Some time ago, I was asked why, if the redeeming work of Jesus was complete and comprehensive, if

“…the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:10-11

Or simply put,

“Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call!” Romans 6:6 [MSG]
Why then does Christ have to come again? Is there something He left undone? Is He coming back to complete the job?

Well, beloved, if you are wondering that too, then let’s prayerfully come to Jesus and have Him show us just what His first and second coming are for.

Now, the first thing to note about the first and second coming of Christ, is that they serve very different functions. Of the first coming, Jesus said,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
The first time around, He came to save. Of that, we are all clear. In fact, He did not just come to save, He came to restore the rightful relationship that we have with our creator, for

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:10-13

We and all that you see around you were made through Him. We are His own. We belong to Him. But when Adam decided that he wanted knowledge of good and evil and ate from that tree,

“…through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Romans 5:12-13

It’s a bit like this. The Chinese have a saying, ‘every household has its rules, every country has its laws’. Now supposed you never set boundaries with your children; you never tell them ‘no’. By definition, can they ever misbehave? So before Adam wanted to know what good and evil meant, there were no laws set by God. There were no rules. Everything was good, and don’t take my word for it, for it is written,

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

But when Adam ate of the tree, when Adam said that he wanted to know what evil was, laws had to be introduced. And once laws were introduced, punishment and consequences had to be set in place, together with enforcement. And once all that was in place, consequences had to be meted out each time the laws were broken. And since God is a perfectly righteous God, He cannot have anything to do with imperfect sinful man who break His laws.

Therefore, by asking to know what evil was, Adam made himself, and everyone else that came after, subject to those laws. And by our own actions, each and every time we contravene God’s laws by word, thought or deed, we sin and bring consequence to ourselves, distancing ourselves from our Father.

So the first time that Jesus came, He came to restore the parental relationship that was meant to be there in the first place and break the hold that sin had on us. He paid the price for us so that no matter what sin we commit here on earth, as long as we believe that Jesus has paid the price for us, we are in on His salvation, and

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

Because “…Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all,…” Hebrews 9:28 [AMPC]

Has sorted out the consequence of sin for you; and that was what He came to do the first time around.

Now don’t think that Christ’s redemption is only for the Jews or some other select group of people because the Bible is very clear about who Christ died to redeem and

“[It is this:] that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers [sharing] in the same divine promise in Christ through [their acceptance of] the glad tidings (the Gospel).” Ephesians 3:6 [AMPC]

So as far as redemption is concerned, His work is done, once and once for all. So what’s the second coming all about?

“Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.” Hebrews 9:28 [AMPC]

Many point to this verse and say that our salvation is not full, not complete, because Jesus has to come again to bring it to full completion. Well, beloved, let’s look at what will happen when He comes again.

“There are many rooms in my Father’s House. If there were not, should I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? It is true that I am going away to prepare a place for you, but it is just as true that I am coming again to welcome you into my own home, so that you may be where I am.” John 14:2-3 [PHILLIPS]

Jesus has gone off to prepare our place in Heaven with Him. Literally, He says, with Him in His own home, so that we may be where He is. Now, does that sound like He still has a whole lot of redeeming to do? Then we remember that this happened.

“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”” Acts 1:9-11

When Jesus returns, He’s not going to be born again as a baby, grow up, get tempted and die. He’s going to come back triumphant, the same way He went up. In fact, this is how it looks like in John’s vision.

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16

Does that sound like Christ left things undone?

Beloved, Christ is coming again. But He’s not coming to save. He’s coming to collect. We are the gems He chose, paid for with His blood and had the jeweler, the Holy Spirit, set. And just like it is here on earth, when the setting is done, the jeweler is going to call the master and He’s going to return to collect and take it home with Him.

Now, is your salvation ‘complete’ at this time? Are you, the gem, fully set at this point? Are you ready for collection? That you still have flaws in your character and are still rough around the edges, your salvation is still not yet ‘complete’.

But as, God works in you, both to will and to do His good work (Philippians 2:13) you are slowly being prepared for the day when you will be ready for Christ to come and bring you home. So along the way, do expect a little cutting, a little grinding, a little heating and a whole lot of polishing, for you, beloved child of God, are being prepared for Jesus’ second coming, when He finally comes to collect.

And my friend, if you have never made Jesus your Lord and Savior; if you have never believed in Christ but want to be counted amongst His number when He comes to collect; if you want to be brought home with Him; Jesus says,

“…[to the place] where I am going, you know the way.” John 14:4 [AMPC]

For you know that Jesus said, “…I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.” John 14:6 [AMPC]

Come to Jesus. It is no coincidence that you are reading this. Jesus is reaching out to you right here, right now, telling you that He loves you and He wants to be able to collect you home to be with Him when He comes again. So if you would respond to Him, then say this to Him right now.

“Jesus, thank You for coming to set my life right. Thank You that even though, through Adam, my sins should have been counted against me, Your love for me does not allow it to happen; and so You took my place, bore my punishment on my behalf; and because the chastisement needful to obtain my peace and well-being fell on You, I am now healed, and whole, and there is no more condemnation for me because I am now in You. Jesus, thank You for making me one of Your number and I await the day when You will come and bring me home with You. Amen.”

Beloved, Jesus is coming. But this time, He’s coming to collect, because you have already been saved. Hold on to that hope and know that every challenge that comes your way is there only to polish you into the priceless and precious gem that you really are.

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