THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD JESUS
- For two thousand
years Christians have believed in the second coming of Christ. It is a “fundamental” doctrine. All true Christians agree that our
Lord’s first coming was in humiliation but that His second advent will be “with
power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30).
- But while all
genuine Christians believe in the literal second coming of Christ, there is much
disagreement over the details.
believe Christ will return to set up His kingdom. This is the most literal interpretation
of Scripture, and therefore the correct position.
teach that Christ will return after
the millennial kingdom. They
believe the church will usher in the kingdom. This is the most unscriptural view (cf.
Luke 18:8; II Tim.3; II Peter 2). “Post-millennialism is closely identified in the twentieth century with
an optimistic view of history and, in a superficial way, may be thought of as an
eschatological confidence that ‘every day in every way things are getting better
and better.’ Two world wars in less
than thirty years have largely destroyed the idea of inevitable progress, and
post-millennialism has been scrapped by great numbers of people” – A Handbook of Christian Truth, Harold
Lindsell and Charles J. Woodbridge.
teach that there will be no millennium. Their system is built upon an
allegorical or figurative approach to Bible prophecy. Followers of John Calvin and Augustine
promote this view.
are divided into three groups:
believe the rapture is imminent and Christians will be translated before the
tribulation begins (cf. I Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13). This is the most literal and consistent
believe Christians will go through the first half of the
believe Christians will go the entire tribulation.
- By “the
tribulation” we mean Daniel’s seventieth “week” (Dan. 9:27), “the time of
Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), the time when God will pour out His wrath upon
this wicked world because of its sin and unbelief (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 2:12-22; I
- In His Olivet
Discourse, our Lord said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not
since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt.
24:21; cf. Rev. 7:14).
- The New Testament
promises deliverance to true Christians from this time of wrath and judgment
(cf. I Thess. 4:18; 5:9; Rev. 3:10).
The church is not seen on earth while the Word of God vividly describes
the horrors of the tribulation period (Rev. 4-18).
- The New Testament
teaches that the rapture is imminent. This doctrine of imminency, largely based upon the hope and comfort of
Christ’s appearing, coupled with the exhortations to watch and pray with
expectancy, is one of the strongest arguments for the pretribulational
- Events which must
precede the second coming. Note: no events must precede the rapture (Matt. 24; Rev.6).
A. Religious deception and the
rise of false prophets (Matt. 24:4, 5, 11).
B. Wars and rumors of war
C. Famines, and pestilences,
and earthquakes in diverse places (Matt. 24:7).
D. Religious persecution
(Matt. 24:9, 10).
E. The preaching of the
Gospel to “all the world” (Matt. 24:14).
F. The coming of the
antichrist (Matt. 24:15; cf. II Thess. 2; Rev. 13).
G. Unusual physical
phenomena (Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:25, 26).
OTHER DETAILS CONCERNING THE SECOND
- No one knows the
day (Matt. 24:42; 25:13; Mark 13:32).
- It will be a
literal, bodily, visible return (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7). The JW’s and other cults deny
- The judgment seat
of Christ will follow the rapture (Rom. 14:10; I Cor. 3:13-15; II Cor.
- This teaching is
an incentive to godly living (Luke 21:34-36; Titus 2:11-15; I John 2:28; 3:2,
- Christ will come
to judge the wicked at the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21;
- After this,
Christ will set up His kingdom (Matt. 19:28; 25:31-46; Luke 1:31-33).
Jerusalem will be the capitol (Ps. 2:6; Isa. 2).
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE
- Those who believe
in Christ will be with Him forever (John 14:1-3).
- Those who reject
Christ will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15;
- There is no
purgatory, no reincarnation, and no “second chance” beyond the grave.
“He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the
wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
“And as it is appointed unto men once
to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
“And he called his
ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I
come” (Luke 19:13).
Pastor James Barker