Expecting Jesus Christ to return is what this advent season is all about, or at least it should be, because most of the people, especially the children, are expecting Santa Claus to come and bring them presents, because that is what they learned from their parents, family members, and friends.
Everything is being decorated with lights, ornaments, and catchy phrases such as “peace on earth” and “good will to men,” but we see very little about Jesus Christ; He mostly seems to have been forgotten.
But when Jesus Christ does return, He will usher in a time of true peace for the whole of creation: for humans, for animals, and for the environment we all live in; this is the Christmas peace that we should be expecting in our hearts and souls.
But for now, just like at Thanksgiving, most people are looking for the tortured remains of living animals roasted and displayed on their dining room tables, along with fancy milk chocolate that is made with the stolen milk of abused cows.
This is not expecting Jesus Christ; this is expecting the worldly good times that this season offers.
For the most part, Christmas has become a secular holiday.
However, if we truly want peace on earth, then we also need to be truly expecting Jesus Christ to return and live like He is with us in the heavenly will of God as a witness to the world around us.
With these things in mind, let’s take a look at Psalm 122:1-9…
1. I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the LORD."
This is partially the way we feel when we are expecting Jesus Christ, but remember that today, we are also supposedly the temple of God.
2. Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
3. Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together;
4. To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the LORD —
An ordinance for Israel —
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
The way the psalmist says “To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the LORD” it sounds like he recognizes that not all who go up to the Temple are children of God and only go up because it is an ordinance; in other words, they are only doing what they are doing to make a show and look good to others.
The problem with these kinds of people, and there are many in the churches today, is that they have no true faith, and generally live in the corrupt ways of this world.
5. For there thrones were set for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
When people went to the Temple or go to church today only to make a show, they are really judging themselves.
6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May they prosper who love you.
Once again we see the psalmist writing about the conditional nature of the people; in other words, if they don’t truly love the Lord, they may not prosper.
7. "May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces."
8. For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, "May peace be within you."
9. For the sake of the house of the LORD our God
I will seek your good.
We are constantly praying for people to wake up and turn their backs to the corruption of this world and help free it from its present corruption, and we also work at it, but relatively few people truly turn to the Lord and live in His heavenly will.
We don’t believe that anyone can live in the violent ways of this world that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year, and at the same time be a child of God.
We need to be the peacemaking children of God who help free creation from its present corruption and no longer contribute to the corruption of the earth.
Let’s now turn to Isaiah 2:1-5, and we’ll see the promise of what would have happened if they had sought God with their whole heart and soul, and we have a similar promise today when we are truly expecting Jesus Christ to return.
1. The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
And today, these words also apply to Christianity to wake up and take notice of what God wants us to do, and how He wants us to live.
2. Now it will come about that
In the last days,
The mountain of the house of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
This obviously hasn’t happened, because as we look around the world, we see that most people are enjoying living in the world with all its violence, which is mostly directed toward the animals.
3. And many peoples will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways,
And that we may walk in His paths."
For the law will go forth from Zion,
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
We constantly hope and pray that one day very soon the people of today will do a similar thing and live as the peacemaking children of God that the Lord calls us to be.
4. And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.
So if anyone is still part of the warring madness that is plaguing this earth and/or exploiting animals, they will be judged accordingly.
5. Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
And come all of you and let us walk in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.
In Matthew 24:32-44, Jesus tells us some of the things that will happen before His return, but even now we should be expecting Jesus Christ…
32. "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
33. even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
A lot of the end times things are taking place in the world around us such as wars and rumors of wars and the horrible exploitation of animals, but even though it is not yet the time, we should still be expecting Jesus Christ to return.
34. "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
Well, all my life these things have been taking place, and most of my generation has died, so the usual meaning of generation may not apply, but we should still be expecting Jesus Christ.
35. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
36. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
This verse is meant to keep us from speculating, even though several religious leaders in the past have predicted His return only to be wrong; so be on the alert for these false claims.
It’s also an obvious fact that we are about 2,000 years closer to the time of Jesus’ return than when Jesus spoke these words.
37. "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
38. "For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39. and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
This is why we should never lose hope, but always be expecting Jesus Christ.
40. "Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
41. "Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
In other words, we must also be expecting Jesus Christ, even while we are going about our everyday lives, and that whatever we do or say must always be in the heavenly will of God.
42. "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
43. "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
44. "For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an
hour when you do not think He will.
Keep expecting Jesus Christ to return.
Paul continues this thought of expecting Jesus Christ in Romans 13:11-14; think carefully about he wrote…
11. And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
In other words, we are getting closer and closer to the day when we should be expecting Jesus Christ to return.
12. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
None of us should be caught up in the corrupt and ungodly ways of this world, rather we should be living in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.
13. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
Because all of these things are in the ways of this world and not in the heavenly realm of God.
14. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh
in regard to its lusts.
To us, one of the major lusts of this world is the human lust to eat animal derived foods.
People usually think of lusts as being only sexual in nature, but we believe that the lust for animal flesh and byproducts is even greater, and we cannot truly be expecting Jesus Christ when we knowingly take part in the horrible exploitation and killing of animals.
We need to be expecting Jesus Christ to return at any moment, and be living in the heavenly will of God.
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