“THE COMING OF OUR LORD
“Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Pet. 3-4)
It is almost two thousand years since Christ dwelled on earth among men, ascended with a firm promise to return. Scoffers have always derisively challenged His promise to come again; they also challenge Orthodoxy’s confidence in the Creed: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom shall have ne end”. Scoffers looking at His long absence saying in mockery, “Where is the promise of His coming?” But they measure the Son of God’s time according to their own puny knowledge not realizing that with God there is no time or days of waiting, for He is eternal and eternity has no hours or days for it is as a single timeless day, the time we live in is created by God. Scoffers and unbelievers are sadly deceived and poisoned by the evil one and are perishing in their unfortunate unbelief.
Orthodox Christians know that the Lord will certainly come whenever He decides to and not when the scoffers misbelievers demand. What they fail to realize is that when that terrible day comes they shall be judged for failing to accept God’s wonderful promise of eternal life and everlasting joy. Scoffers and unbelievers will suffer in terrible torment, for they were given a choice but refused to believe and change their wicked ways of life in sin and iniquity; and unless they repent they will surely perish.
When Christ originally came according to the promise of old, some Jews believed on Him but most rejected Him and stood in vicious rebellion against the Him, rejecting their Messiah and Lord. He was sent to them to deliver them from the bondage of sin, then they slew the Son of God. They crucified Him as they called out: “away with Him! Crucify Him! But He rose from the dead on the third day, for He is the Lord and King of all and the destroyed death by
His life-giving death. The small Church which Christ established, went out and preached among the gentiles, who not only did not reject Christ, but with strong faith spread the gospel of the true Faith among many nations. Christianity formed a wonderful transformation in the character of believers which resulted in many more to become believeers and be baptized.
First a few nations preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, spreading it throughout the world, the result was that nation after nation became believersand the Church grew larger and larger. During all this time the entire Christianized world always looked forward in anticipation to the second coming of Christ. Beliefr in the second coming was so strong that they placed it in the Sacred Creed. This was composed by the first two Ecumenical Synods wherein the Church says: “He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead . . . thus the coming of Christ is Orthodoxy’s firm belief in His promise.
Regarding the Lord’s coming to judge the living and the dead, He said He would separate the people the way a shepherd does his sheep who will be on His right hand but the goats would be on his left hand. Scripture says” The King shall say unto those on His right hand, Come you blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungered and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer Him saying, Lord, when did we see you hungered and fed you, or thirsty and gave you to drink? When did we see you a stranger and took you in, or naked and clothed you? Or when did we see you sick or in prison, and come unto you? And the King shall answer them and say unto them; Amen I say, as you did it unto the least of my brethren, you have done it unto me. Then shall He say unto them on the left hand, depart from me you, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungered, and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you took me not in, naked and you clothed me not; I was a stranger and you took me not in; naked and you clothed me not, sick and in prison, and you visited me not. Then shall they all say to Him, Lord, when did we see you hungered, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto you? Then shall He answer them saying, Amen, I say unto you, as you did it not to the least of these you did it not unto me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into eternal life” (Mat. 25: 34 - 46).
The Church says to the unbelievers and scoffers who speak against the Lord of all who disbelieve and, with the query: Where is the promise of His coming? The answer is that you will all tremble and seek to hide at His coming, for you have chosen to deride and reject the King of glory. The answer is in these prophetic words and for your lack of faith you shall go into eternal punishment, but may you, acquire faith and belief that you may escape such a terrible fate!
The coming of the Lord will be joyously welcomed by the faithful who with great love will rejoice with Him whom they have believed. Beholding Him in His glory will not be needed to convince them for they need not be convinced for they are believers with strong faith. This will fill them with great joy and happinessas they with the Lord in whom they have believed.