Christ! Yes, this is the “kingly” name of our Savior. It means “the anointed one”. This title signifies to us that Christ was anointed as King. Christ, the eternal Son of God, was King from all eternity, and He came into this world as King and now lives and reigns as King forever. But do we always acknowledge that Christ is King? Do we always keep in mind, when remembering His incarnation and birth, that He always was, is and shall be King?
As we now again remember the birth of Christ may we not only consider the importance of Christ’s incarnation, but may we also consider his life, death and resurrection, and look forward from all of this to His second coming. For it is to His second coming that we now look. At His second coming all the misery and suffering of this life will be ended, and we who are His shall be raised to glory to praise Him to all eternity. But it is also at His second coming that Christ will finally be acknowledged by all to be King of the heavens and the earth.
Let us therefore consider Christ’s first and second comings, and notice the similarities and differences between them. As we consider these things we will be able better to understand that Christ was King as a babe in Bethlehem, and will show Himself as King when He comes again.
The first similarity that we notice between Christ’s first and second comings is the fact that the Old Testament Scriptures prophesy of both. The Old Testament does not only point to Christ’s coming in the flesh as David’s royal seed, but it also speaks of His second coming when He shall come as King in power and glory.
Another similarity is the fact that just as the church of the Old Testament looked forward to Christ’s first coming, so we, the church of the New Testament, eagerly await His second coming. God had given the promise of Christ’s coming already to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15
immediately after the fall, and He reminded His people of this promise when He renewed it with Noah, Abraham, David, and all His saints throughout the Old Testament. They knew that Christ would come, and they yearned for His coming. The New Testament church does likewise. We have the promises of His coming, and the assurance also that He will come, and we pray earnestly with the Apostle John in Revelation 22:20, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
A further significant similarity is that just as the true Church, the remnant, was small at the time of Christ’s first coming, so the church will be small and seemingly non-existent at His second coming. When we read of Christ’s first coming we see that the true Church barely existed. We only read of a few who still faithfully worshiped God, such as Simeon and Anna. These are the only two who are mentioned in the New Testament as recognizing Christ when He was brought into the temple, the center of worship for the Old Testament Church. The remainder of those who called themselves the Church were profane and irreligious, and were caught up in worshiping ordinances rather than God.
This will also be true at Christ’s second coming. The remnant will be few, the Church will be hidden, and the majority of those who call themselves the Church will be servants of Antichrist and his kingdom. “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5).
Let us now consider the significant differences between Christ’s first and second comings.
What we notice about Christ’s first coming is that He came quietly. There was no loud trumpet for all the world to hear and know that Christ was born. No, His coming was not noised abroad, but was inconspicuous.
At Christ’s second coming, however, there will be a great noise, and all the world will see Him coming on the clouds of heaven. For there will be a great shout, and the angels will be sent forth to sound the trumpet, and every eye shall see Him, including those who pierced Him. (I Thessalonians 4:16, & Revelation 1:7) All who have ever lived and all who are living will see and know that Christ has come again.
As we have already noticed somewhat, at Christ’s first coming He was acknowledged by very few. We could count on our fingers the number of people recorded in Scripture who acknowledged Christ as the Son of God when He was born into our flesh. There were first of all Mary and Joseph, and Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. There were also the shepherds to whom the angel appeared, and the wise men who “saw his star in the east”, and came “to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2) As we mentioned earlier there were also Simeon and Anna. The great majority of mankind failed to acknowledge Him as Christ, the King, the Son of God. Even though John the Baptist witnessed and preached concerning His coming, and even though the whole Old Testament pointed to this coming, yet only a handful of men acknowledged Him.
However, this will not be the case at Christ’s second coming. For then all will recognize Him as the Son of God, and all will acknowledge that He is Lord and King. Even the wicked will recognize Christ as the Son of God, and even all those who rejected or ignored Him at His first coming will be forced to confess that He is Lord indeed. There will not be a single person who has ever lived that will not confess that Christ is Lord, and even Satan and all his hosts will be made to kneel before Him. For every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)
We see another difference between Christ’s first and second comings when we consider how Christ was persecuted and how He suffered in this life. The world was full of disharmony and friction, but yet it could agree on one thing, and that was to oppose the Son of God – something which is also true today. We see this immediately after Christ was born when Herod sought to kill Him, and this opposition and suffering continued throughout His whole life. Many times the crowds picked up stones to kill Him, or used other means in order to put Him to death. And they finally succeeded when they judged, condemned and crucified Him on the accursed cross.
But will this be a characteristic of His second coming? No, the tables will be turned. For then Christ will come to bring justice and judgment on all His enemies. Christ will not be the suffering lamb spoken of in Isaiah 53, but He will come to exercise judgment on the earth, and will judge and punish all those who are not His people, and will cast them and the devil into hell, into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20, & 20:15).
Perhaps the most important difference between Christ’s first and second comings is that His first coming was in humility, but His second coming will be in power and glory. At Christ’s birth, all refused to give Him and His parents lodging in an inn, and so he was born in the lowly manger. He was thrown into a stable and refused a place of lodging among men. He was as one of the outcasts and street people of our present day cities. It is difficult to see Him as a King in this condition.
But Christ is King, and at His second coming He will come so that all will see Him as the King of heaven and earth. He will come in glory and power. He will be triumphant. He will have the victory over all His enemies. And every eye will see that He is King. And every mouth and tongue will confess that He is King. He will not come as a humble babe born in a manger among cattle, but He will come as the triumphant Lord and Christ of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.
And this great King is our King. He will be triumphant over all our enemies and will bring us into His glorious kingdom, so that there we will live and reign with Him to all eternity. Christ is King!