The Advent Season as a Mirror of Redemptive History

Norbert Lieth

Each year, the four Sundays of Advent preface the Christmas season. They are intended to help Christians get into the right mood for Christmas. We know that these days don’t have a biblical origin, but they can still serve as a parable describing the arrival of Jesus.

The first Sunday of Advent is a metaphor for Jesus’ first arrival, almost 2,000 years ago: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal 4:4). At that point in time, very specific prerequisites for this event were being fulfilled in world history. The Roman Empire was at the zenith of its political power. The network of Roman roads stretched to a length of more than 80,000 kilometers (50,000 miles) through all the Empire’s territories. There were hardly any borders, so anyone could travel unhindered between them. A common language made it easier for people to understand each other. There was relative peace, and the common culture brought the world closer together. A highly developed school system existed. Synagogues were springing up all over the Roman Empire, and due to deep disappointment with the Greek human-like gods and their cult, people were opening up to the message of the God of the Bible. World events had been directed so that everything was ready for Jesus’ coming and the spread of His gospel. And that’s precisely what happened: in the first hundred years, the good news spread at lightning speed to the ends of the (then-known) earth.

We find a metaphor for Pentecost in the second Sunday of Advent. It was then that the Lord Jesus entered the church through His Holy Spirit. Ever since, it has been indisputable that every person who calls on the name of the Lord is saved and added to the church of Jesus, because He comes into their life as Savior.

The third Sunday of Advent is a metaphor for the Rapture of the church. Jesus is coming in the clouds, to bring those who believe in Him and belong to His church, into the Father’s house. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:20).

The fourth Sunday of Advent points to Jesus’ visible return in glory: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Rev 1:7).

We’re again experiencing how the signs of the times are being fulfilled today. A world government is being sought; people are looking for peace. We’re striving for global unity, and it’s all about a New World Order. In Europe, everything is revolving around political, cultural, and economic unity. The world is drawing closer together; global events are being directed in such a way, that they must be serving the fulfillment of the divine plan, with a view to Jesus’ Second Coming.

John MacArthur writes in his sermon “Christmas Future”: 

“The first time He came, a star marked His arrival. The next time He comes, all the stars of heaven will fall, and the whole of heaven will collapse. The first time He came, wise men and shepherds brought Him gifts. The next time He comes, He will bring the gifts: the rewards for His people. The first time He came, there was no room for Him in a small inn. The next time He comes, His glory will fill the entire earth. The first time He came, just a few attended His arrival. The next time He comes, every eye will see Him. The first time He came as a helpless baby. The second time, He comes as the sovereign king and judge over all.”

Midnight Call - 12/2020

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