Summary: While our country is fascinated with how the world may end, there hasn’t been much emphasis on the second coming of Jesus. The disciples didn’t doubt if Jesus was coming back – they just didn’t know when it would happen. We’ll look at some “signs” of Hi
Will Jesus Come Again?
Rev. Brian Bill
This past Tuesday night Beth had a meeting here at church. As the girls and I watched her get ready, we noticed that she was leaving with two wonderful desserts. When we couldn’t get her to give us some before she left, we pleaded with her to bring some home after the meeting. She promised that she would.
As the night went on, the girls repeatedly asked me just one question, “Dad, when’s mom coming home?” When it got dark, the questions crescendoed. I told them I wasn’t sure of the exact time but I knew she was going to come. At about 8:30, the troops were getting restless so we went outside to wait for her. No one had shoes on and some of us were in our pajamas (you can tell that I was in charge that night!).
At first we sat on the front porch and just waited. But then, the girls started doing cartwheels in the grass. Eventually, one of them got out her pogo stick and we all tried jumping on it. The girls really laughed when I attempted to hop around. The later it got, the more distracted we became. We were so focused on just being goofy that we stopped asking about mom. Megan got tired so I put her to bed (that way I could eat her portion of the dessert). About 9:20, Beth rolled into the driveway. She was startled to see us outside in our pajamas and we were glad to finally get our dessert.
The second coming of Jesus is a bit like this. We know He’s coming but we don’t know when. While many of us are filled with expectation, several of us are distracted by other things, and some of us have just fallen asleep.
Before we jump into this topic, I want to make some preliminary comments.
1. I’m just going to scratch the surface. This is a huge subject matter that deserves a more in-depth treatment than I can give it this morning. One scholar has estimated that there are over 2,000 references to the second coming of Jesus in the Bible. For every prophecy concerning the first coming of Christ, there are eight that look forward to His second! (Today in the Word, April 1989, page 27).
2. There are differences of opinion among Bible-believing evangelicals. The theology of the end times has been debated and argued down through the centuries. My own understanding of this doctrine has not been without some struggle. When we come to terms with what we believe the Bible to teach, we must be gracious towards those who have a different view.
3. Having said that, the second coming of Christ is a very important doctrine. As we strive to understand this key part of theology, we’ll discover that it has some relevant ramifications to our lives today.
I want to ask and answer three questions this morning:
• Will Jesus come again?
• When is He coming?
• What difference does it make?
Will Jesus Come Again?
Let’s begin by looking at the first question: Will Jesus come again? According to a recent survey in U.S. News and World Report, 61% of Americans believe in the Second Coming of Christ. A Newsweek poll reports that 45% believe that Christ will return in their lifetime. Even though theologians differ over the details of His return, there is widespread agreement that He is coming back.
The Bible is clear that the return of Christ is certain. John 14:3: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” After His Resurrection, Jesus appeared to people for 40 days. After giving some final instructions, He was transported to Heaven before their very eyes. Two angels then appeared and said in Acts 1:11, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand 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.”
The early Christians were convinced that Jesus was going to return. In fact, they thought it was going to happen in their lifetime. From the first century up to now, Christ followers have always believed that Jesus could return at any time.
That’s exactly how the doctrinal statement of Pontiac Bible Church reads, “We believe in the literal, personal, imminent, pre-tribulation, and pre-millennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ…” Literal means that He’s actually coming back. Personal means that it will be Jesus Himself. Imminent means it could happen before we take our next breath. Pre-tribulation refers to the belief that Jesus will remove true Christians from the world before the terrible time of tribulation, which will last 7 years. Pre-millennial means that Jesus will return to the earth with believers at the end of the tribulation period and set up a thousand-year reign.