The second coming of Christ is a central theme in the New Testament. According to statistics, the second coming is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament. In our religious world there is much debate and many questions concerning the second coming of Christ. Because of all the misconceptions that are taught about the second coming of Christ, let us look to the Bible to see what it has to say about the second coming and the end of time.

When Will The Time Be?: -- This question has intrigued some to the point that predictions have been made as to when the return of Christ would be. Dates such as 1833,1914 1919, 1945,1975 and 1988, just to name a few, have been predicted and this list is not a complete one at all. Of course, these years have long since come and gone and Christ has not yet returned, but this does not diminish from the fact of the certainty of His return. Notice what the Bible says about the time of the second coming of Christ: "For yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night" (1 Thes. 5:2). "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night..." (2 Pet. 3:10). "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Matt. 24:36). It is clear from these passages that the second coming of Christ will be unannounced, so it is needless for anyone to try to predict the time or an approximation of Christ's return. We should not put our faith in any prediction that comes from man.

The Glorious Appearing Of The Great God: -- When Christ returns, the Bible tells us that it will be glorious. As Paul tells Titus about the grace of God that teaches us how we should live says, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Ti. 2:13). The appearing will be glorious because when Jesus returns in the clouds everyone will see Him. 1 Thes. 4:16,17, describing the events of the second coming of Christ, says, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." This glorious appearing will be announced with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. Also, the Lord will return in the clouds. The clouds have always been symbolic of nobility and grandeur. Again, in Rev. 1:7 we read, "Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him." Notice that this second appearing of Jesus will be known to all. It will not be a secret appearance that is unknown to people, but it will be observed by all.

What About Christ Coming Back To Earth?: -- The second coming of Christ does not include Christ setting His foot back upon the earth and setting up His kingdom on the earth. As 1 Thes. 4 and Rev. 1 mentions, Christ's return will be in the clouds. We are also told that those still living on earth will be "caught the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4:16). The second coming of Christ is not for Christ to set up His kingdom on earth. In 1 Cor. 15, Paul, discussing the fact that Christians will be raised to be with Christ, says, "then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power" (1 Cor. 15:24). This verse does not mention
anything about setting up a kingdom on earth, but says that Christ will give the kingdom to the Father. Christ will lay down all rule and authority which the Father has given to Him (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:22,23). When Christ returns, the dead in Christ will be raised first and given immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:50-53). Then those that are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the air and so shall they ever be with the Lord (where? in the air, not on this earth). Our hope and desire for Christ's return is not for something to happen on earth, but for that which is beyond this life and beyond this earth. Peter writes concerning our hope in Christ second coming and says, "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God wherein that heavens being on fire shall melt with fervent heat! Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Peter then gives the reason of the great expectation of Christ's return is for our eternal home.

We do not know when Christ will return, but it will be a glorious day if we are prepared and are in Christ where all spiritual blessings are to be found. On the other hand, how fearful will the return of Christ be for those outside of Christ. Knowing this, it should move each one of us to look at our life and compare it to the Word of God. If we find that we have not obeyed the gospel of Christ according to the Scriptures, then we are still in our sins and outside of Christ. In that condition, we would not enjoy that home in heaven that Christ has prepared. Let us look seriously at our lives and prepare for the second coming of Christ, so that it will be a glorious blessing for us.

By David A. Cox in Gospel Power, Vol. 13, No. 37, Sept. 10, 2006.

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