The idea that Jesus’ second coming is to rescue his people from the suffering that this dark world inflicts on us is an important hope.
So is the reality that Jesus’ second coming will rescue his people from the darkness that dwells within us.
As time goes by the second aspect of the rescue means more and more.
We can look forward to that refining fire because our Judge is also our brother and friend, who cares for us.
From Fleming Rutledge’s book Advent:
I wonder if you, like me, have grown weary of patterns in your own life. As I have grown older, I have recognised that there are certain impulses and tendencies in my personality that I have worked very hard to overcome, but they are still there, causing me – and others – no end of trouble. I am looking forward to passing through the refiner’s fire. I am so joyful to know that those traits will be judged and gone forever. I hope that’s true for you too. We rejoice to know that it is the Lord himself who will come and be our Judge.
Fleming Rutledge, Advent – The Once & Future Coming Of Jesus Christ, Eerdmans, 2018, pgs 183-184.