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The second coming of Christ refers to the expectation of Christians that Jesus Christ will come again into this world to take the faithful Christians to the abode he has prepared for them in Heaven according to his teaching. This is called “The rapture of the saints”. Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians included the signs for the second coming of Jesus Christ which would involve those who are alive and those who are dead.
Jesus and Paul showed how to get ourselves prepared for Christ’s second coming. Christians should be expectant of Christ’s second coming on a daily basis because Jesus said his coming would be like the coming of a thief in the night. Therefore, we Christians should get ourselves prepared by living holy lives, loving one another and showing good conduct to people.
The Signs of the Second Coming of the Lord
(1Thessalonians 4:13-18; ll Thessalonians 2:1-2)
Paul started his letter to the church of Thessalonians by warning them not to be deceived by false doctrines(teaching) for the day of the Lord was imminent. He reminded them how Jesus died and rose and that he will come back to the world again. He said that nobody knew the day except God, so Christians should not worry or be concerned about the day.
Paul said before the second coming of Christ, there will be the emergence of the lawless man which is also being referred to as Antichrist who will exalt himself and perform fake signs and wonders through satanic power. This lawless man would deceive the disobedient ones who are destined for destruction because of their refusal to accept the true gospel of Jesus Christ which can save them. God, as a result, shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie. This will lead to condemnation together with the lawless man. The lawless man will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him with the brightness of his coming.
Paul also urged the Thessalonians Christians not to be sorrowful concerning those who are dead in the Lord as the unbelievers who have no hope of eternal life. He said because they believed that Jesus Christ died and rose again; even those who are dead in Christ will rise again. Paul continued by saying that the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore, Christians should be watchful all the time in their dealings in order to be found guiltless and be able to reign with Christ. Everlasting destruction, on the other hands, awaits the disobedient ones.
Preparation for His Coming (Mathew 25:31-46, l Thessalonians 5:1-11)
Jesus, in his teaching shows the Christians how they ought to prepare for his second coming. He said when he comes in his glory with all the holy angels, he would sit upon the throne of his glory and all nations would gather before him.
He would then separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. He would set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. He would say to them on his right hand: “Come, you blessed of my father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and came to you.”
He said he would answer them and in as much as they have done it to one of the least of His brethren, they have done it to him. He would also say to those on the left hand. “Depart from me, you are cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you did not give me food; I was thirsty and you did not visit me.”
He said, they would answer him saying: “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger; or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?”
Then, he would answer them saying: “Verily I say to you, in as much as you did it not to one of the least of these (that is, his brethren) you did it not to me.” He said they shall go away into everlasting punishment; that is in the lake of fire; but the righteous into life eternal; that is in heaven.
Jesus is teaching us that we should prepare for his coming by doing good. He wants us to put into practice those things we have learnt in the Bible. Failure to do this will bring eternal damnation.
Concerning the preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ, Paul taught the Christians brethren that no one knows that no one knows the day of the Lord’s coming, but He would come suddenly like a thief in the night. Those in relaxation mood who say there is peace and security would under such deception face the danger of sudden destruction like the travails of a woman in labour. Therefore, Christians, according to Paul, were sons of light and of the day and not of darkness. They should not sleep like others, but for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, so that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. He therefore advised them to comfort themselves together and build up one another.
The Significance of The Coming of Christ
- Concerning the signs of the second coming of Lord, Paul taught the Christians that death is not the end of a person, but a transition into eternal life in God’s kingdom for faithful Christians, but for the disobedient and the unfaithful one, it is a transition into damnation.
- Christians should believe in the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. We should preach about the second coming of Christ to others in order to save them from sin and get them prepared.
- We should not be grievous concerning our loved ones who die in Christ because eternal life is awaiting them in heaven where they will die no more.
- We should always live as children of light and get ourselves prepared for the second coming of Christ.
- Concerning the preparation for the second coming of Christ, Jesus taught that those who are not hospitable would not inherit his kingdom. They will be sentenced into the lake of fire.
- According to Paul, Christians should be conscious of the second coming of Christ and be watchful and prayerful in how they live.
- Any obedient and faithful Christians who die before the second coming of Christ will go to paradise in heaven awaiting the final judgment. On the other hand, those who die without Christ and the disobedient Christians will end up in hell fire which fire burns day and night, awaiting the final judgment of Christ.
- Mention five conditions for reining with Christ in eternity.
- Mention five things that can hinder a Christian from reigning with Christ.
Mention three Significances of The Coming of Christ.