What I Believe – Lesson 7

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Second Coming of Christ

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

 

Zechariah 14:1–9 ESV “14:1 ¶ Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.

14:2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

14:3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.

14:4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.

14:5 And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

14:6 ¶ On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.

14:7 And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.

14:8 ¶ On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.

14:9 ¶ And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 ESV “4:13 ¶ But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

4:15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

4:16 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. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

 

Acts 1:7–11 ESV “1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

1:9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

1:10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,

1:11 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.””

 

1 Corinthians 15:51–58 ESV “15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

15:54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

15:56 ¶ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

15:58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

 

Apostle Creed

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and was buried. The third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”

 

Article 3—Of the Return of Christ

Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day.

 

Key Words on the Second Coming of Christ

Parousia

Parousia is a Greek word that means an arrival, presence, coming for a visit.  It signifies the coming of a dignitary for a visit.

 

1 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV “so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:15 ESV “For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.”

 

Look at the following passages dealing with paruousia.

 

Matthew 24:3 ESV “¶ As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?””

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV “¶ Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

3952 parousiva parousia {par-oo-see’-ah}  •  from the present participle of 3918; TDNT – 5:858,791; n f •  AV – coming 22, presence 2; 24 •  1) presence 2) the coming, arrival, advent 2a) the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the  dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God[1] 

 

Apocalypse – revelation – to reveal

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,”

 

2 Thessalonians 1:6–7 ESV “1:6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

1:7 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”

 

1 Peter 4:13 ESV “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”

 

Revelation 1:1 ESV “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,”

 

602 apokalupsis {ap-ok-al’-oop-sis}  •  from 601; TDNT – 3:563,405; n f •  AV – revelation 12, be revealed 2, to lighten + 1519 1, manifestation 1, coming 1, appearing 1; 18 •  1) a laying bear, making naked 2) a disclosure of truth, instruction 2a) concerning things before unknown  2b) used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all 3)  manifestation, appearance[2] 

 

Epiphany – to appear

1 Timothy 6:14 ESV “to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

 

2 Timothy 4:1 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:”

 

2 Timothy 4:8 ESV “Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.”

 

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.”

 

Titus 2:13–14 ESV “2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

 

2015 ejpifavneia epiphaneia {ep-if-an’-i-ah}  •  from 2016; TDNT – 9:7,1244; n f •  AV – appearing 5, brightness 1; 6 •  1) an appearing, appearance •  Often used of the glorious manifestation of the gods, and esp. of their advent to help; in the NT the advent of  Christ, — not only that which has already taken place and by which his presence and power appear in the  saving light he has shed upon mankind, but also that illustrious return from heaven to earth to occur in the  future.[3] 

 

Harpazo – Catching away

1 Thessalonians 4:17 ESV “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

 

Caught up is the word used for the Rapture of the Church.

 

726. aJrpa¿zw harpazo, har-pad´-zo; from a derivative of 138; to seize (in various applications): — catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).[4]

 

What do we know about His return

 

Christ said, “I will return” – John 14:3

John 14:3 ESV “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.”

 

Christ will return as He left

Acts 1:6–11 ESV “1:6 ¶ So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

1:9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

1:10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,

1:11 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.””

Imminent – “at hand” James 5:8-9

James 5:8–9 ESV “5:8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

 

Unexpected – no warning

 

Matthew 24:36 ESV “¶ “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

 

Matthew 24:50 ESV “the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know”

Descend from above – 1 Thessalonians 4:16

1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV “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. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

 

Gathering – 2 Thessalonians 2:1

2 Thessalonians 2:1 ESV “¶ Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,”

Blessed Hope – Titus 2:13

Titus 2:13 ESV “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

 

When will Christ return?

 

No one knows the day of His return

No one knows the day or hour the Lord will return, so we must be ready to meet the Lord at any time.

 

Matthew 24:35–42 ESV “24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

24:36 ¶ “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

24:37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

24:38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,

24:39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

24:40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.

24:41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.

24:42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”

Second Coming of Christ includes:

1.       Rapture of the church – Saints will be caught up into glory. – Revelation 4, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

2.       Return with the Saints to establish His kingdom – Revelation 19

 

Three major doctrinal positions on the return of Christ

1.       Pre-tribulation Rapture

Christ comes back to gather the church before the seven years of tribulation.

2.       Mid-tribulation Rapture

Christ comes back to gather the church during the middle of the tribulation period before the last 3 ½ years.

3.       Post-tribulation Rapture

Christ comes back at the end of the tribulation period to gather the church and immediately return to set up His earthly reign.

 

Difference between the Rapture and the Revelation of Jesus Christ

Rapture Passages[5]                                                                 Second Coming Passages

 

John 14:1-3                              2 Thessalonians 2:1               Daniel 2-44-45                        Acts 1:9-11

Romans 8:19                           1 Timothy 6:14                                   Daniel 7:9-14              Acts 3:19-21

1 Corinthians 1:7-8                 2 Timothy 4-1                         Daniel 12:1-3              1 Thessalonians 3:13

1 Corinthians 15:51-53           Titus 2:13                                Zechariah 14:1-15       2 Thessalonians 1:6-10

1 Corinthians 16:22                Hebrews 9:28                         Matthew 13:41                        2 Thessalonians 2:8

Philippians 3:20-21                James 5:7-9                             Matthew 24:15-31       2 Peter 3:1-14

Colossians 3:4                                    1 Peter 1:7,13                           Matthew 26:64                       Jude 14-15

1 Thessalonians 1:10              1 John 2:28-3:2                                    Mark 13:14-27             Revelation 1:7

1 Thessalonians 2:19              Jude 21                                                Mark 14:62                  Revelation 19 11-20:6

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18         Revelation 2:25                                  Luke 21:25-28             Revelation 22:7,12,20

1 Thessalonians 5:9               Revelation 3:10

1 Thessalonians 5:23

 

Rapture

Revelation

Christ comes for His own – John 14:3, 1 Thessalonians. 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1

Christ comes with His own – 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Jude 14; Revelation 19:14

He comes in the air – 1 Thessalonians 4:17

He comes to the earth – Zech 14:4; Acts 1:11

He claims His bride – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

He comes with His bride – Rev 19:6-14

Removal of believers – 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Manifestations of Christ – Mal 4:2

Only His own see Him – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Every eye shall see Him – Revelation 1:7

Tribulation begins – 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9

Millennial kingdom begins – Reve 20:1-7

Saved are delivered from wrath – 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5-9

Unsaved experience the wrath of God – Revelation 6:12-17

No signs precede the rapture – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

Signs precede second coming – Luke 21:11, 15

Focus on Lord and the church – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Focus on Israel and kingdom – Matthew 24:14

World is deceived – 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12

Satan is bound – Revelation 20:1-2[6]

How should we view the Rapture of the Church?

 

  • Time of Hope and Comfort – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
  • Time of Going Home – John 14:1-3
  • Time of waiting stedfastly – James 5:7-9
  • Time of being rescued from the wrath to come – 1Thessalonians 1:9-10

1 Thessalonians 1:9–10 ESV “1:9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

 

Conclusion

Christian should

1.       Live Godly

2 Peter 3:7–14 ESV “3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

3:8 ¶ But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

3:11 ¶ Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,

3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

3:14 ¶ Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.”

 

2.       Don’t Complain

James 5:9 ESV “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

James 5:12 ESV “¶ But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”

 

3.       Watch and Pray

Luke 21:34–36 ESV “21:34 ¶ “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

21:35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

21:36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.””

 

4.       Live Holy – above reproach

1 Timothy 6:14 ESV “to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

 

5.       Live Faithfully 

Titus 2:12–13 ESV “2:12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

 

1 John 2:28 ESV “¶ And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”

[1] Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament,

[2] Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament,

[3] Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament,

[4] Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “paragraph 1.

[5] Hindson, Edward E., When the Trumpet Sounds, Harvest House Publishers, p. 156

[6] Hindson, Edward E., When the Trumpet Sounds, Harvest House Publishers, p. 157

Copyrighted:  Michael K Hudson 2021 All rights reserved.

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