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The Second Coming (condensed)

There are many denominations that state that Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Generally, these same denominations deny this personal aspect as it relates to the Second Coming of Christ.

I feel that this is a misguided interpretation of the Holy Bible.

1. Here is what I have come to believe about the Second Coming.

-- New American Standard Hebrews 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

According to Hebrews 9:28 Jesus comes or appears for two reasons. Reason number one was to die on the cross. Reason number two was for salvation.

Reason number one was completed when Jesus died on the cross. If Jesus comes after the first coming (His death on the cross) then that is the Second Coming, and it concerns a person’s salvation. Peter said in Acts 3:19 and 20 that Jesus comes to a person through the Holy Spirit when that person repents. Since the coming referred to in Acts 3:19-21 comes after the first coming then it must be the Second Coming. After the indwelling of the believer Jesus says that he will never leave or forsake the Christian, Hebrews 13:5.

John the Baptist (coming in the Spirit of Elijah, Luke 1:17) was said to restore all things in Matthew 17:11.

-- New American Standard Matthew 17:11 And He answered and said, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things;

John the Baptist preached “repentance”, and the ministry of repentance brings about the restoration of Mankind’s personal relationship (Father/Child relationship, Luke 1:17) with God, through Jesus Christ.

Jesus said that John the Baptist came in the Spirit and power of Elijah in Matthew 11:14. In the example of John the Baptist and the referance to Elijah Jesus prepared his followers to understand a spiritual appearance. Just as the disciples initially expected to see Elijah literally reappear Jesus followers expect Jesus to physically come.

Acts 3:19-20 shows that Jesus will come to the individual when they repent. However Acts 3:21 says that Jesus will remain in Heaven and not appear until the restoration (repentance) happens.

This restoration is an individual’s repentance or conversion – it is the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus comes to the individual through the Holy Spirit just as the Apostle Peter said.

Acts 1:11 says that Jesus will come in the same way He left.

-- New American Standard Acts 1:11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

Jesus ascended into heaven from earth and the Second Coming will involve His coming from Heaven to the earth, as Acts 3:21 indicates. Peter preached that Jesus would come to earth (Second Coming) and indwell and abide with the individual believer, Acts 3:19-21. Jesus referred to this in John 14:15-28.

2. There are additional “comings” mentioned in the bible. These visitations are called the “Day or days of the Lord”.

The day or time of the Lord, is a time of judgment or recompense, 2 Peter 3:7. Recompense can take two forms, approval or disapproval, Romans 3:4. Jesus judges the sheep and goats (His flock or people, Ezekiel 34:17 and 20) and some enter the kingdom and some enter the fire, 1 Corinthians 3:15. The day of the Lord is not the Second Coming; the two terms refer to two distinct concepts. The "Day" is a time of visitation consisting of the approval or discipline that Christians recieve as they are conformed to the image of Christ.

The Second Coming is the arrival of Christ in the life of the believer. After the the life of the believer is changed through the "presence" of Christ the growth process begins. The time or "day" involves the application of a rod (judgment), or the gentleness and approval of the Lord resulting in a reward.

This approval can result in a blessing as opposed to the application of a rod of correction. The "Day of the Lord" has to do with salvation when it applies to believers. The accompanying judgment (fire) corrects sinful people, thereby furthering their salvation, 1 Corinthians 11:32. This entire concept is summarized in one sentence in Ezekiel 20:37.

-- New American Standard 1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.

The discipline or the Day of the Lord comes as a thief. In other words the discipline is accomplished by delivering the Christian to the limited power of the thief (devil) for the Christian's correction. The Christian is different from the unbeliever. When the unbeliever is judged this judgment results in their condemnation, because of their unbelief.

-- New American Standard Ezekiel 20:37 "And I shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant;

The Apostle Paul uses Himself as an example of the visitation of the Lord (The Day of the Lord) as He comes to visit the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 4:21.

3. Jesus uses parables to teach people as the bible mentions in Matthew 13:34. He explains why in Matthew 13:14 and 15. The reason for speaking in parables is to keep unbelievers from understanding the message.

This is the reason that the bible seems confusing to many people.

Pr 25:2 ¶ It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (KJV)

-- New American Standard Matthew 13:34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable,

The judgment mentioned in Matthew 25:31 is the judgment referred to as the "Day of the Lord".

The theme of John the Baptist’s ministry was “repentance”. The preaching of repentance will come before the judgment of the Day of the Lord, Malachi 4:5. God gives people a chance to repent before He judges them.

-- New American Standard Malachi 4:5 "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.

The judgment or Day of the Lord will come upon a person because an abomination (sin) is in the Holy place, where Jesus should be. Becoming desolate is the result of the judgment of God brought about by the abomination of sin occupying Jesus rightful place (the human heart). In other words the individual person will be given the opportunity to repent from whatever abomination they have allowed to occupy the place in their lives where Jesus should reign, Mark 13:14.

-- King James 1 Corinthians 15:34 awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

-- New American Standard Mark 13:35 "Therefore, be on the alert for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, at cockcrowing, or in the morning

-- New American Standard Mark 13:36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.

4. According to 1 Corinthians 14:23 there are two types of people who will not understand a message in tongues (parable). The first person is the unlearned Christian and the second person is a person who does not believe (obey) Jesus. The purpose of tongues is seen to be effective because the unlearned church and sinful or unbelieving people do not understand the mysteries Jesus spoke of.

Jesus used parables (tongues) so that unbelievers would not understand His words, Matthew 13:14 and 15.

Matt 13:14 -- New American Standard Matthew 13:14 "And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says `You will keep on hearing, but will not understand

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