"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Grace under Siege 54: Second coming of Jesus

We are not ashamed to say we believe and stake our lives on every word, every declaration, and every promise of the Word of God, including: 

The Literal, Future Second Coming of Jesus 
Jesus promised His disciples He would come again. It's in the Bible, John 14:1-3, TLB. "Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren't so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there."

Christ's return will be literal and real. It's in the Bible, Acts 1:10-11, TLB. "It was not long afterwards that He rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after Him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, 'Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as He went, He will return!'"

How will Jesus come again? It's in the Bible, Luke 21:27, NIV. "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."

How many will see Him when He comes? It's in the Bible, Revelation 1:7, NIV. "Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him."

What will we see and hear when He comes? It's in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV. "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

How visible is His coming to be? It's in the Bible, Matthew 24:27, NIV. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man."

Christ's coming will be unexpected and dramatic. It's in the BIble, 2 Peter 3:10, NKJV. " But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up."

What warning has Christ given so we won't be fooled about the second coming? It's in the Bible, Matthew 24:23-26, NIV. "At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There He is!' do not believe it. For false Christ's and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, 'There He is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here He is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it."

Does anyone know the exact time of Christ's coming? It's in the Bible, Matthew 24:36, NIV. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

Knowing how human it is to procrastinate, what does Christ tell us to do? It's in the Bible, Matthew 24:42, NKJV. "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming."

What warning has Christ given that we might not be taken by surprise by this great event? It's in the Bible, Luke 21:34-36, NKJV. " But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Why is Jesus second coming taking so long? It's in the Bible, II Peter 3:8-9, NIV. "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

While we wait for Jesus, how should we live? It's in the Bible, Titus 2:11-14, NKJV. " For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."

What will the world be like when Jesus comes? It's in the Bible, Matthew 24:37-39, NIV. "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."

Will Christ's coming be a time of reward? It's in the Bible, Matthew 16:27 and Revelation 22:12, NIV. "For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done." "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."

Why is Jesus coming back? It's in the Bible, Hebrews 9:28, TLB. "So also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and He will come again, but not to deal again with our sins. This time He will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for Him."

At Jesus' second coming, we will fully experience the reality of our salvation. It's in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:7-8, TLB. "Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing His will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. And He guarantees right up to the end that you will be counted free from all sin and guilt on that day when He returns."

What is the last promise Jesus gives us in the Bible? It's in the Bible, Revelation 22:20, NKJV. "He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

From bibleinfo.com/en/topics/second-coming-jesus


  1. Jessica,

    I suggest you check your facts. No one at Grace is saying they don't believe in the second coming of Jesus. What they take issue with is the literal interpretation of the rapture, seven-year tribulation, 1000 year rule of Christ, etc., which are heavily debated issues in all theological circles, and unessential to salvation and church doctrine. The second coming of Jesus is absolutely essential, and no one is dismissing that. Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting your post, but I cannot stand seeing lies spread like this (if that is indeed what you are saying), and will not stay silent on this one

    Praying for you, sister, and everything that is going on in our church.

    -McKenzie Stribich

  2. Dear McKenzie, It's good to hear from you and get to know another passionate, articulate Stribich! You come from good stock--your parents and grandparents are the kind of people God founded this church on and we have the utmost respect for them. Your mother is committed to rightly dividing the word of truth whatever the cost. Your grandmother has faithfully led little ones into the Kingdom of God for generations. (My son, daughter, and daughter-in-law came to Jesus as little children through Child Evangelism Fellowship teachers just like her.)

    I appreciate your passion for truth and integrity, McKenzie, and for the earnest pursuit of truth and enthusiasm for serving Jesus among those in your generation at our church. You use the term "no one" twice: "No one at Grace is saying they don't believe in the second coming of Jesus." "The second coming of Jesus is absolutely essential, and no one is dismissing that." Can we understand from what you say that not even Lou himself is an exception? That you have actually heard from Lou that he personally believes in the literal, future return of Jesus Christ?

  3. Jessica and McKenzie, this is a very good article and didn't really get into the areas of tribulation, Rapture or 1000 year reign of Christ, but dealt safely with the future, literal 2nd coming of the Lord? There are also two excellent links (part 1 and 2) that Dr. David Hocking wrote as a commentary on the 2nd coming of Christ. These articles deal with the Rapture, Tribulation, 1000 year reign and the 2nd Coming of Christ. This is sound teaching we're not experiencing as a church. People are trying to apply allegorical and symbolic meaning to portions of scripture that are meant to be studied literally. Part 1: http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=29&contentID=8363&commInfo=82&topic=Christology Part 2: http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=29&contentID=8364&commInfo=82&topic=Christology . Some good sources for studying and interpreting the Bible were written by Dr. Richard Mayhue. These are short reads. You can look these up on Amazon.

    1. I'm very interested in understanding where you are coming from. I too believe in the inerrancy of scripture and correct exegesis. My questions is, if we are to interpret scripture as proclaiming a pre-tribulational pre-millennial eschatology, are we then to say that the church's interpretation of scripture has been in error for 18 centuries? I say this because pre-tribulational eschatology did not exist before the early to mid 1800's.

    2. See http://www.discoverrevelation.com/40.html. Scroll down to "Pre-millennialism - The Oldest View":". . . The early Christians were almost unquestionably pre millennialists. The New Testament itself indicates that the apostles expected the Lord to return and set up His Kingdom in their lifetime. In Acts 1 v.6, just before our Lord ascended into heaven, the disciples asked a question that revealed their understanding: "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" The Lord did not deny that He would set up a Kingdom, but He told them, "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority."

      So we find the disciples and those they taught anticipating the return of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom. Many of the detractors of the pre millennial position suggest that it is a relatively new theory, having come on the scene during the days of John Darby and others. The truth of the matter is that pre millennialism held sway during the first 3 centuries of the early church and was known as "chiliasm". . ."

  4. Sorry about the timing, McKenzie. I did not mean to block you because you did sign your name, but we have blocked all anonymous comments.

  5. I will say that perhaps I was too hasty in writing that comment last night, and indeed I can't speak for every single person in our church, but personally, I have never heard anyone say anything that would indicate they don't believe in the literal second coming of Christ (perhaps you have, I don't know), and that includes Pastor Lou. From his teaching, my understanding is that he does. Honestly, I can't site any specific reference from any particular sermon, but the gist of his teaching as a whole seems to point in that direction, and I would be willing to bet that if I did search for a reference I would find one. (And you could, too, since all the sermons are archived, and the sermons from the last few years are available online.) However, the proposed new statement of faith says this (under the heading "God's Restoration"): "We believe Jesus Christ will return - visibly and bodily - to judge the world and to establish his kingdom on earth." Then it says, under the next heading: "As we wait for that great day, we believe God has formed a new community to embody and to spread the good news." I firmly believe that Lou upholds this new statement, and would not do so if he didn't believe it himself. Really, though, he would be the best person to ask, and I do wish that you would check into things a bit more before making such intense statements as these (and I do realize that, while you didn't explicitly say what I believe you said, given the context of your post, it really seems that is what you believe).

    Also, upon thinking about my comment this morning, I realized that saying, "...I cannot stand seeing lies spread like this..." was perhaps too harsh, and that you aren't intending to spread lies, though I still maintain that your accusation is, most likely, at least a gross misinterpretation of the things you have seen happening. I see that you also care deeply for our church, and above all, the truth we find in Scripture, and if you didn't, this blog would not even exist. There is a lot at stake in all this, and it's difficult not to let emotions take over completely. Again, I ask your forgiveness.


  6. P.S. Thanks for letting me follow up on that.