The Second Coming of Christ

The Doctrine of Christ - Lesson # 13

Joel Stephen Williams

 

    I. Terminology

       A. Second coming - Jn. 14:3; Heb. 9:28

       B. The first coming was Christ's incarnate life in the first century, thus, the second coming refers to his expected return at the consummation of all things.

       C. parousia - "presence" or "coming" - 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8; and elsewhere

       D. "our blessed hope" - Tit. 2:13

  II. The purpose of Christ's second coming

       A. The consummation of the kingdom of God inaugurated at the first advent and ministry of Jesus - 1 Cor. 15:23-25

            1.  The second coming of Jesus is described as an "unveiling," "revelation," or "manifestation" which means that Christ is not an absentee landlord during the present (1 Pet. 1:7, 13). He is alive and reigning as king right now, but in an unseen way for the human, physical eye.

            2.  The second coming means the "close of the age," that is, the consummation of Christ's reign in this present age - Mt. 13:39, 40, 49; 24:3; 28:20.

            3.  How is this different from the teaching of deism?

       B. To initiate the general resurrection of the dead - 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:23, 51-53

       C. To inaugurate the final judgment of all mankind - Jn. 5:28-29; Mt. 25:31-46

       D. To lead the redeemed home to heaven - 1 Thess. 4:17; Jn. 14:1-3

III. The manner of his coming

       A. The certainty of it - 2 Pet. 3:1-14

       B. The date - Mt. 24:36, 44

            1.  Discuss the problem of date setters through history, e.g. Charles Taze Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses, 1874, 1914.

            2.  Because the date is unknown, Christ's return will be sudden and unexpected (for most people) - Mt. 24:37-51.

       C. Victorious, in power, glory, and judgment - 2 Thess. 1:7-8; 2:8; Tit. 2:13

       D. Visible - Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7

       E. A singular event, not two distinct events as in premillennialism, that is, a secret rapture and a later public appearing.

IV. Significance of the second coming

       A. What effect ought this expected event have on our spirits? - Tit. 2:13

       B. What are our duties during the interim as we wait for our Lord to return?

            1.  Watch - Mt. 24:42-44

            2.  Preparation - Mt. 25:1-13

            3.  Prayer - 1 Cor. 16:22; Rev. 22:20

            4.  Holy and godly living - 2 Pet. 3:11-13

            5.  Proclamation of the gospel which people still have a chance to believe

       C. Memory verse - Tit. 2:13

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