Summary: Today's message is from our End Times series and talks about the Second Coming of Christ

End Times Doctrine

Second Coming of Christ

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Outside the doctrine of the Rapture, which is actually the first event in the return of Christ, it is this very doctrine, “The Second Coming of Christ,” that has historically been one that is near and dear to hearts of believers.

More than that, it is part of most Protestant and Evangelical churches’ statement of faith, like Foursquare, which our church, Living Waters Fellowship, is a part of. So important is this doctrine that it comprises the fourth square in the foursquare logo revealing how vital it truly is. The fourth square is the symbol of a crown, which represents Christ as the soon coming king, and in Foursquare’s statement of faith it says, “We believe that the second coming of Christ is personal and imminent.”

This same doctrine was also part of the early church’s statements of faith found in both the Nicene and the Apostle’s Creed.

Maybe this is why Satan has been trying to bring confusion surrounding it through the coming of false Christ’s, false prophecies, false teachings, and false dates, which is probably why they are false.

Some people spend their entire lives trying to find out everything they can about the end times and the second coming of Christ. They’ve got charts and graphs. They can tell you who the two witnesses will be, who the Antichrist is and where he lives, and what the menu’s going to be at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Just kidding, but I’m sure Angel Food Cake will be served).

And the reason it is so beloved and studied is because there’s nothing in this world that gives hope to an exhausted heart like the return of Christ. There’s nothing that stirs the soul like knowing that one day we’ll be with Jesus!

There are a lot of places in the Bible that speaks about Jesus’s return, but I think Paul’s statement to the Thessalonian Church helps explain it the best. Paul is saying that he wants us to understand the importance of this event. Actually, he says he doesn’t want us to be ignorant about it, but I was trying to putting a positive spin to his admonition.

Paul is responding to a misunderstanding that had caused a lot of grief to the church in Thessalonica. Paul had taught that Jesus was coming again to gather His people, that is, the church, in order to be with Him forever.

But after some time had past, and Jesus not returning as soon as they hoped, a few of them started to die. And so they mourned wondering what was going to happen to their loved ones who had died. Were they going to miss the Second Coming?

Paul must have felt heartbroken. So, he wrote in order to bring them comfort. So let’s take a moment and read what the Apostle Paul wrote concerning this most precious promise.

So, as I have asked you to turn in your Bibles to 1 Thessalonians 4, let’s read verses 13-14.

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NKJV)

After Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection, the disciples, and over 500 people saw Jesus ascend into heaven in bodily form and heard what the angelic messengers said.

“Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11 NIV)

This was then heaven’s statement of faith, which is still to be realized. It was this hope that sustained them through the many trials they faced, as it should sustain us today.

Now, to have a second coming, there must have been a first. What were these two and the purpose?

Two Comings

The Bible speaks of the two comings of the Messiah. The first time He comes will be as a suffering servant to die for the sins of the people, which is seen in Isaiah 53.

“For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.” (Isaiah 53:8b NKJV)

We can also see this same outcome concerning the coming Messiah in God’s prophecy of 70 weeks found in the book of Daniel.

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.” (Daniel 9:26 NKJV)

And then the Bible talks about the Messiah’s return to this earth as a conquering king as found in the book of Revelation.

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True … and His name is called The Word of God … And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16 NKJV)

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