Blog In Audio:
Yesterday I was blessed to speak at Everyone’s Church in Mount Vernon, Washington. Thanks to all who came and to those who follow online. Pastor Brice has had COVID, and we are praying for his full recovery. It was a good day to be together and it is a great time to expect God’s presence in increasing ways!
Jesus came to reconnect us to God as our Father in this world and in heaven to come. Jesus didn’t merely come to die for our sins. He came to reconnect us to the place of being the likeness and the image of God to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and have dominion. He had to die for our sins to make that possible, but His ultimate goal was reconciliation for mankind so that mankind, male and female, could fill the earth with the knowledge of the glory of God! It is knowing Jesus on the throne of grace that makes that possible. The blood of the cross opened the door to find the life of the New Covenant in the throne of grace. It is there that we find mercy; a judgment that frees us from the guilt of sin and justifies us to find the empowerment of God’s grace. God’s grace is something we can find. It is the empowerment of a changed character, nature, way, power, and authority in Christ! The throne of grace is the place of reining in Christ!
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus came to empower us to live our lives with Holy Spirit in us, upon us, and with us in all things. His coming back to us is not just a return in the future. It is an increasing return of His presence in our lives every day. We are not just waiting for Jesus to return. We are embracing His manifest presence each, and every day. He is our salvation in each, and every, situation we face in this world.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
The judgment that has been given to those who come to Him is a judgment of mercy. We lose our lives to find them in Christ. We laid our old life down to find a new life in Christ. We died in Christ, so the life we now live is by faith in Christ. This enables us to see Jesus for who He is. He is the way, the truth, and the life! All we have to do is come to Him and see Him. His appearing in our hearts is a testimony to His death upon the cross. It is a judgment of mercy for all who believe. His mercy is new every day and it frees us from every sin. It frees us from being disconnected from God in any way. This is the place of our death in Christ so that we might find our true life in Christ. After this, there is a continual coming of Christ for salvation in our lives. There is no doubt a maturation to a culmination of this reality, but we can embrace His coming presence after our first encounter with His judgment of mercy in our lives. Jesus came for us to live in this second and eternal reality of life! It is a second coming for salvation! Jesus gave this truth to his disciples, who were about to know His judgment of mercy and the return of His presence not just in the bodily form of Jesus, but in the form of the body of Christ. They would soon know what it is to be a dwelling place of God in the earth. Not just a place of God being with them, but in them, upon them, and with them at all times.
John 14:28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. 29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
In this account of Jesus and His disciples, Jesus was about to enact the fulfillment of His first coming so that He could enact the reality of His second coming for His disciples. That would be the testimony of His true salvation in their lives and in the lives of men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation in the world. When He said, “Arise, let us go from here”; He wasn’t just talking about physically going from the supper to the cross. He was talking about entering the fulfillment of the purpose for which He came. He didn’t come for judgment; He came for salvation. He made a way for God’s judgment to be a judgment of mercy for all who come to Him to receive it so that He could come to them for salvation in their world. He wanted to move into every neighborhood, not just a region in the Middle East. He came so that all would know what it is to be a dwelling place of God in the earth. Surely there is a maturation and a culmination of all things in Christ. There is no doubt an increasing reality to the second coming of Christ, but there is also a truth of His second coming in our lives today. Are we living at His first coming of judgment or are we moving beyond to an increased testimony of His coming for salvation in our lives?
Ted J. Hanson
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House of Bread Ministry
3210 Meridian St.
Bellingham, WA 98225-1728