Are we ‘EAGERLY’ waiting for CHRIST to RETURN? "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." (Heb 9:27-28)
The writer of Hebrews presents a contrast between the Old and the New Covenant in the above passage. Under the Old Covenant, the law condemned sinners to die and face the judgment. However under the New Covenant Christ, as God’s ‘perfect sacrifice’, was offered once to bear all the sins of humankind. He finished that work at the cross, but will come to take us to His home in heaven. This will be the culmination of our salvation; we will receive glorified bodies and be forever beyond the reach of sin.
The expression, those who ‘eagerly’ wait for Him, is a description of all true believers who belong to Christ (1 Cor. 15:23) - who are “the dead in Christ” and “we who are alive and remain” (1 Thess. 4:16, 17). Hebrews 9:24–28 mentions three appearances of Jesus Christ: a past appearance for our salvation (v. 26), a present appearance for our sanctification (v. 24), and a future appearance for our glorification (v. 28). This may be described further as follows:
- Jesus has appeared (v. 26). This refers to the first time when He came to earth to save us from the penalty of sin (the past tense of salvation).
- Jesus now appears (v. 24). This refers to His present ministry to save us from the power of sin (the present tense of salvation).
- Jesus will appear (v. 28). This speaks of His imminent return when He will save us from the presence of sin (the future tense of salvation).
Jesus Christ appeared on earth once to accomplish His atoning work (v. 26). Then He entered “into heaven,” opening the way for our access to God (v. 24). One day He will reappear to consummate our salvation.
Are we eagerly waiting and looking forward for our Lord Jesus Christ to return? Are we maintaining a steady relationship with God on a day-to-day basis? Are we seeking God’s interest and His kingdom first before anything in our lives? If not, let us make a new commitment to God’s kingdom values, and give Him the top priority in our daily living!
"Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." (1 John 3:2-3)