Christ is Coming
Bible Teaching About His Return
Christadelphians have always taught that the Return of Jesus Christ to the earth is vital to the fulfillment of the purpose of God. This booklet reviews Bible teaching about the Second Coming, both the events that will lead up to that miracle and the reason for the Lord's Return.
Someone has counted the New Testament references to this great event, and they number 318 occurrences! If you reflect that the number of times the word for Christian love occurs is only 115, you will begin to see the importance of this topic. Nor is it simply the case that only one or two New Testament writers refer to the matter in their writings. Treatment of the subject is widely spread.
Jesus spoke often about the Kingdom of God and his Second Coming. His parables, for example, were told to those who thought the Kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He was like a nobleman who had to go "into a far country to receive for himself a Kingdom and to return" (Luke 19:12). More than once he spoke of the Coming of the Son of Man (e.g. Matthew 24:27,30,37,39,48; 25:27; 26:64). And when he assured his disciples of his continuing spiritual, but invisible, presence "even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20), he inferred that then he would be visibly present with them for ever.
The testimony of the Apostles was equally plain. They had been clearly taught by the Risen Lord who, during the forty days before his ascension into heaven, instructed them about the Kingdom of God, the restored kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:3,6). It was the opening theme of his post-resurrection appearances that all the Old Testament promises were coming to their fulfillment in him (Luke 24:27). At the time of his ascension, as he was being taken up from the Mount of Olives into the clouds, God sent His angels to explain.
"Ye men of Galilee", they said to the watching apostles, "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).
It is not therefore surprising that when the Apostles began to teach in the streets of Jerusalem, they said that their Lord Jesus Christ was to return to the earth as King. Peter gave the lead when he boldly announced that the grave could not keep Jesus imprisoned. He referred his hearers to a statement in Psalm 110:1, used also by his Lord, to show that he had gone to heaven only until his enemies have been subdued (2:34,35). Note the authoritative use of the Old Testament.
But also note a vital point. Bible teaching is never given just for the sake of informing us what happens next. It always has a deeper intention, for we are meant to use the knowledge it confers to prepare ourselves for those coming events:
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ . . . Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:36,38).
It should follow that our consideration of Bible truth concerning the Return of the Lord should also cause us to search our hearts.