In this lesson, we are going to look at five seconds that are part of the gospel message – the second covenant, the second, birth, the second coming, the second death, and a second chance.
The Second Covenant
In II Corinthians 6:15-16, the question is asked what God has in common with idol, and, in this, the author emphasizes the covenant relationship God wishes to have with His people. The first covenant is recorded in Exodus 19-20, but Hebrews 8:6 begins speaking of a better second covenant. The authors conclusion in Hebrews 8:13 is that the previous is no more. We are under a better covenant, with a perfect sacrifice and priesthood. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says that He came to fulfill and accomplish all that was intended by the old covenant, and this new covenant is open to all who would come to God (Galatians 3:24-27).
The Second Birth
This covenant relationship is accomplished through a rebirth. Jesus spoke with Nicodemus about this in John 3:3-7, and this birth involves water and the Spirit. Paul explains this rebirth in Romans 6 in terms of a death, burial, and resurrection. We die to sin, and we are raised to a new life. We have moved from a state of separation into a covenant relationship with God.
The Second Coming
This was a very important element in the apostles’ teachings. In Acts 1:11, angels reassure the apostles that Jesus will return one day. Jesus Himself states this in the first part of John 14, saying that if He is preparing a place for His followers, He will return to take them to that place. It is a time to be reunited with our Savior. Matthew 24:50 tells us this time is unpredictable. There is a negative side to the second coming. II Thessalonians 1:7-9 speaks of a day of vengeance against those who have rejected God. On the other hand, the Hebrew author writes of hope and salvation in Hebrews 9:28.
The Second Death
This brings up the second death as described in Revelation 21:8. A lake of fire is described, and it is the fate of those who have not prepared for the second coming by being born again.
A Second Chance
Fortunately, the gospel contains good news of a chance to avoid the tragedy of the second death. Acts 8, Simon the sorcerer is given a second chance after he offers money for the apostles’ power. I John 1:9 tells us of forgiveness of sins if we repent of and confess those sins to our Father. FInally, in Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son who recognized his condition away from his father and was granted another chance.
We can be part of this new covenant if we submit to the second birth, preparing for the second coming and avoiding the second death. If we stumble on our way, we know we can be forgiven and be granted a second chance.
lesson by Tim Smelser