2001-07-13 - The Second Coming
Basic Christian Beliefs Series, Part 5
Some people are confident it will happen any day; others think it's a long time in the future. But one thing all believers can agree on: One day, Christ will return to Earth, to judge every human being and to bring ultimate justice to the world. As early as 180 years after Christ's birth, the Apostles' Creed formally stated that Christ "sitteth on the right hand of God the Father, from whence He shall judge the quick and the dead."
There are some things we do not know about the Second Coming. For example, Christ makes it clear we don't know exactly when it will occur:
Matthew 24:35-36 (NASB) Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
So what can we be sure of, regarding Christ's Second Coming?
We know that we should be ready:
Matthew 24:42-44 (NASB) Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
We know that it will be a time of judgement, with Christ as our Final Judge:
John 5:22-23 (NASB) For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
We know that it will be a time of victory for Christ and righteousness:
1 Corinthians 15:20-27a (NASB) But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.
We know that we will receive brand-new bodies:
1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (NASB) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
And we know that it will be the beginning of a new world, as superior to this one as our new bodies will be. Those of us whom God has saved will be living forever with God in pure joy and love:
Rev. 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.''