There are many views upon the return of Christ held by different groups. So this is an important distinction for us. Because of this, we must be clear on what we believe concerning the second coming of Christ. Tonight I will not be able to be exhaustive in our consideration of what we believe on this very important subject. I will give an overview of what and why we believe in the return of Jesus Christ.
I. The Certainty of His Coming.
A. The Bible teaches us that He is coming again.
1. There are 318 references in the N.T. concerning the second coming of Christ.
2. The Bible always proves itself.
3. For thousands of years the prophets pointed toward one thing: the first coming of Christ...and He came!
4. Now we have the promise of His return, and He will come again!
B. The Lord's Supper points to His return.
1. Tonight as we partake of the elements of the Lord's supper, we will do so in obedience to His command.
2. "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death TILL HE COME." 1 Co. 11:26
3. The Lord's supper points backward to His death and forward to His return from heaven.
C. Jesus said He was coming back.
1. He told His disciples in the upper room that He would leave for a while, but that He would be returning.
2. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:3
3. The angels told His disciples that it would be "...this same Jesus..." who would come in like manner as He had gone.
II. The Manner of His Coming.
A. His coming will be personal.
1. As we said before, "...this same Jesus..."
2. In our text tonight, "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven..."
3. One day Jesus is returning, not a being like Jesus, not an angel, not one of the patriarchs of old, but it will be Jesus!
B. His coming will be sudden.
1. Mt. 24:44, "Therefore be ye also ready; for in such and hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
2. As a thief in the night...totally unexpected.
3. When Noah was building the ark and preaching righteousness to the people, he was looking for the flood.
4. The people went about their daily living in the usual way without any thought of a coming judgment.
5. Then one day the flood came, just as God had promised it would, and those who had laughed at the idea perished beneath the waters.
6. Today there are thousands of people who pay no attention to the matter of the second coming of Christ.
7. But Jesus is coming!
C. His coming will be two-fold.
1. First there will be the rapture, or the catching away, of the believers in Christ.
2. Note: 1 Thess. 4:16-17
3. He is coming for His own to keep us from the terrible time of tribulation which will come upon this earth.
4. Then, after the seven years of tribulation He will return to this earth and establish His millenniel kingdom.
5. He will destroy Anti-christ, bind the devil, and reign with the saints for a thousand years.
III. The Time of His Coming.
A. No man knows the exact time of His return.
1. Note: Mark 13:32
2. Note: Acts 1:7
3. He may come before we are finished here this evening.
4. He may not return for another 100 years, but the main point is this...are we ready for His return?
B. The world is full of signs which point to His soon return.
1. Note: Matthew 24:6-7 "Wars and rumors of war"
2. Note: Matthew 24:9 "The persecution of the nation of Israel"
3. Note: Daniel 12:4 "Increased knowledge"
4. Note: Matthew 24:24 "False Christs and false prophets"