Hi and welcome to part two of our study on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This series forms part of the Call2Come foundation course and the aim of the foundation course is to provide a solid biblical foundation covering the core elements of the Call2Come movement.
In part 1 I shared how apart from the doctrine of salvation there’s more scripture on the Second Coming than any other doctrine. In the Bible there are eight times more references to the Lord’s Second Coming than his first. And in the New Testament there are over 300 references to this event and we find reference to the Second Coming in 23 out of the total 27 books contained. In fact, all of the New Testament writers spoke about it. And so, it is not something that is easily ignored and yet possibly because of the nature of the subject and the challenges involved with interpretation, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ does not feature well from the pulpit or as a topic of discussion. Part of the problem is the diversity of opinion over many aspects of what is to come, and we call the study of future things eschatology.
Even a brief survey of what is being taught today around the world about the Second Coming, and other future events could quickly lead to the conclusion that the Bible is not clear on these things. And yet, the truth is that so much of what is being taught simply has no biblical rationale. Or scripture is used to support a theory or has been taken out of context or is used to argue a point that it was never intended for. This is called eisegesis or putting into scripture what isn’t there. Rather than exegesis which is taking out of scripture what is there. I don’t want to take time here on what is called hermeneutics, only to say that my approach is to take the literal meaning of the text unless there is a clear reason not to. In other words, let the text speak for itself. An example of this, is the millennium. Revelation 20 teaches there will be a period of 1000 years in which Christ will reign upon the Earth after the great tribulation. There’s no reason to change the meaning of this text and so when the Bible says Christ will reign upon the earth for a thousand years, then that’s what it means, and therefore that’s what I believe. The alternative to the literal approach is the allegorical approach, which changes the literal meaning and allegorises it into something else and often with a completely different meaning and implication. In this particular case, with the millennium it actually says there’s no millennium at all which is where the word a-millennialism comes from.
So that being said we’ll continue on our study of the Second Coming in a moment, but just a quick introduction first of all about Call2Come.
The passion which fuels everything that we do and the urgency of the hour in which we live is for the Bride of Jesus to get ready. Because we believe Jesus is returning very soon. Our hope is to communicate our passion for the bride and the longing to see Jesus return as the bridegroom king. There is an urgency upon the times in which we are now living yet, an eternal purpose remains true and unaffected. It is our belief that this eternal purpose is found within the Bride who the father always intended to give to his Son. The Lord is in control and leading us somewhere beautiful. For those who have ears to hear may we hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. My name is Mike I’m the co-founder and director of Call2Come. You can find out more about Call2Come either on our website and you can see the details on the screen www.Call2Come.org or you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook with the username Call2Come.
Ok let’s get started. In part one we looked at the Who and the How of Jesus coming. In this session, part two we will be answering the question Why. Why is it necessary that Jesus should return at all? Why not simply rapture us and we live forever in heaven? What is it that he will accomplish that requires his coming back to Earth in order to complete? I’m really excited to get into a number of different topics all centred around this question. We’ll take our time but in fairness some of these subjects will require much more time then we have here, and so we’ll cover these in later lessons. But here my aim is to at least give an introduction in the reasons and necessity of Jesus return in the hope of answering the question why. I want to give seven reasons why Jesus will return. These are: To bring salvation. To gather us and to himself. Jesus is coming to save Israel. He’s coming to conquer his enemies. Jesus is coming to bring judgement. He’s coming to reign. And the final point and reason for his return is that Jesus is coming to marry his bride.
The first thing that Jesus will do when he comes to Earth in his Second Coming, is to bring salvation with him. Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many: and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring Salvation to those who are waiting for him.
He will appear a second time to bring Salvation to those that are waiting for him. This raises an important understanding over the process of Salvation. This scripture suggests that the process of Salvation is not yet fully complete, or that we have not yet received our salvation since Jesus is bringing salvation with him when he comes. We are not yet fully saved but we are in the process of being saved. Salvation is a process. There is a part which is not yet saved – our body, still under the law of sin and death. Our forgiveness is complete, and certainly Jesus doesn’t need to die again for our sins.
Philippians 3 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things unto himself.
Romans 8:23 and not only the creation but we are ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons the redemption of our bodies.
So in answer to why Jesus is returning he’s coming back to bring salvation with him. Our salvation will only be fully complete when he comes. Romans 8:23 says we grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons. The redemption of our bodies. I don’t want to go into the once saved always saved subject here only to say that we have not yet fully received our salvation. We have tasted the first fruits but there is so much more. Until we are changed to be like him when we see him like he is, then we have not yet fully entered into the Salvation transformation or experience as Jesus taught us or as portrayed in scripture.
The second reason why it is that Jesus will return back to planet Earth is to gather us unto himself that we might be with him. John 14:3 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.
Jesus is returning to earth, so if we are to be with him then we also will be returning to earth, since we shall always be with him. If Jesus is here then we will be here. It is because we shall live upon the earth that we will require a new body. It will be a glorious body like his body this is known as the first resurrection and will take place upon his Second Coming.
Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 “for this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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.”
Oh the blessed gathering of the Saints. What a time it will be. As Jesus told Thomas in John 20:29 “blessed are they that believe and have not seen him.” That’s you and I. We haven’t seen him, yet we believe and there will come a day when Jesus will gather us to himself and we shall see him as he is. Our faith will be rewarded when we are gathered together to be with him. It is the longing of the human heart that has been awakened to the Eternal Divine that is God. That we should be with him. It is the longing of our hearts to be home. He is home. We know that we are no longer citizens of this world but more so, citizens of Heaven. If that is true, then we are aliens here in a foreign land. As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:11 he says “brothers I urge you as foreigners and exiles to abstain from sinful desires.” He’s saying I urge you, that since we are foreigners and exiles here to abstain from sin. Paul says the same thing in Philippians 3:20 “for our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly await for the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.” When Jesus returns he is coming to take us home. We will be gathered to be with him forever. But more than this we will also be gathered to each other. Those who have gone before and now sleeping in Christ and all those who are his across the face of the Earth, we shall all be caught up to meet him in the air when he comes in power and great glory. This is our hope and the reason for his coming. To fulfil his promise that he would return and take us to be with him forever. This is the second reason Jesus is coming. To gather all those that are his to be with him.
The third reason Jesus will return is to save Israel or the Jews. This isn’t to say that salvation is not already available for the Jews until he comes. On the contrary many Jews believed on him at his first coming and have done ever since for 2000 years. But as a nation Israel has many prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled and are not replaced by the church as in replacement theology. Let’s look at some scripture.
Romans 11:26 “and so all Israel will be saved as it is written: “the Deliverer will come out of Zion and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob””
Zechariah 12:10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of Grace and supplication so that they will look on me whom they have pierced and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a first born”
God’s covenant with Israel was an everlasting covenant. And He has a plan that includes both Jew and Gentile. In Jesus’ first coming the Jewish prophetic timeline was on pause for the sake of the Gentiles. But the time will come when both Jew and Gentile shall become one.
Ephesians 2 14-16 “for he himself is our peace who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of separation having abolished in his flesh the enmity that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances so as to create in Himself one new man from the two thus making peace and that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross thereby putting to death the enmity”
The key word here is “one new man”. That Jesus has abolished the dividing wall that separated Jew and Gentile in his own body and that through his death has abolished those laws and commandments to bring Jew and Gentile together to make one new man.
Another scripture Romans 11:25 says “for I do not desire brethren that you should be ignorant of this mystery lest you should be wise in your own opinion that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
As a nation Israel rejected Jesus as their messiah on his first coming. That will not happen again on his second coming. But as Paul writes in Romans that we should not be arrogant or proud concerning our opinion of Israel indeed we should be humbled. Because the blindness that Paul speaks of here that has happened to Israel, has allowed Salvation to come to the Gentiles.
It was always necessary for both Jew and Gentile to be saved this is part of the mystery of the ages. But the Lord has promised a messiah for Israel. And whilst they rejected him once, the next time they will see him as he truly is and yes they will look upon the one they pierced and mourn for him but it will not end in bitterness or mourning or rejecting their messiah, but with rejoicing and a new Song. And both Jew and Gentile shall come together. No longer with the wall of hostility between them or division by ethnicity, but instead they shall be formed into a new being. Where there is no more Jew or Gentile. A new identity. Or as the Bible teaches one new man. This can only happen when Jesus returns to save Israel. So that’s the third reason for Jesus returning. He is coming again to save Israel so that together with the Gentiles they shall become the one new man.
The fourth reason that Jesus is returning to Earth is to conquer his enemies.
Revelation 19 11-16 “And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon it was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire and on his head were many crowns and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean. And out of his mouth goes forth a sharp sword that with it he should smite the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.”
Exodus 15:3 the Lord is a warrior the Lord is his name.
Isaiah 42:13 the Lord will go forth like a warrior he will arouse his zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, he will raise a war cry, he will prevail against his enemies.
When Jesus comes he isn’t coming as timid or weak. But he’s coming as a man of war. He’s coming as a warrior. He will raise a battle cry, the war cry. He’s coming to make war and to prevail against his enemies.
Leading up to the Lord’s Second Coming we know that wars and rumours of wars will increase but more specifically there will be an increase of hostility towards Jerusalem and Israel.
Zechariah 12:3 and it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
The nations of the Earth shall gather to come against Jerusalem.
Revelation 16 13-16 and I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the Earth and of the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. “Behold I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon.
The Battle of Armageddon, the scripture teaches will happen just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and we find more about that in Revelation 19.
In addition to Armageddon there are two other particular conflicts against Israel which are mentioned in the Bible that precede the Lord Second Coming. These are:
The Middle East War Psalm 83:2-5 For behold your enemies make a tumult. And those who hate you have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against your people and consulted together against your sheltered ones. They have said “Come and let us cut them off from being a nation that the name of Israel may be remembered no more”. For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against you.
If you have a look at Psalm 83, you will find in that Psalm there are 10 different people groups and Nations which are all Israel’s neighbours. They all border Israel. They have a history with Israel. They are the people groups or nations in the closest vicinity to Israel. This particular Psalm was by Asaph who was known to be a prophet or seer. And though this psalm is a lament, it doesn’t refer to the political or national situation at that time, but Asaph was seeing something that would happen in Israel’s future, and even until our time today, has not yet happened in the way described. And we call this the Middle East war, which is comprised of the Nations or people groups which border Israel’s territory. As the Psalm here says those nations will form a confederacy against you, which is Israel. That the name of Israel may be remembered no more. So that’s the first conflict that will take place as the time of Jesus Second Coming approaches.
The third conflict in addition to Armageddon and the war in the Middle East we find in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and is commonly known as the Gog and Magog war. Just to mention at this point that this is not the same Gog and Magog that we find in Revelation 20. In that particular case that happens after the millennium. The Bible teaches that after the millennium Satan will be let loose to deceive the whole world or all the nations of the world. To gather them together to come against God’s people. To come against Israel and Jerusalem. But in that particular occasion right at the end of time after the millennium it says that fire will come down from Heaven and consume them and they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. That’s a different outcome and a different victory than the one described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. So that’s Gog and Magog after the millennium, and there are differences to the conflict described here in Ezekiel 38 and 39. I’ll cover Gog and Magog more in a separate teaching, but just to look at a couple of verses here in chapter 38 of Ezekiel.
But before we read these verses just to understand that this was a prophecy given by God to Ezekiel and he spoke to Gog of the Land of Magog. So as we read these verses just bear in mind that this prophecy is speaking about Gog.
“After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the Nations and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend coming like a storm covering the land like a cloud and all your troops and many peoples with you. Thus says the Lord God “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind and you will make an evil plan. You will say “I will go up against a land of unwalled villages. I will go to a peaceful people who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates …”
So this prophecy is speaking to Gog of Magog and it’s not talking about Satan being let loose to rally the nations of the world after the millennium. But is talking about a leader or a prince or a king called Gog from the land of Magog. And if we had time we would look at the rest of that chapter, where it doesn’t talk about the whole world but actually about a select number of nations all within the Middle East, but not the nations that we find in the Middle East war of Psalm 83, yet nevertheless nations within that geographical region of the world. And the prophecy says that in the mind of Gog and evil plan will be conceived. And Gog will rally the nations together to come against Israel. This is the Gog and Magog conflict that will happen very close to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
So, when looking at this reason for Jesus coming again which is to conquer his enemies the conflicts which will take place around that time or leading up to that time will be the Middle East war, the Gog and Magog war but also of course the Battle of Armageddon which will occur immediately before Jesus return which we find in Revelation 19. This is a vast subject that I’ll cover in a separate teaching but for this lesson it is suffice to say that there will be many enemies who will gather against Israel and Jerusalem at various times leading up to the Second Coming. But the Lord will defeat all his enemies.
Zechariah 12:9 and on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem