The one eschatological doctrine that orthodox Christianity most agrees on is that of the Second Coming of Jesus. The ancient Nicene Creed states, “He will come again in his glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. ..” Likewise, at Audacity Malaysia, we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again as he promised.
The Second Coming also known as the “Second Advent” or by the Greek word “parousia” meaning “presence” is clearly and emphatically asserted in Scripture. It was part of the apostolic message and one of the most widely taught doctrines in the New Testament (Acts 3:19-21, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 10, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 9:28, James 5:7-8, 2 Peter 1:16, 3:12). Jesus himself promises that he will come again (Matthew 24-25, Matthew 26:64, John 14:3).
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”Matthew 24:30, NIV
The Second Coming of Jesus is THE event that will usher in the beginning of the end. When Jesus comes again, he will come in power and great glory. He will judge the nations and will divide the righteous from the wicked (Matthew 25:31-36). At that time, the wicked and all that are corrupt will be destroyed. The Second Coming will also usher in the Millennium, which is the thousand-year reign of Jesus on earth.
Believers who have died in Christ will be resurrected while believers living at the time of the Second Coming will be transformed into their gloried body ( 1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, 1 Thessalonians 4:14). Our physical imperfections will disappear and our everlasting bodies will know no pain, illness or death.
Just as Jesus ascended into heaven, he will descend personally and visibly into the earth (Acts 1:11). His Second Coming will be a sharp contrast to the lowly and humble circumstances of his first coming. He will come on the cloud with great power and great glory accompanied by his angels and heralded by the archangel (Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
When Jesus was born, very few people knew that the Saviour of the world had come. He was born in a lowly stable and laid in a manger of hay. He was rejected and crucified. But when he comes again, there will be no doubt who he is! He will be acknowledged as the “Lord of Lords and King of Kings” (Revelation 17:14).
Although God has set a definite time for the Second Coming, that time has not been revealed to us. It is important to understand that the Bible states clearly that no man knows the day or the hour when the Second Coming will take place (Matthew 24:36). Jesus, however, indicated that his return will be preceded by several signs such as desolation and the darkening of the sun (Matthew 24:21, 29). Yet for many believers, it would be unexpected because the long delay has lulled many into inattention.
The impending Second Coming of Christ is a motivation for us to live in obedience to God. It is also a source of comfort for us because history will not simply run its course. Rather it is marching toward the consummation when God’s purpose will be fully realised. While wickedness may run rampant on earth now, a time is surely coming when evil will be punished and faithfulness will be rewarded.
When parousia finally occurs, it will happen so quickly that there will be no time to prepare (Matthew 25:8-10). As believers, we should watch for and live in anticipation of the sure return of our Lord.
When we are walking faithfully with God, we can look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus with confidence, joy and excitement!
- Erickson, Millard J. Introducing Christian Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Baker Book, 1997).