Truth For The World

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Chapter 9 - The Second Coming of Christ

People are interested in the second coming of Christ. Every few years someone will come along setting the date for our Lord’s return. In fact, one of the most popular religious subjects in the past twenty-five years has been the teaching that Jesus is going to come back to earth, set up His kingdom, and reign on the earth for one thousand years. This doctrine is called premillennialism. People have made a great deal of money from promoting this doctrine. Tribulation maps, posters, bumper stickers, books and movies have all been produced to promote this doctrine. A host of preachers in the religious world preach this doctrine. At least 90% of the denominational preachers believe this doctrine. There are even some in the church who believe and teach this doctrine. If we were to take a survey in just about any town and asked every person if they believed Christ was going to set up an earthly kingdom, the majority would answer “yes!”

What about this teaching? Can it be proved in the Bible, or is it just the doctrine of men? Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). This people honoreth me with their lips; But their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men (Matthew 15:8-9). If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself (John 7:17).

What does this doctrine include? The first time Jesus came to the earth, He came to establish His kingdom, but since the Jews rejected Him, instead He set up a temporary institution, that is, the church. The New Testament refutes this claim (Ephesians 3:10-11). This doctrine claims the kingdom and the church are not the same. Jesus promised to establish His church (kingdom) (Matthew 16:18-19), and He did that in the first century (Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9). Premillennialism teaches that Christ’s coming is imminent! It says there are many signs before Christ’s coming. It implies that God failed in His first attempt to establish the kingdom talked about in the Old Testament. It teaches that Christ will reign on a literal throne, in a literal temple, in literal Jerusalem.

This doctrine is false! It is not supported by the teachings found in the Bible. In this lesson we will examine the scriptures to see what they teach in regard to the second coming of Christ.

Is Christ Coming Again?

Is Christ coming again? Definitely! And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven. (Acts 1:9-11). And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation (Hebrews 9:27-28). This is now, beloved, the second epistle that I write unto you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by putting you in remembrance; that ye should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles: knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God; by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:1-9).

When Will Christ Come Again?

When will Christ come again? Not one person on this earth knows the answer to this question. No signs will be given for the second coming. But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. It is as when a man, sojourning in another country, having left his house, and given authority to his servants, to each one his work, commanded also the porter to watch. Watch therefore: for ye know not when the lord of the house cometh, whether at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch (Mark 13:32-37). But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).

What Will He Do When He Returns?

First, He will raise the dead. Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29).

Second, He will judge the world (Matthew 25:31-46). The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31). For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works (Revelation 20:12).

Third, He will return the kingdom to the Father. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ’s, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power (1 Corinthians 15:23-24).

Fourth, eternity begins. There will be just one resurrection, not two. Note: The word resurrection is in the singular, not plural. Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29). ...having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust (Acts 24:15).

Fifth, the earth will be destroyed. The heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. The day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. ...looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12).

Conclusion

Christ came to earth almost 2,000 years ago. He is going to come again. Because He is coming again, we are preaching the gospel to a lost and dying world. For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). May each of us prepare to meet the Lord in judgment.

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