|Vol. 14 No. 3 March 2012||
We say, “Nobody loves me.”
God says, “I love you.” John 3:16
We say, “I can’t forgive myself.”
God says, “I will forgive you.” 1 John 1:9
We say, “It’s not worth it.”
God says, “It will be worth it.” Romans 8:28
We say, “I’m not smart enough.”
God says, “I will give you wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 1:30
We say, “I can’t do it.”
God says, “You can do all things.” Philippians 4:13
We say, “I can’t go on.”
God says, “My grace is sufficient.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
We say, “I’m worried and frustrated.”
God says, “Cast your cares on me.” 1 Peter 5:7
We say, “I’m too tired.”
God says, “I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-38
We say, “I am afraid.”
God says, “I have not given you a spirit of fear and timidity.” 2 Timothy 1:7
We say, “It’s impossible.”
God says, “All things are possible.” Luke 18:27
We say, “I can’t figure it out.”
God says, “I will direct your steps.” Proverbs 3:5-6
We say, “I can’t manage.”
God says, “I will supply your needs.” Philippians 4:19
We say, “I feel all alone.”
God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Recently, a lady asked me a question about “the rapture.” I briefly tried to explain that the rapture (as some use the word today) is not a biblical doctrine, but a theory found in the premillennial teachings of men. We also spoke of other pertinent truths related thereto. Unfortunately, Christians often shy away from discussing the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ. This could be due to ignorance of the topic or fear of getting into an argument. Regardless, the subject needs to be taught from a scriptural viewpoint.
Why teach on the subject? Teaching others the doctrine of the Second Coming might deter one from sin. When we read in Scripture that the Lord is coming again “taking vengeance on those… who do not obey the gospel…,” this should cause any right-minded individual to correct the error of his way (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8). It can also comfort believers. This was the purpose of Paul’s explanation in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Should Christians look forward to Jesus’ coming again? Yes! The apostle Paul goes so far as to declare that because the grace of God has appeared, we should be looking for the glorious appearing of our Savior (Titus 2:11-13). The righteous who love His appearing (long for His coming) can anticipate the gift of a crown of righteousness on that day when Jesus comes again (2 Timothy 4:7-8). This should provoke us to prepare to meet our God (cf. Amos 4:12).
What are the facts from Scripture regarding the doctrine of the Second Coming? One fact is that no one (save the Father) knows the day nor the hour when Jesus will come again (Matthew 24:36). So when men today predict dates or suggest that they are seeing “signs” of His coming, they are mistaken. Do not believe them.
In no particular order, the following are some other things we can know from Scripture regarding the Second Coming. He will descend from heaven (Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). All that are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth (John 5:28-29). All means everybody! There will be no secret first second coming as some religionists portray the so-called “rapture.” The righteous who are living when Jesus comes will not precede the dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16). We will meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Again, it will not be a secret. Every eye shall see him (Revelation 1:7). He will come “with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God…” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). He is coming with His mighty angels (2 Thessalonians 1:7).
Jesus has gone to prepare a place for the faithful disciples (John 14:2). So, when He comes again at the end of time, He will deliver up the kingdom or church to God in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:24). When He comes again, He will sit in judgment on the throne of His glory and sentence the wicked to everlasting punishment and reward the righteous with eternal life (Matthew 25:31-46). He will judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1).
Peter teaches that scoffers will question the reality of the Second Coming of our Lord. However, the Lord will keep His promises as He always has. He is coming! That day will come as a thief at the end of time. Because this is true and “all things will be dissolved,” we ought to be living holy and godly lives each day (2 Peter 3:1-13).