Summary: Second coming images.
"Snapshots of the Second Coming"
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Introduction: I think that it is fairly normal for those of us who are Christians to gradually change our focus as we get older. I have found that to be true in my own life and from my observations of my fellow believers that seems to be the case for them as well. I know this because of the Scriptures that we focus on and the songs and hymns that seem to enjoy. They both become more precious to us with the passage of the years. Squire Parsons singing, "Beulah Land" means a lot more to me today than it did say, 40 years ago and I can almost envision myself "Camping In Canaan Land!"
Bryan Jay writes - "Very often, when we speak of Christ's coming, the emphasis is on the particulars of the event, and we forget the person of the event. What makes the second coming so encouraging to us as believers is that it is JESUS who is coming. If Jesus isn't precious to us...if we fail to see his glory and the desirability of being in his bodily presence, then we will have missed the encouragement that we can receive by remembering that the glorious bridegroom of the church is coming back to earth."
Let's focus on the person of our soon coming Lord Jesus for these next few moments:
I. His coming shall be secret vs 36, 42, 44
Oddly enough the first predictions of the Lord's coming occurred in about 500 AD and happened sporadically for several years afterwards, picking up steam until these announcements became quite regular from the 18 century onward till today! Let me give you just a few examples:
Emanuel Swedenborg - Followed the Last Judgment in 1757, which took place in the spiritual world. This was one of many events recounted in his works resulting from visions of Jesus Christ returned. He tells of almost daily interaction with Christ over the course of almost 30 years. His return is not in the flesh, but in His Holy Spirit. "Neither shall they say see here or see there, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20).
Johanna Southcott - This 64-year-old self-described prophet claimed she was pregnant with the Christ child, and that he would be born on Christmas Day, 1814. She died on the day of her prediction, and an autopsy proved she was not pregnant.:109
1844 October 22 William Miller - The fact that this failed to happen the way people were expecting was later referred to as the Great Disappointment. Some Millerites continued to set dates; others founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Advent Christian Church, which continue to expect a soon Second Coming but no longer set dates for it.