The Scriptures have so much to say about the return of Jesus that it is perhaps surprising that there is still comparatively little teaching on the subject in the church at large.
In this introductory talk I gave recently in church, I began to unpack a few of the many themes, threads and pointers in the Bible leading up to the great moment when the Lord Jesus will return to inaugurate an entirely new era, in particular interweaving prophecies from Isaiah and Zechariah with teaching from the New Testament.
Linda Entwistle joined us at church, singing the four exquisite and powerful songs you will hear on this recording, as well as various scripture passages read by Dad.
I have sometimes thought that some people look on the return of Jesus as being rather like the moment when, to loud applause, the Author steps on to the stage and the curtain on this long-running play comes down. The Scriptures tell of something more, however: King Jesus will inaugurate a new era, in which He rules and reigns with His saints and angels in close attendance.
There are as many variants of ‘end time teaching’ as there are dishes on the menu of your favourite restaurant. Perhaps this explains why there is still comparatively little teaching on the subject in so many churches. And yet, in one respect or another, the coming reign of Messiah is a topic that occupies a major place in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus in particular had so much to say about it that it surely behoves us to give the matter proper attention!
We are not for one moment expecting everyone to agree with every idea we will be sharing here, and in the rather more detailed sequel to come! Even since speaking on it only a couple of weeks ago, my understanding has developed further.
These are the four songs you will hear Linda sing:
This delightful song seems entirely appropriate for the Christmas season, calling us to become as little children before the Lord – for children see and marvel with fresh eyes, and a faith that is dearly pleasing to the Lord Jesus.
Comfort comfort My people says your God
How can we even begin to thank God enough for the comfort He sends? Linda Entwistle sets these powerful words that the Lord spoke prophetically through Isaiah thousands of years ago to a people who had experienced great suffering and hardship, reassuring them that His purposes for them were sure and certain, and that a new day was dawning for them. This is comfort that empowers and strengthens, and on which we can draw deeply. (See also 2 Cor. 1:3-5)
Rise up and see a new day dawning
Isaiah 40-66 are amongst the most exquisitely eloquent chapters in the Bible, addressing both the Jews who were rebuilding the nation in the aftermath of many years in exile – and then ‘telescoping’ time to glimpse how things will be when the Lord wraps this era up and creates the New Heaven and the New Earth. Beyond whatever distress lies ahead for Planet Earth lies incredible hope and beauty; something that Linda weaves and captures beautifully in this song.
Now to Him who loves us
Linda’s final contribution to this presentation is her version of this outstanding hymn, this time singing live in our church without other instruments.