Contrast Between Christ's First Advent and His Second Advent

Posted by Randy | Labels: , , , , , , , , , | Posted On Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 6:41 AM

Most of us know and celebrate Jesus Christ's first advent here on earth - it's called Christmas. But, Jesus  said he would return - his second coming or advent. What will that be like, and how does it compare to his first advent? Below is a chart I put together from numerous sources to help you see and understand the contrasts:

Christ’s First Advent
Christ’s Second Advent
Christ’s first advent was prophesied by prophets
Christ’s second advent was prophesied by prophets and Christ himself
Christ was prophesied to be despised and rejected by people (Isaiah 53:3)
Christ will return to be worshiped by all (Philippians 2:9; Revelation 5:13; Psalms 150:6)
Christ was miraculously conceived (Luke 1:35)
Christ will miraculously return
Christ came as a newborn baby (Luke 2:7)
Christ will return as a conquering King (Revelation 19:11-16)
Christ came in secret – virtually no one knew of his coming
Christ will return visible and known to all (Matthew 24:30)
Christ came in weakness as a baby
Christ will return in power as King
Christ came and submitted himself to human authority (Luke 2:51)
Christ will return and submit to no one on earth (Revelation 19:6)
Christ came and was known simply as the carpenter’s son (Luke 4:22)
Christ will return and known in all his glory (Revelation 19:16)
Christ came into a world marked with sorrows and sin
Christ will return to a world in which there will be no more tears, death, suffering, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4)
Christ came with meekness, riding on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-5)
Christ will return with power on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16)
Christ came to bring peace to the human heart (Ephesians 2:13-19; Romans 5:1)
Christ will return to bring peace to the entire world (Isaiah 9:6-7; Zechariah 9:10)
Christ came and comforted the oppressed, healed the blind, preaching good news, and ministered to the hurting, sick and broken-hearted (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18)
Christ will return and destroy all evil and suffering (Isaiah 63:3-4; Revelation 19:15)
Christ came and the government was in the hands of men (Herod the Great, the Romans, etc.)
Christ will return and the government will  rest on his shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Christ came to be the Savior of Sinners (Matthew 1:21)
Christ will return to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16)
Christ came and only a select handful of his followers witnessed his glory (Matthew 17:1-6)
Christ will return and all will witness his glory
Christ came into Jerusalem hailed as King, but they crucified him (Matthew 21:1-11; Matthew 27:32-44)
Christ will return to the New Jerusalem as King, and all will bow down to him (Revelation 21)
Christ came and was rejected by the Jewish people (John 1:11)
Christ will return to be received by the Jewish people (Zechariah 12:10-11; Romans 11:25-28; Matthew 23:39)
Christ came and allowed himself to be beaten, spit upon and crucified on a cross (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:30-31)
Christ will return leading his armies into battle (Colossians 2:15; Revelation 11-16)
Christ came and was killed by his enemies (Matthew 27:20-25)
Christ will return and punish his enemies (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 19:21)
Christ came to bear our sins and sorrows (Isaiah 53:4)
Christ will return to be glorified by all (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Christ came and was confronted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11)
Christ will return and imprison Satan for eternal punishment (Revelation 20:10)
Christ came and his death/resurrection signaled the beginning of the end of Satan, but Satan continues to wreak havoc
Christ will return and vanquish Satan and cast him forever into the fiery lake of burning sulfur (Revelation 20:10)
Christ came to die (Matthew 20:28)
Christ will return to rule and reign
Christ came and wore a crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29)
Christ will return wearing a crown of power and glory
Christ left on the clouds, ascending to heaven, seen only by his followers (Acts 1:9)
Christ will return in the clouds, seen by all, with a shout of the archangel and the trumpet call of God (Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Matthew 24:30-31)
Christ came to give birth to the Church (Matthew 16:18)
Christ will return to marry his bride, the Church (Revelation 21:2)
Christ came and the Kingdom of God was a spiritual kingdom that existed only in Christ fully and partially in those who welcomed him in
Christ will return and the Kingdom of God will be a physical kingdom that exists fully on earth

Christian Persecution Is Growing Around the World

Posted by Randy | Labels: , , , , , , , | Posted On Friday, September 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM

When we think of persecution, we often think of folks being persecuted for political reasons, and certainly the events over the last year or so in what has come to be called the "Arab Spring" illustrate this. But estimates are that 75% of the people persecuted in the world today are persecuted for being Christians. In fact, more Christians died for their faith in the 20th Century than in all previous centuries combined. And estimates are that 159,900 Christians are martyred each year for their faith.

An example is the story of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran. Below is a timeline of his life over the last three years:

  • October 2009
  •  – Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested. The authorities eventually charged him with apostasy – abandoning Islam for Christianity.
  • September 2010
  •  – Iranian court verbally sentenced Pastor Youcef to death for his faith.
  • November 2010
  •  – Iranian trial court issued a written death sentence for Pastor Youcef.
  • December 2010
  •  – Pastor Youcef appealed his conviction and execution to Iran’s Supreme Court.
  • June 2011
  •  – Iran’s Supreme Court in Qom, Iran, upheld Youcef’s apostasy conviction and death sentence by hanging for apostasy, remanding the case for a factual inquiry into whether Pastor Youcef was a practicing Muslim at age of majority before choosing Christianity.
  • September 2011
  •  – Iranian trial court determined that Youcef had abandoned the faith of his ancestors because he was born to Muslim parents and rejected Islam after the age of majority. The Court verbally reaffirmed his death sentence, unless he recanted his Christian faith. For three days, the Iranian trial court demanded that Pastor Youcef recant his faith or die, to which he responded, “I cannot.”
  • October 2011
  •  – Iranian trial court requested the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, provide advice on the case – effectively placing Pastor Youcef’s fate in the Ayatollah’s hands.
  • October 2011
  •  – Iran’s Ministry of Information clerics forced Islamic literature on Pastor Youcef and pressured him to recant his Christian faith.
  • January 2012
  •  – The Iranian regime again pressured Pastor Youcef to recant his faith or die.
  • March 2012
  •  – Iranian government officials admit to the world that Pastor Youcef’s charges concern his Christian faith.
  • April 2, 2012
  •  – Pastor Youcef is able to see his son on his son’s birthday, one of only a handful of times that they had been permitted to see each other in his nearly two-and-a-half years in prison.
  • April 11, 2012
  •  – Pastor Youcef celebrates his 35th birthday, his third birthday spent illegally imprisoned in Iran for his faith.
  • July 8, 2012
  •  – Pastor Youcef has been illegally imprisoned for his faith for 1000 days.
  • September 8, 2012
  •  – Victory: Pastor Youcef is released! After the world united for his cause, and the Church rose up in prayer, Pastor Youcef was reunited with his family after almost 3 years in prison.

This information comes from the website 48 Hours for Freedom, which also included this press release below:
Sep. 8, 2012 

Today marks a day of celebration. After languishing in prison for almost three years, under the threat of execution for his faith, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been released from prison and acquitted of his apostasy charge.

Pastor Youcef had been summoned to appear before the court this morning for the charges brought against him. His hearing lasted almost six hours. But in the end, he was released and able to return home to his family.

Some of our sources close to the case report that the court acquitted him of apostasy, but charged and convicted him of evangelizing to Muslims. According to these same sources, the court sentenced Pastor Youcef to three years in prison and granted him time served, which means his prison sentence already has been completed.

Your prayers, your advocacy, and your voice has been heard. Please continue to pray for Pastor Youcef’s safety. Please join us for 48 Hours for Religious Freedom on September 22-23, 2012, for the numerous other Christians persecuted in Iran. As more facts come out about the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, we will keep you posted.

If you would like to join in praying for Pastor Youcef, you can certainly join in the activities of this weekend, but it doesn't need to end then, and it shouldn't! This is a tragedy that seldom fails to make the news. Crowds are rioting around the Arab world about a video made by one individual related to the prophet Mohammed, but many say little or nothing about the tens of thousands of Christ followers who are dying each year for their faith.
I hope you will join me in praying for Pastor Youcef, but also to be praying for Christ followers around the world who are not free to openly live their faith. I thank God I live in a land where we are free to worship as we felt led, and I pray more and more will experience that freedom so they can know the Savior and Lord of the world, Jesus Christ!

Famous Last Words - It Is Finished! (Good Friday Message notes)

Posted by Randy | Labels: , , , , , , , , , | Posted On Friday, April 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I wasn't able to have notes printed for our Good Friday service, so I've placed them here on my blog, along with the pictures used during the message. I intentionally used a great deal of Scripture because I find them so revealing and, ultimately, inspiring. I hope this helps and blesses you!

April 6, 2012  •  Good Friday
Famous Last Words - Part 7
"It Is Finished!"

Matthew 27:45 (NLT2): “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.”

Romans 3:23 (NLT2): “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

Romans 6:23 (NLT2): “For the wages of sin is death….”


Model of the Temple

Diagram of the immediate Temple area, including the location of the Holy of Holies

Drawing of the Ark of the Covenant (no actual drawings exist)

Model of the Cherubim over the Mercy Seat (no actual models exist)

The High Priest behind the Curtain

Hebrew placing blood of the lamb on the door jam before the Angel of Death's pass-over

John 1:29 (NLT2): “…John (the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”

Jesus: “‘For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Mark 10:45 NLT2)

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV): “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT2): “4Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.… 5But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.”

1 Peter 2:24 (NLT2): “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.”

Darkness over the land from the sixth hour until the ninth

Matthew 27:46 (NLT2): “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ — which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”

John 19:28-30 (NLT2): “28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

1 John 2:2 (NLT2): “(Jesus Christ) himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

It is finishedtetelestai (Greek)

Colossians 2:13-14 (NLT2): “13You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”
Romans 5:8 (NLT2): “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

John 3:16-17 (NLT2): “‘16For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.’”

Romans 3:22 (NLT2): “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT2): “8God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

receiving communion vs. taking communion

Philippians 3:9 (CEV): “…I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ.”

Matthew 27:50-51 (NLT2): “50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.…”

The Curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, torn from top to bottom at Jesus' death
Hebrews 10:11-12 (NLT2): “11Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”

Hebrews 9:12 (NLT2): “With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.”

Hebrews 10:19-22 (NLT2): “19And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT2): “23Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”