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Sunday: The Certainty of Christ’s Return — 17 Comments

  1. I am going to be the agent provocateur and suggest that the second coming has a spiritual application and that we should seek the second coming of Jesus in our hearts. Before you slaughter me as a heretic, have a think about this.

    The Second Coming is made all the more real if we have had the spiritual Second Coming in our own hearts. I have heard a lot of talk about signs of Jesus Second Coming for the whole of my life. Every time the Pope sneezes or a political figure speaks about world power, we respond, that this is surely the time of the end. I am old enough to remember the Cuban crisis and how we sat next to our radio sets listening to the drama unfold, against a background of our ministers and parents telling us that soon the fury of Satan will be unleashed and the time of trouble will begin. Most of this was directed to us naughty boys who were in the habit of nicking cookies out of the cake tin when we came home from school and trying to convince Mum that we hadn't!

    It did not dawn on me for a long time that waiting for the Second Coming was not what Christianity was all about. Jesus must come into our hearts and change our lives now. Remember Jesus said in a parable; "Occupy till I come!"

    I really do believe in the Second Coming of Jesus as the finale to the current world experience, but I also understand that if Jesus does not appear in our hearts and lives spiritually now, we are waiting for the physical second coming in vain.

    I just reread John 14:1-3 again and did a little private translation of my own. If Jesus has come into my heart, what are the implications for me and my relationship with others now? Try it yourself.

    • Makes conceptual sense Maurice. The literal second coming is the consummation of the ‘second coming’ of Jesus to our hearts.

      • Perhaps, the literal second coming is the consummation of the 'first coming' of Jesus in our hearts, Bro. Phil! Like the 'early rain' and ' latter rain, somewhat?
        I love this discussion, helps me to dig deep for the precious treasure!

    • I believe that it is our receiving Jesus' first coming, and the "likeness of His death" in us that prepares us for Jesus' 2nd coming. For only by this means(repentance) can we experience the newness of Life through the "likeness of His resurrection" resulting from this denial of self, and following Him.

      As for waiting for Jesus' return, He taught how we do this in Matt 25 didn't He?

      You're not a heretic Maurice, but perhaps misaken(?) about which coming we must receive here and now. We must live as He lived here, among sinners(Phil 2:5-8), before we can receive Him in glory and reign with Him as "priests and kings". Or that is how I presently understand it. I'm willing to be schooled if need be...

      • I took Maurice's comment as metaphorical/analogous and therefore focussed on the overarching point he was making. These techniques utilise the equivalent of 'poetic licence' to make a point.

        Even Jesus used this approach on occasions. See Matt 16:5-12 for one example.

        • Hi Phil, I don't see the connection.

          My personal understanding is that Jesus' 2nd coming is for all who actually respond in faith to Jesus' message of "repent and believe the gospel"(Mark 1:15). Also, how does one receive Jesus' 2nd coming presently? What does that mean and in what practical way is it demonstrated in one's life?

          • Hi Robert

            I believe you may not be seeing the connection because you are trying to understand metaphor by using literal interpretation. Metaphor is not 100% 'factually' accurate and therefore is not meant to be interpreted first and foremost in a literal manner.

            The purpose of metaphor is to illustrate a main point/s in ways that stick in people's minds. Jesus 'story' of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) is an example of metaphor. Jesus was not saying that there is a literal hell with people literally dwelling there in need of cool drinks and that those in heaven could see and communicate with those in hell.

            I believe Maurice's main point that he was illustrating was that the literal second coming of Jesus at some point in the future will of more relevance to those who already have experienced Jesus 'coming to' and residing in their hearts/lives today. Such people will not just be waiting around for the literal second coming at some point in the future, they will be living out the reality of the Kingdom of God each and every day from now till then.

            During the recent GC events, I noticed GC leadership and others emphasising that the Bible is to be interpreted literally. This was unfortunately promoted to the exclusion of other forms of interpretation. This is problematic in that scripture is written in a range of genres and even genre blends. We run into problems when we fail to appreciate this and interpret accordingly. However, it takes a whole lot more effort to do this than it does to merely 'read' the Bible literally. Hence, the need for 2 Tim 2:15.

  2. Peter 3:8-9 tells us that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. This reads, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

    The lord is not slow about his promise to return. He is being patient for our sake. He does not want anyone to perish in hell, and so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.

    Christ Jesus will return. The scripture tells us, history points to it, and eternity speaks to our hearts that he is coming again.

    I Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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.”

    God has told us this to reassure us that Jesus will return as surely as he came the first time and died for our sins. The life of a Christian is one of hope because there is more to life than just working, eating and pursuing pleasures. Living ready for Jesus’ return is our greatest priority.

  3. The certainty of Jesus coming to end the chaos and evils of this world confirms my understanding of his character, that this is not his plan for us, the sooner he comes the better, however I trust his timing is the best for the universe, I am not the only one involved.

  4. While I look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, I must also prepare myself and remained prepared as if His Coming could be at any moment because I never know when I will take my last breath and close my eyes for the last time. Because I want to be caught up to meet Him in the air, I must prepare and be prepared right now.

  5. The spiritual aspect of the second coming is: Are we ready for Jesus to come? Have we fought a good fight? Have we stood for the right? Have others seen Jesus in us? If so we can look up and say this is our God. Another question is: Have we in a Christ like manner saught unity in our church? Have we sown the fruit of righteousness(gospel message) in peace? James 3:18. If so we are ready for Jesus to come. I am reminded before Jesus comes, part of unity is: The work that is to be done in and for our churches. We are not merely to be preached to; we are to be educated to receive Christ as our Saviour. Our hearts are to be so softened and humble that we will receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls. (Review and Harold, July 19, 1898). Hummmmmmm, in my opinion that would include all of us as givers and receivers, thus fulfilling the Gospel according to James 1 and 2. James does not leave us hanging, he tells us why and how to be ready, just before he closes. James 5:7-12. “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.” Hummmmmmm! A lot of good wisdom about unity and being ready, too.
    Good day.

  6. SSQ: “What does this promise [John 14:1-3] tell you about the kind of life the redeemed will live on the new earth?”

    The redeemed will live the same life on the new earth that they lived in this present world. Nothing will change the heart/mind when Jesus returns for His people, only their mortality will be changed to immortality, their corruption to incorruption.

    • Yes, Transformation of character will take place before Christ comes. It is impossible of ourselves for this to take place. We believe in Christ, have faith that He can and will transform us, and continue to turn to Him, He will transform our character for us. That’s what being borne again is all about. “Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon.” DA 175.4
      Knowing Christ does it for us if we ask daily, making impossibility go to possibility, and certainty through Christ. “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
      ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. Using similar words, He will revive and restore His righteousness, and transform me into the Glory of the Lord, through faith receiving the grace of God. Paul confirms my little sermonette. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” ‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭3:18‬‬. We thank the Lord, we certainly do not deserve the gift of eternal life. Dare I say though, worth the effort. Heaven will be worth trading in worldly characters for Christ like characters before He comes.

  7. Amen, I really do want an end to sin and turmoil. Please pray for my kids and family and those I go around to find Jesus Christ very soon before it’s too late. Thank you and God bless you all✝️🙏🏼☮️

  8. Why did Christ speak of His Second Coming in such a way as to make His followers believe that it was imminent, when, in fact, it would be thousands of years away? (The early Christians though Christ was going to return in their lifetime, and Paul had to comfort them when some of their loved ones died before Christ came again, and he told them of the "falling away" that would come first.)

    What do you say to those who remind us of their grandparents' faith in the Second Coming that went unfulfilled?

    For that matter, does the Second Coming feel imminent to you? why or why not?

  9. Jesus coming is soon to me because He will come within my life time or as soon as He wakes me up from my sleep in the grave which will feel like only a moment (by grace)

  10. I keep coming back to Maurice' comment on the second coming and thank you for explaining your insight. There seems to be such a lot of duality and abstractness in the whole bible. This of course has been the cause of division and misunderstanding. For example the story of the King of Tyre(Ezekiel 28:12-19) which could be referring to the King of Tyre (who is destroyed by spontaneous combustion – internal fire), or, of Satan – destroyed by the same method. This is what I mean by duality. The same, I can discern, is how I read what you say about the second coming of Jesus. He has to be ‘into our hearts and change our lives now.’ This is the spiritual application. I do understand that. These duel applications is why we have to keep reading and studying our bibles and discussing with other believers – to ground us in our faith, with the help of the Holy Spirit, realising the world of Jesus and His sayings are not of this world and our usual understanding of how our world works. Godbless today, Mrs A Stolz.


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