Summary: When the prophets prophesied about Christ’s first coming, they weren’t wrong. Christ Himself and the prophets even prophesied about His second coming. If their first prophecy was right on dot, why not the second? Let us look at it from Biblical and Godly
Opening illustration: A pilot’s flying over a mountainous terrain, and as he’s flying, he looks down to see two vehicles driving down the highway. The first vehicle is a semi-trailer, pulling his load up and down that ol’ highway. The second vehicle is a sports car driven by a guy who’s got better things to do than be stuck behind a semi that can’t always maintain the speed limit up the mountain grades. Well, what the pilot can see that the drivers can’t is that there is no traffic coming the other way. The car could easily pass the truck with no danger. The problem is that neither the truck nor the car driver can see that. They can only see what’s immediately in front of them. They can’t see the big picture.
You see, we only see things from the perspective of the created, not the Creator. We don’t see the big picture. Only God does.
This morning we will be looking into God’s Word to get a godly and biblical perspective of Christ’s second coming (return).
Introduction: About 1/3 of the Bible is prophecy ... Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1800 references appear in the O.T., and seventeen O.T. books give prominence to this theme. Of the 260 chapters in the N.T., there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return--one out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 N.T. books refer to this great event...For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are 8 on Christ’s second coming."
1. Will Christ come?
(a) The Good News
Most people do not believe Jesus Christ will return to earth. Considering that Christians are a minority of inhabitants of the world, this fact is obvious. What is surprising is that in the United States, where the majority of the population professes Christianity, only some six out of 10 believe in the second coming. Those who do believe that Jesus will come again are further divided over whether it will be a literal return. Many think that good people, through the leadership of the church, will bring about a utopian age, making it unnecessary for Jesus to actually come down from heaven. From this perspective, many believe He will return only symbolically. The people of the Islamic faith believe that Christ will return and then become a Muslim, quite absurd. The Jews believe the Messiah has yet to come, so far He has not even come once, thus refuting Christ to be the Lord, God and Messiah. For them deliverance means a physical one. The Hindu scriptures talk about Christ’s death on the tree for salvation of the world, but they just don’t see it. Jesus repeatedly said that no one would know the day nor hour of His second coming (Matthew 24: 36, 50; 25: 13). Of course, that hasn’t prevented many from trying their hand at prediction. Many well-intentioned religious figures have set dates, prophesying Christ’s return at various times over the centuries. Those dates have all passed without the great event taking place. Was the promise of Jesus’ return simply an empty pledge, a vain attempt to foster hope in weak people who need the crutch of the hopeful expectation inherent in the gospel message? Was Jesus merely a great leader who imparted to mankind lofty humanitarian ideals? Or can we believe in the literal return of Jesus Christ?
(b) The plan and prophecies from the beginning
Past Reputation ~
Present-Future Reputation ~
Isaiah prophesied extensively of Christ’s first and second comings. Many of Isaiah’s words do not apply to Christ’s first coming.
Illustration: Out of 453 prophecies about the Coming of Jesus, 196 told about His FIRST Coming. On the day that He was crucified, every one of those 196 prophecies had been fulfilled. If there are 453 prophecies in the Old Testament about the Coming of Jesus and 196 were fulfilled at His first coming that leaves 257 signs left to be fulfilled for His SECOND Coming. The Lord doesn’t want us to be in the dark when it comes to prophecy for these end times. He wants us to be watching. Mt. 25:13 says, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
2. Why will He come?
The answer isn’t mystical or obscure. In fact, it’s quite plain when we just look. The Bible gives the answer, although it’s not popularly accepted. God inspired the prophet Hosea to write: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you . . .” (Hosea 4: 6). Here we see an important principle at work. God cuts off understanding when we cut off our willingness to understand. This is the straightforward message of Hosea 4: 6. God says people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Why do they lack knowledge? Because they have rejected knowledge. The problem isn’t that the knowledge is not available or that it’s unclear; it is that the knowledge is rejected. Jesus Himself said His second coming is certain. After describing the earth-shaking events that will precede His return, He adds: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, 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 His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24: 30-31).