CHAPTER 9

The Second Coming Of Christ

 

About 2000 years ago Jesus Christ visited this earth and died on the cross to provide salvation for sinful men. He then rose again from the dead and returned to heaven. Will Jesus Christ ever come to earth again?

After Jesus died and rose again, He appeared to His disciples for a period of 40 days (Acts 1:3). What happened to Jesus at the end of these 40 days (Acts 1:9; Luke 24:51)? ___________________________________________________________________________

After Jesus disappeared out of their sight, the disciples were still looking up toward heaven (Acts 1:9-10). As they were looking, two angels stood by them dressed in white (Acts 1:10). These angels told the disciples something very important: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so _____________ in like manner (in the same way) as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).

God wanted these disciples to know that Jesus Christ would come back to earth someday! The two angels made one thing very clear in Acts 1:11. What they were saying was this:  Jesus Christ will come in the same way that you saw Him go.  As He went up, so He will come down! The following chart will help us to think about this:

HOW DID JESUS GO?

HOW WILL JESUS COME?

He went up! He will come down!
He left earth to go to heaven He will leave heaven to come to earth.
He left from the earth. He will come down to the earth.
He left in a cloud (Acts 1:9). He will return in the clouds (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7).
He left in a real body (a resurrection body). He will return in a real body.
When He left people saw Him (Acts 1:9). When He comes people will see Him (Revelation 1:7).
It was JESUS CHRIST who went up into heaven. It will be this "SAME JESUS" who will come again (Acts 1:11). The same Person who left will be the same Person who will return!


What Will His Coming Be Like?

There are two passages that very clearly describe our Lord’s second coming to the earth. They are found in Revelation 19:11-21 and Matthew 24:29-31. What do you learn about the second coming of Jesus Christ as you read these verses? Will He come alone or will others come with Him? What will He do to His enemies? What will He do to the beast and the false prophet? Will people see Him coming (Matthew 24:30)? _______ What Name will Jesus have written on Him (Revelation 19:16)? __________________________________________________
 

A Comparison to the Days of Noah

Jesus once spoke to His disciples and said, "But as the days of N___________ were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37). This means that Jesus was making a comparison. He was comparing the days of Noah with the time of His coming. He was saying, "My coming will be very similar to what happened in the days of Noah.  If you understand what happened in the days of Noah, then you will understand what will happen when I come to earth."

Let’s think about the days of Noah and this will help us to understand our Lord’s second coming to earth:

THE DAYS OF NOAH

THE COMING OF CHRIST

In the days of Noah men were very wicked and God had to judge them (Genesis 6:5-7). In the days before Christ comes men will be very wicked (Matthew 24:12) and God will have to judge the world.
In the days of Noah men made fun of Noah and did not believe that God would really send a flood. In the days before the coming of Christ men will make fun of what the Bible says and will not believe that Christ is coming again (see 2 Peter 3:3-4).
In the days of Noah God waited a LONG TIME before sending judgment. God waited 120 years during which time Noah built the ark (Genesis 6:3). God was very LONGSUFFERING (waiting a long time before getting angry). In the days before Christ comes God will be very LONGSUFFERING (2 Peter 3:9). For the past 2000 years God has been waiting and giving men an opportunity to be saved.
In the days before the flood Enoch was taken to heaven before God judged the world (Genesis 5:24 and see Chapter 3 of these notes). In the days before Christ returns to the earth believers will be taken to heaven before the world is judged (John 14:3;
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
In the days of Noah the wicked people were surprised by the flood. They were eating and drinking and doing other normal things. Suddenly the flood came and destroyed them! Then it was too late (see Matthew 24:36-39). There will be wicked people who will be completely surprised when Christ comes to judge the world. They will be eating and drinking and doing other normal things. Suddenly Christ will come, and then it will be too late!
In the days of Noah the righteous people (Noah and those in the ark) were left on the earth. After the flood those in the ark were still alive and their job was to multiply and repopulate the earth (1 Peter 3:20; Genesis 9:1). In the day when Christ returns the righteous people (the saved people) will be left on the earth. These people will remain on the earth and will become part of Christ’s kingdom (see Matthew 25:34). Their job will be to multiply and repopulate the earth
In the days of Noah the wicked people were taken away (Matthew 24:38-39). This means that they were destroyed by the flood. In the day when Christ returns the wicked people will be taken away (Matthew 24:40-41; Luke 17:34-37). This means that God will judge them and they will be removed from the earth (Matt. 13:41-42).


The Two Comings of Christ

Today we are living between the two comings of Christ. Christ came to earth the first time about 2000 years ago when he was born as a Baby in Bethlehem. Someday Christ will come to this earth for a second time. We call this the second coming of Christ. The first coming is a past event. It has already happened. The Bible says, "Christ Jesus ____________ into the world to save ________________________" (1 Timothy 1:15). He has already done this! "And we know that the ________ of God is (has) __________________" (1 JOHN 5:20). He has come, and the Bible also teaches that He will come again!

The second coming of Christ is a future event. This has not yet happened. This will happen sometime in the future. Does any man know exactly when Christ will come (Matthew 24:36,42)?  ______ There have been many groups of people who have tried to set dates. They have said, "We believe Christ will come in 1918" or "We believe Christ will come in 1988." But all these people have been wrong. God has told us that Christ will come again, but He has not told us WHEN.

Note:  One man, by the name of Edgar Whisenant, actually wrote a paperback book entitled, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be In 1988.  Over 3.2 million copies of the book were originally distributed.  Of course, the date came and the rapture did not occur.  One year later there were some who in jest said that Whisenant should write another book called 89 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be In 1989.   Reason number 89 would then be this:  "Because He didn't come in 1988!"   But in all seriousness, the Bible teaches very clearly that date setting is impossible (Matthew 24:36,42). 

Let’s think about some of the differences between the first and second comings of Christ:

THE FIRST COMING OF CHRIST

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST


The Cross

Christ came to die.


The Crown

Christ will come to rule and reign.

The first coming of Christ is a matter of HISTORY. The second coming of Christ is a matter of PROPHECY.
It has already  happened! God's Word tells us that it will happen!
It took place in the PAST. It will take place in the FUTURE.
Christ HAS COME (1 John 4:2). Christ WILL COME (Acts 1:11).
Christ came to be the SAVIOUR OF SINNERS (Matthew 1:21). Christ will come to be the KING OF _______________ (Revelation 19:16).
Christ came to be man’s SAVIOUR (John 3:17). Christ will come to be man’s JUDGE (Jude 14-15).
Which will it be for you?  If you do not receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then someday you must face Him as your Judge.
Christ came to earth as a newborn baby (Luke 2:7). Christ will come to earth as a conquering Warrior (Revelation 19:11-16).
Christ came with meekness riding on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-5). Christ will come with power riding on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16).
Christ came to bring peace to the human heart (Ephesians 2:13-19; Romans 5:1). Christ will come to bring peace to the entire world (Isaiah 9:6-7; Zechariah 9:10).
When Christ came the first time the government was in the hands of men (Herod the Great, the Romans, etc.) When Christ comes the second time the government will be in His hands and upon His shoulder (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Christ was killed by His enemies (Matthew 27:20-25). Christ will kill His enemies (2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 19:21).
When Christ came the first time He was rejected by the Jewish people (John 1:11). They crucified their Messiah. When Christ comes the second time He will be received by the Jewish people (Zechariah 12:10-11; Romans 11:25-28; Matthew 23:39).

What have you done with the One who came to save you almost 2000 years ago?  (see John 3:18; 3:36)?  He came to save (1 Timothy 1:15).  Has He saved you (Acts 16:30-31)?  Are You  a True Believer?

 

Jesus Will Come Before and After the Tribulation

The Second Coming of Christ is made up of two parts or two phases. In Chapter 3 of these notes we have already studied the rapture (Christ coming for His believers). In this chapter we have been studying the time when Christ will come to the earth to judge the world and to be King of the earth. The first part of the second coming of Christ is called the rapture. Part two of the second coming of Christ takes place about seven years later. We will call this the Lord’s second coming to earth. The following chart will help you to understand this better:

THE RAPTURE

THE SECOND COMING TO EARTH

WHEN?

Before the Tribulation
(Revelation 3:10). The church will be kept out of that hour or time of testing which will come upon the whole world.
After the Tribulation
(Matthew 24:29-30)

HOW QUICKLY?

In a split-second (1 Corinthians 15:52). It will happen before people realize it is happening. Slow enough for people everywhere to realize what is happening (Matthew 24:27; Revelation 1:7)

SIGNS?

There are no signs. The Lord may come for us at any time. There are many signs (things that must happen before Jesus comes). Jesus mentioned some of these signs in Matthew 24:1-28.

The rapture could be compared to Thanksgiving, and the second coming to earth could be compared to Christmas. There are very few signs connected with Thanksgiving.  People do not put up "THANKSGIVING TREES" or decorate their houses with "THANKSGIVING LIGHTS," etc. There are many signs connected with Christmas:  lights, decorations, Christmas trees, Santa, etc.  When you see the signs of Christmas then you know that Christmas must be approaching, but you also know that Thanksgiving must be even sooner!  The signs of Christmas are usually seen even before Thanksgiving. Thus, when we see the signs of the Lord’s second coming to earth, then we know that the rapture must be very soon indeed!

VISIBLE?

The believers will see Christ
(1 John 3:2).
Every person will see Christ
(Revelation 1:7).
When Christ returns to earth, will it be a secret thing that only a few people will know about or will it be a public thing that everyone will know about (Matthew 24:24-27)?  ______________________________________  This will be an event that no one will miss!

WHERE?

"In the A_____"
(1 Thessalonians 4:17). Christ will not come all the way down to the earth.
On the earth
(see Zechariah 14:4 and Acts 1:11).

BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS

Believers will be taken to heaven (like Enoch) and unbelievers will be left on the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Believers will be left on the earth (like Noah) and unbelievers will be taken away in judgment (Luke 17:34-37).

WHY DOES HE COME?

To receive His bride which is THE CHURCH (John 14:3) To receive His kingdom (Luke 19:12)

See our study: Two Distinct Phases of The Second Coming of Christ

 

The Lord's Second Coming to Earth will be Public and Spectacular

In Matthew 24:26 "desert" signifies a remote place. You will not find the true Messiah out there in some remote place. If someone claims that the true Messiah is located in some remote place, donít be deceived. Or, if they claim that He is to be found in secret chambers or in a private room, donít believe them. The Greek term "private room" is also found in Matthew 6:6 where the Lord was recommending private prayer, rather than public prayer for the purpose of being seen by men. The Lordís coming will not be a private affair, known by only a few people. You will not find Him in some secret location. On the contrary, His coming will be a public affair, known by everyone. "Every eye will see Him" (Rev. 1:7). The world will not miss this event. No one will say, "I wonder if the Lord has come back to earth?" It will be clear and obvious to all. His coming will not be obscure in any way.

Matthew 24:27 cements the point further by using the illustration of a huge lightning storm, one that lights up the entire sky. A lightning storm is very public, very dramatic, very noisy, very spectacular, very hard to miss. The whole sky lights up. So also the Lord Jesus will come in power and great glory and there will be no mistaking His return. The whole world will witness this spectacular event.

Good New For Planet Earth!

Planet earth is filled with problems. What are some of the problems that man is facing today? Man is unable to solve these problems. Only God can get man out of the mess that man has made for himself.   There is good news for Planet Earth! The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back! He will take the wrong and make it right! He will take the crooked things and make them straight! He will be able to solve the problems that our world faces. What will the world be like after Christ returns? Will it be different from the world we know today? In the next chapter we will learn about what this world will be like when Christ is ruling on earth as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORD.  A new world is coming!

This same Jesus Christ who can straighten out this world and all its problems is the same Jesus Christ who can straighten out your life and the problems you face. Will you let Him do it? Tomorrow He will rule on the throne of this world. Today will you let Him rule on the throne of your life? Someday the world will be different because Christ will rule there. Today your life can be changed and made different if you let Christ rule in your heart! Someday Jesus Christ is coming to this world. Today why not let Jesus Christ come to your heart and be your Saviour and King?  He wants to come in (see Revelation 3:20). What must you do (Revelation 3:20)? ____________________________________________

* * * * * * *

In his book Discover Yourself in the Psalms, Warren Wiersbe recalls a story told by an evangelist he heard many years ago. It went like this:

In a frontier town, a horse bolted and ran away with a wagon that had a little child in it. Seeing that the child was in danger, a young man risked his life to catch the horse and stop it. The child who was rescued grew up to become a lawless man, and one day he stood before a judge to be sentenced for a serious crime. The prisoner recognized the judge as the man who, years before, had saved his life, so he pled for mercy on the basis of that experience. But the words from the bench silenced all his pleas: "Young man, then I was your savior; today I am your judge, and I must sentence you to be hanged."

Do you see the parallel? Jesus stands before us today as our Savior, the Lamb slain for our sins. But if we do not turn to Him in faith, He will one day stand before us as our righteous Judge. He will say: "On earth I was your Savior, but you would not believe. Here I am your Judge; depart from Me to everlasting punishment. You donít have to face the Lion in the judgment. The Lamb is waiting to save you. Believing on Him today!

In His first coming Christ came as Savior; in His second coming, He will come as judge!


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