End Times - Putting the Pieces in Place
Chapter 7: The Coming of Jesus
Revelation 1:7 (NKJV) Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Jesus promised that He will come again for us (John 14:2-3). The first time that Jesus came, He was born as a child in Bethlehem (Mat. 2:1). After He died the death we deserved on a cross, He was raised from the dead and returned to the Father (1 Cor. 15:3-4; Jn. 14:28). Jesus’ first coming was as a servant to die for mankind (Isa 52:13-15; 53:1-12; Phil. 2:5-8; Rom. 5:8). When He comes again, it will be as King and Judge (Jer 23:5-6; Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 19:11-16).
Sometimes, people call this return (as King and Judge) the second coming of Jesus. However, there is some confusion about what that term means. Some people use second coming to refer to the promised coming of Jesus when He gathers the Church (i.e., the Rapture). However, others use second coming to refer to the time when Jesus begins to reign on earth from Jerusalem during the Millennium. Apparently, they reason that this is when He actually comes to earth while the passages referring to the Rapture do not show Jesus coming all the way to the earth. (This is a questionable conclusion since Jesus comes to earth to wage war with the Beast and his armies during the Wrath of God at least five months before He begins His millennial reign, see Rev. 14:1; Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 20:1-4.)
Some definitions of the second coming are obviously inaccurate. For example, according to The Random House College Dictionary (Revised Edition, 1980, p. 1188), Second Coming is defined as, "the coming of Christ on Judgment Day. Also called Second Advent." The Judgment Day is defined as, "the day of the Last Judgment; doomsday." From these definitions, the second coming of Jesus would take place at the Great White Throne Judgment. That would place Jesus’ second coming after the Millennium. This is not an acceptable definition since the Bible clearly shows that Jesus comes back long before the Great White Throne Judgment.
Since the term second coming is not used in the Bible, there is no authoritative definition to clarify what this term means. However, since the Bible does say Jesus will come at the Rapture of the Church and this will technically be the second time He comes, it is probably more accurate to use the term second coming when referring to the coming of Jesus for His people. This will also be the time when he comes in judgment against the Beast and his followers (2 Thes. 1:6-10). However, to avoid potential confusion, I will refrain from using second coming in this book when referring to end-time events.
Scripturally, the coming of Jesus precipitates several events. First, non-Christians will see Jesus and will mourn because of the coming punishment (Mat. 24:29-30; Rev. 6:12-17). Next, Jesus will gather His people from all the earth (Mat. 24:31; 1 Thes. 4:13-17). Finally, Jesus will bring an end to the reign of the Beast and a beginning of punishment upon the Beast and those who worship him (2 Thes. 1:6-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:9-11; 14:14-20). This punishment is called the Wrath of God in the Bible.
The coming of Jesus takes place immediately after the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:21,29-30). This means that the Rapture will also take place immediately after the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:31). The coming of Jesus also takes place before the Wrath of God (Rev. 14:14-20).
When Jesus comes, He will bring God’s judgment (i.e., wrath) on the people as in the days of Noah (Mat. 24:36-39). When the flood waters came, all who were outside Noah’s ark died (Gen. 7:21-23). Once the ark door was closed, all opportunity for salvation was lost to those outside. When Jesus comes, all opportunity for the salvation of those who do not belong to Him will be lost (Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9, 11).
The Coming of Jesus refers to the time when Jesus comes to gather His people and begin the Wrath of God (Mat. 24:30-31; Rev. 14:14-20; 1 Thes. 4:15-17, 2 Thes. 1:6-10).
Significance of the Coming of Jesus:
The coming of Jesus is very significant in that it marks the end of suffering for Christians during the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:29-31; 2 Thes. 1:6-10). It also marks the end of mortal life for all Christians (1 Cor. 15:50-52). For the Beast and non-Christians, the coming of Jesus marks the end of their reign on earth and the beginning of the judgment poured out on them during the Wrath of God (2 Thes. 2:8; Rev. 14:17-20).
Source of the Coming of Jesus:
Jesus is the One who comes.
Length of the Coming of Jesus:
The exact length of the coming of Jesus is not given in Scripture. However, it appears to occur in a very short time, possibly less than a second (1 Cor 15:51-52). The results of His coming will last for eternity.
Events Prior to the Coming of Jesus:
The coming of Jesus (and the Rapture) will not occur until after there is a major falling away of believers (see Mat. 24:12; 1 Tim. 4:1-3) and the Beast is revealed (2 Thes. 2:1-4). The Beast is revealed for who he is when he establishes the Abomination of Desolation. Therefore, the Coming of Jesus will not occur until sometime after the Abomination of Desolation is established. Scriptures demonstrate that the coming of Jesus occurs after the 3½ year Great Tribulation and before the Wrath of God (see beginning of this chapter, the Chronological Relationships chapter.).
Events of the Coming of Jesus:
Christians will be raptured and the Wrath of God will begin when Jesus comes (Mat. 24:30-31; Rev. 14:14-20; 2 Thes. 1:6-10).
God During the Coming of Jesus:
Jesus will be very active as He returns to gather His Church and punish the Beast and those who followed the Beast (Mat. 24:29-31; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21).
Christians During the Coming of Jesus:
Christians are removed from the earth and taken to Heaven (i.e., before the throne, Rev. 7:9-17; Mat. 24:29-31). There will be 144,000 people sealed to protect them from the plagues of God’s Wrath (Rev. 7:1-8). It appears that the 144,000 participate in the outpouring of God’s wrath against the Beast and his followers (Rev. 14:1-4; Rev. 19:14-15).
Satan During the Coming of Jesus:
Scripture does not indicate what Satan is doing during the coming of Jesus.
Beast During the Coming of Jesus:
Scripture does not indicate what the Beast is doing during the coming of Jesus. The coming of Jesus marks the beginning of God’s judgment on the Beast (2 Thes. 1:6-9; 2:8; Rev. 14:7-11; Rev. 19:11-21).
Non-Christians During the Coming of Jesus:
When Jesus comes back to gather the Christians, His return will be as visible as the lightning that lights up the entire sky (Mat. 24:27). The non-Christians will see Jesus and great fear will come upon them. They will seek to hide from the anger of the Lord (Mat. 24: 30; Rev. 6:15-17).
Events Following the Coming of Jesus:
When Jesus comes, 144,000 people of God are sealed to protect them from the Wrath of God (Rev. 7:1-8). Christians are removed from the earth and appear before God’s throne in Heaven (Mat. 24:30-31; Rev. 7:9-17). After these events, the seven plagues of the Wrath of God are poured out on the Beast and those people who were not removed from the earth (i.e., the non-Christians) (Rev. 8:1 through 11:19).
Scripture references for Coming of Jesus:
Mat. 24:12, 23-31; Mat. 13:36-43; Mat. 13:47-50; Mat. 16:27; Mat. 24:36-51; Mat. 25:13, 31; Mat. 26:64; Mark 13:21-27; Mark 13:32-33; Mark 14:62; Luke 9:25; Luke 17:22-37; Luke 21:25-28; Luke 21:34-35; Jn. 14:2-3, 18, 28; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 8:11, 23; 1 Cor. 1:7; 1 Cor. 15:23, 50-56; Col. 3:4; 1 Thes. 1:9-10; 1 Thes. 3:13; 1 Thes. 4:13-17; 1 Thes. 5:1-9, 23; 2 Thes. 1:6-10; 2 Thes. 2:1-4, 8; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; Heb. 9:28; Jas. 5:4; 1 Pet. 5:4; 2 Pet 1:16; 2 Pet 3:4, 7, 10-13; 1 Jn. 2:28; Jude 14-15; Rev. 1:7; Rev. 3:3, 11; Rev. 6:12-17; Rev. 14:9-11, 14-20; Rev. 16:15; Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 22:12, 20; Job 19:25; Isa. 27:12-13; Dan. 12:1-3; Joel 3:13-16; Zech. 14:4-5
Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. NKJV indicates quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. KJV indicates quotations taken from the King James Version of the Bible. Numbers associated with Greek (italic) or Hebrew (upright) words refer to the corresponding words in the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D.
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God bless you.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Sonny Bowman.