What is Advent?
The Definition and Meaning of Advent
What is Advent? Advent is a four week season in preparation for Christmas.
The season of Advent celebrates the coming of Christ in 3 ways.
- Christmas - Christ came into the world.
- Personally - Christ comes into your heart and mine.
- At the Last Judgment - Christ will come to judge everyone - both the living and the dead - at the end of the world.
The word "advent" comes from the Latin word "adventus", which means "coming" or "arrival".
Definition of Advent
So basically, the definition of Advent is the coming of Christ - past, present, and future.
The first advent has already occurred. The second one is up to me and you. And the third advent of Christ is still coming in the future.
This is something to take seriously, to prepare for his coming.
The only way to be prepared for this final event, which will determine whether we live in heaven or hell forever - is to prepare for his coming into our hearts.
- It would be very foolish indeed to take no precaution and make no preparation for the coming of Christ at the end of the world.
- It is amazing how much time and money people will spend preparing for a vacation that lasts only a few weeks.
- It is amazing how much time and money people will spend to get ready for a wedding day, that lasts only one day.
- It is amazing how much time and effort people will put into acquiring more money.
- It is amazing how little time, effort, people will spend to learn how to have a happy marriage that will last a lifetime.
- It is amazing how little time, money, education, and effort people - including many, many Christians - will spend towards the salvation of their soul, for life everlasting.
Just saying you're a Christian isn't good enough.
Heaven and hell last eternally, forever. 99.99999+ (9's to infinity) percent of our existence will be in eternity.
Basically, our eternity depends on this life - that in comparison to eternity is about 2 seconds - a speck and a flash.
Enough time to say yes or no to God, and then our life on earth is over forever. Then we're either going to be home, or cast out.
Wise Choices during Advent
It is only by the grace of God we can receive the wisdom to spend our time, money, effort and education in preparation for the coming of Christ.
But the grace of God is a gift. Grace comes from the Latin "gratia" meaning gift, bounty, abundance.
Because it's a gift, we must receive it with thanksgiving. And we must live accordingly. You can't live like a worldly pagan and a follower of Christ at the same time.
If we don't have this precious gift, then we must earnestly ask God for it!
For Some, Advent is Worthless - Absolutely Worthless
To many people, including many Christians, Advent is absolutely worthless. That's because they throw God's gift back into his face by the way they live, and talk, and think.
And they wonder why they are so hollow, empty, angry or indifferent, if not hypocritical and complaining, and suffering so much, while others are radiantly happy even in the midst of suffering.
Apart from Christ, there simply is no other way to real happiness.
That's precisely why he came down from heaven, to show us exactly how to get to heaven, because even the best teachers in the world didn't even know how.
By his coming, there now is no excuse for us not to know how to get to heaven.
Advent is a Season for Thanksgiving
Many, many generations of people in the Old Testament - millions and millions of people - waited their whole lives, and never saw the coming of Christ on earth.
We are so privileged to know that Christ came, and showed us how to enjoy his grace and salvation.
Our hearts should be filled with the deepest gratitude for his coming into our hearts and changing our lives for the better, changing the way we see things, giving a deep meaning and purpose and value to our lives, and keeping us out of trouble.
We must continue to grow as a follower of Christ, or we will get into trouble. And even when we fail, we must get right back onto the path. Because the longer we stay away, the harder it becomes.
Advent is a Time of Joy
Now that Christ has come the first time, we can prepare for Christmas, knowing that it's a certainty, that it is an event that has already happened in the most marvelous way.
This should feel us with a spirit of joy. "For the joy of the Lord is our strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)
What we could not do on our own, Jesus came to open the gates of heaven, the doors to eternal life with God forever, compared to which, living on this earth without Christ is death and darkness.
Advent is a Time of Anticipation
To me, Advent means a peaceful joyful celebration in anticipation of the coming of Christ.
Have you ever waited a long time for some one to visit you?
Maybe, it's a relative or friend you haven't seen in a long time, and finally, they are coming.
You prepare a special place for them to stay, you get out the best dishes, you prepare your best meals, and wear your best clothes.
You're very excited, you almost can't wait.
Now, that's what we should be doing in Advent. Except that Advent is an inspirational time of joyful spiritual preparation for someone infinitely more important.
Advent is a Feast for the Heart
Jesus wants to come into our heart. Our hearts, minds, and souls, are millions times more valuable than our bodies. In fact, our souls are most valuable than the whole world and everything in it.
Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his soul?" (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36)
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Why Does He Come?
Without the Messiah Christ Jesus, we are enslaved to our sins, and ensnared by the devils, whose only goal is to steal, kill, and destroy us (John 10:10), to then torture us eternally in hell-fire.
Jesus came to give us freedom, to atone for our sins, and to redeem us, saving us from sin and slavery.
He is extending to each one of us his abundant life, (John 10:10) his royal inheritance, his almighty protection, his undying and loyal friendship.
No other relationship can compare. Those who faithfully follow him, are truly rich - and famous - forever in the kingdom of heaven.
Thank your stars!
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