THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

Question: What does the Bible teach concerning the Second Advent of Christ?

 

Answer: Jesus promised His disciples in John 14: 3:

“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.” This verse teaches a second personal advent, or return of

Jesus, but because this subject has, and continues to be much misunderstood, let us examine this

question from the following standpoints: its objectives, manner, and time and signs.

 

(1.) The objectives of Christ’s return: His return has many objectives, one of the most important

being the one spoken of in our text – the gathering and delivering of His Bride, the Little Flock,

the Church. But the main objective is to bless the entire human family, both the living and the

dead, with the opportunity of obtaining restitution. This is spoken of in Acts 3: 20, 21:

“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must

receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his

holy prophets since the world began.” The word restitution means a return to an original state,

and for mankind that means the opportunity to return to the original state that the human family

was in − the human perfection that Father Adam and Mother Eve possessed in the Garden of

Eden (Genesis 1: 26, 27, 31).

 

(2.) The manner of Christ’s return: The Bible contains both literal and symbolic statements, and

a failure to properly distinguish between the two has led especially to a misunderstanding of the

manner of His return. The classic verse describing His return is: Acts 1: 11:

“Ye men of Galilee, 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.” We

ask: What was the manner of His going? We answer: It was not done openly, in the presence of

thousands or millions, nor was it done with great demonstration and fanfare; but it was done

secretly and privately, the only witnesses being His few faithful followers. We should therefore

expect the manner of His return to also be quiet and secret, so far as the world would be

concerned, with only His faithful followers being aware of the fact. Another relevant Scripture is

Revelation 16: 15, in which Jesus said:

“Behold, I come as a thief!” Just as a thief does his work in a quiet, unobserved manner,

normally at night, so Jesus returns and performs His Second Advent work in a quiet and

unobserved manner, completely unknown to the world in general.

 

This brings us to another important characteristic of the manner of Christ’s return, alluded to

above – its invisibility. One Scriptural passage proving this, which speaks of Jesus, is

1 Timothy 6: 16:

“Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no

man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Another proof is John 14: 19:

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live

also.” The reason why Jesus is invisible in His return is because since His resurrection, He is no

longer a human being, but is a spiritual being, and the bodies of spiritual beings are invisible to

human sight. Jesus’ spiritual nature is proven by 1 Corinthians 15: 45:

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a

quickening spirit.”

 

(3.) The time and signs of Christ’s return: The important feature regarding the time of His return

is that His Second Advent covers a period of a thousand years (Revelation 20: 6). The exact

moment of His return is therefore of minor importance in comparison to knowing when He is

present; however, we are not left in the dark, because the Bible reveals many secular and

religious sign prophecies that accompany His return. And by recognizing those signs, we may

rest assured that we are living during the period of His Second Advent. Because of the

invisibility of His return, these signs are necessary. Let us consider one secular and one religious

sign:

 

A secular sign which indicates the period of Christ’s Second Advent is that it would be during a

time of great unrest amidst a worldwide unmanageable crisis:

Luke 21: 25-27: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon

the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing

them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of

heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with

powerand great glory.” This Scripture gives a good description of this secular sign by the use of

symbolic language.

 

A religious sign that mark the period of Christ’s Second Advent is the abounding of iniquity:

Matthew 24: 12: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

 

Although many more secular and religious signs could be cited, we may reasonably conclude

that we are currently living in the period of time described in the Bible as the Second Advent or

presence of Christ, which in turn means that we are close to the time of the establishment of the

earthly phase of God’s Kingdom.

 

Note: Please find a more thorough examination of this subject in Study 6 of God’s Wonderful

Plan of the Ages.

 

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