What is the second coming of Christ?

by Matt Slick

The second coming of Christ is a term used in reference to the future return of Jesus. Approximately 2000 years ago Jesus, who is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9), became man. This is considered his first appearance. His second appearance is repeatedly referenced in the New Testament in different ways. There are different terms used to describe this event:  Advent, Imminence, Parousia, Revelation of Christ.

  • Matthew 24:30, "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory."
  • Matthew 25:31, "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne."
  • John 14:3, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
  • Acts 1:11, "They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.'"
  • 1 Corinthians 15:23, "But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming."
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1, "Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him."
  • Revelation 1:7, "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen."

There are other verses that use different phrases and expressions to describe the return of Christ.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:7, "so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."
  • 2 Timothy 4:8, "in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."
  • Titus 2:13, "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

What happens at the second coming of Christ?

There are differences of opinion on some of the events associated with the return of Jesus. For example, some people say the rapture (our being caught up together to meet Christ in the air) will happen when Christ returns. Others, however, say the rapture will occur seven years prior to his return. Some say that at the second coming of Christ there is the judgment in the new heavens and new earth where others say this does not happen for another thousand years. Nevertheless, following are some Scriptures that describe some of the events that are supposed to happen at or near the return of Christ.

  • Everyone will see him return
    • Revelation 1:7, "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen."
  • Resurrection 
    • 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming."
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:14, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus."
  • Voice of the Archangel
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."
  • Last Trumpet
    •  1 Corinthians 15:51-53, "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
  • Rapture (this one is debatable as to when it occurs, with Christ's return or seven years before it)
    •  1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."
  • Arrival of Antichrist
    •  2 Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God."
  • Judgment
    • Matt. 16:27, “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS."
    • Matthew 25:31-33, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left."

The second coming of Christ is clearly foretold in Scripture. It will be an incredible event. For the believers, for those who have trusted in Christ, it will be a glorious day. But for those who have not trusted in Christ and have rejected him, they will experience judgment and condemnation.

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison