Stephen Whitsett BA
Second Coming Apologetic
In actuality Christ spoke very little of his “coming again”
in the Gospels. The only verse that speaks of his “coming again” is in John 14.2 but this not about his coming and setting up kingdom on earth.
In the Old Testament or in Jewish understanding there was no understanding or concept of a King in the line of David coming a second time. Yet when we examine Old Testament prophecies and what was fulfilled in Christ first coming we are left with what was not fulfilled.
It was not until the angel promised he would come again in Acts 1 and then Paul and John furthered revealed the mysteries that we come to understand as His “Second Coming” and in Hebrews 9:28 it’s called a Second Appearing.
“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
Paul used two technical terms about the nature of his coming the first was
Parousia, the royal visit of a king after being absent. The second was “Epiphaneia” in describing the glorious display of his appearing and or coming. John echoes this visible coming in I John 3
we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but
we know that when he appears
we shall be like him, because
we shall see him
as he is.”
When we discuss his Second Coming there are several things involved, who, what, when, where, how, and why.
We understand it is Christ HIMSELF who comes. I Thess 4
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
He appears, and “what” happens,”
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” I Thess 2.8- also he kills the “beast” at His coming.
We know “when” he returns it will be to Jerusalem, Zechariah 14.4 “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east,”.
How he comes is in the same manner in which we saw him go, Acts 1.11
“and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Why he comes is to bring judgment on the beast (Rev 19.19 To resurrect those who have died in Christ, change those who are alive, and to gather them to himself.
Generally, people learn a system of Eschatology and then try to decipher scriptures into fitting the system. True scholarship gathers the facts then piece together from a collection of facts the big picture emerges. I Thess 2.8-9 becomes a very significant piece in the puzzle.
“then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth”.
When we break this down several truths emerge. The first being at Christ Coming the “lawless one” which scriptures reveal IS the Beast or “antichrist” (I Thess 2.911 is exposed for what he is. BY acts of satan with signs and wonders and the beast being wounded yet healed comes to dominate power by claiming to be “God” and so fools even the very elect. Many will believe this is the Christ who comes again and so buy into the system, yet when Christ comes in a glorious display of heavenly glory and power the “beast” is exposed for what he is, the false Christ. The idea is when a person is in the room and claims to be so and so and then the real so and so shows up; the fake is automatically exposed as the fake as no one can be the “real” but the real.
What follows then is by the command of Christ who comes to judge, the beast and the false prophet are thrown ALIVE in to the lake of fire (Rev 19.20 thus ending the “tribulation” and the system of the beast. All of what the “beast” has created comes to a halt.
(In Preterism if Nero is the beast the Roman system continued for 300 years more or so, persecution did not end in 70 AD, and no beast or false prophet were thrown alive into the lake of fire in 70 AD)
Revelation 19.14 describes the army who follows after. “And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.” Revelation 7.13 tells us these are those who came out of the tribulation as representing all who are in Christ return with Him. Zech 14 adds this statement, “Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.”
– I Thess 4.14 – God brings with Him those who have died-. What pictures emerges is that when Christ returns he does three things so that this army of saints -holy ones - are with him at his return. Those who have died are raised back to life, they stand again, (Rev 20.4- I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded (physically dead) for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, …. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. How does one come to life after being beheaded? Their “corpse walks again”.(I Thess 4.13-18; I Cor 15.50-53)
Then those who are alive do not die but are physically changed, the Greek word is actually the word for “clothed” to be clothed or to put on clothes, thus Paul is conveying the idea the body is not done away with but something new is put on. In this case I Corinthians 15 tells us the THIS “mortal” (subject to death) BODY, not some other body, but the one that he presently has is transformed into immortal, (deathlessness) unable to die AND from Perishable, meaning growing old and wasting away like rotting fruit to one that does not suffer the aging process or breaking down due to old age, or grows older. This is keeping consistent with the change his own body experienced. Then Paul even promised that we would have a “glorious” body like Christ (Phil 3.21 and that our body would be redeemed from the curse. (Rom 8.23) This becomes the hope for which we were saved.
What we understand is that Christ comes to rule the nations with a rod of Iron from Jerusalem, the place to which we are gathered. Zechariah 14 tells us his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives on the Great Day of His return.
“9And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.”
And so begins the Millennium reign of Christ.
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Eschatology