And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27–28, ESV
Christ’s death and resurrection have undone the curse of death that permeates the fallen creation. He died and took upon Himself all of our sin. In this redemptive act that was followed by His resurrection in which He walked with us and taught until His ascension, He promised a return. This return is not to remove sin again. That action has been done. He will return only to retrieve those who belong to Him. The judgment that awaits those who do not believe and belong to our Lord will offer no path to redemption. One’s belief in the rapture and the tribulation add another layer for the opportunity that more would be saved. One could debate the merits of this idea, but when looking at the desired outcome, more may come to salvation during a time of great struggle as they have been left by those who belong to Christ. The idea that Christ would first come and retrieve His own prior to His return is merciful because it gives more opportunity to choose, but is faith a choice? Over and over, our Lord tells us that He has chosen us in His Word. But we await His return. We await His restoration of all creation as we have been restored in our souls. In our sharing of the Gospel, our hope is that more will come to Him and be restored through the calling and the power of the Holy Spirit. But we also know if one does not hear the Word proclaimed, one may not come to know the truth that is Jesus Christ. We await our Lord’s return once and for all to collect His own. It is our calling to proclaim His truth until His final return, as the second coming will not offer restoration for those who reject Him but will be the restoration of all creation, as all that is contrary to His Will will be removed.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.