in the Christian Library by Grady Scott
Jesus Shall Come
The Biblical doctrine of the second coming of Jesus is one which is of the utmost importance. It is important for numerous reasons, all of which are important in and of themselves. But in this writers opinion the one reason which stands out as being the most important reason for having a better understanding of our Lord's second coming is because of the HOME of the soul. As Jesus said, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt.16:26). The destiny of the soul is a subject which everyone can relate to, because everyone has a soul and that soul shall spend eternity somewhere.
If we can understand the second coming of our Lord, then we can be motivated to live a life which is in harmony with His will and thus make sure that when Jesus comes again we will be ready to meet Him in the sky and to be with Him forever more. It is to this end that I write this tract and put it forth into your hands.
May God bless you in your study of His divine will.
Johnie Scaggs, Jr.
HOW IS OUR LORD COMING AGAIN
The Hebrews writer said, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb.9:27,28)
Christ was in the world at one time. John in referring to Christ stated, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Jesus lived on this world and he died for the sins of mankind. We read about His death in Matthew 27 chapter. After his death he arose on the third day according to (Matt.28:1ff). The fact that Jesus Christ is coming again cannot be successfully denied. Luke opens the book of Acts saying that Jesus ôshowed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of Godö (Acts 1:3). Then we read, "while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, 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." (Acts 1:9-11). Some of those in the early church began to wonder about His coming. They had a misconception of what His coming would be like and even as to the time of His coming. They especially were concerned with how His coming would affect the dead. But Paul said, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thess.4:16). Paul assures them that the Lord will come again. Hence, the fact that Jesus Christ is coming again some day. The different aspects of His coming are described to us throughout the New Testament.
(1) First: His coming will be visible and personal. John wrote, "Behold he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, Even so, Amen" (Rev.1:7). Yes, we will all be a witness of His coming, no one shall miss this event.
(2) Second: His coming will be in the glory of His Father. We read, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matt. 16:28).
(3) Third: His coming will be to give a reward to every man. But notice the reward will be given according to each ones own works (Matt.16:28). Some shall receive the reward of heaven and sadly but surely some shall receive the reward of an eternal hell. Remember the words of our Lord, ôEnter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find itö (Matt.7:13,14). Paul stated that He would come, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess.1:8).
(4) Fourth:His coming will be so that all can hear. When the Lord comes you will know that it is Him, for it will be with a noise unlike anything you have ever heard. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor.15:52).
(5) Fifth: His coming will be quickly and without notice. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye " (1 Cor.15:52a). Paul said, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail on a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (1 Thess.5:2,3).
(6 )Sixth: His coming will be to bring
all things to an end. At His second coming our Lord
shall destroy this old earth and all things therein.
Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my
words shall not pass away" (Matt.24:35). Peter stated it
thusly, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in
the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with
a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent
heat, the earth also and the works that are therein
shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10). Yes, when our Lord
comes again, this old earth and all that is on this
earth both below and above shall be done away with. It
shall be no more.
WHY IS THE LORD COMING AGAIN?
In all things which God has done, He has had a definite purpose. In the beginning of time He had a purpose for creating mankind. When man sinned against God, God then revealed unto us another purpose which He had and that was to redeem mankind back unto Himself (Gen.3:16).
All through the Old Testament, God did things for a purpose. Abraham begot Isaac for a purpose. The children of Israel were begotten for a purpose and on and on we could continue.
When Jesus came to the world the first time it was for a purpose. He came to save the world from sin. To die on the cross of Calvary. Jesus said of Himself, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matt.20:28). We also read, "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain;" (Acts 2:23).
Jesus came the first time in order that He might establish His kingdom. Luke recorded this concerning Jesus, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32,33). His kingdom was established according to (Matt.16:18,19). This was His purpose for coming the first time and He fulfilled this purpose, that is, the establishment of His kingdom. So why is he coming again?
(1) First: He is coming again to judge the world. Jesus stated, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). As Paul preached to the people of Athens he stated, "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). Hence, we can be sure of this, one of the reasons for our Lord's second coming is to judge the world. In His coming He will judge the living and the dead (2 Tim.4:1).
(2) Second: He is coming to give rewards and punishment. We read of this in Matthew 25:31-46. Within this context He speaks of two different groups, one group are those who are called the sheep, these shall be divided from the second group who are called the goats. The sheep shall be on the right hand and the goats on the left. The sheep shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them. But the goats shall go away into everlasting punishment. As verse 46 states, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." It will be a day of separation.
(3) Third: He is coming to glorify the righteous and to make them like unto Himself. John said, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). We will be changed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor.15:52).
(4) Fourth: He is coming to destroy the world and to deliver up the kingdom. Paul said, "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power" (1 Cor.15:24).
(5) Fifth: He is coming to raise the dead. John wrote, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice," (John 5:28).
From a negative view point Jesus is not coming, I repeat, He is NOT coming to teach, to invite, or to offer himself as a sacrifice. He is not coming to set up a kingdom. These things are already done, His kingdom has already been established and all the teaching and inviting will be over. There will not be a second chance given to those who did not live righteous the first time.
Hence from this we should learn to live today as God would have us to live for when He comes again all things will cease.
THE DAY OF HIS COMING AND EVENTS OF THAT
The fact that Jesus is coming again cannot be successfully denied! Thus far we have shown that our Lord is coming again and at least some of the reasons for His coming. Thus we have shown beyond doubt that He will come again. But what about that day and of the events of that day?
First, it should be clearly pointed out that the time of His coming is something that no one can know! And I must emphasize this point, by saying once again, NO ONE KNOWS THE TIME when our Lord shall return. Throughout the ages and even unto this day many men have told the world that they know when the Lord is coming. They have even given us dates, which range from a year down to even the exact day. But all of these have been proven to be false. And they shall always be false. The reason is because no man knows nor will any man ever know until the day comes. Listen to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. ôBe ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think notö (Luke 12:40). Jesus illustrated this point by saying, "And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through" (Luke 12:39). In Matthew Jesus said, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matt.25:13). In the 24 chapter of Matthew Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father" (Matt.24:36). Jesus plainly states that neither man nor angels know when His coming will be, only His Father knows when that time will be. Friend, why don't we leave these things with the Father, and not try to second guess Him.
The truth is this, there is not one person living today who can truthfully tell us when Jesus Christ is coming again. And anyone who claims that they can, claims to know more than the angels and even more than Christ Himself was willing to claim.
But what about the events of that day? What will we be doing on that day? This has always been of an interest to men.
The Bible makes it clear that the day of His coming will be just another day in the life of all people. At least that is what the day will start out to be, but before it ends it will be a day like unto no other day. But we will all (that is, those who are living) get up and get dressed, we will set down to eat our morning meal and then off to work we will go. Going about our everyday life completely unaware that anything is going to happen such as the end of time. This is how the Lord describes his coming in Matthew 24:36-41. He speaks about the days of Noah and how it was in those days and states that this is how it will be in the coming of the Son of man. Before the flood came they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage and they did not know that the flood was coming until it was too late. Not that they could not have known. We know that Noah preached to them concerning this very subject, and yet they turned their ears away from the words which he spoke. The same words which could have prepared them for the coming of the flood. Jesus says this is what it will be like. He states, "Then shall two be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left, Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left" (Matt. 24: 40,41).
When our Lord comes, business will be taking place just like it has always taken place. Whatever you have been doing all of your life is what you will be doing on that great day.
There will be no time to run and prepare
yourself for His coming. You will not be able nor have
the time to run to the preacher or elders and say
baptize me now or pray for me, it will all be too late,
for time will be over. Whatever state you are in, is the
state the Lord will find you in when He comes. Hence,
like the five wise virgins of Matthew 25 we must prepare
ourselves while it is yet day least we find ourselves
like the five foolish virgins, unprepared. Remember the
night cometh when it will all be over.
AFTER THIS LIFE, WHAT THEN?
There are those who are looking for another dispensation, after the coming of our Lord. They believe that the Lord will set up a kingdom on this earth, and reign from the throne of David in Jerusalem. They believe that this will happen following the second coming of the Lord.
Actually, what this doctrine teaches basically is that there will be a second chance for men to obtain salvation. But I am more concerned with what does the Bible say about this rather than what man may believe and teach. Just what does the Bible teach on this subject?
Peter had this to say concerning this subject, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness" (2 Peter 3:10,11). First, ask yourself this question, "Why was Peter writing this message, what did he intend to exhort us to do?" The answer is found in verse 11, because of these things or that which will happen in verse 10, "what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?" Actually, Peter is telling us that because the world will be dissolved we should live now at the present time in such a manner as to be found worthy of God's great grace in that day when Jesus Christ judges the world.
Now notice verse 10 - in verse 10 Peter says, (1) First, the day will come as a thief in the night. (2) Second, at that time , when the Lord comes these things shall take place:
(1) First, the heavens will pass away. What does Peter mean, in this expression ôthe heavens?ö Peter clearly refers to physical elements or the heavenly bodies such as sun, moon and stars, etc. This of course would bring into play all things which pertain to the heavenly bodies. These things shall pass away with a great noise. To "pass away" simply means to be done away with. Peter further emphasizes when he states that they will also, that is the ôelements shall melt with fervent heatö. These things shall simply be done away with, they will cease to be.
(2) Secondly, Peter says that the earth also, like unto the heavens, the ôearth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.ö The earth or the ground we walk on and the works that are in or upon the earth shall be burned up.
(3) Third, Peter further emphasizes this point in verse 11 by saying "these things shall be dissolved" Friend, there can be no doubt, when the Lord comes back, He will bring with Him destruction to the world that we know. It will cease to be in existence. Now Peter continues, in (2 Peter 3:12,13) he states, "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, where in dwelleth righteousness."
Peter, what are you saying? Yes, Peter says, this world will be burned up, it will be dissolved, done away with, but, he says, do not worry. Who is not to worry? The righteous are the ones who don't need to worry about what is going to happen to this old world. Why? Because the righteous ones look forward to the promise of God that there will be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Only the righteous will dwell in the new heaven and the new earth.
John said, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" (Rev.21:1).
My friends, listen to the Bible. Those who look for a second chance, have no place to exist. There will be no place for them to dwell. Because first of all this old earth will burn up, it will be dissolved, done away with, no more. Secondly, the next earth and heaven will be for the righteous.
Now I ask you where will the unrighteous
dwell? John tells us, "But the fearful, and unbelieving,
and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and
sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have
their part in the lake which burneth with fire and
brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev.21:8).
WHAT TO DO WHILE WE AWAIT HIS COMING
While our Lord was on this earth He had a work to do and He did that work. His work was completed in that He came and gave His life a ransom for many. After having completed His work He ascended back into heaven according to Acts 1:9-11. But before His leaving, He left us with His teaching as to what we should do while we await for His return.
Jesus said, "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch" (Mark 13:33-37).
Jesus has given unto every man a work to do while He is gone and we will be rewarded at His return according to the work which we have done or that which we have left undone. We are not here just to occupy space or to sleep. We are here to work for the master until His return. You may recall the story of the three men who were given their individual talents. The first man was given five talents, the second man was given two, and the third man was given one; as the Bible says, "to every man according to his several ability" (Matt.25:15). The two men who received the five and two talents went and used their talents. However, the third man took his and hid it afraid that he might lose it. The Lord returned and the two who used their talents were rewarded. But the one who hid his talent lost the talent and received no reward at all, (Matt.25:14-30). These three men represent all of mankind and that all of us have a responsibility to do our work. We each have a responsibility, according to our ability to do a certain work. One's ability will not always be like unto another's ability, but we can be certain that all us have an ability to do something for the Lord. And we are expected by the Lord to use this ability or lose the ability in the end.
My friends, we have responsibility and we must recognize it. We must be working. To the church God has entrusted through His son, Jesus Christ, the gospel. We have that gospel to preach, Christ said in Mark 16:15, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." How much of that work are you doing, while you await the Lord's coming? That is your responsibility; that is something that you are to do. We must preach the gospel that He has given; and, in the second place, we must live that gospel. In 2 Corinthians 3:2, he said, "Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men." Men are reading our lives, and so we must preach the gospel and we must live the gospel, while we await His coming. In Philippians 1:27, the apostle Paul said, "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ"ö
Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt.5:16).
The time is coming when there will not be
a work to do, when we will receive the reward for all
the work which we have done while we yet had the time.
But for now we must do the work of Him that went on
before us, Jesus Christ.
It is our prayer that after you have read this tract you will be pricked in your heart and that you would truly desire to obey the sweet gospel of Jesus Christ.If you desire to become a Christian and cannot find a minister of the church of Christ in your community, write to us and we will put you in contract with someone who can help or we will come ourselves and help you in your search for the truth.