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Facts About the Second Coming of Christ (by Wayne Jackson)

May 12 2013 at 4:07 AM
Donnie Cruz  (Login Donnie.Cruz)
from IP address

"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)

There are popular doctrines that pertain to a series of events in the future or the "end times." (We may or may not have heard of premillennialism, "the rapture," etc.) There is the belief that there will be a literal 1000-year reign of Christ on earth. The "rapture" is believed to be an event during which Christ will snatch away "the saved" from the earth, followed by a seven-year "tribulation" period, ending with the battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. Which of these events occurs first? And what about the resurrection of the dead, the day of judgment, or when the world ends?

Wayne Jackson has written other articles that pertain to these events (past or future):

-- The Menace of Radical Preterism
-- Examining Premillennialism
-- Are There "Signs" of the Second Coming of Christ?
-- Is Christ's Coming Very, Very Soon?
-- The Resurrection of the Wicked
-- Will "Heaven" Be on Earth?
-- Armageddon: The Next of the "Left-Behind" Series
-- etc.

One BIG question: Will Jesus literally set foot on earth again?

The sequence of events during the last days as listed above is somewhat confusing. We do not hear change agents talk about these events as they are more concerned about restructuing the church of Christ and transforming that body into another denominational religious group of believers. Let's see if Wayne Jackson, based on what the Scripture says, can help clarify for us the end-time issues with his article below:


Facts About the Second Coming of Christ

By Wayne Jackson

The second coming of Christ (cf. Heb. 9:27) is a prevailing theme of the New Testament. It is referenced eight times more often than the Lord's initial coming (Pardington, 354). It is alluded to more than 300 times in the New Testament (Thiessen, 442).

Because there is considerable error associated with the Lord's return, we must examine this theme--not only positively, but also in addressing several errors that have distorted biblical teaching.

Prophesied in Old Testament

Since "immortality," which is associated with the second coming, is illuminated most fully by the gospel of Christ (2 Tim. 1:10), one would not expect there to be an abundance of explicit information in the Old Testament related to this terminal event. There are, however, hints of the Lord's return nestled within the OT literature.

Job felt there would be a time of vindication for him by his "Redeemer" at some point after his flesh had disintegrated (19:25-27), though he had no precise understanding of that Redeemer from his ancient vantage point.

In a messianic discourse, David foretold of an ultimate retribution upon Jehovah's enemies (Psa. 2:9; 110:1).

Isaiah spoke of the time when every knee would bow and every tongue would swear allegiance to God (45:23; cf. Rom. 14:11).

Daniel prophesied of a future bodily resurrection (Dan. 12:2-3). These events are associated with the Savior's second coming.

New Testament Affirmation

As indicated above, the New Testament abounds with information regarding the second coming of Christ. Jesus himself affirmed it on numerous occasions (cf. Mt. 24:37, 39, 42, 44).

Shortly before his crucifixion, the Savior promised that after his death he would "come again" (cf. Lk. 19:15; Jn. 14:3). When the Lord ascended into heaven the angels proclaimed that he would "so come in like manner" as they watched him depart into heaven (Acts 1:11).

The entire fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians deals with the resurrection of the body, to occur at the time of Jesus' return (v. 23). The books of First and Second Thessalonians both deal significantly with the Christ's return (1 Thes. 4:13ff; 5:1ff; 2 Thes. 1:7ff; 2:1ff).

There is a special Greek term commonly used for the return of Christ. Parousia (24 times in the New Testament), signifying an "arrival" or "presence," is employed sixteen times for the second coming (cf. Mt. 24:37, 39; 1 Thes. 3:13; 1 Cor. 15:23; Jas. 5:7, etc.).

One scholar suggests that the arrival "motifs" treated in many of these texts "are derived from OT and Jewish salvation expectations, which anticipate an earthly personality such as the messianic king" (Radl, 3.44).

Let us now consider the issue of the second coming from both positive and negative vantage points.

Features of the Second Coming

There are explicit features of the second coming that identify the nature of this grand event. At the same time, these qualities eliminate various false ideas that have arisen within the community of "Christendom" over the past two millennia. Consider the following points.

Certainty of the Second Coming

The second coming is certain to occur. The very integrity of Christ is at stake in this matter. He declared: "I come again," undergirding that with, "if it were not so I would have told you" (Jn. 14:2).

Further, it is identified as a definite "day," e.g., "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:8; 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Thes. 5:2).

Time of Second Coming Not Revealed

The specific time of that event is not revealed. He will come at an unexpected time (Mt. 24:37ff), similar to the manner in which a thief stalks his victim (1 Thes. 5:2).

Not even Christ, during his personal ministry, knew when that day would occur (cf. Mk. 13:32). This was due to his self-limitation of certain knowledge while on earth.

Strange indeed are the claims of certain modern religionists who imagine they can calculate that which the Lord could not! Date setters have been notoriously wrong. When the skeptic Bertrand Russell charged Jesus with error, claiming Christ believed his "coming" would occur during the first century, he exposed his pathetic ignorance of biblical data (1967, 16).

Second Coming Will Be Literal

The Lord's coming will be literal. There are passages which mention "comings" of Christ that are representative (i.e., not literal), e.g., his "coming" on Pentecost with the arrival of his kingdom (Mt. 16:28), or via the dispatch of the Spirit to his apostles (Jn. 14:18), in the destruction of Jerusalem (Mt. 24:30), or in a disciplinary fashion (Rev. 2:5).

But Christ's second coming will be personal. Note the expression, "the Lord himself" (1 Thes. 4:16).

They teach falsely who claim that "no visible return of Christ to the earth is to be expected" (Clarke, 444), or that the "second coming" was merely the punitive action of Christ in the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem, as alleged by Max King and his preterist disciples (see Jackson, 31-56).

Christ's Return Will Be Visible

The Lord will come visibly, not as the theory of the invisible "rapture" maintains. This example of "freak exegesis" was popularized by Hal Lindsey in the book, The Late Great Planet Earth (124-125).

The Lord's return will be a "revelation" (2 Thes. 1:7), indeed a "manifestation" (1 Jn. 2:28), involving an "appearance" (1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:29).

Too, he will come as the "Son of man" (Mt. 16:27), in his glorified body (Phil. 3:21).

Jesus Return Will Be Final

The second coming will be terminal. Paul depicts the "coming" of Christ as being "the end." Death will have been destroyed, and the Lord's enemies will have been abolished (1 Cor. 15:23-24).

Clearly then, since the dead have not yet been raised, the second coming obviously did not occur in A.D. 70, as the radical preterists allege.

Additionally, when false teachers attempted to undermine the Christian cause by challenging the Lord's "promise of his coming," Peter refuted their charge by contending that Christ's coming would be accompanied by the demolition of the entire universe (2 Pet. 3:4, 10). Thus, that coming has not occurred, and there will be no place for a 1,000 year earthly reign of Christ following that coming, as alleged by premillennialists.

Events Associated With the Second Coming

Though we touched slightly upon the following issues in points discussed previously, we now will consider them more systematically.

The Resurrection

The general resurrection of the dead is connected with the return of Christ.

The ancient Sadducees denied the resurrection (Mt. 22:23; Acts 23:6-8), as do modern skeptics. But the doctrine of the bodily resurrection is affirmed abundantly in the New Testament (see Jn. 5:28-29; 6:39-40; Mk. 12:18-27; Acts 17:32; 24:15; 26:8; Rom. 8:23; 1 Thes. 4:16; 1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 5:1-2; Phil. 3:21).

The faithful who are living at the time of Christ's coming will be transformed into his likeness (1 Cor. 15:51; Phil. 3:21).


The day of judgment is likewise connected with the second coming (Mt. 16:27; 25:31-46). Note:
  • Christ will be the judge (Jn. 5:22, 27; 2 Cor. 5:10).
  • All human beings who ever have lived will be judged (Rom. 14:10; Acts 17:31).
  • Each person will be judged by the law of God under which he lived. The ancient Gentiles will be judged by the law of the conscience (Rom. 2:12-15). The Jews will be judged upon the basis of Moses' law (Rom. 2:12). Those of the Christian age will be judged according to the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21; Rom. 2:16).
  • Human culpability will be measured by one's ability, together with his pattern of obedience or disobedience (Mt. 7:21-33; Heb. 5:9).
  • The judgment will be irrevocable. Christ declared there are but two destinies--eternal punishment, or eternal life ("life" = communion with God). There is no post-judgment redemption, nor is there an eventual annihilation for the wicked.
  • The purpose of Christ's judgment will not be to determine one's destiny; that is fixed at the moment of one's death (Lk. 16:22-23). The objective will be to both reveal and vindicate "the righteous judgment of God" (Rom. 2:5), which will be acknowledged universally (Rom. 14:11).


The Second Coming of the Lord will be the terminal event of earth's history. Every rational individual should prepare of this phenomenal occasion--one of either thrilling reward, or indescribable terror, depending upon one's spiritual status.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Facts About the Second Coming of Christ (by Wayne Jackson)

May 13 2013, 12:53 PM 

This is an issue beyond my reach. Jackson would agree with Campbell. It is interesting that the ENCYCLOPEDIA used by all of the neo-preachers and bloggers makes the claim that Churches of Christ were APOCALYPTIC which in their twist means that Campbell believed in any form of a millennium. They quote but as they often do they MISQUOTE. Campbell rejected the Millerites with whom the Disciples agreed in principle about Jesus returning in 1844. Most of the deviation among the Disciples happened after that great disappointment.

Alexander Campbell wrote about the Second Coming which specifically debunks Miller. John Mark Hicks makes this APOCALYPTIC view as one of the LEG upon which Lipscombs now stands

Apocalyptic or Millennium views
Trinitarian heresy REdefined by LU.
Instrumental Music
Women as Leaders.

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2nd Coming

July 31 2013, 10:20 PM 

Various view of kingdom in New Testament:

David and Solomon were in God's kingdom.

Kingdom is when the will of God is done, that God is king.

Kingdom is at hand.

Kingdom is within you.

Kingdom would come during some of their lifetimes.

Kingdom may have come on Pentecost.

They were translated into the kingdom of His dear son.

Kingdom would not come with observation.

Kingdom will be inherited when He separates the sheep from the lambs.


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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Kingdom of Heaven Now and in the Future

August 2 2013, 12:30 AM 

I have done some quick searches using the KJV and here are the results [no time for the "chart" format]:

.......................|Old Testament Count..|New Testament Count
KINGDOM of ............|...31................|..109
KINGDOM of Israel......|....3................|....0
KINGDOM of the Lord....|....2................|....0
KINGDOM of Christ......|....0................|....2
KINGDOM of God.........|....0................|...70 [mostly in the Gospels]
KINGDOM of heaven......|....0................|...33 [all in Matthew]

My analysis is that in the Old Testament, the word "kingdom" is in reference to the earthly rulership -- the kingdom of Persia, Babylon, Og, Judah, etc. Neither "the kingdom of God" nor "the kingdom of heaven" is mentioned.

In the New Testament, I am convinced that the kingdom (which literally means a domain ruled by a king, queen or head of state) refers to the church under the headship of Christ. I find it very informative that references to the "kingdom of heaven" are all found in Matthew -- not even in the other gospels; not in the remaining books of the New Testament. It is in Matthew (16:18,19) that we find: "I will build my church" and Christ saying to Peter, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven."

As Scripture has mentioned, the NT speaks of: "the kingdom is at hand"; "the kingdom is within you"; seeing "the kingdom come with power"; etc.

In I Corinthians 15:24 -- "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."

This means that in the end, in the future, we will be speaking of our inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:21; I Cor. 6:9,10; 15:50; II Thess. 1:5; I Tim. 1:16).

We'll attempt to discuss further "the kingdom" soon.

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Ken Subleltt
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Kingdom of Heaven Now and in the Future

August 2 2013, 11:38 AM 

Here is another Campbell article for your consideration:

He says a bit about the kingdom in the earthly sense and the kingdom of Heaven which I haven't sorted out.

It is clear that Scripture identifies the Church of Christ as the Kingdom of Christ where He is High Priest, King and ONLY Teacher. This kingdom CAME WITH POWER on the day of Pentecost which power destroys any supposed earthly as opposed to a Spiritual Kingdom.

The future kingdom people, as with the Disciples following William Milliar wanted the kingdom to SAVE ALL OF THE JEWS and usher in a visible kingdom. Probably most people believed that Jesus failed and will come again to give it another try.

Jesus made a clear line in the sand between those HE translated into a heavenly kingdom and the WORLD or Kosmos or Cosmos. This year the bonding of ACU and Pepperdine with the NACC were promoting RANDY HARRIS who could lead them into COSMIC WORSHIP. Jesus didn't pray for the kosmos or world because neither He nor those He was sent to seek out are OF THE WORLD. Don't try to see hear it, see it, smell it.

That's why Disciples (students not ceremonial legalists) should not get concerned when they do not see the WORLD people acting like Spiritual people.

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William Hall
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Time wasted

August 3 2013, 2:23 AM 

Since Jesus has not returned, literally at least, to earth in 2,000 years and more is there reason to expect him to return tomorrow? If he does, so be it. In agreement with some of the tenets of realized eschatology, I personally generally dismiss all end times theories, believing them to be irrelevant. I believe that what Jesus said and did, and told his disciples to do likewise, are of greater significance than any messianic expectations.(Wikipedia)

Within the Brotherhood in general, we have a range of beliefs including premillennialists much diminished), those who believe we are living in the thousand year reign (few), those who believe the thousand year reign has ended and we now live in post millennial times (fewer still), etc. Most of us believe in a literal, physical return, but will we meet him in the air or will he set foot on earth? One teaching Jesus never taught was to stop and wait on his return.

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The KIngdom

August 3 2013, 10:09 AM 

Some say that the acceptance of Christ's (or God's) rule and will is accepting Him as King (William Barclay). See Jesus' prayer in Matthew 6, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven." To the extent we do that, we have the kingdom of God within us.

According to this view when Jesus was declared "Lord and Christ" on Pentecost after the resurrection this was the beginning of His reign (see Campbell, Christianity Restored).

The full inheritance of the kingdom would come when the angels come to divide the sheep from the goats according to Matthew 25. This would be at the end of this age. King James translations take an amillenial view by translating it "end of the world" rather than "end of this age (aeon)" (see Matthew 28:20). This is the Church of England, or to what to us is the Episcopal Church. After the American Revolution it became known in this country as the Episcopal Church. More Presidents come from this church, at least per capita, and maybe in total, than from any other Church.

From the appearance of many New Testament passages, it seems clear that many first century Christians expected Christ to return to set up the throne of David (see Acts 1), but expectations were dampened as time passed (1 and 2 Thessalonians), and teachings began to mount that the kingdom was a spiritual acceptance of Christ's rule.

One problem with amillenialism is that it is so easy to confuse the spiritual kingdom with the various earthly kingdoms, and so confuse earthly political rule with the kingdom of God. The endorsement of human government or state with the rule of Christ has brought great disappointment through the ages.

Premillenialism does separate human government from the spiritual kingdom, but it has the disadvantage of disparaging the church, or to relegate "church" to an "afterthought"--that is, Christ failed to set up His kingdom and instead established the church.

Some say that Campbell was a postmillennialist, believing that there would be a long period of good rule on earth, even of a spiritual nature, before Christ comes again. The problem with this, is that although the 19th century had the promise of much good, at least in America the Civil War erupted not long after (Campbell died in 1866), and his dreams were dashed by division of North and South, culturally, governmentally, and politically. The 21st century brought the Titanic as well as World Wars I and II.

The postmillennial view has the same shortcoming as the amillenial view in that the kingdom is too easily identified with earthly, human government. Amillennial and postmillennial view do give the church the great role that Paul made for it in keeping with Jesus' teachings. One need only read Ephesians to see the great role that Paul described for the Church.

Possible Definitions:

Premillenial--Christ comes before the millennium.
Postmillenial--Christ comes after the millennium.
Amillenial--There is no literal millennium, and a spiritual millennium is existence of the Church.

Premillenials are divided about when the "rapture" occurs--there are preRapture premillenialists, and postrapture premillenialists.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Christianity Restored Kingdom of god Alexander Campbell

August 3 2013, 1:18 PM 

The chapter on The Kingdom of God in Christianity Restored is added to the Christian System.

This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address on Aug 3, 2013 1:24 PM

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William Hall
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Even more

August 4 2013, 1:38 AM 

Preterism. Did we forget preterism? etc. etc.

Even Christ's closest disciples were confused about this issue right up to the end. "Lord, will thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Jesus sort of put them off, but I can almost imagine that he rolled his eyes.

While this makes interesting discussion, and Scripture's note shows us how many well meaning people can come to different conclusions, this one of those times when we rightly ask "has this got anything to do with my salvation?" I have seen churches go on for weeks arguing about this, but our time and our opportunities are now.

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Re: Even more

August 4 2013, 8:46 AM 

There are quite a number of topics for interesting (yet useless) debate that really have nothing to do with salvation; at least the New Testament doesn't explicitly hang salvation on them. For example: arguing about amillennialism vs. premillennialism vs. postmillennialism, arguing about the "Trinity," and arguing whether or not the Holy Spirit is a third, separate "person."

Just as the New Testament promises that Jesus will return SOME DAY, the New Testament also assures us that the Holy Spirit EXISTS. That's all we need to know, which should be quite sufficient.

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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: Even more

August 4 2013, 6:41 PM 


Maybe we should redefine the meaning or objective of a religious discussion board.

Let's expect the above as your last post regarding this subject matter.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Even more

August 4 2013, 4:32 PM 

It might not make any difference except that the "core" seems to be that Jesus was sent to set up His kingdom. Howver, Satan defeated Him and He high-tailed it back to heaven. However, after He has worked out the details He will give it another try.

The other piece of the puzzle is that Jesus will ride a literal white horse into literal Jerusalem and set up his earthly kingdom with a rebuilt temple as His State Shrine as it was for the literal kings. However, John seems to indicate that Jerusalem is the "mother of harlots" and calls Jerusalem SODOM.

The Disciples got embroiled in William Millers promise that Jesus would return in 1844 IF everyone joined together and SAVED ALL OF THE JEWS. It turned out that the Jews didn't want to be saved-thank you very much-and Jesus didn't want to return in 1844. This prompted A. Campbell to begin writting on the Millennium. He discussed the various views but rejected all of them.

Unfortunately, the Stone-Campbell Movement (lie) including leading professors and even Encyclopedia Publishers supported by the Lipscomb-Harding view of church, quote Alexander with thundering voices. Unfortunately for them and all date setters, Campbell was describing the Protestant View.

The only so-called Apocalyptic sect existing at the time of Alexander Campbell were the Millerites who were the followers of the teachings of William Miller who, in 1833, first shared publicly his belief in the coming Second Advent of Jesus Christ in roughly the year 1843. The Millerites originally had adherents across denominational lines, especially from Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Campbellite churches, forming distinct denominations only after the Great Disappointment. They were united by a belief in the soon return of Jesus Christ--the Second Advent. After the Great Disappointment of October 22, 1844, discussion of beliefs began to fragment the once united Millerites. Dunton points out that there were four main divisive doctrines being discussed by Millerites around the time of the Albany Conference:

I tend not to think about it and just wait until I feel light on my feet: then I will do what I will do.

This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address on Aug 4, 2013 4:33 PM

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The Church

August 4 2013, 6:11 PM 

Ken refers to "the Protestant view" and I'm not sure how he would distinguish that from the Catholic view.

The Catholic view would include the idea that the Church is not only its people, as the Protestant view would affirm, but would (according to the Catechism) include Catholic tradition, medieval writings, officers of that (visible) church, and the Pope's decisions as well as holy Writ (which differs from Protestant Bible which does not contain the intertestamental books such as Bel and the Dragon). The Catholic Church also says all this superstructure is supported by The Holy Spirit (often discussed in Concerned Members).

The Protestant view of the church does not include the hierarchical offices and power centers, since it is Scripture alone (scriptura sola). According to Campbell (see Ken's reference to Campbell's definition of kingdom as cited above), the kingdom includes not only the ekklesia (church), but also holy Writ, territory (earth), and King (Jesus).

Restoration teaching further limits hierarchical views to exclude officers above the local congregation, and in Tolbert Fanning's view exclude officers in the local congregation from being "little popes."

Ken, if he would, could explain the difference, if any, of "the Catholic view" from "the Protestant view." Thanks.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: The Church

August 4 2013, 7:08 PM 

That's above my pay grade. It is probably true that most denominations--especially like the Christians-Methodists-Anglicans-Catholic roots--are "daughters" of the "mother."

The Disciples of Christ define their president in similar ways the Pope is described. Any "convention" or "conference" or workshop INTENDS to propogate their faith by elevating popular misleaders not yet able to read black text on brown paper." By their elevating certain speakers as in lipscombs Summer Celebration you can see that they have sected out of the Church of Christ.

It is my information (from way back) that when Rubel Shelly launched the JUBILEE it was in response to the Pope's call for Jubilee Y2K. Bleeding off the Jewish Jubilee which was probably rarely enforced, certain Catholic Churches were set of as the PLACE where you celebrate ATONEMENT. I got e-mails from people around the world wanting to know if I could tell them where to go to get "atoned."

Shelly and a small band of merry men THOUGHT that they had the power to RESTRUCTURE all churches of Christ relating to MUSIC, women's roles and leadership authority: Rubel was THE leader because of his training and charisma. He will be back in Nashville next year and talking SEX at this years celebration. At going on 83 I think I will watch him perform and see whether I can, like David, get some heat.

The Catholic view of the Millennium would be interesting: at Jubilee y2k the Virgin of Guadalupe told a priest that Jesus was returning to kill all of the Masons and infidels. I would be classified as an infidel.

Jesus didn't come preaching the gospel of "just Jesus" but the gospel OF the kingdom.

This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address on Aug 4, 2013 7:10 PM

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