BF-02 - The Second Coming of Christ
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BE FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH
Be faithful unto death, in view of the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If there
is one thing in Scripture that ought to motivate, challenge, and compel us to live faithfully
to Jesus every moment, it is the Second Coming of Christ. The fact that Christ one day is
going to return and deliver us to the Father ought to motivate us to never ever give up on
Christianity. This lesson deals with what the New Testament has to say regarding the Sec-
ond Coming of Christ. It will show us that Christ’s return, according to New Testament
teaching, is inevitable. We may not be sure exactly when it will occur, but it will be an awe-
some event. It is going to happen, but we do not know exactly at what time because God
has not revealed that to us. However, some awesome events will occur at the Second Com-
ing of Christ, and knowing that ought to motivate us to live faithfully before Jesus each and
every day. What does the New Testament teach about the return of our Lord and Savior
We must realize that the Scriptures do teach that Christ is coming again. His coming is
inevitable. It is one thing that definitely is going to happen. So many passages teach this.
In John 14:1-3 Jesus said to His disciples,
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s
house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to My-
self; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Jesus promised the faithful that if they live true to Him, He will come again and receive them
to the Father. In Acts 1 we find one of the clearest passages about the Second Coming of
Christ. In Acts 1:9-11 the context is where Jesus is about to return to the Father, but before
He does He gives His disciples some last-moment instructions and encouragement about
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up,
and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly
toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This
same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like man-
ner as you saw Him go into heaven.’ ”
Here is the promise. His disciples saw Jesus descend into Heaven. And the angels stand-
ing nearby said that that same Jesus would one day return to receive His own. Paul said in
Philippians 3:20-21, “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the
Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed
to His glorious body.” We are patiently waiting because one day Jesus is going to come.
The Thessalonians changed their lives in view of the Second Coming of Christ. They turned
from idols to God in order to serve the true and living God, and to wait for Christ’s return
from Heaven. Do you remember the promise of 1 Thessalonians 4:16? One day Jesus is
going to return with the shout of the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. The
dead in Christ will rise first, and then those of us who are alive will be caught up together
with him in the air and shall always be with the Lord. It is a fact that one day Christ is go-
ing to come. Someone might ask, “Where does the Bible say that the Second Coming is
coming to happen? I’ve heard people speculate that one day the Lord is going to come
again. But some of them say that the Scriptures never say anything about the Second Com-
ing.” Oh, but it does! Notice Hebrews 9:28, which specifically mentions it. “So Christ was
offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear
a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Christ came the first time to deal with sin,
and to offer Himself as a sacrifice. But He will appear a second time (there’s the Second
Coming) apart from sin. But what for? For salvation—just as 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and
John 14:1-3 indicate. He is coming to redeem to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24) those who are
in the kingdom and those who have been faithful. So yes, Christ is coming again. The Sec-
ond Coming is clearly taught in Scripture. John said in 1 John 3:1-2 that we need to real-
ize the great love that God has showered upon us. But one day we will be changed when
the Lord Himself returns again. There is so much evidence for the Second Coming. Why
deny it? The Bible clearly teaches that it is going to happen. Understanding that will moti-
vate and challenge us every day to live for Jesus in view of the Second Coming.
Since the Second Coming is going to happen, what do we know about the time of Christ’s
return? Can we know exactly to the day, hour, or minute? What does the Bible say? There
were some in New Testament times who thought that Jesus’ return would be immediate.
Much of 1 and 2 Thessalonians deals with that. Some thought that Christ would be coming
at any time, so they gave up their jobs and were sitting around waiting for Christ to return.
Paul told them to get back to work and live their lives because no one knows when Christ
will return since He will return “as a thief in the night.” Some thought that it might be a
thousand years before He returned. Some thought it might be two thousand years. William
Miller, a Seventh Day Adventist, said in 1833 that Christ would return in 1843. But when
Christ did not return in that year, Miller changed his mind and said that it would be in 1844.
We all know, of course, that didn’t happen either. Charles Russell, a Jehovah’s Witness
leader, said in 1914 that Christ would come in 1919. Finally he decided that Christ had
come, but only a few people saw Him. But that is not what the Bible teaches. Every eye will
see Christ, and every knee will bow (Phil. 2:10), and all who are in the graves will come
forth (John 5:28-29). So as we look at history, a lot of people have tried to predict when
Christ will return.
But what does the Bible say about the time when Christ will return. Here is what is clearly
taught. It is impossible to get around this. The truth is that no one except God Himself
knows when Christ will return. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no
one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” What can we know re-
garding the Second Coming? It is going to happen, but no one knows when. Jesus said,
“Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father on-
ly.” If Christ said that God is the only one Who knows, how dare we try to predict when
Christ will return! No one knows. What will it be like when Christ does return? In 1 Thes-
salonians 5:2 Paul said that the coming of Christ would be like a thief in the night. What
does such an image relate to our minds? Do you know when a thief will come to rob you?
Absolutely not! If you knew, you would be sitting there waiting for him. A thief comes when
nobody knows it and when it is least expected. That’s the idea behind Christ’s return. No-
body will know when He is going to come back. So be sure that, when you hear prophe-
cies about His return (like we heard around the year 2000), anytime anyone says that
Christ will appear on such-and-such a date, you can tell that person that he is a false teach-
er and that you are not going to listen to Him because the Bible says that no one knows
when Christ is going to return. Someone might ask, “Why didn’t God tell us?” We may
not know those reasons, but I believe that one of the main reasons God did not tell us is
because a lot of people would live their lives like they wanted to right up to that moment,
and then they would try to get right. God wants us to life faithfully before Him all the time,
and to always be ready for Christ’s return. This “keeps us on our toes” so that we can live
for Jesus every day.
What will Christ’s Second Coming be like? What will happen? What kinds of events will un-
fold? How can this encourage us? We know that Christ’s coming will be with great power
and authority. In Matthew 25:31 it is seen as a powerful event. Judgment will be meted
out. Men and women will fall down before God. When Christ returns, it will be personal.
It is not just for “the world.” It is personal—and meant for each one of us. In 1 Thessalo-
nians 4 we learn that all those who are in the graves will come forth. In John 14 Jesus
said that He was going to prepare a place for us. It is a personal event. It will not happen
just to “the world,” but will happen to each one of us. It will be an unannounced event. In
1 Thessalonians 5:2 we see that it will be like a thief in the night. We will not know when
it is going to happen. But a trumpet will sound, the voice of an archangel will be heard,
and it will not be something that we know before it happens. It will be audible. We will hear
it. In John 5:28-29 Jesus said that all who are in the grave will come forth, and everyone
will hear the voice of the archangel. This will be something that we not only will see, but
also hear. It also will be something that is visible. According to Acts 1:11, it will be some-
thing that we can see. “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will
so come in like manner.” So not only will we hear it, but we will see the return of Jesus in
Here are some events that will take place at Christ’s Second Coming. The resurrection will
happen in conjunction with the Second Coming of Christ. Notice again the words of John
5:28-29. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in
the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrec-
tion of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” Upon Je-
sus’ return, men and women who have died will arise from their graves. Some will rise to
eternal life, and some will rise to eternal condemnation. This also is taught in 1 Thessalon-
ians 4:17 where Paul discussed the Second Coming when he wrote, “Then we who are
alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in
the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” In view of the Second Coming, we also
know that the resurrection will happen as well.
What else will happen in conjunction with the Second Coming? The Judgment also will
occur. In 2 Timothy 4:1-2 Paul wrote, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord
Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all
longsuffering and teaching.” When Christ comes, He will mete out judgment to the living
and those who have died and who will come forth out of their graves. At Christ’s Second
Coming, you have people being raised and you have the Judgment occurring.
Another thing that will occur is that God’s vengeance will be meted out to those who have
not lived faithfully before Christ in this life. In 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 we see things that
will be occurring in conjunction with Christ’s return.
“And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from
heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not
know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from
the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be
admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”
The picture is that Jesus is coming. How will He be coming? It will be in flaming fire in or-
der to take vengeance on two types of people—those who do not know God, and those
who have not obeyed the Gospel. These people will be punished with everlasting de-
struction. They will suffer the fires of Hell at that point. Vengeance will be meted out when
Christ returns. Men and women will be judged by the Word of God. In John 12:48 Jesus
said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—
the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” In the Judgment scene in
Revelation 20, the books were opened and the dead, great and small, stood before God.
Each one was judged by the things written in the book. This is how it will be when Christ
returns. Men and women will be judged based on how they have lived their lives according
to the Bible. At that moment, God will mete out vengeance and eternal punishment for
those who have done evil. But He will glorify those who have done right.
What else will occur at the Second Coming? We also know that every knee is going to bow,
and every tongue is going to confess that Jesus is God’s Son. At that moment in time, all
the critics will disappear. All atheists will be no more. All agnostics will no longer doubt. Ev-
ery person, at that moment, will be convinced that Jesus is the Son of God, and will bow
and confess that truth to the Father. In Philippians 2:9-11 Paul wrote,
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above ev-
ery name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of
those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The picture is that when Christ returns, all people are going to know that He is God’s Son
and that God’s plan was correct. Every person will bow, and every tongue will confess that
Christ is the Son of God.
Also, in conjunction with that, the kingdom is going to be delivered to the Father. In 1 Co-
rinthians 15:24 we are taught that when Christ comes, He will deliver the kingdom to the
Father. What is the kingdom? The kingdom is the church (Mt. 16:19). The kingdom is pres-
ently here. From Mark 9:1 and Colossians 1:13 we learn that there were people in the king-
dom in the first century. The kingdom is the church. What will happen when Christ re-
turns? Those who are in the kingdom are those who will live with the Father. Do you see the
importance of being in the church and of making sure that we are living faithfully in the
kingdom? The righteous will be changed at Christ’s return. In Philippians 3:20-21 we are
taught that “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His
glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to
Himself.” Do I understand all of that? Absolutely not! But here is what I do know. My body
will no longer be corruptible, and my body will no longer be mortal, but will be changed
into immortality. Also at this time, the righteous will be given a victor’s crown. Paul said
in 2 Timothy 4:7-8,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there
is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will
give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appear-
There is one final event that will occur in conjunction with the Second Coming of Christ.
The world, and all that is in it, will be destroyed. In 2 Peter 3:9-12 we read,
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuf-
fering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repen-
tance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will
pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the
earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will
be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens
will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”
The world in which we live right now will cease to exist. When Christ returns, when God
metes out His judgment, when the dead are raised, and when all who are faithful meet God
in the air, Christ will destroy this world. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night,
in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with a
fervent heat. Knowing that ought to motivate us. But it also ought to show us something
else. There are some who teach that a one-thousand year reign of Christ will come after
His return. But if the world and everything in it is going to be burned up at His Second Com-
ing, where will that reign take place? Such teaching is contradictory. In the Book of Rev-
elation people go to passages that are figurative in an attempt to bring out a thousand-year
reign, the Rapture, and such things. But God never intended for such things to be taught
in those passages. He is teaching us in that context that Christians will rule and reign with
Christ in Heaven. We will occupy a place of hope and comfort. But this world will not be a
place where Christ is reigning. At the coming of Christ, the world will be burned up. There
is no doubt that Peter’s comments show with great force that this will take place.
If this Earth, and all that is on it, will be burned up with a fervent heat at Christ’s return,
why would we want to put our hope in this world? What good will it do us if we have the
biggest house on the block, the fanciest car, and the nicest clothes—but when Christ re-
turns, all those things will be burned up? What will those things matter? The point is that
they won’t. So, let’s not put our hope in this world. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24ff. that where
our heart is, that is where our treasure will also be. According to Christ’s statements, our
treasure needs to be putting the kingdom first (Mt. 6:33).
In view of all this, what should our conduct be? What should motivate us? How does the
teaching about the Second Coming challenge us to live every day for Jesus? Here is what
it ought to do. It ought to encourage us to wait patiently for His return. We “eagerly wait”
(Phil. 3:20). In James 5:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:7 we are told to wait for the Lord Jesus. Just
like those Christians in Thessalonica, we have turned from sin to God, and now are wait-
ing for the return of Christ. This ought to cause us to patiently endure—never giving up.
We must wait faithfully for that day. It is like we are waiting for the greatest event that we
could ever imagine in our lives. We are anticipating it. We are awaiting it. We have but-
terflies in our stomachs about it. We are so ready for it to happen! But in the meantime,
we are patiently enduring. That is what Christ’s Second Coming ought to do for us. It ought
to cause us to be pure and blameless in our lives. In Philippians 1:10 we are taught to live
a pure and blameless life. In view of the Second Coming of Christ (1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23)
we ought to be pure, spotless, and blameless. We do not know when Christ will return, but
we do know what will occur when it takes place. We know that there will be no second
chances once He returns. This ought to cause us to live pure lives and to be holy, “as He
who called you is holy” (1 Pet. 1:15). This ought to make us realize that without holiness,
no one will see God (Heb. 12:14).
The Second Coming of Christ also should cause us to live sober, righteous, and godly lives
Titus 2:11-13 says,
“The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, deny-
ing ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the
present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and
Savior Jesus Christ.”
In view of Christ’s Second Coming, we need to live soberly, righteously, and godly. In 2
Peter 3:11, Peter asked, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner
of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” We must live, in view of the
Second Coming, as a spotless child of God. Does that mean that we will never sin? No,
we will sin. But it means that when we do we must be immediately ready to repent and
make it right.
The Second Coming also should cause us to set our hope fully on the coming of Christ.
We are told in 1 Peter 1 that our hope must be fully set on Christ, His return, His kingdom,
and His promises. That is where our hope must be. We have the hope of the resurrection.
We have the hope of Christ’s coming. We know that these things are going to happen. In
view of that, we must want to live faithfully before Christ every day. We may not know
when these things are going to happen, but they should motivate us every day to live for
This should motivate us to realize the importance of “now.” How do we know that Christ’s
Second Coming will not occur shortly? It could happen in 10,000 years, or it could happen
in two minutes. We do not know when it will take place. It could be any time. This should
reinforce in our minds the importance of obeying God now. In view of this, if you have
never obeyed the Gospel, this ought to stress to you the importance of “now.” The Bible
says in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2,
“We then, as workers together with Him, also plead with you not to receive the grace of
God in vain. For He says, ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of sal-
vation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
How important is “now”? It is essential that you understand you now have an opportunity,
now you have the time, and now you have the chance to obey God. But when Christ
comes, all that will be over. We need to take advantage of “now.” We need to get our lives
ready. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is found in Acts 26:28. Paul had preached
to King Agrippa about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Paul said
that the king knew about these things and about Jesus. Agrippa then said, “Almost you
persuade me to become a Christian.” The saddest line, when Jesus returns, will be “I ‘al-
most’ obeyed the Gospel.” Our lives are like a vapor (Jas. 4:14). We therefore need to un-
derstand the importance of “now.” We need to get ready. If you have never obeyed the Gos-
pel, you need to do that now. You need to get ready now. You need to hear the Word. You
need to believe in Jesus. You need to repent of things in your life that are not right. You
need to confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:10). And you need to be baptized for the re-
mission of your sins (Acts 2:38). Or, if you are already a child of God, then let this lesson
motivate you to live faithfully before Jesus. We should “be faithful unto death” (Rev. 2:10).
In Matthew 10 we are told that those who endure to the end will be saved. This should
cause us every day to take up our cross and follow Jesus faithfully. In view of God’s grace
and mercy, this should cause us to make our lives a living sacrifice. If there is anything to-
day that ought to motive us to live faithfully, it is the Second Coming of Christ. Our Lord
is coming! We do not know when, but we do know that it will be a powerful event. We
must be ready to be caught up with Christ in the air and to go home to the Father. We
surely do not want to be caught unprepared. Is your life the way it ought to be? Are you
ready today for the Lord to come? Have you obeyed the Gospel? If not, take advantage
of “now.” If you are a Christian, live faithfully before God in view of the Second Coming
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STUDY QUESTIONS FOR “THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST”
1. According to this lesson, what is one thing that that ought to motivate us to live faithfully
for Jesus every day of our lives?
2. In Acts 1:11, what did the angels tell Christ’s disciples?
3. According to Philippians 3:20, what should every Christian be doing during his or her time
4. What does 1 Thessalonians 4:16 say about the Lord’s return?
5. What does Hebrews 9:28 mean when it says that at His Second Coming, Christ “will
appear a second time, apart from sin”?
6. What promise did Christ make in John 14:3?
7. What specific problem, related to the Second Coming of Christ, had arisen in the church
8. What promise did Christ make in John 5:5?
9. What promise did Christ make in John 5:28-29?
10. According to Philippians 2:10, what will happen at Christ’s Second Coming?
11. According to Matthew 24:36, when will Christ’s Second Coming occur?
12. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2, to what is Christ’s Second Coming compared?
13. According to Matthew 25:31, when Christ returns, who will come with Him?
14. According to Matthew 25:31, after Christ’s Coming, what will He do?
15. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when Christ returns, who will meet Him first, and
where will that meeting take place?
16. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when Christ returns, who will meet Him second?
17. According to 2 Timothy 4:1-2, what great event will take place at the time of Christ’s
18. According to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, what will Christ do at His Second Coming?
19. According to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, what two groups of people will not be happy at the
time of Christ’s Second Coming?
20. According to According to 2 Thessalonians 1:9, what will happen to those people who
did not live faithfully before Christ while on Earth?