Category: Last Things, Word: SECOND COMING
April 8, 2016 | by: Kendell Easley, prepared by Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: 52 Words
49. SECOND COMING
They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
DEFINITION: The second coming refers to the personal, visible, bodily victorious return of Jesus Christ to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The New Testament constantly teaches the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Greek term most often used is paraousia (occurring more than 20 times in the New Testament). Jesus Himself used this term in Matthew 24:27,37,39. In the first century paraousia referred to a king’s royal visit. Less frequent are the terms apokalupsis (“revelation,” as in 1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:7) and epiphaneia (“appearing,” as in 1 Tim. 6:14; Titus 2:13). The English terms “Paraousia,” “Apocalypse,” and “Epiphany”—often used in the contest of sermons on Bible prophecy—are obviously derived from the Greek terms.
His return will be personal. The very same Jesus who ascended into heaven will return (Acts 1:11). The closing words of Revelation point to this truth as well: “he who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen” (Rev. 22:2-21). Any teaching that denies continuity between the Jesus who lived in history and the returning Christ is distorting the plain message of the New Testament.
His return will be visible. Some well-meaning interpreters have suggested that the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70 fulfilled the prophecies of the second coming. Our Lord was clearly concerned about these events, for His Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25) is full of specific prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem. This was a divine judgment—tribulation and wrath—but they do not fulfill the promise that “every eye will see him” (Rev. 1:7).
His return will be bodily. Some interpreters have supposed that the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) fulfills the promise of His second coming. But this would surely mean that all the apostles were wrong, because they thought Jesus” return was still in the future (James 5:7-8). Apparently this kind of teaching was prevalent in the first century, for Peter went to great lengths to counteract those scoffers who denied the coming of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:3-9).
His return will be victorious. He will defeat all His enemies (Rev. 19:11-21). He will raise even the wicked dead so that they will be judged (John 5:28-29). He will bestow on His people their final glory (Rom. 8:18-19; Col. 3:4).
Those who are not ready for the second coming will face catastrophe (Matt. 24:36-51), yet no one can know that time until it arrives. In the Epistles, teaching on the second coming was meant to spur Christian people to lives of active service (1 Cor. 15::58). “We wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
REFLECTION: Does the thought of living until Christ’s coming excite or alarm you? What actions should you take to get ready spiritually for His return?
PRAYER: Exalted Lord, I confess to you that I believe you will return in power and glory. I believe you will come back to earth personally, visibly, bodily, and victoriously. Give me grace to live waiting for the blessed hope of your second coming. In Your powerful name, Amen.
Dave Maniquis is a Teaching Elder at Restoration Church. He holds a BA in History from Rutgers University and an MA in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He enjoyed a 23-year career in the U.S. Government, working and traveling extensively in Western and Eastern Europe. He has been a Christian for most of his adult life and has been involved in church planting, overseas as well as here in Port Orange, teaching the Bible and speaking into others’ lives with the Gospel. He is married to Maureen and they have two wonderful sons, Dylan and Evan.