December 23, 2020
Christmas is a wonderful season celebrating the First Advent of our Lord! It is blessed time to share warm greetings with those around us. Click here for a personal greeting from our family!
The best is yet to come - here's how I know!
The phrase "In the fullness of time" bookends the First and Second Advent of our Lord. ( Isaiah 61:1-3 describes the First and Second Advents)
Galatians 4:4 and Ephesians 1:10 both use the phrase "in the fullness of time." The word "fullness" refers to "completion." The word "time," the Greek word "chronos," speaks of sequence or chronology. It is singular in Galatians 4:4 and plural in Ephesians 1:10.
The phrase "fullness of time" points to the exact moment in history when God the Father determined that God the Son would come into this world born of the Virgin. In a similar way, the Second Advent, the return of the King, will come to pass as these last days culiminate, at a time known only to God, into the 7 year Tribulation. At the conclusion of that 7 years the Lord will return. Revelation 19 describes that return. That final battle will ultimately usher in the "fullness of times."
See how these Scripture texts bookend the First and Second Advents using the phrase "fullness of time(s)."
The First Advent is described in Galatians 4:4.
"But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."
* This verse gives specifics regarding the Incarnation of God the Son. It also describes the purpose of Jesus earthly life and ministry. Christmas goes beyond the babe in Bethlehem. It includes Jesus completing all the work the Father planned for Him to do in His first coming. This included fulfilling all prophecies, communicating all the revelation, presenting Himself to the nation of Israel, drinking the cup of being crucified so to be the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world, defeating death by raising from the dead, after 40 days ascending back to heaven and being seated at the right hand of God the Father.
What an uspeakable gift came that night when the Angels sang "Glory to God in the Highest." The glad tidings of Christmas means you can be forgiven! More than that, God's righteousness can be on your account. You can by faith become an "adopted child of God." How? By putting your faith in the work of the Savior of the world - Jesus Christ! Christmas is the gift of God's son taking your place to provide for you reconciliation to God!
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The Second Advent is described in the verse below. Notice the phrase "in the fullness of times."
Ephesians 1:9,10 "He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in heavens and things on the earth."
This is the Second Advent, the return of the King! The time when Jesus will judge the world, when the government will be on the shoulders of Messiah and when the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
What hope is found in these verses! Hope that does not dissapoint! Hope that brings comfort and stability in these evil shaky times.
Could this promise be what excited Henry Wadsworth Longfellow? He wrote the following words in another fearful time, the mid 19th century.
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail with peace on earth good-will to men!"1
Let us respond to the great news of the First Advent!
Jump up and stomp your feet and raise your hands and shout Hallelujah! Say audibly thank you Lord for Christmas! Then humble yourself before the King and worship Him!
Since Romans 15:13 give promise that there is "joy and peace in believing," you can move your mind off of earthly kings and look higher!! Set your mind instead on the King above all Kings, the King of Kings Jesus! (Read Psalm 2)
Jesus is returning! The best is yet to come!
Hallelujah! Even so come Lord Jesus!
On behalf of our entire National team, board and State Ministers- Merry Christmas!
Dr. Brad Harbaugh
Capitol Commission President
1Henry Wadworth Longfellow 6th Stanza of Poem "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day," 1863