected, and together with the righteous
living will be glorified and taken to heaven,
but the unrighteous will die. The almost
complete fulfillment of most lines of
prophecy, together with the present condition of the world,
indicates that Christ’s coming is near. The time of that event
has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be
ready at all times.” SDA Fundamental Belief #25.
BE AN OPTIMIST!
PREVALENT PESSIMISM. Much of our lives is colored by
disappointment, disillusionment, fear, and pessimism. The
antidote to all this negativity is:
- gratefulness for the past,
- contentment in the present and
- optimism towards the future.
PAROUSIA. The Bible repeatedly gives its readers reason to
be hopeful and optimistic by its unusually strong emphasis on
the “second coming” (Gr. Parousia) of Christ. “People are
often surprised to learn that references to the second coming
outnumber references to the first coming by a factor of eight
to one. Scholars have identified 1,845 different biblical
references to the second coming of Jesus Christ.”
PRESENT PAIN. The hope of the second coming is best
understood and appreciated in the context of present
experience—“the present condition of the world”. From birth
to death, life is a precious gift all-too-often tainted by pain,
sadness, disappointments, fulfillment and losses. But amid
turmoil and uncertainties, and especially as the difficulties of life
increase, our belief in the second coming embodies human
kind’s universal hope of a long-awaited but soon-to-come
restoration, the end of all that annoys, and the fulfillment of
our best dreams.
PERFECT PROMISE. Before his death, Jesus promised His
disciples that He would return: “I will come again” (John 14: 3).
At the ascension, messengers gave them a reminder of this
promise: “This same Jesus will so come in like manner.” (Acts 1:
11) And the New Testament calls this promise “the blessed
hope.” (Titus 2:13).
PRIME PERKS. Indeed, such present hope is happy and blessed,
because through faith in this promise, Christians can gain an
optimistic outlook that replaces despondency and negativity
with readiness, soberness, renewed strength, confidence,
anticipation, and joy: God will see to it that the future is good!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE. As November continues to speed
forward, take the time to slow down and practice life-changing
gratitude through anticipating now the future blessedness and
joy promised in the second coming.