Christ's Second Coming
What wonderful promise did Jesus make concerning His Second Advent?
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would ave told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3.
What will follow the signs of Christ's coming?
"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Luke 21:27.
At His ascension, how was Christ's return promised?
"And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Acts 1:10, 11.
With what words does Paul express the blessed hope of Christ's Second Advent for His people?
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13.
What does Peter say about this awaited event?
"We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His majesty." 2 Peter 1:16.
When He returns, will most of the inhabitants of earth be prepared to meet Him?
"Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30. "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him." Revelation 1:7.
Why will many not be prepared for this important event?
"But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming," and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 24:48-51.
What will the world be doing when Christ returns in the clouds of heaven for His own?
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." Verses 37-39. "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded," but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." Luke 17:28-30.
NOTE: These texts do not teach that it is wrong in itself to eat, drink, marry, buy, sell, plant, or build, but that men's minds will be so taken up with these things that they will give little or no thought to the future life, and make no plans or preparations to meet Jesus when He comes.
Who is it that blinds men to the message about salvation through Jesus Christ?
"In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4.
NOTE: "To my mind this precious doctrine -— for such I must call it -— of the return of the Lord to this earth is taught in the New Testament as clearly as any other doctrine in it; yet I was in the Church fifteen or sixteen years before I ever heard a sermon on it. There is hardly any church that doesn't make a great deal of baptism, but in all of Paul's epistles I believe baptism is only spoken of thirteen times, while it speaks about the return of our Lord fifty times; and yet the Church has had very little to say about it. Now, I can see a reason for this; the devil does not want us to see this truth, for nothing would wake up the Church so much. The moment a man takes hold of the truth that Jesus Christ is coming back again to receive His followers to Himself, this world loses its hold upon him. Gas stocks and water stocks and stocks in banks and railroads are of very much less consequence to him then. His heart is free, and he looks for the blessed appearing of his Lord, who, at His coming, will take him into His blessed Kingdom."—D. L Moody, The Second Coming of Christ (Revell), pp 67.
"'This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,' is the parting promise of Jesus to His disciples, communicated through the two men in white apparel, as a cloud received Him out of their sight. When after more than fifty years in glory He breaks the silence and speaks once more in the Revelation which He gave to His servant John, the post-ascension Gospel which he sends opens with, 'Behold, He cometh with clouds,' and closes with 'Surely I come quickly.' Considering the solemn emphasis thus laid upon this doctrine, and considering the great prominence given to it throughout the teaching of our Lord and of His apostles, how was It that for the first five years of my pastoral life it had absolutely no place in my preaching? Undoubtedly the reason lay in the lack of early instruction. Of all the sermons heard from childhood on, I do not remember listening to a single one upon this subject." -— A. J. Gordon, How Christ Came to Church, pp. 44-45.
How important is it that we now prepare our lives to meet Christ when He returns?
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:2.
Will the return of Christ be a time of reward?
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according, to his works." Matthew 16:27. "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:12.
Who will receive the promised salvation when Christ returns?
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Heb. 9:28.
What strong motivation should His return have on our lives right now?
"We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." 1 John 3:2, 3.
To whom are these crowns of life promised?
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that ay: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." 2 Tim. 4:6-8.
What will the waiting ones say when Jesus comes the second time?
"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isa. 25:9.
Has the exact time of Christ's coming been revealed?
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only." Matt. 24:36.
In view of this fact, how does Christ tell us to prepare for that glorious event?
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." Verse 42.
NOTE: "To the secure and careless He will come as a thief in the night: to His own, as their Lord." -—Henry Alford, The New Testament for English Readers, Vol. 1, p. 170.
"The proper attitude of a Christian is to be always looking for his Lord's return." —-D.L. Moody, The Second Coming of Christ (Revell), p.9.
What warning has Christ given that we might not be taken by surprise when He returns?
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:34-36.
What special attribute should the waiting ones develop?
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:7, 8.
What has been the attitude of too many Christians toward the Second Advent of Christ?
The belief of the Christian Church in the second coming of Christ appears in Christian literature from the origin of the so called Apostles' Creed down through to very recent times.
NOTE: These creeds can be found in the classic work The Creeds of Christendom (Harper) by the great church historian Philip Schaff.
From that work we quote but two examples:
"The Nicene Creed is the first which obtained universal authority. It rests on older forms used in different churches of the East, and has undergone again some changes. . . The original Nicene Creed dates from the first ecumenical council, which was held at Nicea, A.D. 325." -—Vol 1, pp. 24-25. The text from which we quote is the original text of A.D.325:
"We believe in . . . one Lord Jesus Christ, . . . who . . . suffered, and the third day He rose again, aacended into heaven; from thence He thall come to judge the quick and the dead ." —-Ibid., pp. 28-29.
The New Hampshire Baptist Confession (1833), which is "widely accepted by Baptists, especially in the Northern and Western States (Ibid., Vol.3, P. 742), says:
"We believe that the and of the world is approaching; that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness." -—Ibid., p. 748.