A Brief Article Summary from Books At a Glance
by Steve West
If Jesus was merely a man then there cannot be a second advent, since there could not have been an actual first advent. If he was only a human being, then Christ did not come into the world, he was simply born. The Second Coming of Christ would be an entirely baseless fantasy unless he is the Son of God incarnate. If Christ was God made manifest in the flesh, however, then the Second Coming is a necessary part of God’s redemptive plan for the world, which centers on Christ. History finds its meaning in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, and it will find its consummation in his return. Christ in his resurrection and ascension has power to judge and power to save. God is concerned with both the salvation of individuals and the salvation of nations. A corollary truth of this is that he is also the judge of the nations. The climax of history is when God’s supreme reign is manifested and seen to be exercised everywhere. One of the most interesting aspects of the kingdom is its hiddenness, but it will not be hidden forever.
As Christians, we are called to work, preach, evangelize, and witness in the world. We do not, however, have the power to change lives—only God can do that. It is only when Christ returns that his kingdom will be ultimately victorious, and this is because only the king can win the ultimate victory. Christ himself will defeat all of his enemies. The future will see the consummation of glory, but the glory of the kingdom has already begun in Christ. Through the Spirit the church is advancing and growing. Christ is the Lord of history, as well as its goal. Christian hope is found in the Second Coming of Christ. This position is not one that is taken only by a small circle of fundamentalist theologians: it is the historic Christian faith. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, by G. R. Beasley-Murray