Many people look forward to Christmas every year, but Jesus gave us a
much better promise; His second coming will heal the earth.
We did not receive peace on earth with His first coming, but His second coming will bring it once and for all time.
There are also many people who get very depressed at this time of the year, because of all the ways creation has been corrupted, including the celebration of Jesusí birth with all its materialism and indifference to the suffering animals that are slaughtered to satisfy human greed and gluttony.
We need to look beyond all the corruption to the promise that His second coming will heal the earth, and give us true peace on earth and good will to all humans and other animals.
This is the hope we are to focus upon and work for.
As we look at Isaiah 35:1-10, we see that he is prophesying about the second coming of Jesus Christ and not His birth.
1. The wilderness and the desert will be glad,
And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom;
Like the crocus
2. It will blossom profusely
And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
The majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the LORD,
The majesty of our God.
Common sense tells us that Isaiah is looking forward to the second coming of
Jesus, because the deserts didnít bloom at His first coming and they arenít
blooming yet. In fact, the amount of desert lands has been increasing.
Just as the blooming deserts of the future will rejoice, we can rejoice today; because we trust in the promise that His second coming will heal the earth forever and ever.
3. Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
This Jesus did during His incarnation upon the earth, and He continues to do through His true followers, but even more so with His second coming.
4. Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you."
When the Lord returns, He will put an end to the evil in the world.
5. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
6. Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the Arabah.
7. And the scorched land will become a pool,
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
In the haunt of jackals, its resting place,
Grass becomes reeds and rushes.
The dry and scorched lands will be no more, for they will all be watered,
and no human or animal will deliberately hurt one another ever again.
And we should be helping this to come about in the here and now, by being the peacemaking children of God that Jesus calls us to be, whom creation also anxiously awaits to free it from its present corruption.
8. And a highway will be there, a roadway,
And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it.
9. No lion will be there,
Nor will any vicious beast go up on it;
These will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there,
10. And the ransomed of the LORD will return,
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
This is all part of the Lordís promise that His second coming will heal the
Now letís go back in time to what we are told about Jesusí ministry in Matthew 11:1-11, and how it applies to us today.
1. And it came about that when Jesus had finished giving instructions to His
twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their
2. Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples,
3. and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?"
Why would John ask this question?
When he baptized Jesus he knew who Jesus was.
Was John depressed about being in prison, and lost some of his faith and hope; or was he just trying to have his disciples become disciples of Jesus?
We believe itís the latter.
4. And Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear
5. the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6. "And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me."
The way Jesus is answering them is a way of saying that our actions speak
louder than our words.
In the same way we could say that we really arenít Christians unless our faith leads us to follow Jesus and His peaceful teachings to such an extent that others will believe.
This is living in the promise that His second coming will heal the earth.
7. And as these were going away, Jesus began to speak to the multitudes
about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed
shaken by the wind?
8. "But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' palaces.
9. "But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet.
10. "This is the one about whom it is written,
'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.'
11. "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Who do people say that we are?
Do they see Jesus in us and our actions?
Are we preparing the way for His second coming?
If we arenít, we should be.
Sometimes we might get depressed because we donít see things improving fast enough.
We may ask: Why isnít God doing more to end all the pain and suffering in the world of both humans and other animals?
We may even pray: Itís been going on for thousands of years, which is far too long; come now and end it; usher in Your peaceable kingdom.
James must have anticipated these things.
Note what we are told in James 5:7-12.
7. Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
But what about the farmers who lose their crops because of bad weather and
canít pay their bills?
Do they still remain patient, or do they get upset and frustrated?
8. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Part of our frustration may come from a verse like this one, for James wrote
this about two thousand years ago, and the coming of the Lord still hasnít
This is the way the world thinks, and the way the devil wants us to think; but we are to rise above these things, and hold on to the Lordís promise that His second coming will heal the earth.
9. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
Instead of complaining, we are to show the world a better way.
We are to live in a way that shows the world around us that we can live without adding to the corruption of creation, and help others see that they can do the same.
10. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets
who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11. Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
So, if we want it to happen sooner, then let it be an encouragement to us to diligently work at freeing creation from its present corruption.
12. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth
or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that
you may not fall under judgment.
Each and every one of us should be setting an example of what it means to be
a peacemaking child of God.
Each and every one of us should be working to end the corruption of creation along with all its bloodshed, pain, suffering and death beginning with what we put on our plates, as a witness to others of peaceful living.
Each and every one of us should be giving others the hope of the truth of Jesusí promises that His second coming will heal the earth.
If we believe and have faith, we will.
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