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serving jesus christ the king

Coming Soon – December’s Verse

We come to the end of this year’s calendar which we gave out last year along with the Baptist church in Letterkenny. Each month a verse has dealt with the theme “Who is Jesus?”.

December’s verse is from Revelation 22:12: “Behold I am coming soon… I am the Alpha and the Omega.”

It seems somewhat appropriate that at a time of year when we remember Jesus’ first coming that we are reminded about the return of the King.

Although, given that 2000 plus years have passed this his first arrival, you might be inclined to think that ‘soon’ is a bit of a misnomer. Does it mean ‘soon’ like a husband means it when he’s asked when he’s going to fix the broken cupboard door—“Soon”—meaning a fairly vague indeterminate period of time governed by having nothing else better to do?

God isn’t like that—the return of Jesus isn’t like some irksome chore that he keeps putting off. Instead it is the pinnacle of his great plan of salvation. The word that is translated ‘soon’ would better be translated quickly, or suddenly. The idea is not so much that the time between his first and second comings will be brief, but that his return will be sudden, surprising, swift, unexpected. In other words, it will catch many out.

But what’s all this business about Alpha and Omega?

Sometimes people say, “Christianity is OK for you, but it’s not for me. You can believe it, but I’ve got my own beliefs.” That would be fine if the final day of reckoning was like an airport check-in hall, with all the different religions each having their own check-in desk, with their own little deity and his staff seeing to those flying with them.

Alpha and Omega refer to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet—it is a way of saying that Jesus is the A to Z, he takes in everything. He’s the first and the last. He is not simply the letter A, and some other religion is G or Q or Y. He is the all-encompassing one, with whom all mankind will have to deal. He is coming back. And this time it won’t be as a baby—it will be as a judge.

So as we think (or don’t think) about the first coming of Jesus, we need to think about the far more significant second coming of Jesus. People don’t like to think of judgment, it sounds awfully harsh, but the reality is that Jesus came the first time to offer to bear our punishment, to offer a way of escape. If he comes and finds that we have failed to accept his offer—we leave him with no alternative.

“Behold, I am coming soon”