THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
THE END TIMES - 12
CREATION, REDEMPTION, ASCENSION
Jesus has come. Jesus will come again.
we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus. On that
day God said, “You are my son; this day I have begotten
you” (Heb 1:5). Thus “the Word became flesh and
made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14a).
on Jesus’ first coming, we also look to his second coming.
We look forward to “the Lord’s return to Zion.”
(Is 52:8d). Indeed, we are already “in these last days”
(Heb 1:2a). We are in the final age. We are in the end times.
And so it is important to see why Jesus came into the world
in the first place.
look to salvation history. We look to what God has done. First
there was creation. God created everything, including humankind,
to share His love and to live eternally with Him. We look
at Jesus in the manger, and we see “a son, whom he made
heir of all things and through whom he created the universe”
(Heb 1:2b). Jesus was there, not just from his birth, but
from the birth of the universe. “He was in the beginning
with God. All things came to be through him, and without him
nothing came to be.” (Jn 1:2-3a).
the enemy thwarted God’s plan and Eden was lost. But
God’s intent does not change. And so He sent His very
own Son into the world. And so second, there is redemption.
Jesus went to the cross and “accomplished purification
from sins” (Heb 1:3c). Darkness and death had descended
upon the world, but “through him was life, and this
life was the light of the human race; the light shines in
the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
(Jn 1:4-5). The world was in misery, but “the Lord has
comforted his people, has redeemed Jerusalem.” (Is 52:9b).
The enemy had momentarily triumphed in Eden, but was crushed
in Calvary. By Jesus’ death and resurrection, “his
right hand and holy arm have won the victory.” (Ps 98:1b).
Jesus’ resurrection and after appearing to his disciples
for final instructions, his work was done and he went up to
heaven. And so third, there is his ascension. Jesus “took
his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
What more needs to happen? If there was creation, redemption
and ascension, then we, who according to the plan of God were
created and who were redeemed, will also need to ascend. Jesus
came down to earth so that we might go up to heaven. Jesus
has already won salvation on the cross for us. We just need
to accept. “But to those who did accept him he gave
power to become children of God, to those who believe in his
name” (Jn 1:12). We accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.
We BE.LI.EV.E! We will enter into eternal life.
can people believe? They need to hear the good news of salvation
in Jesus. How can they hear? His disciples need to proclaim
this gospel. They need to do the work of evangelization. This
work is so important. This work has to do with the very plan
of God. Evangelizers do the very work of God and so they have
a lofty status in the design of God. “How beautiful
upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news,
announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation,
saying to Zion, ‘Your God is King!’” (Is
52:7). Wow! Would you not want to be counted among such beautiful
heralds of the King?
the Baptist was such a person. He proclaimed the coming of
Jesus. “A man named John was sent from God. He came
for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might
believe through him.” (Jn 1:6-7). John was sent from
God, he testified to Jesus, he was used by God to bring people
to belief in Jesus. We too are sent by God, we too are to
witness to Jesus, we too are to be used by God in order to
help bring people to faith in Jesus. John was to the first
coming as we are to the second coming.
came for all. “The true light, which enlightens everyone,
was coming into the world.” (Jn 1:9). Salvation is for
all. Our task is to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.
“All the ends of the earth can see the salvation of
our God.” (Is 52:10b). Jesus was victorious on the cross.
We share that victory. “All the ends of the earth have
seen the victory of our God.” (Ps 98:3b).
Creation, redemption, ascension. Christmas is not just about
the birth of Jesus, but about all three. The coming of Jesus
is not just an event for today, but has always been about
God from the beginning to the end. Jesus is the Alpha and
the Omega, the Beginning and the End. John, who was born ahead
of Jesus, said, “he existed before me.” (Jn 1:15c).
Indeed he was there before the world began. Because Jesus
came, we have been redeemed, saved, graced. “From his
fullness we have all received, grace in place or grace”
(Jn 1:16). Now Jesus has already ascended into heaven. That
is where we too are destined.
day, looking on the babe in the manger, we have seen God who
became man. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is our brother
who restores us to the Father. Today we celebrate the coming
of Jesus into the world, and we look forward to our going
with him into heaven, where we will come face to face with
God. “No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who
is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.” (Jn
It is Christmas and so we rejoice. We looked forward with
anticipation to this day of the year, and we now savor this
first coming of Jesus. But we should also look forward with
even greater anticipation to his second coming. That day will
be one of indescribable joy.
with joy to the Lord, all the earth;
break into song; sing praise.
Sing praise to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
shout with joy to the King, the Lord.
Merry Christmas to you all!