The Second Coming Part 1
Welcome to this Call2Come training session which forms part of our foundation course. The aim of the foundation course is to provide a solid biblical foundation covering the core elements of the Call 2 Come movement. You can find out more about Call2Come on our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter username call2come.
It is worthy of note, that there appears to be an imbalance in the importance and implications of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the amount that the subject is taught within the local church, or understood by the believer. Indeed, in my own experience the subject features rarely as the subject for discussion or sermon from the pulpit. Far more prevalent is the emphasis upon outworking the Christian Faith in the context of everyday life, and yet even the smallest look into eschatology (the study of the end times) reveals how the certainty of things to come in the future should have a direct bearing on how we should live our lives in the present. But much more than that, in the overall plan and purpose of God, the hope of what is to come provides the very motivation and justification of our Christian experience. We talk of salvation, one might ask, salvation from what? Or the understanding that we will live for ever, raises the question where will we live, and on what basis will God determine my eternal destiny. Is it enough to simply confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour at a time of repentance to secure my place in Heaven or will the dividing line between Heaven and Hell be influenced by other criteria. It can be all too easy to diminish the importance or place of the Second Coming, or to disregard it all together, opting instead for a more immediate theology and quick answers to life’s challenges. But one of the primary focuses of Jesus’ teaching was on the “end times” and He repeatedly warned us of being ready for it. And so that’s what this course on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is all about. I want us to take a couple of lessons, breaking the subject down so that we have a full biblical grasp and understanding exactly what the Bible teaches about the Second Coming and just as importantly, what it doesn’t say about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
But before we begin our study just a quick introduction to Call2Come and about myself. The passion that fuels everything we do at Call2Come is really the urgency of the hour in which we live for the Bride of Jesus to get herself ready, because we believe that Jesus is returning very soon. And yet as we will see from our study, we don’t believe it will happen until certain events have been fulfilled. But I’ll leave that for another time and just say that you can find out more about us on our website or on Twitter or Facebook and the details are there on the screen. The website is www.call2come.org and you can find us on Twitter or Facebook with the username Call2Come. My name is Mike and I’m the co-founder and director of Call2Come together with my friend Dr Howard Barnes. And together we believe the Lord has commissioned us with the mandate to help prepare the Bride. And so, without using any further time let’s move into our study on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
To begin with we’ll take a look at some of the many scriptures in which the Coming of Jesus Christ has been foretold, and then I want to spend the rest of our time delving deeper into the Word of God to look especially at three aspects of this world wide and climactic event. These are
- The nature of His return – discussing who, where, and how will Jesus return.
- The necessity of His return – and answering why it is so essential that Jesus does return, and then
- The nearness of His return – to see what Jesus told us concerning when He would return
There’s quite a lot to cover, and so we’ll break these sections up into separate lessons so that’s there will plenty of time to soak in what’s being taught, and allow time for personal study and questions.
So, let’s take a look at a few scriptures to get started.
The Second Coming is one of the most frequently mentioned doctrines in the Bible. In the New Testament, one out of twenty-five verses refers to the Second Coming or to the rapture, and in both the old and new testaments, His Second Coming is referenced eight times more than His first coming. In the New Testament alone, the Lord’s Second Coming is mentioned over 300 times. And the only doctrine that is mentioned more than the Second Coming, is the doctrine of Salvation.
The advent of Jesus Second Coming is something that was foretold many times and by many people over the course of history. Let’s take a look at what the prophet’s wrote about the Second Coming. in the book of Jude 14 and 15 it reads:
Now Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied about these men also saying “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgement on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” Jude 14,15
I was watching in the night visions and behold one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. Then to him was given dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His Dominion is an everlasting Dominion which shall not pass away and His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. Dan 7:13,14
Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west making a very large valley: half of the mountain shown move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Zech 14:3,4
In the New Testament, we find reference to the Second Coming in 23 out of the total 27 books contained. And all of the New Testament writers spoke about it. The advent of Jesus Second Coming is something that was foretold many times and by many people over the course of history. We’ve seen what the prophets had to say now let’s look at what the apostles taught us.
Apostle James writes: Therefore be patient brethren until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the Earth waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. James 5:7
Apostle John writes: And now little children abide in him that when He appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.1 John 2:28
Apostle Peter writes: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the Earth and the works that are in it will be burnt up. 2 Pet 3:10
Apostle Paul writes: Now Brethren concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ has come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed. 2 Thess 2:1-3
One of the key scriptures that’s used to teach about the Second Coming we find in the first chapter of the Book of Acts. This was a time when Jesus had died and resurrected and He was spending some time in His resurrected body with His disciples, and we read that Jesus taught them many things concerning the kingdom of God. His disciples asked him “Lord are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom?” and we know Jesus replied saying “it’s not for you to know the times set by my Father, but instead wait for the gift promise to you and you will receive power to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world.” After that we see that there was a time when Jesus ascended into heaven and specifically it says in Acts 1:10 and 11 that while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up behold two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said “men of Galilee why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven.””
And so we have seen what the prophets have said. And what the apostles taught us, and also that the angels themselves gave instruction that Jesus would return. But now let’s look at what Jesus himself taught us.
” I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…… You have heard me say to you ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said I am going to the Father for my Father is greater than I” John 14:18.28″
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of Heaven to the other.” Matt 24:30.41
Ok now that we’ve seen just how much the Second Coming is taught in scripture, let’s go a little deeper into the word and look for answers to the following three questions
- Who is it who is returning?
- Where will this dramatic event take place?
- How will the Second Coming actually happen?
It might seem odd but when talking about the return of Jesus Christ, there’s a very important question that we must ask: Who is it that’s actually returning? Of course, we know that it’s Jesus, but since Jesus returned to Heaven He hasn’t been seen for 2000 years since the clouds hid him from sight when He ascended from the Mount of Olives. Can we be sure of who it is who’s actually coming? So the question we ask is: Will Jesus return as the incarnate Son of Man or as the pre-existent Son of God? Well let’s have a look again at the verse we’ve just read in Acts 1 verse 11. Here it says (and this is the angels talking to the disciples as you remember when Jesus was going up into the clouds that hid him from sight), the angels told the disciples that this same Jesus will come back. The point here is that the angels used His human name. This was the name that Jesus received when conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary that His name shall be Jesus. And so, the angels are telling us that this same Jesus, in other words the human Jesus, as the incarnate Son of God as the Son of Man. The angels emphasised that He will return as the same form as the Jesus that ascended.
Hebrews 13:8 the writer say this “He is the same yesterday today and forever.” In other words this same Jesus will not change. He is the same. He is the same 2000 years ago as He is today. He will return in the flesh. That is, the Jesus which ascended from the Mount of Olives is the same Jesus in all His glory in all His humanity and in all His deity. The person that He was when He ascended is the person that shall come when He returns. Jesus retains His humanity. So our question will Jesus return as the incarnate Son of Man or as they pre-existent Son of God, as we have seen it is the same Jesus i.e. the incarnate Jesus, Jesus the Son of Man as He is also the Son of God.
In 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus.” There is a man in heaven. He is the first fruits. There is a man Jesus Christ who lives in heaven at the Father’s side. He is a man as He is also fully God, but also fully man. This is important for it is because Jesus is fully human as He is fully God, that He is able to serve as the high priest who can sympathize with us and represent us before God. If you want to read further than look at Hebrews 4:15 or Hebrews 6:20. So the answer to our question is: Jesus will return as the same person He was at His ascension into heaven. He will return as the Son of Man fully human but fully God.
We know that Jesus has kept His human name even after His ascension into heaven. Even in the revelation given to John Jesus calls himself by the name given to him at His birth. As we find in Revelation 20:16 “I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David and the Bright and Morning Star.” But just as He received the name Jesus on His first coming, so it is that He will be known by a new name on His Second Coming. In Revelation 19:12-13 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called the Word of God.
Interesting here is the description of Jesus, that upon His head were many crowns. And that He had a name that only He knew, it was a name given to himself. So, we’ve looked at who is returning now let’s take a look at where Jesus is coming back to. Since Jesus is returning as the Son of Man, He is returning in the physical realm with a physical body, so He must return also to a physical or geographical location. In other words, Jesus has to come back somewhere geographical, a specific place upon the Earth. Before He ascended, Jesus could not be in two places at the same time. His Spirit can be everywhere but His body must be located somewhere specifically. This leads to the question. Where will Jesus return?
The prophet Zechariah 4:14 says this: on that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward and the other half southward.
Zechariah 8:3 this is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain”.
In Acts 1:11 if you remember, when the angels gave encouragement to the disciples saying “that this same Jesus would return”, He’s not only returning as the same Jesus, we now read in Zechariah that He’s actually returning to the very place in which He left. As though for two thousand years something has been on pause and Jesus is coming back as the same Jesus to the same place. So, the answer to our question is: Jesus will return at first to the Mount of Olives and then proceed into Jerusalem. Jerusalem is at the centre of the world’s land mass. Jerusalem is at the meeting point of the three continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. Jerusalem is called the City of the Great King Matthew 5:35
Ok, so we’ve looked at who is coming and where He’s coming back to, but now let’s take a moment to look at how will Jesus actually return. The first thing is that it will be a very visible coming. On Jesus first coming hardly anyone knew that He had come at all. Only a handful of people ever noticed. Even the star in the sky was only observed by those who were looking. But His Second Coming would be very different and one that everyone will see.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Revelation 1:7 Behold He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
Two thousand years ago Jesus was born as a baby and placed in a manger. That’s not how He’s coming again. When He comes again He will be visible and the Bible says that every eye will see him. As clearly as you can see lightning, will be as clearly as you can see Jesus coming. Everyone will see Jesus coming. Every eye will see the coming of Jesus Christ.
There are three Greek words that describe the nature of Jesus return. The first word that we find in scripture and these are Greek words is the word “parousia”. And “parousia” means to be beside, and was used generally when someone arrived to join others who expected them. But there were two particular applications which are of significance. One use is to describe the arrival of a foreign king with his army at the border of a land He intended to invade. The other use of “parousia” was used to describe the arrival of a king and his court to visit one of his cities. In this case the citizens would go out to meet him outside the city so that they might honour him by processing through the gates with him.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 and then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (parousia)
Matthew 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to him privately saying “Tell us when will these things be and what will be the sign of your coming (parousia) and of the end of the age. So “parousia”, remember is the description of a king either a foreign king coming to the border of a land that He intends to invade, or as a king coming back, after being away, to come and visit one of his cities. And so in both of these verses when it’s talking about coming, it’s talking about the king returning either to invade or to come to take over the nation, to take over and occupy the land. Or the king returning back to that which is His own. I think both of the uses of this word is applicable when we are talking about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Because He is the King and He’s coming to occupy, He’s coming to invade, if you like, and to take over the nations, when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our God and His Christ. But He’s also coming back to that which is His own. He’s coming to Jerusalem, the city of the Great King. He’s coming back to the world in which He made. This is the word “parousia”.
The 2nd of our Greek words is the word “Epiphaneia”. Epiphaneia is a noun meaning literally, “a shining forth; it was used of the appearance of a god to men”, Vine’s Expository Dictionary. It was used in Greek to identify a spectacular event. Thayer’s Lexicon says Epiphaneia “often used by the Greeks of a glorious manifestation of the gods and especially of their advent to help …in 2 Macc. Of signal deeds and events betokening the presence and power of god as helper”
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing (Epiphaneia) and His kingdom.
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing (Epiphaneia) of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So the idea of this word “Epiphaneia” is that it is the intervention of God for the benefit of man. It is accompanied by great light, or a shining forth, a suddenly. A sudden appearance of God in the help or the rescue of men.
Our third Greek word is the word “Apokalypsis”, which means to appear uncovered, to appear as you really are, to be unveiled. He will appear as He really is: the Son of God crowned in all His glory. Like the coronation of a monarch in all their splendour. Jesus will return not in obscurity with His glory hidden, but in full display of His majesty and who He really is. This is the meaning of the word “Apokalypsis” and unveiling. The stripping away, so that something can be seen for what it really is. That’s the word described for Jesus Second Coming is the word “Apokalypsis”.
1 Corinthians 1:7 therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for the coming (revealing/”Apokalypsis”) of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13 therefore with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed (“Apokalypsis”) at His coming.
2 Thessalonians 1:7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us when the Lord Jesus is revealed (“Apokalypsis”) from heaven with His mighty angels.
When He is no longer hidden away, in this we have hope. Let us be encouraged that Jesus Christ is coming back on full display, a full revelation, nothing hidden. All that He is as the Son of God and the Son of Man together in the one person Jesus Christ, shall be fully revealed when He comes – this is the word “Apokalypsis”.
Well let’s take a break here, as we’ve already covered a lot, but we have a lot more to go through. So I pray that you’ve already been encouraged to know the certainty of these things and that has Paul writes to the church in Corinth: “if in this life only we have hope in Christ then we are of all men the most miserable.” In other words, our hope isn’t in the now. It isn’t in what’s happening today or next week. our hope is in what’s to come. It’s in what lies ahead. The glory that awaits. The blessed hope of His appearing. That’s why we have hope. That’s why we can endure whatever we have to face in today’s challenges in life, because we know that Jesus is coming back. And our hope is in the certainty of His coming. So be blessed and get dressed. For Jesus is coming back. When ready please go to part 2 of the study, and we will look at the question: Why is Jesus coming? And we will explore the different things that His Second Coming will accomplish. So may God bless you and thank you. Maranatha.