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 (Q and A on Biblical Doctrines)
Chapter 18: The Second Coming of Jesus
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Q1 What is the second coming of Jesus?

The second coming of Jesus is the time when He will return to the world to execute judgment and take the saved believers to heaven. The Bible refers to it as “the day of the Lord” (1 Thess 5:2; 2 Pet 3:10); “the day of God” (2 Pet 3:12); “the day of Christ” (2 Thess 2:2); “the/that Day” (Mt 24:36; Lk 21:34; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Thess 2:3).

Jesus describes His second coming in this way: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Mt 24:30–31).

Q2 What is the difference between the first and second comings?

When Jesus first came to the world 2,000 years ago, He came in the flesh as the Saviour of mankind. He proclaimed the gospel of salvation, died on the cross, resurrected and ascended back to heaven in glory (1 Tim 3:16). The next time He comes, it will be in judgment. Every person will see this event, including those who crucified Him (Rev 1:7).

Q3 What is the implication of His second coming?

The Lord’s second coming will mark the end of the corrupt earth, which He will destroy with fire (2 Pet 3:10, 12). In its place will be “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Rev 21:1). Elder Peter reminds us to strive for holiness and godliness so that we will be ready for that day (2 Pet 3:11–14).

Q4 Why must Jesus come again?

Jesus will come again to do three things:

To execute judgment. He will “judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim 4:1). By that time, the door of salvation will be closed, and anyone wishing to enter in will be unable to do so (Lk 13:25). Those who do not know God or who refuse to obey the gospel will be “punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thess 1:8–9). In contrast, those who believe faithfully to the end will obtain their reward (Rev 22:12). 

To put an end to this evil generation. This present world is corrupt and lies under the control of the devil (1 Jn 5:19). It is reminiscent of the days of Noah, when God sent a flood to destroy the earth (Gen 6:12–13, 17; cf. Lk 17:26–27). Only this time, He will destroy it permanently with fire (2 Pet 3:12). Elder Peter says, “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” (2 Pet 3:10).

To take the saved ones to heaven. Jesus promises, “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 Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn 14:2–3).

As members of God’s true church, we are now betrothed to Jesus Christ (2 Cor 11:2). The Bible calls us His “perfect one” (Song 6:9), a bride who is preparing herself for the marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:7). At His second coming, we shall be caught up “in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:17).

Q5 When will He come?

Jesus says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Mt 24:36; cf. Acts 1:7). It is God’s good will for the timing of Jesus’ second coming to remain a secret.  Not knowing on our part compels us to stay alert (1 Thess 5:6),  to avoid focusing on the transient things of life (2 Cor 4:18;  Col 3:2–4),  and to keep ourselves holy and blameless (2 Pet 3:14).  

The Bible says, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Mt 24:44). It also warns that not everyone will be prepared. Some people will:

• say, “Peace and safety!” whereupon destruction comes upon them suddenly (1 Thess 5:3).

• be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the cares of life (Lk 21:34).

• be eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building (Lk 17:28).

• be slumbering when the cry goes out at midnight to meet the Lord (Mt 25:6; Rom 13:11).

• say in their hearts, “My master is delaying his coming” (Lk 12:45).

• find their lamps going out for want of oil (Mt 25:8).

• stubbornly refuse to repent (Rev 2:5; 3:3; 9:21; 16:9, 11).

 Q6 What are the signs of His second coming?

The Bible highlights a number of signs heralding Jesus’ second coming. Some will manifest in the world and in the universe; others will manifest within and outside the church. Many are already apparent in this present time:


The worsening condition of the human heart:

            But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

            2 Timothy 3:1–5

Selfishness and greed:

            Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 

            James 5:1–5

Increasing knowledge: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Dan 12:4). The hallmark of this age is man’s expanding knowledge. It has led to significant advances in science and technology and a better quality of life for most people. But such progress has been offset by negative changes, including our damage to the planet and increasing political and religious conflict. One can only wonder if such things will prove to be the undoing of mankind, for they make us think of Jesus’ warning that there will come a time when “men’s hearts [will fail] them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,  for the powers of heaven will be shaken” (Lk 21:26).

Frequency of wars: Jesus warns, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Mt 24:6). Revelation records what happened when the Lamb of God opened the second seal on a heavenly scroll: “And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword” (Rev 6:4). Here, the horse symbolizes warfare, and its red colour signifies bloodshed. Such things will occur more frequently in the end time, despite man’s best efforts to promote peace.

Calamities and famines: “And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven” (Lk 21:11). Famine and disease will become increasingly common, as will natural disasters such as floods, droughts, storms and earthquakes. Today, we are seeing evidence of this prophecy in fulfilment, and it brings to mind the scenario depicted by the prophet Isaiah: “The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again” (Isa 24:19–20).

Strange celestial phenomena: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Mt 24:29); “I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord” (Acts 2:19–20; cf. Joel 2:30–31). All these celestial phenomena will precede the final sign: “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Lk 21:27).


Heresies: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1). Here, the “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” are part of the devil’s strategy to lead believers astray. He will succeed where people become bored of the truth: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim 4:3–4).

Unfortunately, many of these teachings will emanate from within the church itself: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you,  who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,  even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet 2:1). 

False christs: “For many will come in My name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Mt 24:5); “And He said: ‘Take heed that you not be deceived. For many, will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them” (Lk 21:8). Here, Jesus warns that people will use His name to lead others astray: they will preach a form of Christianity, but it will not be the truth.

Today, we see the words of Jesus being fulfilled in different ways. For example, some people teach that He was merely a social reformer or teacher and deny that He was God manifested in the flesh, was born of a virgin, or had the power to perform miracles. Others preach Jesus as the Saviour, but argue that salvation comes through faith alone, without the need to keep the commandments of God. To all such people, Jesus will say, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Lk 6:46).

Antichrists:  “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come,  by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18); “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son” (1 Jn 2:22). There are two types of antichrists. One type disbelieves and opposes Jesus Christ, as mentioned by John. The other type is the “enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things” (Phil 3:18–19). They are believers who love the world more than Jesus,  and for whom elder James reserves this severe reprimand:  “Adulterers and adulteresses!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas 4:4).

Scoffers: “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’ ” (2 Pet 3:3–4; cf. Jude 18–19). Many people, including some Christians, disbelieve the second coming of Jesus and are convinced that life and the world will go on indefinitely. Such people do not feel the need to accept Jesus as their Saviour or to change their erroneous ways.

The downpour of the Holy Spirit of the latter rain: “Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you—the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23). On the day of  Pentecost, God poured down the Holy Spirit of the former (autumn) rain. Now, in this end time, He is pouring out the latter (spring) rain,  as prophesied by Zechariah:  “Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone” (Zech 10:1). 

The coming of the Lord is near. It brings to mind the words of James: “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. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (Jas 5:7–8). The Book of Revelation says that, when Jesus comes, He will gather in the harvest of the saved believers: “So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth,  and the earth was reaped” (Rev 14:16). After that, He will sift out the unrighteous for destruction: “So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God” (Rev 14:19). 

The gospel reaches the whole world: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Mt 24:14). The gospel will reach the world in different ways: through evangelists, personal evangelism, the Bible, and gospel literature. However, the work requires many workers—those who are willing to help bring the Lord’s sheep into the one true fold (Jn 10:16). Apostle Paul says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom 10:14). One of the greatest challenges facing the church today is the paucity of workers. Jesus Himself points out that the harvest is plentiful,  but the workers are few (Mt 9:37).  Therefore, we need to pray for more workers, so that the everlasting gospel can be preached “to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation,  tribe,  tongue,  and people” (Rev 14:6). In the meantime, God is waiting patiently, as He does not wish anyone to perish. Even so, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…” (2 Pet 3:10). 

The restoration of Israel: 

            For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

            Romans 11:25–27

Here, Paul speaks prophetically of the time when God will restore His relationship with Israel. Even though they had rejected Christ and His gospel,  they will come to believe in Him one day and enter into His salvation. Paul describes this occurrence using the symbolism of God grafting the Jews back into the olive tree (Rom 11:23–24). He says that it will take place when “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”—that is, when the Gentile church becomes perfect. 

The bride is prepared: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready” (Rev 19:7); “Then I, John, saw the holy city,  New Jerusalem,  coming down out of heaven from God,  prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:2). In these biblical passages, the bride symbolizes the true church who is betrothed to Christ. God has adorned her with many precious things: the truth of salvation (Eph 2:19–20),  the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:22),  signs and miracles (Mk 16:17–18, 20), charismatic gifts (1 Cor 12:4–11), holiness (Eph 5:27; Rev 21:10), and His glory (Rev 21:11). It is these spiritual qualities—as opposed to worldly ones (1 Cor 1:17–29)—that please Him and qualify her to be His bride (Song 6:9).

• The believers should strive  to ensure that God’s church is  “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27).

Q7 What will happen when Jesus comes again?

Jesus says that He will come when we least expect Him: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Mt 24:42, 44). When He does come, the event will be witnessed by every person: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen” (Rev 1:7).

The Bible reveals what will happen when the Lord makes His final visit to the world:

• He will descend “from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire...” (2 Thess 1:7–8); “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Mt 24:30); “with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God...” (1 Thess 4:16).

• He will sound the trumpet to send His angels to gather the elect from the four winds (Mt 24:31; Mk 13:27).

• Those in their graves will hear His voice and come out (Jn 5:28–29), while the sea, Death and Hades will give up their dead (Rev 20:13).

• The dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thess 4:16) and be transformed into incorruptible spiritual beings, as will those who are still living (1 Cor 15:52–53).

• The devil, beast and false prophet—the enemies of Christ—will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev 20:10).

• Jesus will execute judgment: to reward the righteous and punish the sinners (Rev 11:18; 21:7–8).

• All those who do not know God and have not obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Thess 1:7–9)—whose names are not recorded in the Book of Life—will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).

• The saved ones will be caught up in the clouds to meet with the Lord (1 Thess 4:17). 

• Death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:14).

Q8 How can we prepare ourselves?

Now is the time of grace—a window of opportunity for everyone to believe in the Lord and repent (2 Pet 3:9). For those of us who have already accepted Christ, we should make ourselves ready so that we can welcome Him with confidence (1 Pet 3:14; 1 Jn 2:28).

The Bible teaches us to prepare by:

• remaining alert and sober (Mt 25:13; 1 Thess 5:6).

• ensuring our lamps are replete with oil—that is, to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Mt 25:1–13).

• serving God faithfully (Mt 24:45–47).

• departing from works of darkness and walking in the light (Rom 13:12–14).

• loving one another fervently (1 Pet 4:7–8). 

• not grumbling against one another (Jas 5:9).

• loving the Lord (1 Cor 16:22).

• testifying for the Lord courageously (Lk 9:26; 12:9). 

• not being afraid of persecution (Mt 10:28).

• continuously gathering to worship (Heb 10:25).

• manifesting our gentleness before everyone (Phil 4:5). 

• holding fast to our faith (Rev 2:25; 3:11) and to the name of the Lord (Rev 2:13).

• remaining holy and blameless (1 Pet 3:14).

• understanding and doing the will of God (Eph 5:17; 1 Jn 2:17).

• waiting patiently for the coming of the Lord (Jas 5:7–8). 

• enduring to the end (Mt 24:13).

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20).


© 2012 True Jesus Church.


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