Monday, December 3, 2018

The Second Coming

Christmas season = 1st. coming  (incarnation)
The text, 1 Thess. 5:1-11 = 2nd. coming  (advent)

2nd. coming = Common theme!!

Statistics concerning the 2nd. Coming  (MacArthur - The 2nd. Coming)
#1.  Prophecy = 1/5 of scripture  2nd. coming = 1/3 of that 1/5th.
Therefore, 30% of Bible prophecy is concerned with the 2nd. coming.

#2.  Over 300 Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ;  200 yet to be fulfilled  (at His return)

#3.  36 (of the 46) Olt Testament prophets speak of events connected with His 2nd. coming

#4.  Over 1500 Old Testament passages refer to the 2nd. coming
Over 300 New Testament passages refer to the 2nd. coming.  (1 out of 25!)

#5.  2nd. Coming = one of the most prominent subjects in the New Testament (next to "Faith")

#6.  For every time the 1st. Coming is mentioned in Scripture, the 2nd. Coming is mentioned 8 times.
For each time atonement (death on the cross) is mentioned, the 2nd. Coming is mentioned 2 times!!

#7.  Jesus HIMSELF refers to His return 21 times

#8.  Men are exhorted to be read for His return over 50 times!

HISTORICAL views/predictions/expectations.

Originally ..... disciples expected a quick return!!  (Therefore, gospels not written until later!)

Later .. "perhaps the resurrection = beginning of the Millennial reign!  (Rev, 21)  Millennium - Rev. 20:1-3
Therefore, He would return 1000 years later.  Example:  Post-Millennial view.

Then ... some said "2nd. coming will begin with the Millennial reign!  Example:  Pre-Millennial view

In early 200s, Hippolytus (based on Daniel's 70 weeks) AND 6,000 years with millennium beginning then (Sabbath Millennium), said "millennium should begin 496"

Origen (185-254) said millennium = "allegory & symbolism")
Therefore, not necessarily literal chronology --- Example:  A millennial view
(also, Augustine, mid 300s, "millennium begins with the resurrection".

303-311 - "the Great Persecution" by Emperor Diocletian = was this "the Great Tribulation"

312 - Constantine became Emperor, then in 313 the Edict of Milan legalized Christianity.
324 -Constantine chose Christianity to be the official religion in the Roman Empire. .
New hope for the Post-Millennial view!!!  - 13 years from persecution to preference!!

410 - Rome (now a Christian City) sacked by the Goths.  Many thought THIS was the "beginning of the tribulation"

Year 1000 was choice for His return - a millennium landmark, as was 1033 - ie:  1,000 years since the Resurrection!!  Post Millennial fulfillment.

1347 - 1350 (up to) 40% of Europe died in the bubonic plague.  Tribulation period????

Christopher Columbus - on one hand, was in search for shorter route to the east Indies,
But also = serious student of Bible prophecy, and considered 'self a Christ bearer (missionary) to foreign lands.

His calculations = world would end year 7000.
                            world was 5,343 years 318 days old at Christ's birth
                             add another 1,501 years had passed
             leaving  only 155 years 'til Christ's return.  Therefore, felt urgency to carry the gospel to all the world!!

1828 Wm. Miller (Vt.) (based on Daniel's 70 weeks) said "Lord's return sometime in 1843 - example:  Millerites
then  "return October 22, 1844"  - "the Great Disappointment"

later followers said "right date, wrong place" ... Christ had purged the sanctuary ... but in Heaven!! and wouldn't appear on earth because church was not observing the Sabbath!!  => 7th. Day Adventists

Also, Jehovah's Witness' claim Christ returned invisibly and began to rule in heaven as King in October 1914.
(since then we've been in "last days") (days of woe)

Early America -- mostly Post Millennial - things going to get better and better and then the Lord returns
New World - fresh start - religious freedom
Coupled with "industrial revolution", etc.

After Civil War, a new(er) form of Pre ... 'Dispensational  Pre-millennial'.  (Plymouth brethren, John Darby, C I Scofield, Clarence Larkin) - this is the most familiar view today.

Post Millennial + (1) Great War  (ending 1918)  and (2)  2n.d WW (just 20 years later!!)

Then post war establishment of "Israel" - 1948  (United Nations Resolution 181)
(with Matt. 24:34 "this generation will not pass til all fulfilled")

So....... Hal Lindsey  "Late Great Planet Earth" in early 60s - "could take place in 40 years"  (therefore:  1988 ... so sold more than 35 million copies in 50 languages.

Edgar Whisenhunt (NASA Engineer)  - "88 Reasons Why the Lord Will Return in 1988" - Sept. 11-13, 1988
Later:  1989, 1993, 1994"

1995 began "Left Behind" series  (Tim Lahaye, Jerry Jenkins)

Then Y2K!!!  (mostly computer BUT Christians got on board!!)

Harold Camping (Family Radio) - May 21, 2011

Mayan Calendar - Dec. 21, 2012 = end of world!!

On one hand - ALL serious theologians AGREE!!!  HE'LL RETURN!!

However ... when?  how?  what scenario?  time frame?  historical setting?  unfolding of events???

(some of) Jesus' words:  Matt. 24:27, 30-31, 36-39, 42-44
Acts 1:6-7

So.... brief overview/outline of His 2nd. Coming:

How He'll Return....
        Bodily - Acts 1:9-11  "in same way...."
        Visibly - Matt. 24:27 - "as lightning"
        Suddenly (unexpectedly) - "like a THIEF"  (when people are at ease!!)

2 Pet. 3  - "scoffers will come" - Peter
But "Lord is no slow... = Patient!!  Not wanting any to perish!
        In glory  (appearance)
        In charge (authority) - Rev. 19:11-16  'every knee will bow, every tongue will confess'

What He'll Do....
         He comes:  TO REDEEM - to consummate/complete
                           to fulfill the contract/to finalize the deal the he died for
Payment is made/Property not yet occupied

                          To Judge  lost and saved = living and dead
             "separate" sheep and goats     wheat & tares  grain & chaff

                          To Rule  King/Lord/iron scepter!

He will       Establish the Kingdom  - "thy kingdom come thy will be done ... where?
He will       Usher in Eternity  - Rev. 20 & 21

Practical Application.... from words of Christ and the Apostles...

(1)  be informed - "don't be deceived!"

(2)  be prepared - example:  thief
On one hand, can't be vigilant every minute!
However, can be prepared for inevitable!  - example:  safe room in case of a tornado

How to prepare?  Accept Christ today,  Follow Christ hereafter
Question???  Isn't that just "fire insurance"??
ANSWER"  He Knows the heart - "not everyone who says unto me 'Lord, Lord'....

(3)  be encouraged - Matt. 16:18  "upon this Rock"  will build my church AND ____________??
Rev. 21:5

(4)  be faithful - Matt. 25:21  (talents)

Question?  What's the likelihood I'll bet to see 2nd Coming??
Answer:  You'll see it all right!!
         Christian:  if alive you get to see Him come!!
                         if dead?  ... you get to come with Him!!

Not yet a Christian?  Get informed/ get ready/ follow Him!!!

Closing Scripture:   Num. 6:24-26

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