When John Knox landed in Scotland from Geneva the news flew like lightning over the country. The inhabitants of Edinburgh rushed into the streets. All business was instantly given up. Mounted messengers sped everywhere shouting the joyful tidings: "John Knox is come!" The whole land was stirred by the inspiration of his coming. It meant to Scotland salvation from the papal tyranny.
To Christians today the expectation of Christ's Second Advent means an end to the tyranny of sin.
To the believer it will mean:
RESURRECTION 7 Thessalonians 4:16. Hope for the dead.
Salvation marches through the very gates of death. "Jesus held out to men the hope of resurrection at the last day" (John 5:25-29).
"Without this certainty would be in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:16-18, 22, 23). Indeed, "thy dead . . . shall live" (Isaiah 26:19). The One who broke the bands of the grave by His own resurrection will at His second advent destroy man's last enemy-death! (1 Corinthians 15:54,55)
1 Thessalonians 4:17. Hope for the living.
The earth will be gathered by the angels (Matthew 24:31) and receive the "crown of life" (James 1:12). See also 1 Peter 5:4.
John 14:3. Hope for fellowship.
We are more than ships that pass each other in the night, speak in passing and then continue their journey. We were meant for everlasting togetherness (Revelation 22:4; 21:3). See also 2 Thessalonians 2:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.
1 Corinthians 15:53, 54. Hope for eternity.
It is only then that Christ will fulfill His promises as found in John 3:15 and 6:40. Eternal life is the object of our most intense longing. At present there exists a disparity between our reach and our grasp. Death terminates our plans and existence. Only moral aspirations are able to transcend present achievements. What we experience here is only a foretaste of what is to come. Can your imagination fully grasp the wonder of what eternity will mean to the saved?
1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. Hope for perfect health.
Observe Paul's assurance as expressed in Philippians 3:20, 21. Note also that this regeneration is twofold. It involves not only man, but also the earth. The physical creation is also to enjoy the benefits of redemption (Romans 8:19, 21, 22). All things will be restored (Acts 3:20, 21). Only at the second advent will Christ have fulfilled His purpose when He said that He had come "to seek and save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
To the wicked it will mean:
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2:8. Irrevocable judgment.
Without judgment upon evil-doers God's government would prove to be a failure; the Bible a farce; creation a colossal mistake; and, life a vain bubble. But let God be true, for "whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galations 6:7). That any should perish at all is unnecessary (2 Peter 3:9). But when judgement is executed it will be irrevocable (Ezekiel 18:20, 23, 24).
To all heaven it will mean:
1 Corinthians 15:25. An end to the reign of sin.
Christ's coronation and triumph (Zechariah 14:5, 9; Revelation 11:15).