The Second Coming of Christ was a spiritual event which occurred in the late first century A. D. If this is not clear to you and you would like to have it explained, see the post Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again, and (for a fuller explanation) the book Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?
Today’s post deals with the timing of the Second Coming. Tomorrow’s post will deal with its nature.
Some people insist that the Second Coming of Christ is still a future event. That is, they think that here in the 21st Century it has still not occurred. The problem with this view is that the apostles who wrote the New Testament documents gave a time frame for expectation which which did not exceed their own generation – much less a century. And far, far less than two thousand years! Therefore, to insist that the Second Coming has not yet occurred is to insist that the apostles are wrong. To get around this, people will insist that the apostles did not actually predict an imminent Second Coming. However, this flies in the face of the New Testament itself. Such a view requires ignoring or contorting verses from one end of the New Testament to the other. People who insist that the apostles did not predict an imminent Second Coming are arguing with the New Testament itself. Specifically, such people should consider the following:
- In Matthew 10:23 Jesus is commissioning His twelve disciples and tells them, “…truly I say to you, you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” History shows no record of any of these disciples still living when the second century rolled around.
- In Matthew 16:28, Jesus is again speaking to His disciples and says, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. This reinforces the point of Matthew 10:23, yet in different words. This, by the way, is how the Bible makes certain points so clear to us. That is, it paraphrases ideas so that our understanding is enhanced.
- In Matthew 24:34 Jesus is in the midst of answering the questions of His disciples about when He would be coming. In the course of giving His answer, Jesus describes many preliminary events which would be signs of His approaching kingdom. He then says, “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” This is now the third time in the Gospel of Matthew that He has used a different expression to make the same central point. How could anyone think that the Lord Himself did not deem His Second Coming to be planned for that generation?
- Note that all three of Jesus’ statements in Matthew mentioned above are preceded with “Truly I say to you.” It’s only when you think you might be doubted that you’d add a preface like this. Jesus obviously anticipated that there would be those of us who would doubt His words. (Let’s not you and me be among them, okay?)
For a fuller understanding of the Second Coming as an accomplished event, see the short book Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.