What is the Second Coming of Christ?
The second coming of Jesus is when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will return to earth in fulfilment of His promises. Jesus Christ Himself promised, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3.
Jesus also said, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30.
The book of Revelation proclaims the following about the second coming, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.” Revelation 19:11-12.
Those who witnessed Christ’s ascension into heaven after his death and resurrection heard the angels declare in Acts 1:9-11, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.”
The second coming is the literal return of Jesus Christ to Earth as King in power and glory to take His faithful children home. The return of Christ will also be in “like manner” as He was seen ascending into the heavens, that is, every eye will see Him which is also confirmed in the following verse.
Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
The second coming of Jesus will not only be inescapably visible by all but it will also be spectacular and tremendously noisy.
Matthew 24:27-31 “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
At the second coming, Jesus will descend with a SHOUT and with the voice of an archangel and with the TRUMP of God. No one can possibly miss this glorious event.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “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: 17 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.”
Many of the Old Testament prophets did not seem to completely understand this distinction between the two comings of Jesus (His birth and His return) as seen in Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7 and Zechariah 14:4-7. Those who argue that Jesus is not the Messiah because they claim that He did not fulfil all the Old Testament prophecies fail to take into account the return of Christ in which He will fulfil all the prophecies about the Messiah. Christ’s first coming was to stand in our place and bear the penalty for our sins while the second coming of Christ will conquer sin for all eternity.
The second coming of Christ should also not be confused with a fictional event referred to as the rapture. The term rapture does not appear or exist anywhere in the Bible. Are you ready for this bombshell? The theory of a secret rapture is Jesuit manufactured doctrine as a result of the Protestant reformation. See futurists and futurism for comprehensive detail. Those unfortunate enough to have been deceived by this false doctrine believe that there will be a time when Jesus Christ will first come secretly to remove all believers from the earth, which they base on (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54) while those left behind will have to endure a supposed seven year tribulation period of which there is no such scripture stating seven years of tribulation to be found anywhere in the Bible. It just does not exist! The Church holds many positions on the so called secret rapture, but the second coming is undisputed. This is the event when Jesus Christ returns to the earth with all His Holy angels to take all those that are His home. At this point, the earth is totally destroyed and meets with “sudden destruction.”
2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
Those that believe in a secret rapture teach that things continue on until the second coming of Christ, but this is not possible or true as shown in the above verse. They often quote Jesus coming as a “thief in the night” as meaning that He comes secretly. Is that what 2 Peter 3:10 shows? Does Jesus coming as a thief mean He comes secretly or that He comes when you least expect Him if you are not ready? Is the “heavens passing away with a great noise and the elements melting with fervent heat” sound secret to you? Rarely do those teaching this false doctrine read on or quote the next chapter of Thessalonians where Paul also explains what happens after the return of Christ. Note first the following verse.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “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: 17 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…”
So what did Paul say would happen next?
1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 “…For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
As you can see, the story does not change in this passage that is used to support this fictional secret rapture. The same phrase of a “thief in the night” is used in which those who are not ready for their Saviour will meet with “sudden destruction … and they shall not escape.”
Every single thief scripture ends in destruction or is during an unequivocal catastrophic event. The following thief passage occurs while God is pouring out the final plagues upon the earth.
Revelation 16:15-17 “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. 17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.”
Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 “…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” This promise for Jesus to be with the Church until the end of the world would then have no meaning if He intended to come seven years before the end to take them out of the world, would it?
Matthew 24, 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 are the same event
The following tables demonstrate very well that all three passages in the Bible that are referring to the second coming of Christ are precisely that. God never intended for His Word to be cryptic or some mountain of confusion where one or more passages are supposedly referring to the second coming and others to some supposed fictional secret rapture.
By comparing point by point in the following two passages, we can observe that both of the following two chapters are referring to the same event. Observe the perfect parallels below.
|1 Thessalonians 4||1 Corinthians 15|
|4:16 - the Lord Himself shall come||15:23 - are Christ’s at His coming|
|4:14 - sleep||15:51 - sleep|
|4:16 - shout, voice, trump||15:52 - the trumpet shall sound|
|4:16 - dead in Christ shall rise first||15:52 - dead shall be raised|
Now compare Matthew 24 with the above events using 1 Thessalonians since some erroneously teach that Matthew 24 is talking about the glorious second coming of Jesus, which they teach is a different event to the above chapters which they say refers to a secret rapture.
|1 Thessalonians 4 and 5||Matthew 24|
|4:15 - coming (Parousia)||24:27 - coming (Parousia)|
|4:17 - clouds||24:30 - clouds|
|4:16 - shout, voice trump||24:31 - sound of a trumpet|
|4:17 - caught up together||24:31 - gather together|
|5:1 - times and seasons||24:36 - day or hour|
|5:2 - a thief||24:43 - a thief|
|5:3 - sudden destruction||24:39 - took them all away|
|5:6 - watch||24:42 - watch|
As you can see, not only are these the same event and so parallel each other perfectly but are even in the same order. There are not two different aspects of the return of Jesus. There is only one second coming and the theory of a secret rapture with a second chance is just another deception of the enemy.
|Matthew 24||1 Thessalonians 4||1 Corinthians 15|
|Jesus coming||Jesus coming||At His coming|
|Angels gather saints||Dead saints raised||Dead saints raised|
|Angels gather saints||Living saints caught up||Living saints changed|
|Coming in the clouds||Coming in the clouds||Not mentioned|
Why is the Second Coming important?
Belief in the return of Christ is important because it is exactly and clearly what the Word of God teaches. To doubt the reality of the second coming of Christ is to doubt the reliability and validity of God’s Word. Also, the return of Christ is important because He Himself promised it. If Jesus is wrong about His return, then how can we trust anything else that Jesus taught? The return of Christ is our hope and confidence that God is in control of all things and is faithful to His Word and His promises. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13.
When is the Second Coming?
Perhaps no event in the history of the world has been more anticipated than the second coming of Christ. Virtually every generation of believers, including the believers in the New Testament, have strongly believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 says, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” Some are even erroneously afraid that they have missed the return of Christ and there are others who doubt that the second coming will ever occur, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4. Therefore we must avoid these two extremes: 1) Believing that the return of Jesus has already occurred, and 2) Believing that the return of Jesus will never occur.
Many theologians and Bible teachers have calculated when they figured the second coming of Jesus would be and every single one has been incorrect. The Bible declares, “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:36. And 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 says, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”
The Bible describes several events which must occur before the second coming (Matthew 24:4-29; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and Revelation chapters 6-18). We are to be ready and anticipate the return of Jesus and to have a Biblical understanding of it, but we are not to set dates and times. We are to live our lives as if it could happen any day and at any moment lest we be caught out not ready and our shame is seen as we are found naked. This means do not be caught out living in sin and to be ready ALL the time as we know not the day or hour of which our Lord and Saviour will return. Revelation 16:15 says, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Are you ready for the return of Christ?
For more information on the second coming of Jesus and the heresies and origins of the fictional secret rapture and the alleged seven years of tribulation, we recommend reading the secret rapture as this gives extensive detail and also who is the real antichrist which is related.
Watch Prophecy Seminars online
If you have a good internet connection and would like to watch Prophecy Seminars that reveals who the little horn of Daniel 7 and the Beast of Revelation 13 is that changed the Sabbath to Sunday, you will find Revelation Reveals the Antichrist very enlightening. You may want to start about 17.5 minutes in to bypass singing items etc. You can also watch Revelation’s Rapture for more truth about the so called secret rapture. To watch more from this and other Prophecy Seminars you will find the menus here. Be prepared to discover many lost Bible truths.