The last few years it has been my prayer that I would let my heart truly prepare Him room throughout the advent season. With December birthdays aplenty in our family in addition to the usual hustle of Christmas Day preparations, the profound significance of Christmas can easily be lost. As I considered the meaning of the word advent this year, “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event”, I was also reminded of all that I have been studying in the book of Revelation with Bible Study Fellowship. Recently, my heart has been learning to anticipate another kind of advent.
As those who believe, we anticipate the arrival of a baby in a manger at this time of the year, but we also share in the anticipation of the second victorious coming of Jesus that we have yet to behold. Just as there was prophesy of a Virgin Birth that was beautifully fulfilled with what we celebrate at Christmas, there are predictions involving a throne, a Lamb and a new heaven and earth that I eagerly await to celebrate forever. As I grow in my knowledge of His predicted second coming, my heart is softened more to His first.
Unfortunately, with the predictions of victory we also read of seals of judgement being opened by The Lamb. While it won’t be pretty and many will even plead to be swallowed up by the earth, we trust that this righteous judgement is necessary. Many of these predictions about the end in fact feel strangely familiar to the times we are living in. But my heart finds comfort in knowing that the struggle we feel in being a part of this world is no surprise to a Sovereign God and will come to an end.
While it seems that we could or should anticipate the second coming to be soon, we know that history has been repeating itself for a while now. And as promised, we do not know the day or time of His coming; for it will come as a thief. In the meantime, we march on in great anticipation which becomes HOPE because of what was fulfilled during that first advent years ago, as well as what has been promised about the advent that is to come.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14 NIV
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:1-5 NIV