A Tale of Two Advents

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“Christmas is coming!” Children and adults alike express their excitement at this wonderful time of the year with all of its activities, decorations, goodies, and gifts. Far from the hearts and minds of most people at this time of year is yet another exclamation: “Christ is coming!” Yet, the believers living in those last few centuries before the First Advent of Jesus Christ did look forward and think, “The Messiah (Christ) is coming!”

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10 ESV)

“Behold, I come” literally says, “I am about to come!” A special Hebrew construction (sometimes referred to as the imminent future) expresses that concept..… Continue reading

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Messianic Hope and the Gentiles

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Even before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:17–21), God appointed Christ and His perfect sacrifice as the basis for showing mercy to the Gentiles. Through Christ they could experience hope in spite of being strangers to Israel and not being recipients of God’s covenants with Israel (Ephesians 2:11–13). The apostle Paul understood this point very clearly and the Spirit of God led him to repeatedly write of its profound significance. One such occasion appears in Paul’s epistle to the Romans:

For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.

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