So…Is The Second Coming Still On?
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Second Coming by Steve Creitz

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

After more than 150 years of preaching the Second Coming, one important question comes to mind for Seventh-day Adventists. Is the Second Coming still on? Are we still planning on it? Is it still a part of who we are?

Growing up as a Seventh-day Adventist I heard people talk about how Jesus was surely coming in the next five years. We thought for sure that the oil crisis in the 70’s was the beginning of the end of the world. I remember looking at the form the Tulsa Roughnecks Soccer team sent me when I was a teen, asking me to renew my season tickets for the 1980 season. You may laugh at me, but I stared at that form in disbelief that I actually saw the year 1980 in print. There is no way the world will last that long I thought. Well that was 35 years ago and we are in a new century. So what happened to the Second Coming? Is it still on?

In the mid ‘80s I joined a new Adventist church in the suburbs. I had just started dating a girl who went to that church; so I  switched from the larger Adventist church where I was a member to her church. We had just started dating when she dumped me. I still stayed at this new church because I did not want people to think I changed churches just for her. Besides, this church seemed to be really fire. The weekly prayer meetings were very spiritual, and everyone was praying for the power of the Holy Spirit to prepare them for the Second Coming. We had about as many people attending prayer meeting as attended our Sabbath worship services. We were sure Jesus was coming soon, and we were getting ready.

Then something sad happened. People stopped coming to prayer meeting. Some decided “Growing Pains” was just too funny of a show to miss for prayer meeting. People stopped coming to church altogether. This was not supposed to happen! Discouraged, I asked God why He did not come back when our church was at its spiritual peak, when we had it all together. He waited too long, and now look what happened.

I believe the Holy Spirit revealed to me why Jesus did not return when the church was on top of its game. Our church was on a spiritual roller coaster. Jesus is not coming back for a church on a spiritual roller coaster. He is not coming back for a people who walk with him off and on. A groom does not want to marry a bride whose love and devotion goes in cycles. Neither does Jesus.

Enoch walked with God many years before being translated. God will come back for a church who will consistently walk with Him year after year after year, and not on some roller coaster. The church is like a woman. For centuries God’s church has loved to flirt with Him, but it also loves to flirt with the world. God’s church likes to date Jesus, but it also likes to date other things too. Jesus is not returning for a date; He is returning for a wedding. When God’s church decides to stop dating and flirting with Jesus and decides to get married, He will return.

During this same time period our suburban church was also asking the Holy Spirit to get sin out of our lives so we could be ready for Jesus to come. We did not –  or at least I did not – realize how legalistic that was. Jesus is not coming back for a legalistic group who get their act together so they can have some great reward like heaven. Jesus is coming back for a people who love Him because He first loved them. Today I ask the Holy Spirit to remove sin from my life, not because Jesus is coming back, but because my sin breaks God’s heart. I do not want to break His heart any more, regardless if He is coming back tomorrow or a hundred years from now.

Now that I am older I don’t hear people talking about Jesus coming back in the next five years. So is the whole thing off?

One of Satan’s best weapons are over-zealous religious fanatics. They tell people Jesus is coming back during a certain time table, and then when their “prophecy” fails, people  doubt that Jesus is coming back at all. However this is all Satan’s plan. To get us to give up right before it happens. Concentration camp survivors say they survived because they never set a date for their rescue. Some wanted to be rescued by Christmas, and then when that came and went, they wanted to be rescued by Easter, and then when Easter came and went, they gave up hope. Others just knew that they would be rescued some day, and they survived.

As Seventh-day Adventists we must believe Jesus is returning, without setting dates. Some have gone to the other extreme now and don’t even preach the Second Coming at all. They preach social sermons which they find more practical in everyday living. While we must be practical, we must also realize that God formed our church over 150 years ago for a specific reason.

Are we embarrassed by our message? I am sure the disciples were embarrassed when Jesus was crucified, but there was no reason for them to be. Are we afraid people will not believe our message, so we just preach things we know the world will accept? If so, shame on us! We are doing our Savior and neighbor no justice by hiding our special message.

The Seventh-day Adventist church has a message that will do more than prepare people to live nice little lives in this world. We have a gospel that will prepare people for the world to come! We must let everyone know the Second Coming is still on!

There are twice as many prophecies about the Second Coming than there were about Jesus’ first advent. He came the first time, so we know beyond a shadow of a doubt He is coming the second time. Jesus warns against setting times for His return when He tells us, “ in the hour you think not, the Son of man cometh.” Satan has been using religious fanatics for years to get us all excited and then disappointed that He has not returned. Satan wants us to give up and think Jesus is not returning at all. There is great danger in what I was always hearing growing up – about Jesus coming in the next five years – because it does two things: It makes us give up hope when He does not return in those five years, and it also makes us think we have five years to prepare. One day we won’t have five years to prepare. We won’t have one year to prepare. In the hour we think not, He will come!

Don’t get ready, be ready! Be ready, not because He is coming back but because we love Him because He first loved us! The Adventist church – the church that believes the Bible prophecies about the Second Coming – has a reason to exist! If we just preach social day-by-day sermons that you can hear anywhere else, then we are not fulfilling our purpose for coming into existence over 150 years ago.  A true Adventist more than believes Jesus is coming. We love His appearing! We have a message to give to world and the people of the world are hungry for our message. We need to tell them that Jesus is coming back. Jesus loves them and wants to be with them forever!

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So…Is The Second Coming Still On? — 18 Comments

  1. I am stunned to see such a warm article. Because this understanding of Jesus is rare. You hit it right on! When I was 32 years old I heard a similar message. I left my worldly ways and was wide eyed for about 3 years. Why didn't it last? I too thought the latter rain would fall and the end would finally come. That was almost 20 years ago. What I failed to realize was that, the message was calling me to trust in Him more. That He wanted to come closer. I missed that. So I left again. I had issues. But I always spoke to the Lord and told Him when I understood how much He really loved me and wanted me to join Him just the way I was ( filthy rags and all ) I would come home to Him someday. Well, that day came. My life had reached a place where I so hungered for peace...then I heard Him whispering to me that He loved me deeply and for me to come and sit at His feet. To rest in His ability to take the helm of my life and love me unconditionally. I gave Him my heart and told Him I never want to leave Him again. I never want to hurt Him and play games with His heart. So here I am almost 4 years since that rededication and folks I am seeing so many miracles in my life. Prayer is the first thing I do in the morning when I begin to wake up. I tell Him to anoint me and give me the desire to serve Him. And, to give me wisdom to lead others. The Lord has brought many people into my life and He is teaching me how to love ( agape ) each, one at a time.

    I see in this article the 1888 message of Christ our Righteousness come into fruition. This article made my heart so glad to see that someone else wants to be married to Jesus. My focus is on Him. Or more so I see how He is so focused on us....me and Him. And of course His beloved church too. Movies, fancy clothes, getting rich, are no longer my objectives of every day living. Staying close to Him and studing His word is. My loins are girded about with truth and protected with the breastplate of Righteousness. (Jesus is my shield with His perfect life.) My feet are ready to spread the good news of peace, (we can tell our neighbor that their sins are forgiven now. ("While we were yet His enemies Christ died for us").The Shield of Faith ( satan cannot take away our joy when we our experience in Jesus is strong. also (believe Jesus and take Him at Word. He says I will be with you. Active love of God).Put on the Helmet of salvation (protected with the knowledge of the victory of Christ’s life and death and resurrection. (Yes I'm saved daily by dying daily with all of our weaknesses). And finally the Sword...the knowledge of Jesus. Knowing Him intimately will keep us from falling.

    Praise the Lord, for His goodness endures forever. God bless William for your words of encouragement. May the peace of Christ be with you all.
    Denise H'

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  2. I have to be openly honest with these facts: I am 65 years old and a baptized SDA since I was 20 years old. I first received the news of Christ's Second coming at the early age of twelve. The message to me then was so convicting that I "knew" I was going to see Jesus come before I left the tent(evangelistice services held there). I was literally frightened into accepting this priceless message because I knew that I was not ready and the "fires of Hell" awaited me. I was only prevented from being baptized because my folks were hardcore Southern Baptists and felt that their faith should be mine(baptized at ten).
    Since Christianity is a growing experience, I have learned so much more about our Saviour and His great love and sacrifice for humanity, so much more that I was rebaptized as a result of attending our last camp meeting.
    Selfishness motivated me think that maybe, Jesus would let me get married and have children before He would return. Now grandchildren are here and Christ has still not returned. Because the Holy Spirit is my Teacher, I realize that it is not my privilige to guess or to know the date of His appearing. When we pit our puny time periods against His infinite time periods, we utterly and abjectly fail. This Bible text comes to mind, "A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4." Of utmost importance is to be ready minute by minute because surviving through today is not promised to any of us. If any of us who are in Christ Jesus moment by moment and we are taken today, then His Second Coming is today. However, one absolute grave and sobering fact remains, if He doesn't come during our expectancy, we all will surely die. So be ready to meet Him.

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    • This morning in Sabbath School class we were discussing how important it is to always be ready; no matter how much time has passed. I pointed out a reason that wasn't mentioned in the lesson,but is just like what Ronald said. Just because people have been watching and wanting for centuries, for the second coming, doesn't mean Christ won't come in our lifetime. Plus, if He doesn't come within this lifetime, and we slacked off in our watching and waiting, and died today or tomorrow, we'd be lost when He does return. Also, we will cause others to be lost as well. As Christ servants we are to be spreading the gospel, but if someone dies in sin because we were slacking in our duties; that person's blood is on our hands. The last sentence in Luke 12:48 Jesus said, "For everyone to whom much is given,from him much will be required...". I know that sometimes, most times, I'm not the sevant I am supposed to be, but I am working on it, by the grace of God and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Let's all make sure we are always vigilantly watching and waiting.

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  3. Thank you brother William for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you. As Gods remnant church we need these reminders to help us refocus on what our commission is. We are to preach the everlasting gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. If we are ashamed of this message we are saying we are ashamed of our Saviour who gave it to us. We are called out from the world therefore our preaching must be Holy Spirit driven and directed entirely on Jesus saving grace and His promise that He will return for His people. There remains so many people who are asking questions as to the worlds mounting issues. Like no other time in history we as Seventh day Adventists having Gods unblemished truth at our fingertips have so much to offer those who are weary, clarifying the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:8) with the world events. We are not to be date setters but we are called to be Watchmen. There is a great difference. Thank you God for using William to remind your people that we must be prepared now to meet you while telling this sin sick world that Jesus Christ will come back to claim His faithful people one day.

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  4. The second coming of our Lord and Savior is the ONLY hopeful answer to the mounting problems of the age. Hope is one commodity that is so sorely missing from the hearts and minds of the worlds population which is fast coming to that stage of mind when in perplexity they will turn to one another for solutions, and find none. We need to be there speaking boldly, loudly, and confidently of our hope, our assurance that the evil ugliness that is now dominating all sections of society is coming to an end.
    Got to admit though, I like others, thought I would never see 2015. Yet I am not at all confident that I will see 2017. If I do, rest assured, I will be preaching the second coming with even more boldness, more assurance, and a lot more loudly than at present. Oh, and so will my grandchildren lol.

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  5. I have little to add to the already great article and comments posted here. Over the years I've struggled with understanding who controls when Christ returns, the church or God. Because as an Adventist I've always heard that Jesus WILL NOT come back until the church is ready to meet Him. Which contradicts the plain testimony of Christ Himself who emphatically taught He would return whether we were ready or not (Matthew 24:48-51). You hear this way of thinking whenever we are admonished to "finish the work" so Christ can take us home. I know my brethren sincerely believe that this will motivate us to be zealous for Christ, but I think it has the opposite effect.

    What teenager home alone with the object of their desire would hastily send them away if their mother said "I will not come home to take care of you or punish you until you tell your lover to leave"? Instead of motivating the child to get their act together such a message instead is saying "Do what you want for as long as you want and when you're done I'll treat you as if you've done no wrong."

    Let's be honest with ourselves, we're sinners. Telling ourselves that Jesus is NOT coming until we clean up our lives will only make us want wallow in it a little longer. I believe Jesus is coming soon because He has to. He cannot wait indefinitely for a perfect church as if sin isn't malignant. As if sin isn't eroding the life of the world as we speak. This is like trying to rescue people from a burning house doused in accelerant. People can only be saved if they so choose to be. Certainly you want to save as many as possible and may even "delay" calling off the rescue efforts until more people respond. But, eventually that house is coming down and not everyone is getting out alive. This is how I understand the second coming now and I believe it holds the key to motivating us in a more genuine, biblical way.

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    • Bensheh, here are a couple of texts that should support what you are saying.
      "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming" (Matt. 24:42 NKJV). With this text context is important because Jesus is discussing the suddenness of the Second Advent. I think it is interesting that Jesus said that we wouldn't know the hour rather than the season and that people will be in daily labor. We can discern the times but not the moment. For a lot of us we are being slowly integrated into the philosophy of the world and its ways without realizing it and fail to see the change of the season. For the rest I think we will be doing what we should and wake up one day to realize that we are in the seven last plagues. Maybe the parable of the ten virgins partially explains this because they all slept both the wise and the foolish.

      "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes" (Matt. 10:23 NKJV). This is an intriguing text that to me says the work will not be completed from our perspective. There will always be people that we will view as possible candidates for the kingdom and areas that we think needs evangelizing.

      While we can point to these texts and more I think we need to be aware that there are those who will say either that when the number of souls is made up then He will come or He will come at the appointed time. While there is a truth to this way of thinking because God knows the end for the beginning it is fraught with theological problems as though God just arbitrarily chooses a number or time and then ignores everything else.

      I do believe there are conditions but are much wider that we tend to visualize. Certainly God is not dependent on us for anything but invites us into His work and whether we realize it or not we ARE witnesses to something whether it is to Christ or to the devil. What we do know is that He will come at the right time to get His people out of a very dangerous environment.

      Like(8)
  6. but I heard some pastor sermons w/ their. bible references saying that the church unpreparedness doesn't affect Gods timetable of his return

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  7. Thank you for such a wonderful article, I grow up in an Adventist family,now am 27. so you can imagine a've been hearing this message my entire life. but so recently I've find myself ignoring church services and meetings.
    But reading this article again has awakened me again to bring out those old books and brochures about my beliefs ... thank You again

    Like(5)
  8. Thank you for this heart warming Reminder. I was born adventist at 13 I was baptized and now Iam now 53.you can imagine ,I grew up with this massage
    I have been preparing this massage of jesus coming. I believe we should preach more of this massage to the dying world

    Like(1)
  9. Is Jesus going to return? He said He would. I need nothing beyond that assurance. When: has been on believers minds since He left. The Angels ask the disciples "Why stand ye hear gazing" Acts 1:11. I believe they expected Jesus to return while they were watching the place that He disappeared. Our church' roots are founded on people, Millerites, that were sure, when Jesus was going to return,(1844). In spite of Matt 24:44 and Luke 12:40, we still are looking for signs of His emanate return. The big question is, what does being ready mean? There are many different opinions. Some very specific, others all encompassing. I would suggest a self examination is in order.

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  10. thank you william for good message let us be ready even if we will die be for His return it will be joy.

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  11. It is impossible for Jesus to not come again. Why? Because he has promised to come back.
    He came the first time, and while here on this Earth, He said "I will come again" John 14:3. He spoke about His second coming on many other occasions; for example in Mat 25:31 He said "When the Son of man shall come in His glory ,and all the Holy Angels with Him"
    He describes it "as the lightening comes from the East and shines even to the West, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be" Mat24:27.
    The Apostle John writes "Behold He cometh with clouds, every eye shall see Him". Rev.1:7.
    The Apostle Paul tells us "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.1Tes 4:16
    If Christ does not return then John 14:1-3 would have no meaning. If the second coming is off, then Christ's words cannot be trusted, and we are preaching a false gospel; and what the angels told the disciples at the ascension of Jesus in Act.1:11 would not be true. If the second coming is off, then Rev.22:7,and 12, could not be trusted, and "Behold I come quickly, hold fast that which you have, let no man take your crown " in Rev.3:11 would not make sense.
    But He is faithful that promised Heb.10:23
    The Apostle Peter warned us that in the last days scoffers would say "where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as from the beginning" 2 Peter 3:3-4.
    But" courage my brothers, soon Jesus will come, for Whom we have waited so long"; so "lift up the trumpet and loud let it ring, Jesus is coming again. Coming again, coming again, Jesus is coming again."
    Dear Lord, keep us ready, for your name's sake.

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  12. I believe like you all that Jesus will come, but as was mentioned in your article we as a church have grown weary and because of conformation to this world we are neglecting a great and important work. We need to preach the prophecies as before, this is what the world needs to hear. That Jesus loves and wants to save them, before it is too late without setting a time and using fear tactics. Our message is unique no other denomination preaches it, so why are we trying to preach the same thing they are preaching. Jesus is coming soon and we need to tell the world.

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  13. Thank you, William, for your insights. For me, the "soon-ness" of the coming of Jesus has always been the challenge. I would suspect most SDA Christians believe that Jesus will come again. The question is "When?" What does "soon" mean? As one who teaches Bible to high school students, I have ceased emphasizing the concept of "soon" as something that could happen tomorrow or at anytime that we can quantify. Rather, I emphasize the promise that He will come and we should be ready by maintaining a personal relationship with Him. For most of us living today, "soon" will be within the next 15-70 years because most of us will physically die within that time. As someone has already commented, when we die, the Second Coming in essence has come for us because there is no ability to change our relationship with Jesus after death! And because no one has any idea how long they are going to live, "soon" is "now". We should be in a saving relationship with Jesus "now" - not just because He is coming again or this could be our last day on earth - but because we absolutely love Him! Ready or not, Jesus is coming! Thank God that we can be ready by trusting in Him today.

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