Article 29

By Steven J. Hogan

1. Jesus Christ is coming
– this is the truth, straight from the pages of God’s Word. About 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ came the first time, and He is coming again. The first coming of Christ lasted about 33 years, and the second coming of Christ, when it begins, will go on forever. “Christ also, having offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation, to those who eagerly await Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28, Luke 21:27

2. Jesus Christ is coming back soon. We know this because we live in the end times, evidenced by the fact that the Jews, as promised by God, have gathered back to their land, to Israel. But let me clarify something – soon does not mean tomorrow, the next day, and probably not even in the next few years; but in view of all of human history, Christ’s coming is very soon, is very near. “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming, will come, and will not delay.” Hebrews 10:37, Revelation 22:20

3. The word “coming” is a singular noun and it “denotes both an arrival and consequent presence.” (Vines Dictionary). The meaning of the word coming is not referring to a simple single event which occurs at one point in time, but instead refers to a period of time, during which many events will take place, and many purposes of God will be fulfilled. Christ’s coming begins with the rapture, followed by the Day of the Lord, the salvation of a remnant of Jews, and then culminates in Christ’s reign over the earth. Since the word coming is a singular noun, then we also must conclude that there is only one second coming of Christ, not two or three. “But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father.” 1 Corinthians 15:23-24; Revelation 7-9, 15-20

4. The first event to take place at Christ’s coming is the gathering of the believers to Himself. When Christ comes back in the clouds, then all the believers who have ever lived, those in heaven, and those still living on earth will be gathered to be with Him, the One who is their Savior, Lord and King. “Then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.” Mark 13:27, 2 Thessalonians 2:1

5. At the coming of Christ, all believers, those on earth, and those in heaven, will be glorified, receiving brand new, powerful, immortal, glorified and spiritual bodies. “We eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

6. At the coming of Jesus Christ a believer’s salvation will be complete. A believer is justified when he is born again, is sanctified during his life on earth, and then is glorified, not when he dies on earth and goes to heaven, but only at the coming of Christ. All believers from all time, those already in heaven, and those still alive on earth, will be glorified at the coming of Jesus Christ. “Now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” 1 John 3:2, Romans 8:30

7. Believers who have already physically died will be resurrected and glorified at the coming of Christ. There are millions and millions of believers already in heaven, and their salvation is not yet complete. That’s because they do not yet have their glorified bodies, but they will receive them at the coming of Christ, a split second before the believers on earth will receive theirs. “So also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in His own order: Christ the first fruits, after that, those who are Christ’s at His coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

8. There will be a number of Christians remaining on earth until the coming of the Lord, which means that the church will be on earth at that time. The fact that 1 Thessalonians 4:15 is a parallel verse to 1 Thessalonians 4:17 makes it very clear that those who are alive and remain until the coming of Christ will be raptured at the coming of Christ. “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep… then we who are live and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17

9. Jesus Christ will appear, and be visibly seen at His coming. In 1 John 2:28 we read that “He appears”, and “at His coming”, and therefore we know that the appearance  of Christ will occur at the coming of Christ. “Little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” 1 John 2:28, 1 John 3:2

10. At Christ’s coming, all Christians on earth will be given relief from tribulation, from persecution. The great tribulation is cut short by these dramatic signs in the heaven, marking the end of this age; and then Christ will appear in the clouds, rapturing and redeeming the believers on the earth, taking them out of all tribulation, and bringing them quickly and safely to Jesus Christ. “To give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-8, Matthew 24:29-31

11. The Christians on earth at Christ’s coming will be rescued from the wrath of God that is to be poured out upon this earth. Christians living on earth during Daniel’s 70th week will go through great tribulation, but they will not experience God’s wrath. “… and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9

12. All believers will be gathered to be with Jesus Christ at His coming, and then will be with Him forever and ever. Christ, our Husband, loves us very, very much, and wants us to always be with Him, and to see His great glory. What an encouraging truth that, at Christ’s coming, He will take us to Himself so we can be with Him forever. “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17, John 17:24

13. No one knows the exact day or hour of Christ’s coming, no one can predict when it will be, but we do know that it will take place sometime during the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32

14. The coming of Jesus Christ is not imminent, and that’s because there are many discernible prophesied events that need to take place before His return – birth pains, the signing of a treaty, the building of a Jewish temple, the revealing of the Antichrist, great tribulation, signs in the heavens, etc. “Tell us, when will these things take place, and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3, Matthew 24:32-33

15. As Christians we can know the general time of Christ’s coming, for the Bible tells us many events that still need to take place before His return to earth. For example, Matthew 24:3-41 spells out over 15 specific things that need to occur before the return of Christ and the rapture of the church. “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and then puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:32-33, Luke 21:7-36

16. The coming of Christ begins sometime during the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. Christ’s coming does not start at either the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week or at the end of Daniel’s 70th week, but it starts sometime during the last 3½ years of this time period, between the sixth and seventh seals of Revelation 6, 8. “Now we request you brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering to Him…” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Revelation 7:9-14

17. The coming of the Antichrist, which occurs at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, begins before the coming of Christ and the Day of the Lord. Therefore, the rapture of the church, which is the first event at Christ’s coming, will be after the coming of the Antichrist, sometime after the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9, Matthew 24:9-27

18. The coming of Christ begins after the great tribulation and before the wrath of God. The rapture of the church, the first event at Christ’s coming, will occur after the persecution of the Christians, but before the punishment of the unbelievers. “But immediately after the tribulation… He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and will gather together His elect…” Matthew 24:29-31, Revelation 6:9-9:21

19. Christ’s coming begins right after the end of this present evil age. Marked by great signs in the heavens and a great earthquake, the end of this age will immediately be followed by the return of Christ and the rapture of the church. “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars… then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:25-27; Matthew 24:3, 29-31

20. The coming of Christ begins after the end of this present evil age, but before the start of the glorious millennial kingdom age. It is the Day of the Lord, God’s judgment of unbelievers on earth, that separates these two ages, an evil age ruled by the devil, and a good age ruled by Jesus Christ. “The one who endures to the end (of the age) will be saved (raptured).” Matthew 24:13; Revelation 6-20

21. At the coming of Christ, there will be a great reunion of believers in the skies above, for those on earth will be wonderfully and immediately reunited with believing family members and loved ones who had passed away and gone on before them. “We do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 4:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

22. At the coming of Christ, the Antichrist will be defeated, dethroned, and cast into the torturing lake of fire where he will be greatly, rightfully and eternally punished for his great and devilish rebellion against God. “Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8, Revelation 19:11-19

23. At the coming of Christ, the devil will be defeated, captured and then chained, cast into the abyss for a 1000 years, then let loose, then captured again, and finally be cast into the lake of fire where he will be eternally and most severely punished. Hallelujah! “He laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years… and the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone…” Revelation 20:2-3, 7-10; Colossians 2:15

24. Before the coming of Christ, the believers on earth will be unmercifully mocked by the unbelievers. This is similar to what happened to Noah when he was building the ark, which too took place before God’s judgment was suddenly poured out upon a most wicked world. “In the last days, mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’” 2 Peter 3:3-4, Luke 21:12-19

25. Immediately before the coming of Christ, the Christians on earth will see His brilliant Shekinah glory light up the sky. The glory of Christ will be visibly and brightly shining before Christ Himself will appear. “Just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:27, Matthew 24:30

26. When Jesus Christ comes to rapture the church, He will be accompanied by a great multitude of angels. Next to the death and resurrection of Christ at His 1st coming, the 2nd coming of Christ will be the most dramatic, most climactic, most exciting event to ever take place on this earth. The skies will be filled with angels as Jesus Christ makes His return visit to earth. “So that He (the Lord) may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints (angels).” 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Luke 2:13-14

27. At His coming, Jesus Christ will be revealed for all the world to see, appearing in His glory in the sky above, manifesting Himself to the entire world. “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him.” Revelation 1:7, 1 John 2:28-3:2

28. Jesus Christ is coming as a Savior, Judge, Redeemer and King. He will save believers, rescuing them from the wrath of God. He will judge unbelievers who are still on earth during the Day of the Lord, except the protected and elect Jews. He will redeem a remnant of Jews at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. Then He will begin His rule and reign as King over the entire earth. “Let the mountains sing together for joy before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth.” Psalm 98:9, Romans 11:25-26

29. The glory of Christ will be greatly manifested at the coming of Christ. Jesus Christ is always glorified, but at His coming, His glory will be displayed like never before, and therefore be seen like never before. Shortly thereafter, the new millennial kingdom age will begin, and the whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:27, Habakkuk 2:14

30. Christ is coming again! Are you excited, are you looking forward to seeing Christ and being with Him forever? Are you praying, “Come, Lord Jesus.” As you await Christ’s soon return, might your heart be overflowing with love for your Lord, Savior and King. “Behold, I am coming soon.” Revelation 22:20

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24