“For in just a very little while He who is coming will come and will not delay”(Hebrews10:37).
We have already studied that about 2000 years ago Jesus came into this world and was crucified, so that he could save us who are doomed to die because of sin. But the great work of God’s redemption is not yet completed. Therefore, Jesus will come again to save and carry with him to heaven all those who believe in Him and follow Him.
Since World War 2 ended with the explosion of the A-bomb, the development of nuclear weapons has made astonishing advances. As a result, many people are facing the future in anxiety. Many politicians, critics and intellectuals are afraid that modern civilization will come to ruin in the near future. Winston Churchill said, If a nuclear war broke out, not only the countries involved but also the whole earth may be destroyed. And Vincent Sen says, The present situation includes the possibility that the extreme disaster, namely the complete termination of all the living things on this planet may come true.
Comparing these sayings with the words prophesied by Jesus over 2000 years ago, we cannot help but be amazed by its correct description.
“Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world“(Luke 21:26).
Jesus told this prophecy to his disciples when they came to him privately and asked, “Tell us when will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age“(Matthew 24:3). What we should take notice of is that the disciples thought the second coming of Jesus and the end of the age would come to pass simultaneously.
What do you think will cause of the end of the age? Will the second coming of Jesus lead to it? nuclear weapons will be used? As is written in Revelation, “The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come… for destroying those who destroy the earth”(Revelation 11:18). We can know God’s hand will destroy those devastators before they destroy the earth. It is certain that the earth should be destroyed by nuclear weapons if the hand of God, the Almighty, were not to intervene.
The world we now live in, having run down he road of sin and degradation, for 6000 years, has at last come to such a state where sin is prevalent everywhere. Hardships of life, illness, disbelief, hatred, racial prejudice and ideological strife make it impossible for human beings to have a day of peace. The only thing they can find in this modern world is cruelty, massacre and internal feuds.
A long time ago, God made a plan that He would send Jesus Christ, his only Son again to this world and after destroying the world in which sin is prevalent by fire, He would rebuild His nation filled with his righteous people. Peter, the apostle recorded this “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty”(2 Peter 1:16).
In other words the second coming of Jesus is not invented by men at their will but originates from the revelation of God. All the stories in the Bible are filled with nothing but God’s revelations. However, the most important is the story about the second coming of Jesus, our Savior and the end of the world. Oscar Lory, the author of The second coming of Jesus wrote in his book The Second coming of Jesus is recorded more than three hundred times in the New Testament. From Matthew to Revelation, one verse out of twenty-five refers, on an average, to it. Throughout the Old and New Testament, it is prophesied directly more than 3000 times and indirectly more than 1000 times. What the Bible says about salvation once, it says about the second coming of Jesus twice and about the first coming of Jesus once. If we judge the importance of a dogmatic theology depending on its frequency, the second coming of Jesus ranks among the most important and not less important than salvation of mankind. It is the most significant event in the history. So it is no wonder that considering the importance of it, records about the second coming take up the greater part of the Bible.
One more important fact about the doctrine of the second coming is that it reveals our God. We can be assured that His covenant will be fulfilled without fail. The first coming of Jesus, prophesied more than 300 times throughout the Old Testament, most of which have already been fulfilled but some of the prophecies that should occur during His second coming have yet to be fulfilled.
In order to know why Jesus will come again, we have to look into what will happen at the time of his second coming.
1. Being set free from all illness
“Say to those with fearful hearts
Your God will come to save you
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
Then will the lame leap like a deer
And the mute tongues shout for joy”(Isaiah 35:4-6).
“No one living in Zion will say I am ill and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven”(Isaiah 33:24).
“But our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body”(Philippians 3:20-21).
On the day when Jesus, Our Savior, will come again, the disabled person will be given unimpaired body and the sick a healthy body. Our bodies, vulnerable to sickness will be transformed into glorious bodies that will never be sick. Can there be anything more wonderful and more mysterious than this?
2. Resurrection of the dead
“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”(1 Thessalonians 4:16).
On the day of His second coming, the door of the tombs will be opened and those who have been asleep in faith in Jesus will come alive. Those mothers who have lamented their children’s death will be able to embrace their lost children again and those lovers whose death has separated them for a long time will be rejoiced in reunion.
“Then we will sing a victorious song over death and shout Where, O death, is your sting?”(1 Corinthians 15:55).
We have overcome many difficulties in an effort to solve the problem of death but we will be able to overcome death forever when Jesus comes again. This is a profound mystery beyond our understanding. “Listen, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will be changed- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. Then the end will come. The last enemy to be destroyed is death”(1 Corinthians 15:51, 52, 24, 26).
3. Being raised to Heaven
“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“(1 Thessalonians 4:17).
This is the fulfillment of the promise given by Jesus to his disciples when he stayed on the earth. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms if it were not for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am“(John 14:1-3).
Even though this age is the age of artificial satellites and spacecrafts, by which human beings have already conquered the moon and are said to explore Mars and other stars, this scientific technology cannot fulfill such a promise as that made by Jesus.
4. Receiving the due reward
“Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done”(Revelation 22:12).
This is the word of Jesus, our Lord. The apostle Paul also said, “Now there is in store 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 longed for his appearing”(2 Timothy 4:8).
But not all people will be rewarded. Matthew wrote about this, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him; he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats… Then he will say to those on his left Depart from me, you who are cursed… into the eternal fire”(Matthew 25:31-41).
The good will be received in heaven and will have the joy of being crowned with the laurel wreath of righteousness, while the evil will have to experience grief. Enoch explained the reason as follows “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”(Jude 1:14, 15).
The word, ungodly refers to those who do not respect and have no faith in God. It only results in the dreadful trial to have no faith that is to deny and to despise belief in God. “As it is written in the Bible, A man reaps what he sows”(Galatians 6:7). The evil man is caught in his own trap of sin and is destroyed by it.
As has been mentioned above, the second coming of Jesus will turn out to be a grand event unprecedented in the history of this world. It will not be an abstract or illusionary event.
The apostle John recorded; “Look he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him“(Revelation 1:7). And Jesus said; “See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms.’ do not believe it. For as lightening that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man“(Matthew 24:25-27). Therefore the second coming of Jesus our Savior will not be in any secret place, but in public; so that all men on the earth can see it. When Jesus ascended to heaven, the angel said to the disciples, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven“(Acts 1:11). Truly Jesus will come in glory in the clouds for everyone to see it.
“All the nations will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory“(Matthew 24:30).
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of 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”(Thessalonians 4:16-17).
At that time, the saved will say to the Lord with joy Surely this is our God; we trusted in him and he saved us. “This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation”(Isaiah 25:9). But those who did not trust in Jesus and did not look forward to His second coming will mourn in grief.
“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and rocks, fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”(Revelation 6:15-17).
We have learned that Jesus will come with a command and with the voice of a trumpet so that all men can see him coming. But we should not forget that he will come all of a sudden and at an hour we do not expect him. He told us to remember, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:44)
The apostle Paul recorded, “while people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly as labor pains on a pregnant woman and they will not escape”(1 Thessalonians 5:3).
What should we do in order to face this day without any fear? As was mentioned before, we should live in faith. He who is waiting should confess his sins and should do all his duties and responsibilities. After that, he should eagerly anticipate Christ to come like the apostle John when he said, “Come, Lord Jesus!”(Revelation 22:22).