The angelic proclamation at Christ’s first coming declared that mankind could be reconciled to God through the shed blood of the Son that was given. Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving. The only catch is that people have to open that free gift by grace and receive Christ’s finished work on their behalf. “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool” (Heb. 10:12-13).
This is what Jesus meant when He stood before His hometown synagogue and declared His ministry according to Is. 61. His declaration stopped short, a third of the way through verse 2. “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” That phrase refers to the year of Jubilee when the people were set free from their debts.
When Jesus came, He released mankind from the bondage of sin. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1-2).
In Romans 1 the Apostle Paul declared “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [Gentile]. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” This was the “good news” announced by the angelic host as Jesus’ birth.
When the Son that was given appears as the Prince of Peace at His second coming—with the government upon His shoulders—those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior have this assurance, “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). Which brings us back to the rest of verse 2 in Isaiah 61—“to proclaim the Day of vengeance of our God.”
Romans 2:5 explains that this vengeance comes upon those who in accordance with their hardness and impenitent hearts are treasuring up for themselves wrath in the Day of wrath and the revealing of the righteous judgment of God. In other words, those who have refused God’s free gift of reconciliation and salvation through Jesus Christ.
The bottom line is this. There are still only two choices as in the Garden of Eden. They are the same two choices declared to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19-20. As always, God wants us to choose life. He doesn’t want mankind to suffer the same consequences of those who know evil. For “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe…” (2 Thess. 1:7-10).
This is why we cannot ignore God’s appointed timetable that we call the Great Week of 1,000-year Days. When Jesus taught His disciples about His coming and the rapture at the Day of the Lord, He warned that this last Day would come as a snare, for those who are not “in Christ” shall be trapped by their rejection of the Savior and have to face the trumpet judgments of that Day meant for Satan, his evil hierarchy, and all those who follow his rebellious, ungodly ways. 1/2/24