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Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S June 2022

REV JOHN K-S 05-2021Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


Last month we began to look at what the Bible teaches about the return of Jesus in power and glory, what Christians often call “Jesus’ Second Coming”. Sometimes Christians also refer to this as “The end of the world”, but the Bible actually teaches that this will only be the end of the world as we know it and that something infinitely better and more beautiful will follow. Jesus referred to this as “the end of the age” or “the end of time” and promised that he would be with his people until that time comes (Matthew ch.28)
Building on what Jesus taught, St Paul in his letters gives further details about Jesus’ return and what it will mean (for example in 1 Corinthians ch 15 and his two letters to the Thessalonians). St Paul encourages his readers by telling them that God will bring with Jesus both those believers who have died and also those still living when Jesus returns
It’s important to realize that the teaching of the Bible at this point resorts to metaphor, allegory, and poetry, because what is being described is beyond human imagining. It is literally indescribable “beyond what eye has seen, ear has heard or human understanding”. For this reason there have been different interpretations among Christians. What is clear from the Bible, however, is that following the return of Jesus there will be a “new heaven and a new earth” of perfect righteousness, where there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain, where Christ will reign and God will dwell with his people. (Revelation ch 21)
Jesus was also clear that his return would be a time of judgment, but the overarching message of the Bible is that we can trust in God’s perfect love and perfect justice. Meanwhile, writes St Peter in his Second Letter, “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming...But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness...So then, dear friends, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him


published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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