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Second coming of Jesus Christ

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Jesus Christ will return visibly and in glory at the end of history to raise the dead, judge the world, destroy all evil and opposition to God and consummate his kingdom. Believers are encouraged to be prepared for his return, waiting with eagerness and joy.

Notes & Transcripts

The second coming is foretold

In the OT

Daniel 7:13–14 ESV
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
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By Jesus Christ

Matthew 24:30 ESV
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
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By the angels at Jesus Christ’s ascension

Acts 1:11 ESV
and said, “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.”

By the apostles

Philippians 3:20 ESV
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
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NT terms for the second coming

“Parousia”

Meaning literally “presence” or “coming”, the term was used in the NT world of a royal visit:

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“Apocalypsis”

Meaning literally “unveiling”, “apocalypsis” suggests that the second coming will make visible that which is already true of Jesus Christ but presently hidden from human sight:

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“Epiphaneia”

Meaning literally “appearing” or “manifestation”, the term suggests coming out into view from a hidden background:

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Events that will precede the second coming

The universal preaching of the gospel

Matthew 24:14 ESV
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
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The persecution of believers

Matthew 24:9 ESV
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
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Apostasy, nominal religion and godlessness

1 Timothy 4:1 ESV
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
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The revelation of the antichrist

The antichrist is a name given to the one who will lead opposition to God’s kingdom. It appears to refer to an individual but may denote a corporate movement.
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The appearance of false Christs and false prophets

Matthew 24:24 ESV
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
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Wars and rumours of wars

Matthew 24:6–7 ESV
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Famines and earthquakes

Matthew 24:7–8 ESV
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

Cosmic changes

Matthew 24:29 ESV
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

The timing of the second coming

At God’s appointed time

Acts 3:20–21 ESV
that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
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Unexpectedly

1 Thessalonians 5:1–2 ESV
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
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After a delay

Part of a parable concerning the coming of Jesus Christ who is represented by the bridegroom.
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Imminently

Matthew 24:30–34 ESV
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
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The manner of the second coming

Jesus Christ’s personal return

Acts 1:11 ESV
and said, “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.”
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A visible and glorious return

Revelation 1:7 ESV
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
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With the sound of a trumpet

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With angels

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The purpose of the second coming

To raise the dead

1 Corinthians 15:22–23 ESV
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
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To judge all people

Psalm 96:13 ESV
before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
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To restore and renew all things

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To judge the wicked

2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 ESV
and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is 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. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
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To separate the wicked from the righteous

Matthew 25:31–32 ESV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
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To destroy all evil and opposition to God’s kingdom

2 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
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To reward believers

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To gather the church together

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To bring final salvation

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To transform the saints into his likeness

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To end the present age

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Reactions at Jesus Christ’s second coming

all peoples will mourn; His people will marvel.

Present implications of the second coming for believers

They must always be watchful and ready

Matthew 24:42–44 ESV
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
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They must be faithful stewards

Matthew 25:14–30 ESV
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

They must eagerly expect his coming

1 Corinthians 1:7 ESV
so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
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They must endure suffering with patient endurance

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They must wait patiently

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It is an incentive to holiness

1 John 3:2–3 ESV
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
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It is an incentive to mission

2 Timothy 4:1–2 ESV
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
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