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Waiting for More than Christmas

The outcome is always the same. Christ and His Church
always come out victorious and all His enemies will be judged. 

“‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
(Revelation 22:20).

John was in exile, banished to the island of Patmos where he was isolated from the people he loved and prevented from preaching the Word of God to them.
Many of those whom he calls “my little children” were suffering terrible persecution. Some were fed to wild animals or slaughtered by gladiators, others were burned as human torches or crucified. Still others lost homes and businesses and wandered as fugitives, despised by all.

In such terrible times, one longs for and prays for deliverance. As the Children of Israel prayed for God’s deliverance from their cruel slavery in Egypt, so also John pleads with Christ, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” 

Our lives are much easier. We don’t suffer physical persecution as early Christians did. What a blessing to be able to worship God freely and confess His name without the fear of being cast to the lions! However, like Lot (2 Peter 2:7-8), our souls are being tormented by all the evil in the world, and by the sins in our own lives.

Christ revealed to the exiled apostle what we can expect in this world. Satan will be attacking God’s Church in every way possible. He will use world governments, worldly philosophies, a myriad of false prophets; all to undermine the truth of God’s Word and destroy faith in Christ. He has raised up the great Antichrist—the Roman Catholic papacy—to usurp the power and rule of Christ in the hearts of many.

However, the outcome is always the same. Christ and His Church always come out victorious and all His enemies will be judged and condemned to the lake of fire. Revelation culminates in the great glory that all believers will have in the new heavens and the new earth where Christ will wipe away every tear and give the fullness of joy in the presence of our glorious and gracious God. The whole book of Revelation really presents the truth that Jesus told His disciples before He was crucified, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

In the last chapter of Revelation, Jesus promises three times, “Behold, I am coming quickly.” John can hardly wait. He cries out, “Amen!” YES! It shall be so! Then adds, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” He and his people longed for Jesus’ coming, His Advent.

This is what the Advent Season is all about. It is more than just eagerly waiting and preparing for Christmas. It is waiting and longing for Christ to come again and finally deliver us from all evil and bring us into our eternal home of glory.

Repentance is a vital part of our Advent waiting. For we receive Christ and all the blessings He gives (forgiveness, life and salvation) by faith—faith which confesses our sins and trusts Jesus for complete forgiveness and salvation. Repentance itself is a longing to be cleansed and a hungering for the righteousness of Christ. We have His righteousness already now by faith, but oh, for the day when we will actually BE holy, free from all sin! We live in repentance now, longing for the day when Jesus will deliver us from all sin and receive us into His glory forever.

We may enjoy our lives in this world and give thanks and praise for God’s blessings, but let us never forget that the best is yet to come. Jesus promises to come quickly. May our Advent prayer ever remain, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!”

David Reim is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vernon, British Columbia.