THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
by Dr. Abri Brancken
The Bible is truly an amazing book. It accurately foretells specific events, in detail many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. This makes the Bible totally unique among all other books. Some Biblical scholars estimate that there are approximately 2,500 prophecies that appear in the pages of the Bible, of which about 2,000 already have been fulfilled to the letter, with no errors. It is therefore not wise to not pay attention to and allow your life to be influenced by Biblical truth.
The Bible's track record speaks for itself.
Often when I look at headline news stories and I see Biblical prophecy being fulfilled. It is amazing to see how much of end time Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled in our lifetime. Although the Bible speaks about many things yet to come, there is one event that stands out among all other events and that is the Second coming of Jesus Christ.
The greatest event in world history lies ahead of us.
MAIN SCRIPTURE VERSE:
Acts 1:11 "Men of Galilee," they said. "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
Here we can see that the return of Jesus Christ will be an actual event. It should be taken literally. At this moment, we as believers are living almost in suspension. We are living in this life, yet with an expectation and longing for the age to come.
THE CLOSURE OF THIS AGE:
We know that eternity has no end, yet we speak of the end times. When we speak about end times we speak about a time of closure, when life as we know it on planet earth will come to an end. This will happen with the return of Christ. In the Bible, this time of closure is referred to as the "end times", the "end of days" or the "last days".
For everything under heaven there is an appointed time. God in His wisdom implemented time schedules for everything. Seasons, days, months and years. Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 says, There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—2 A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.…
THE PAROUSIA :
The Greek that is often used when referring to the second coming of Jesus Christ is the word parousia (pair-oo-see-ah) means "a coming" or "a presence." Remember, the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof... David wrote, "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;" Psalm 24:1 (NIV) God is coming back to His earth to rule over it. Parousia can be used to refer to any individual's coming or presence to a specific place or to be with specific people, but in looking at the Greek New Testament we find that parousia primarily refers to the Coming of the Lord Jesus. Christ's second coming, or His parousia, meant a great deal to almost all of the New Testament writers. Paul mentions it in most of his letters, using the word countless times (about 14 times). The parousia ushers in the final triumph of goodness. The return of Christ will usher in the era in which goodness will be triumphant. The power of evil cannot stand up to the might of God. "The wrath of God" is coming ( Col 3:6 ), which surely means that that wrath will triumph over all evil.
Sometimes the strength of evil, especially in the last days before Jesus' return, is emphasized. "There will be terrible times in the last days" ( 2 Tim 3:1 ) and even among those who profess to be followers of Christ some will abandon the faith and accept "things taught by demons" ( 1 Tim 4:1 ).
JESUS IS COMING BACK TO RULE:
An important part of Jesus' teaching about his second coming is the truth that it will form a strong contrast with his first coming. Jesus is coming back to rule in all power and authority over His creation. In His second coming, Jesus will be the conquering King. In His first coming, Jesus arrived as a humble servant, in the most humble of circumstances. When Jesus comes again, He will arrive with the armies of heaven at His side and He will establish His government on the earth.
The Bible says that the angels will return with Jesus and they will come with a loud sound of the trumpet to gather from the whole earth those who have died in Christ. (Matt 16:27; 24:31; 25:31)
Jesus is coming to judge and to reward. Jesus is coming back to reward the inhabitants of the earth who lived serving Him and to judge unrighteousness. The Bible clearly states that He is coming to judge the nations and will divide the righteous from the wicked (Matthew 25:31–46).
EFFECTS OF HIS SECOND COMING:
What happens to the righteous at the second coming? At Jesus’ second coming the righteous dead will be raised to life and taken up to heaven along with the righteous who are still alive on the earth. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, almost 2000 years ago, was a very powerful event. It was so powerful that it even caused some people who had died, to be raised back to life. After Jesus Christ rose from the dead, other righteous people who had died were also resurrected and they appeared in Jerusalem (Matthew 27:52–53). Graves literally opened up and many saints who had died came walking into Jerusalem. They came out of the tombs after Jesus' resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. If the resurrection of Jesus had such a major impact, just imagine what His second coming will have.
THE SECOND COMING IS UNSTOPPABLE:
No one can stop or change the fact that Jesus is coming back! No government, no secret organization, no intellectual debate or view of scholars can stop Christ's return. It is a fixed event in human history.
HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?
How does the greatest future event in history affect your life today? Do you even consider that event? Do you allow it to impact your life in a radical way? Many Christians neglect to focus on the second coming and thereby they live as if it is never going to happen. When we lose sight of the return of Christ, our hearts can easily begin to wander. In fact, Jesus said that this will be the case with many people. He even said, When I return will I find faith? We often confess Christ with our mouths, yet the way we live our lives contradicts our confession and this should not be the case. Our focus should influence our actions.
Our desire should be to pattern our lives after Jesus.
We are to invite Jesus back. Jesus said to Jerusalem, "For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" (Matt 23:39) We invite Him back not only with our mouths, but with our lifestyle. Is your lifestyle inviting to the soon to return King? Do you live your life in such a way that it reflects your expectation that He is coming back? We must alter our lifestyles if it is not inviting to the King. If there is a disagreement or a clash, what do you do? Do you ignore or dismiss Biblical truth or do you adjust your belief and lifestyle to fit Scripture. Christians should be on guard, watching and praying until the day of the Lord.
The Bible says in Luke 21:34-36, "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
We should live with an eager expectation of His soon return, as did Christians throughout the ages.
The Corinthian church "eagerly" awaits the day ( 1 Cor 1:7 ).
The Ephesians are told that they by the Holy Spirit "were sealed for the day of redemption" ( Eph 4:30 ).
We have been saved "in hope" ( Rom 8:24 ), a hope that is not centered on this life ( 1 Cor 15:19 ), but is "stored up" for us in heaven ( Col 1:5 ).
Don't live your life in such a way that you exchange eternal blessings for temporal rewards. Don't compromise your faith walk with the LORD.
As Jesus is preparing a place for us, we should prepare ourselves for the place He is preparing for us. John 14:1-3 says, “Let not your heart be troubled...In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
THE FINAL WORDS OF THE BIBLE:
The Bible concludes with these great words, "Come, Lord Jesus "
Rev 22:20 - He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
STATISTICS ON THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST:
- Both the OT and NT are filled with references to it. One of the most prominent subjects in Scripture
- 17 OT books give it prominence
- 1845 References to it in the Bible
- 1527 times in the OT & 318 in NT
- Of the 260 chapters in the NT, there are 318 references to the Second Coming, or...
- For every prophecy on the First Coming of the Messiah, there are 8 on His Second Coming.
- One (1) out of 25 verses speaks of the Second Coming.
- Angels believe and testify that Jesus is coming back. When Jesus ascended to heaven, angels stated that He would return just as He left (Acts 1:9-11).
- 23 of the 27 NT books refer to this great event. Three of the remaining four books are one chapter books (Philemon, 2 John, 3 John), and the book of Galatians implies the Second Coming in 1:4.
- For every one mention of the Atonement in the Bible, the Second Coming is mentioned twice.
- The first recorded prophecy concerned the second coming. In the days before the flood, Enoch spoke of the Lord coming to judge the earth (Jude 14).
- The final prophecy ever given deals with the Second Coming (Rev. 22:20). Six total times in Revelation we hear Jesus say, "I come quickly," three times in the final chapter (22:7,12,20).
- Men are exhorted over 50 times to be ready for the return of Jesus.
- Jesus Christ Himself refers to His return 21 times.