The Second Coming of Jesus

Is Jesus coming again? Although most people agree that Jesus did live on the earth about 2000 years ago, they do not agree that He is coming again. They believe that He was just a good teacher and we should listen to what He taught. If this is the case, we do need to listen to everything that He taught. His teachings definitely indicate that He is the Son of God and that He is coming to the earth again, and very soon.

Jesus Announced His Own Ministry

Jesus’ first public announcement of His ministry is found in Luke 4:16-20. Jesus had just returned from the desert where He was tempted by Satan. He went into the synagogue inNazareth. It was the custom in these synagogue meetings for one of the men who attended to read from one of the Biblical scrolls.

On this Sabbath, the scroll of Isaiah was handed to Jesus. He opened the scroll to Isaiah 61:1-2 where it says: (NIV) “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.”

However, Luke 4:18-19 (NIV) shows Jesus only read: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

When He finished reading this, He closed the scroll and said: “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21 (NIV)

Notice that Jesus stopped right in the middle of the verse. He left off “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Why did He do this? Why did He leave off this last phrase? Yes, this was one of the prophecies concerning His coming as the Messiah. But this last phrase does not pertain to His first coming, but rather to His second coming. Jesus was telling us that He would be returning to the earth at a later time.

The Second Coming Refers To Two Events

Many people have a problem with the prophecies concerning the second coming of Jesus because they do not distinguish between two separate events. That is, the Rapture and when Jesus comes to rule fromJerusalem. These are two separate events, and they happen a few years apart. Some say 7 years and other say 3 ½ years. Actually, the Bible does not say how many years apart they are.

The Rapture

The word “Rapture” is not in the Bible. However, the concept of “a Rapture” certainly is. The definition of rapture is: “to seize and carry away; a state of great delight or ecstasy.”

I Thess. 4:16-17 (NIV) says: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

Thus, a Rapture is definitely a Biblical concept and an event that all born-again Christians are looking forward to. We are not told exactly when this will happen. However, when we study the books of Daniel and Revelation, we begin to understand that it will be before the worst of the Tribulation Period happens.

When will the Rapture happen? Jesus warns us in Matt. 24 that He will return when people are not looking for Him. In fact, He said that it will be like when Noah entered the ark. Matthew 24:37-38 (NIV): “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

Jesus then added in Matt. 24:40-41 that people will just suddenly disappear from the earth. Born-again Christians will suddenly be taken from the earth and the rest of the people will wonder what happened.

The Second Coming

The Second Coming is a completely different type of event. When Jesus comes the second time to rule fromJerusalem, everyone will see and know what is happening. Jesus explains this in Matthew 24:27 (NIV): “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Jude 1:14-15 (NIV) says: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

This will happen at the end of the Tribulation Period when the antichrist comes with his armies to make war against God’s people, the Jews inJerusalem. Rev. 16:16 (NIV): “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”

Rev. 19:11-21 describes this event. It describes Jesus as coming on a white horse. He was also followed by the armies of heaven. This passage says that the beast (the antichrist) came against Jesus with all of his armies. But the interesting thing is that there is no mention of a war taking place.

Two things happen. First, it says in Rev. 19:20 (NIV): “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

Second, it says in Rev. 19:21 (NIV); “The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”

The phrase “the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse” means that Jesus only spoke the Word and this vast army was destroyed.

The first coming of Jesus brought the gift of salvation to the world. His second coming brings peace to the world.

The 1000 Years of Peace

The Second Coming of Jesus will usher in 1000 years of peace on the earth. Why? Because Jesus will be ruling the whole world fromJerusalem.

Rev. 20:4 (NIV): “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

What Is Your Destiny?

If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be taken up in the Rapture and you will not have to suffer through the Great Tribulation. If you wait until after the Rapture, you will have a second chance. However, you will have to suffer through the Great Tribulation Period. However, if you live through it (and most new Christians will not), you will live to see the great Second Coming of Jesus. Are you ready to take that chance?

 S




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