Purpose of this Session
Without doubt the most momentous happening in the end times will be the second coming of Christ. Old Testament prophets and New have prophesied this event, and the Scriptures abound with reference to it.
Jesus Himself laid before the disciples clear signs to look for that would indicate the time of His second advent.
- To see the doctrine of the second coming laid out clearly for us in the Scriptures.
- To recognise the signs and season of His return.
- To be moved by this knowledge to live godly lives in preparation for His imminent return.
Christ’s return is definite and imminent. In this session we will look in detail at what the scriptures say about this, and consider the signs, both positive and negative, that will surround its timing.
The Doctrine of the Lord’s Return
The doctrine of the Lord’s return was passionately held and preached by the early church. During the dark ages, the doctrine faded, as did many of the other dynamic and life changing teachings of the Apostolic age, but in the last century particularly the doctrine of the second coming has made a very prominent resurgence into the consciousness of believers around the globe. There is a sense in which the Church is sensing Christ’s soon coming, and the Holy Spirit is impressing upon the hearts of His people to be aware, and to be ready.
Although several schools of thought exist regarding the order and timing of events surrounding the second coming of Christ, all are agreed on this one thing: Jesus is coming again, and it is sooner now than ever before!
It is wise not to become too hung up on particular schools of thought. Just as the Jewish teachers of Jesus’ day rejected their Messiah because of their set beliefs about how he should present Himself to the world, so we too could easily make the same mistake concerning Christ’s second advent.
The primary doctrine to remember in connection with His return is simple, personal and applicable in any age, “Live right, and be ready”. When Jesus comes, will He find faith in the earth? Or more precisely, will He find faith in you? (Luke 18:8). We may not know the day or the hour, but the godly should certainly know the season and not be caught unaware (Mark 13).
The Second Coming in the Scriptures
The doctrine of the second coming is mentioned about 318 times in the 216 chapters of the New Testament. One in every 25 verses refers to it.
Literally hundreds of Scriptures prophesy and promise the second coming of Christ, many more than even speak of His first coming. All of the prophecies concerning His first coming have been fulfilled in detail. We can be confident that every single Biblical utterance concerning His second coming will also likewise be fulfilled to the very last dot of the i and cross of the t.
Entire chapters are given to the second coming:
· Luke 21
· Mark 13
· 1 Corinthians 15
At least three New Testament writers wrote books concerning it:
· Jude (Jude)
· Revelation (John)
Every single New Testament writer speaks of Christ’s second coming at some time, and there are more references to the coming of Christ than any other New Testament doctrine.
The doctrine of end things, and particularly the second coming, brings consummation to many of the other doctrines that flow through the Bible narrative. It is the fulfilment of all that has gone before, and therefore is a primary teaching of great importance for every student of the Scriptures. We should not be reluctant to engage in study of the subject just because others have held imbalanced and erroneous views, or a falsely held belief that it is somehow more mysterious than any other doctrine. The second coming of Christ is the great hope of the church, and we should have a grasp of what the Scriptures so abundantly declare concerning it.