The Hope Part VII
The Resurrections and the Return.
For believers looking forward to the first coming of Jesus Christ, this hope included a number of tremendous realities for them:
These are but a few. For several thousands of years the believers were somehow able to keep the hope of the redeemer, Jesus Christ, alive in their hearts from generation to generation. They survived evil kings, captivity, being forcefully relocated, and every imaginable situation. Yet the believers kept that hope alive in their hearts! These believers (prior to the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2) will be part of the resurrection, which will occur after the gathering together.
For those of us today who believe, confessing Romans 10:9, 10, we look forward to the return of Christ. However, the believers during the Age of Grace (the period from Acts chapter 2 until the return of Jesus Christ for his saints) will be gathered together rather than be part of the resurrections.
A few highlights of his first coming:
The second coming has two major sections, the first is when Christ comes for the saints (the born-again believers), and the second is when he returns with the saints.
The second coming of Jesus Christ has several parts to it, just as his first coming did:
Afterwards there will be a new heaven and earth where there is no more sin, sickness, or death.
The book of Revelation (and others) detail events regarding the end times, the destruction of sin, death, and the devil. There will be many unpleasant events as men of great evil will rule. The believers of the Age of Grace will not be present on earth during this wrath, since we will have been either raised from the dead (if we are dead at the time of the return) and given incorruptible bodies, or if we are alive at the return we will be changed and given immortal bodies. We shall then be gathered together to meet our Lord in the air.
This is not talking about the resurrections. This is the gathering together. We, the born again believers, will be handed our rewards at the bema, the place where prizes and rewards are handed out, of Christ (II Corinthinans 5:10).
What has the new birth cost us? Believers in the Old Testament continued to hope, century after century, yet never lived to see the first coming of Jesus Christ, and never had the privilege to become born again and have Christ in them the "hope of glory".
Yet here we are today, and because God gave His all and His son Jesus Christ gave his all, the new birth is a gift by grace that we can just walk up and claim. To think why we should be alive to partake of such goodness and love that even the mighty Old Testament believers could not receive (because it was not available until Acts 2:4) can be very humbling.
But God wants us to walk up to the truths and realities He has given us, to put them on in our minds, and then believe and step forth with the power and boldness to live a blessed life, telling others.
Because we have the hope of Christ's return we need to understand and think of it often, as it gives us endurance and boldness to live godly and abundantly.
Part VI Part VIII