We’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In particular, we’ve been looking at how Christ was exalted by resurrection and his sitting at God’s right hand. Another way that the Christ is exalted is by his coming again to judge the world. And that’s what I want to begin looking at this week.
When important people arrive somewhere, they often make a grand entrance. They may arrive in a very expensive vehicle (possibly by a helicopter) and have a nice red carpet to walk on. They know that the style of their entrance exalts them.
So in which ways will Christ’s second coming be an exalted entrance? Firstly, Jesus will come with great power as he arrives from the skies (and not simply using a helicopter!). Jesus himself tells us about that day: ‘At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30).
How else will Christ’s second coming be an exalted entrance? Jesus will come with all his holy angels. When important people go somewhere, they very rarely go alone. They at least have bodyguards with them, if not members of the police force or military. When Jesus comes he will come with a heavenly army: ‘If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels’ (Luke 9:26). And: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory’ (Matthew 25:31).
How else will Christ’s second coming be an exalted entrance? Jesus will come with loud exclamation. When celebrities arrive somewhere, loud announcements are often made by microphone; music may be played; fireworks may explode. When Jesus comes it will be with a loud shout and the noise of the trumpet of God. Paul says: ‘For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first’ (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Jesus himself also says in Matthew’s gospel: ‘And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other’ (Matthew 24:31).
So the return of Christ will be an exalted entrance indeed. A descent with power, with a heavenly army and with lots of loud acclamation! There has been no entrance like it in all of human history, even by the most powerful of people. No one will miss the entrance of Jesus!
So what should you do in light of this prophecy about the second coming of Christ? If you wish to be able to run toward Christ in love on that day and not run away from him in fear, you need to turn from your sins and trust that he died for you. Don’t delay. And then look forward to that day when your saviour will be exalted as he deserves to be.