A devotional I read recently referenced John MacArthur’s book, The Second Coming (1999). In it MacArthur summarizes nine items which await the second coming of Christ:
1. The Promise of God.
2. The Teaching of Christ.
3. The Testimony of the Holy Spirit.
4. The Program for the Church.
5. The Corruption in the World.
6. The Future of Israel.
7. The Vindication of Christ.
8. The Destruction of Satan.
9. The Hope of the Saints.
Some 300 Biblical prophecies regarding the first coming of the Messiah were all fulfilled in Christ. Our Discipleship manual refers to Peter Stone’s book, Science Speaks, in which he describes the odds of just eight of these prophecies occurring by chance (the birth in Bethlehem, a ministry preceded by a messenger, entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey, betrayal by a friend, the price of 30 pieces of silver, money thrown in the temple, his silence before accusers, and the piercing of hands and feet.)
The odds of these eight occurring in the life of one individual are 1 in 10 to the 17th power, or one in one hundred quadrillion. That’s 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000!
Remember, that’s the likelihood of just these eight prophecies being fulfilled, yet all 300 were fulfilled in Christ!
Many of these were events outside of anyone’s ability to control. For example, the star which led shepherds to Bethlehem, the tyranny of Herod which directed the travels of Joseph and Mary, the independent assessment of the magi, Simeon’s prophecy, and many others.
With all these faithfully coming to pass, how can anyone doubt that the second coming will also happen just as the scriptures predict, and as the Angel pronounced, “…This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
So… knowing this, what are we to do?
Peter asks, then replies to this same question: “…what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Pet. 3:11, 12)
John MacArthur resonates,
The Second Coming is not supposed to make you stop what you’re doing to wait for the Lord’s return. And neither should it motivate you to focus all your attention on the events and political developments of this world. Instead, it should prompt you to holiness as you direct your heart toward Christ, whose coming every believer anticipates with joy. – John MacArthur, The Second Coming
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