In the opening blog post of this series I mentioned the McCheyne Bible Reading Calendar. I first heard about this calendar through the teaching of Ravi Zacharias. It is actually the first calendar I used to read through the entire Bible and actually made it. So, of course, it has become the one I recommend to others.
When I thought to make a series posts during Advent 2016, it seemed easiest to use McCheyne as a basis from which to pull Scripture. Then I wondered if there would be a Scripture everyday that would touch on the topic of Christ’s coming. To that I say, so far so good.
The coming of the Messiah and the return of Christ at the end of time is all over the pages of the Bible. The anticipation of a world made right again by God’s justice and mercy wafts up from nearly every chapter. We have only to look for it.
I hope this exercise has been as encouraging to you as is for me.
Today’s passage is no exception:
I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
In the letter written to the church in ancient Philadelphia, Jesus reminds his people that he is coming soon. He gives them encouragement to hold on to what they have. What do they have? They have hope based on Christ himself. It is a hope based on his sin-bearing death and based on his life-giving resurrection. That work now gives all God’s people hope in Christ’s glorious return.
The promise of becoming a pillar in God’s house stands out as well. It is an odd image to think of oneself as an edifice in a building. Does it mean that for eternity we will just stand at attention, upright, and still? No. The house of God is a house of living stones, as the Bible says elsewhere, it is a house of people in relationship.
The head of this house, the chief cornerstone on which the whole house is built, is Christ himself. We are part of the brick and mortar of the house of God when we are united to Christ by faith. We are part of the same building materials. That’s how closely we are united to him. No one or no thing can take that away from us.
In a world of constant change, where the fear of what next week or next year may bring into our lives, isn’t it a great comfort to hear from God that we belong to a strong house that cannot be knocked down? It is a great encouragement to know that in Christ we are being made strong to stand and that our cornerstone is coming soon.