The second coming of Christ

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Jesus Christ, as He promised, will return to earth to judge and govern all peoples in the Kingdom of God. His second coming in power and glory will be visible. This event initiates the resurrection and reward of the saints. (John 14,3, Revelation 1,7, Matthew 24,30, 1, Thessalonian 4,15-17, Revelation 22,12)

Will Christ return?

What do you think would be the biggest event that could happen on the world stage? Another world war? The discovery of a cure for a terrible disease? World peace, once and for all? Or contact with extraterrestrial intelligence? For millions of Christians, the answer to this question is simple: the greatest event that could ever happen is the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The central message of the Bible

The entire biblical story focuses on the coming of Jesus Christ as Savior and King. In the Garden of Eden our original parents have broken their relationship with God through sin. But God foretold the coming of a Savior who would heal this spiritual breach. To the serpent who seduced Adam and Eve into sin, God said, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her seed; he will crush your head and you will stab him in the heel "(1Mo 3,15).

This is the Bible's earliest prophecy of a savior who would crush the power of sin, which sin and death exert over men ("he shall crush your head"). As? By the sacrificial death of the Redeemer ("you will stab him in the heel"). Jesus achieved this at his first coming. John the Baptist recognized him as "the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world" (John 1,29).

The Bible reveals the central meaning of the incarnation of God at the first coming of Christ. The Bible also reveals that Jesus is now entering the lives of believers. And the Bible also says with certainty that he will come again, visibly and with power. Jesus comes in three different ways:

Jesus has already come

We humans need God's salvation - His salvation - because Adam and Eve sinned and brought death to the world. Jesus effected this salvation by dying in our place. Paul wrote in Colossians 1,19-20: "For it pleased God that all fulness should dwell in him, and through him he reconciled everything with him, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace through his blood on the cross. "Jesus healed the breach that first happened in the Garden of Eden. Through his sacrifice humanity can be reconciled with God.

The prophecies of the Old Testament referred to the kingdom of God in the future. But the New Testament begins with Jesus proclaiming the good news of God: "The time is come ... and the kingdom of God has come," he said (Mk 1,14-15). Jesus, king of the kingdom, walked among men! Jesus made "a sacrifice for sins" (Heb 10,12). We should never underestimate the meaning of Jesus' incarnation, of his life and actions about 2000 years ago.

Jesus came. Further - Jesus is coming now

There is good news for those people who believe in Christ: "You too were dead through your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live according to the nature of this world ... But God, rich in mercy, has in his great love with whom he loved us, even us who were dead in sins, made alive with Christ - by grace you have been saved "(Eph 2,1-2, 4-5).

God has now spiritually raised us with Christ! By His grace "He raised us up and intervened in heaven in Christ Jesus, to show in the days to come the abundant riches of His grace through His goodness towards us in Christ Jesus" (verses 6-7). This section describes our present state as followers of Jesus Christ!

God has "reborn us, after His great mercy, to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an everlasting and immaculate and unfading inheritance that will be kept in heaven for you" (1Pt 1,3-4). Jesus is now living in us (Gal 2,20). We have been spiritually reborn and can see the kingdom of God (Joh 3,3).

Asked when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus answered, "The kingdom of God does not come to be seen; It will not be said: Look, here it is! or: There it is! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you "(Lk 17,20-21). Jesus was in the midst of the Pharisees, but he lives in Christians. Jesus Christ brought in his person the kingdom of God.

In the same way that Jesus lives in us, he introduces the kingdom. The coming of Jesus to live in us foreshadows the definitive revelation of the kingdom of God on earth at Jesus' second coming.

But why does Jesus live in us? Notice, "For by grace you have been saved by faith, and not from you: it is God's gift, not from works, that no one should boast. For we are His work, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in it "(Eph 2,8-10). God has saved us by grace, not by our own efforts. But though we can not earn salvation through works, Jesus lives in us so that we may now do good works and thereby glorify God.

Jesus came. Jesus is coming. And - Jesus will come again

After Jesus' resurrection, when His disciples saw Him ascend, two angels asked the question:
"What are you standing there and look to the sky? This Jesus, who was taken away to heaven by you, will come back as you saw him go to heaven "(Acts 1,11). Yes, Jesus is coming again.

At his first coming, Jesus left some messianic predictions unfulfilled. That was one reason why the Jews rejected him. They saw the Messiah as a national hero who would liberate them from Roman rule.

But the Messiah had to come first to die for all humanity. Only later would Christ return as the victorious king and then not only elevate Israel, but make all the kingdoms of this world his kingdoms. "And the seventh angel blew his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule forever and ever" (Rev. 11,15).

"I go to prepare the place for you," said Jesus. "And if I go to prepare the place for you, I will come again and take you to me, that ye may be where I am" (Jn 14,23).

Jesus' Prophecy on the Mount of Olives (Mt 24,1-25.46) addressed the questions and concerns of the disciples about the end of this age. Later, the apostle Paul wrote to the church, "The Lord Himself will come when the command is heard, when the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God sound, come down from heaven, and first the dead that have died in Christ will be resurrected." (1Th 4,16). At Jesus' second coming, he will raise the deceased righteous to immortality and turn the faithful who are still alive into immortals, and they will meet him in the air (16-17, 1Kor 15,51-54).

But when?

Over the centuries, speculation about the Second Coming of Christ has caused a multitude of disputes - and countless disappointments, as the various scenarios of the predictors proved wrong. The overemphasis on when Jesus will return may distract us from the central focus of the gospel - Jesus' redemptive work for all people, achieved through his life, death, resurrection, and ongoing redemptive work as our heavenly high priest.

We can be so engrossed in prophetic speculation that we fail to fulfill the legitimate role of Christians as lights in the world by showing the loving, compassionate Christian way of life and glorifying God by serving other people.

"If any one's interest in the biblical announcements of the last things and the second coming degenerates into a subtle delineation of precisely crafted future events, then it has deviated far from the content and spirit of Jesus' prophetic statements, the New International Commentary on the Bible says Luke's gospel "on page 544.

Our focus

If it is not possible to find out when Christ will come back (and therefore unimportant in comparison to what the Bible really says), what should we focus on our energies? We should focus on being ready for Jesus' coming whenever it takes place!

"Therefore be ye also ready," said Jesus, "for the Son of man is coming for an hour when you do not mean it" (Mt. 24,44). "But he who persists to the end will be saved" (Mt 10,22). We must be ready for him so that he can come into our lives now and guide our lives right now.

The focus of the Bible

The whole Bible revolves around the coming of Jesus Christ. As Christians, our lives should revolve around his coming. Jesus came. He comes now through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus will come again. Jesus will come in power and glory, "to transform our vain body, that he may become like his glorified body" (Phil 3,21). Then "also the creation shall be freed from the bondage of transitoriness to the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom 8,21).

YES, I'll be back soon, says our Savior. And as believers and disciples of Christ, we can all answer with one voice: "Amen, yes, come Lord Jesus" (Offb 22,20)!

Norman Shoaf

The second coming of Christ