Doctrine of  Christ and His Return

Lesson 3

The Second Coming of Christ is a major doctrine of both the Old and New Testaments, and all orthodox creeds include the fact of His second coming as a part of essential doctrine. There is a lot of scriptures here, so just work through them slowly. Grab a note pad and take notes as you go.

The Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

In the New Testament, there are many prophecies concerning the Second Coming and the rapture of the church. The rapture of the church is the occasion when Christ will come to take the church, living and dead, out of the earth to heaven. About twenty passages deal with the subject of the Second Coming in the New Testament. They serve to emphasize that this is a major doctrine of Scripture:

Matt. 19:28; 23:39; 24:3-25:46
Mark 13:24-37
Luke 12:35-48; 17:22-37; 18:8; 21:25-28
Acts 1:10-11; 15:16-18
Rom. 11:25-27
1 Cor. 11:26
2 Thess. 1:7-10
2 Peter 3:3-4
Jude 14-15;
Rev. 1:7-8; 2:25-28; 16:15; 19:11-21; 22:20

Second Coming

When we refer to the Second Coming of Christ we are referring to when Jesus Christ will return to earth for the second time in fulfillment of the promises that He made, and the prophecies made about Him. The Second Coming is important because Jesus Himself promised it. If Jesus was wrong about the Second Coming, how can we trust anything else He taught? The Second Coming of Christ is our hope and confidence that God is in control of all things and is faithful to His Word and His promises.

Jesus Himself promised. Mat 24:25-36

Those who witnessed Christ’s ascension into heaven after his death and resurrection heard the angels declare that when Christ returns, Christ will come personally and bodily when he returns to the earth, which was prophesied. Acts 1:9-11

The Second Coming is a future major divine event fulfilling the revelation of John Rev 19:11-16 

Jesus coming revealed in the scriptures

Mat 26:64  “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Luke 21:27  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
1 Th 3:13  May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
2 Th 2:8  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
Rev 1:7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
Rev 22:7  “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”
Rev 22:12  “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.

Eschatology: Theologically speaking, the term eschatology refers to “the study of final things” in the Bible. It concerns both personal eschatological issues such as death and the intermediate state as well as themes with a more general or corporate focus. The latter would include such ideas as the return of Christ, resurrection, judgment, tribulation, the millennial kingdom, and the eternal state.

The church is charged to both live our lives in the light of eternity and to look forward to Christs return as what is called or referred to as the believer blessed hope. The belief in the Second Coming of Christ is vital because to doubt the truth of the Second Coming is to doubt the reliability and validity of God’s Word.

The blessed hope

John 14:1-3
1 Cor 15:51-53
1 Th 5:23
1 Tim 6:14
2 Tim 4:1
2 Tim 4:8
Titus 2:13
Heb 9:28
James 5:7-8
1 Pet 1:7
1 Pet 1:13
1 John 2:28
Rev 3:11

The preparation for Christ’s coming

The bible teaches that we should live our lives in the light of eternity, that this life is just temporal and a test for eternity. Heb 9:27

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, we are instructed to grow up and become fruitful and mature in our Christian walk. Heb 6:1-2

Living in the light of eternity must not be driven by fear but because of the love that God has for us. 1 John 4:17-19

God’s judgments and standards are always according to His Word not according to the good works or the charisma we may have. Mat 7:22-24

We cannot just idly believe everything will work out well for the believer when we stand before God, we have to live a purposeful life according to God’s plans and purposes for our lives. 1 Cor 1:7, Phil 3:20-21, Col 3:4

The signs of the times: Mat 24:6-8

The judgement of the believer

Unlike our modern technology in sports with our digital and photo finishes in the Ancient Olympics we get this concept of a Bema Seat, where a judge would sit on the Bema Seat at the finish line. The judge’s purpose was to determine what position the runners came and then to give out the appropriate rewards. That is the imagery behind what is known as the Bema Seat. Also known as the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Bema Seat is described in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

The Bema Seat judgment does not determine salvation. Rather, it is when believers must give an account of their lives to Christ. It is very important to not confuse the Bema Seat with the Great White Throne judgment.

At the Bema Seat Christ will not be judging our sins, but rather rewarding us according to our faithfulness as stewards ad managers of his resources. Yes, we will surely have to give an account of our lives. Rom 14:10-12 

Our attitude and aim should be that of Paul: 2 Tim 4:7-8

Possible judgments for the believer

The Great Commission: Mat 28:18-20
The Great Commandment: Mat 22:36 -39
How we treat others: Mat 10:41-42, Mat 25:34-36, Heb 6:10
How we exercise our authority over others: Heb 13:17, 1 Pet 4:10-11
How we use our money: 1 Tim 6:17-19
How we spend our time: Psa 90:12, Eph 5:15-16
How much we suffered for Jesus: Mat 5:11-12
How we run our particular race God has chosen for us: 1 Cor 9:24-25, Phil 2:14-16
How faithful we are to the Word of God and the flock of God: Acts 20:28, 2 Tim 4:1-3
For the words we have spoken: Mat 12:36-37 

The judgement of the unbeliever

The great truth for the unbeliever is in understand although they will be judged according to their sin, it is not their sin that will send them to a lost eternity it is unbelief in Jesus Christ John 3:16-21
This great truth is really what defines the significance and importance of the power of the Gospel and determines the final judgement for the believer and unbeliever. Rev 20:11-16

The most significant passages dealing with Christ’s return

1 Th 4:13-17 It says

  1. The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout
  2. The dead in Christ will rise first
  3. Then those who are alive shall be caught up to meet him
  4. We will meet the Lord in the air
  5. We will then be with him forever

An interesting note is that we are going to meet Christ in the air

  • The bible speaks about three heavens or atmospheres. The first heaven where we dwell it refers to our atmosphere that goes to about mountain high
  • The second heaven is where the bible describes the demonic rule is in the air, in high places, Satan is the prince of the air.
  • The third heaven is where Paul was transported to and is the heaven where God dwells
  • 1 Thes 4:17 says that we will meet Christ in the second air, atmosphere, heaven right in the devil’s domain. What an incredible victory statement of the church meeting Christ victoriously in the devil’s domain. This will mark the end of his reign. Mat 24:27
  • When Christ comes it is going to be a visible, tangible coming just as the lightning comes from the sky down to he earth so will his return be. Acts 1:9-11
  • Just as he ascended so he will descend at his coming.

Jesus reveals his return in the Parables

Mat 24:37              End Times
Mat 25:1                The ten virgins
Mat 25:14             The talents
Mark 13:32           The watchful servant

The time of his coming unknown

We are to live every day in the light of eternity like Jesus could come tomorrow, but plan for everything like he might not come in our life time. Mat 24:37-42

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.