Jesus is Coming Soon!
Rev. 22:12, 20
The Second Coming of Christ is given a great deal of importance in the bible and the study of it will enable us to be prepared for that great event. There are many more prophecies in the Old Testament relating to the Second Coming of Christ than there are relating to His first coming. The Second Coming of Christ is explicitly referred to 1,845 times in the Bible. It has been computed that 318 verses in New Testament refer to His return which is equal to approximately once in every twenty-five verses! 23 out of 27 books in the New Testament refer to this great and glorious event. To some this event could be a SHOCKING reality; to those who don’t follow Christ, it may be a SAD reality; to the saved it will be a SWEET reality, but to all it will be SURE reality.
The Promise of the Second Coming
- Jesus promised about His second coming – “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3)
- The Angels predicted the second coming – After Jesus had ascended to heaven, the angels said in Acts 1:11, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’
- The Apostles preached about the second coming – Paul says, ‘For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God (1 Thess. 4:16; I Cor. 15:51). Apostles James, John and Peter explicitly taught Jesus is coming again (Jas. 5: 7; I Jn. 3: 2; 2 Pet. 1: 16).
The Purpose of the Second Coming
- To fulfill His promise and the prophecies. Jesus is coming back to fulfill the promises he had made (Rev. 22:12, 20; John 14:3). There are hundreds of prophecies both in the old Testament and the New testament concerning the second advent of Jesus. Jesus is coming back to fulfill them all.
- To raise all the dead and translate the living. Jesus shall raise all the dead. The dead in Christ shall rise first followed by others (I Thess. 4:16; 1 Cor.15:51-52).
- To reward God’s people. Jesus will come in the glory of His father with His angels, and then reward everyone according to his works (Matt. 16:27; Rev. 22:12).
- To execute righteous judgment on the wicked. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 says, ` The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.’ (cf. Jude 14, 15)
- To establish his kingdom on the earth and to reign forever. Jesus will rule the earth as the King of kings. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall never end (Dan. 7:14; Rev. 19:11, 16).
The Period of the Second Coming
Jesus said, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). The point He is making is that it is foolish to try and set dates concerning the Lord’s return. No one knows the time when the Lord will return. There is no point in speculating about it. He will come like a thief (I Thess. 5:2). But the Bible describes several events which must occur before the Second Coming. The signs tell us that his coming is imminent. The first century Christians greeted each other saying, “Maranatha,” or “Come, O Lord (I Cor. 16:22). If the first century Christians lived in such an eager anticipation of His return, how much more we need to be! For in just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay (Heb. 10:37).
The PREPARATION for the Second Coming
The early church thought more about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ than about death or about heaven. The early Christians were not looking for a cleft in the ground called a grave but for a cleavage in the sky called Glory. They were watching not for the undertaker but for the upper taker. The saints of God have lived with an eager expectation of Christ’s return. How can we also live in the light of His coming? Here are some practical ways for preparing ourselves for His glorious coming.
- PURIFY Yourself
The Bible stresses the importance of holiness in awaiting Christ’s return. I John 3:2,3 says, `Abide in Him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming…Everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.’ The Lord who comes is holy and pure. Without holiness, no one can see God (Heb. 12:14). The world is becoming more and more filthy and wicked (Matt. 24:12). But God expects his people to be more and more holy (Rev. 22:11, 12). God has given his provisions for us to live a holy life. The blood of Jesus (I John 1:7), the Word of God (Ps. 119:9; John 17:17) and the Spirit of God (II Thess. 2:13) are the means by which we can be made holy. We must strive to be holy in our contemplations, actions, reactions and interactions (Phil. 1:10-11; I Thess. 3:13; 5:23; I Tim. 6:14; II Peter 3:10-12).
- PRAY with Watchfulness
Another strongest emphasis in the Bible in regard to second coming of Jesus is the importance of being watchful. Jesus said, `Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man’ (Luke 21:36). The world is busier than ever. Even though we have a lot of gadgets to do things faster, we don’t have much spare time. The victim is always the prayer time. The enemy keeps devising new strategies to lull us to sleep by telling us that we have plenty of time. Jesus, in Mark 13: 32-37 repeated says that we need to be watchful. He reinforces the importance of watchfulness in the parable of ten virgins (Matt. 25: 1-13). The more time we spend with Him, the more alert we will be spiritually. Paul in the context of his teaching on Christ’s return says that we should be praying without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17). Apostle Peter says, `the end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray’ (I Pet. 4:7). Someone said, `Pray when you feel like praying, pray when you don’t feel like praying and pray until you feel like praying.’
- Proclaim the Gospel
Paul tells Timothy, ‘In view of Christ’s appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word’ (II Tim. 4:2). This injunction to Timothy applies to all of us. We are not only to purify ourselves and pray, we are also called to proclaim the gospel. The Lord wants everyone to be evangelized (I Pet. 3:9). Jesus said, ‘the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world and then the end will come’ (Matt. 24:12). Do not be ashamed to share the gospel (Rom. 1:16). Paul says, `Woe to me if I don’t preach the gospel’ (I Cor. 9:16). Jesus said, `Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my father in heaven’ (Matt. 10:32, 33). Moreover the Lord has given all of us tasks to perform and talents to use, and He expects us to faithfully do it until He returns (Matt. 25:14-30).
Are you ready for His coming? If Jesus were to return today, would He find you faithfully serving Him and carrying out His will in the world? Or, would He find you skating around the edges, holding hands with the world? Would He find you inactive in the church? Would He find you doing His will or doing as you will? I challenge you to look at yourself and your walk with the Lord in the light of His coming. Do you want Him to come while you are living the life you are living right now?