Question & Answer

Bible answers to your questions | Vol. 27 No. 3 | Mar-Apr 2017

Question

How do we know that Jesus’ Second Coming is a real event in the future? And if it is, why has there been such a delay?

Answer

The return of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope of the Church. There are numerous Bible promises referring to Jesus’ Second Coming—by one estimate 1,518! The New Testament alone contains 380 references to Christ’s return; that’s an average of one verse in every 25.

Prior to His death, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1–3.

The Lord’s coming will be personal, visible, and glorious. Jesus referred to it in unmistakable terms: “And then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven: …and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30. When He was ascending to heaven, two angels suddenly appeared to his awestruck disciples saying: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11.

The apostle John was privileged to receive a prophetic view of the Second Coming and described it in glowing terms: “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” Revelation 1:7.

The Lord’s return will bring about the resurrection of the dead in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. Yet it will be a day of terror to the wicked. Revelation 6:15–17. Those who serve Him shall be like Him. 1 John 3:2.

In spite of the clear teaching of the Bible on the subject, many hold erroneous views of the Second Coming of Christ. One such view is that Christ’s waiting church will be imperfect and faulty at His coming. The Bible teaches that “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28. According to this passage, when Christ will appear a second time, sin will have been done away within the lives of His people. Jesus is coming for a church of overcoming saints. Then, death can be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:55), since death derives its power from sin. 1 Corinthians 15:56.

You asked why He has not returned yet. In 2 Peter 3:9, we read: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The Lord is extraordinarily patient towards us. He longs to be perfectly reunited with each one of us. We were created to be loved by Jesus, to love Him in return. But our rebellion has separated us from Him. Yet, in His goodness He is drawing us with bands of love. Hosea 11:4; Jeremiah 31:3. His delay is because He wants no one to be lost. Yet, at some point He must say, “He [that] is filthy, let him be filthy still: …and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12. May you and I seek His mercy now, while there is still time for repentance and transformation.

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