Category Archives: The Second Coming

“The perfect Savior” by Herman Bavinck

“It is specifically Christ who is appointed by the Father to bring about the end of the history of humankind and the world. And He is appointed to this role because He is the Savior, the perfect Savior. The work He completed on earth is only a part of the great work of redemption He has taken upon Himself.

And the time He spent here is only a small part of the centuries over which He is appointed as Lord and King. Anointed by the Father from all eternity, He began to engage in His prophetic, priestly, and royal activity immediately after sin came into the world. He continued that activity throughout all the revolving centuries since.

And one day, at the end of the times, He will complete it. That which He acquired on earth by His suffering and death He applies from heaven by His word and the working of His Spirit; and that which He has thus applied, He maintains and defends against all the assaults of Satan, in order one day, at the end, to present it without spot or wrinkle, in total perfection, to His Father who is in heaven.

Accordingly, the return of Christ unto judgment is not an arbitrary addition that can be isolated from His preceding work and viewed by itself. It is a necessary and indispensable component of that work. It brings that work to completion and crowns it.

It is the last and highest step in the state of His exaltation. Because Christ is the savior of the world, He will someday return as its judge.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation. Ed. John Bolt and Tr. John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 685.

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“The happiest thing of all” by John Calvin

“Let us consider this settled: that no one has made progress in the school of Christ who does not joyfully await the day of death and final resurrection.

Paul, too, distinguishes all believers by this mark (Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8), and Scripture habitually recalls us to it whenever it would set forth proof of perfect happiness.

‘Rejoice,’ says the Lord, ‘and raise your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.’ (Luke 21:28) Is it reasonable, I ask you, that what our Lord meant to be sufficient to arouse us to rejoicing and good cheer should engender nothing but sorrow and dismay? If this is so, why do we still boast of Him as our Master?

Let us, then, take hold of a sounder view, and even though the blind and stupid desire of the flesh resists, let us not hesitate to await the Lord’s coming, not only with longing, but also with groaning and sighs, as the happiest thing of all.

He will come to us as Redeemer, and rescuing us from this boundless abyss of all evils and miseries, He will lead us into that blessed inheritance of His life and glory.”

–John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, John T. McNeill, ed, Ford Lewis Battles, trans, Library of Christian Classics (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960 [1559]), 3.9.5.

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“We do not know the play” by C.S. Lewis

“The doctrine of the Second Coming teaches us that we do not and cannot know when the world drama will end. The curtain may be rung down at any moment: say, before you have finished reading this paragraph. This seems to some people intolerably frustrating. So many things would be interrupted. Perhaps you were going to get married next month, perhaps you were going to get a raise next week: you may be on the verge of a great scientific discovery; you may be maturing great social and political reforms.

Surely no good and wise God would be so very unreasonable as to cut all this short? Not now, of all moments! But we think thus because we keep assuming that we know the play. We do not know the play. We do not even know whether we are in Act I or Act V. We do not know who are the major and who the minor characters. The Author knows.”

–C.S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night,” in The World’s Last Night And Other Essays (New York: Harvest, 1952), 105.

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“The World’s Last Night” by C.S. Lewis

“There are many reasons why the modern Christian and even the modern theologian may hesitate to give to the doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming that emphasis which was usually laid on it by our ancestors. Yet it seems to me impossible to retain in any recognisable form our belief in the Divinity of Christ and the truth of the Christian revelation while abandoning, or even persistently neglecting, the promised, and threatened, Return.

‘He shall come again to judge the quick and the dead,’ says the Apostles’ Creed. ‘This same Jesus,’ said the angels in Acts, ‘shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ ‘Hereafter,’ said our Lord Himself, ‘shall ye see the Son of Man… coming in the clouds of heaven.’ If this is not an integral part of the faith once given to the saints, I do not know what is.”

–C.S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night,” in The World’s Last Night And Other Essays (New York: Harvest, 1952), 93.

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