The Second Coming of Christ

Part 1


Dr. John Hoole – July 14 & 21, 2013





Matthew 24:30 NKJV


30     Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.


Today we embark upon an examination of what the Bible says about the Second Coming of Christ.


Some news stories are so enormous that ordinary headlines and bold print just won’t cut it.  For outsized events and cataclysmic happenings, .newspapers for decades have resorted to what came to be known as “Second Coming type,” - that is, a style and size of lettering that jumps off the page, grabs a reader by the throat, and says READ ME !


Second Coming type has been used to announce such major events as the Allied victory over Hitler.  It was even used in one of the biggest blunders in American Journalistic history, when the Chicago Tribune announced Thomas Dewey’s “defeat” of Harry S. Truman in the 1948 presidential election.


At the end of 1999, the Associated Press ranked the top 100 news events of the 20th century.  Most of these did not warrant, according to the newspaper editors, the use of the Second Coming Type.


Some of the century’s biggest stories, according to them, were:


         1.      The stock market crash of October 28, 1929,


         2.      The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,


         3.      The Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963,


         4.      Man walking on the moon on July 20 , 1969.


But the number one story of the century, according to the AP was the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 an event that essentially brought an end to WWII, and unleashed the atomic age.


While all these stories are incredible, the greatest news event of all time is yet to occur.  I’m speaking of Jesus’ return to earth.  Talk about a front page story.  In the last 2,000 years, there has never been such an event as this one.


Why would they give a special class of type the name “Second Coming type?”  Why not just call it “Big News type” or “Major Event type” or “Can You Believe This type?”  The reason, of course, is that there IS no bigger event than the second coming of Christ.


Even the most irreligious  journalist at the most liberal newspaper, in the most ungodly city in the world knows it.  Ironically, when He comes, the Second Coming type probably will sit unused on the presses.  Why?  Because there will be no time left to put out a flash street edition to announce His return.


As we look around at all the violence and ungodliness in our world today, it might be easy to get discouraged as a Christian.  As the old poem says:


                   God’s plan made a hopeful beginning,

                   But man spoiled his chances by sinning,

                   We trust that the story

                   Will end in God’s glory,

                   But, at present, the other side’s winning.


The only hope for us and the rest of the world, is the knowledge that Jesus Christ, the one who died for the sins of the world, and rose triumphantly from the grave, has promised to come back again.


The Bible is truly an amazing and wonderful Book.  And one of the things that makes the Bible so unique is that it tells us in advance about things that are going to happen.  To say it another way, the Bible gives us the headlines in advance -- sometimes very much in advance.


Early in this series of lessons on the End Times, I showed you a chronological overview of what the Bible tells us about the last days.  I would like to review part of it once again.


In the past two years, we have covered a lot of territory.  Many of the events in this overview will now be more familiar than they may have been at the time they were covered.  As we look at the overview once again, some of the events will be more securely defined in your minds.  For those who have come into our series mid-stream, the overview will serve to help bring you up to date.


1 Thess. 4:16-17 tells us…….the Lord will descend……from heaven…..


                            He will descend with a shout,

                                              …with the voice of the archangel

                                                        ….and with the trump of God.


                   …the dead in Christ will rise first.

                            ….then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them

                             in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.

                                     …..and so shall we ever be with the Lord.




                   The Rapture.




We all go to heaven with Him.  He takes us to his Father’s home.


John 14:1-3, is a passage describing the Rapture.  In that Passage, Jesus said that prior to the Rapture, He would be preparing a place for his Church.  When He returns to get us at the Rapture, we go to the place He has been preparing for us.




Shortly after the rapture of the Church,…….there will be the beginning of a period of turmoil such as this world has never seen.  It will not necessarily begin immediately after the Rapture, but it will occur afterwards.




                  The Tribulation.




It is after this tribulation time when Christ come back to earth.  (Matthew 24:29-30)  Not everyone sees him at the Rapture.  But here, all eyes will witness his return.




                   7+ years.





         Two things occur in heaven while we are there with Christ.


1.     The Judgment Seat of Christ.


The Judgment Seat of Christ is not an event where all the bad you have ever done is revealed.  This is a judgment where believers are rewarded for faithfulness..


2.     The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-8)


This is a wedding feast.  On earth, these could go on for days, according to Jewish customs.  This is a feast to celebrate the marriage of the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ, and his bride, the Church.


We have not studied these two events as yet, but we will in a later lesson.  We will probably include the Judgment Seat of Christ in a lesson which covers all the judgments.






Those who have died without knowing Christ as their personal savior, are not resurrected for at least another 1,007 years. (Rev 20:4-6)




No!!  All the saints that were caught up to meet Christ in the air, at the Rapture are among those who will accompany Him back to earth.


Jude 14 NKJV


14     Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,


Now let’s go back to Revelation 19, in the verses following the record of the Marriage Feast.


Revelation 19:14 NKJV


14     And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.


Earlier in the chapter,  Revelation 19:6-9, we learn who these are that are clothed in fine linen, clean and white.  They are the Bride of Christ, who is celebrating her marriage to the groom, Christ, at the wedding feast.  Also, this group may include Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints that have died.  We will cover these armies of saints more fully in our next lesson.




         The Battle of Armageddon will be at its height.


Revelation 16:16 NKJV


16     And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.




Five things are mentioned, four of which take place if fairly short order.  The fifth takes a little time to complete.


The first four things that happen quickly are:


1.      He destroys the armies of the Antichrist.


Returning again to the sequence of events portrayed in Revelation 19.


Revelation 19:19 NKJV


19     And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.


The beast is the Antichrist.  He is often referred to in this manner in the book of Revelation.  And he is making war against the one sitting on the horse, and against his army.


According to verse 11, earlier in the chapter, we know that the person sitting on the horse is Christ.  And his army are the saints, clothed in white which accompany him back to earth.


Revelation 19:21 NKJV, tells us the action Christ takes.


21     And the rest [that’s all the armies of the Antichrist] were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.  And all the birds were filled with their flesh.


So one thing that happens upon Christ’s arrival to earth, is the destruction of the armies of the Antichrist.


Again, return to the sequence of events in Revelation 19 for the second thing Christ does..


2.      The Antichrist and his right-hand man, the False Prophet, are cast into the lake of fire.


Revelation 19:20 NKJV


20     Then the beast (that’s the Antichrist) was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.


Here we have the second thing that occurs when Christ arrives.  The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire.


Now for the third thing Christ does in short order.


3.      Satan is put in chains and cast into the bottomless pit


With point #2, we have completed Revelation, chapter 19, and now, with point #3, we begin chapter 20.


Revelation 20:1-3 NKJV


1       Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2       He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;

3       and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.


So, this is the 3rd thing that happens.  An angel, having a chain, binds Satan and throws him into the bottomless pit.


4.      The fourth thing that takes place after Christ returns to earth is to deliver the Jews from their persecutors.


         This will take place both in Israel and Edom (Jordan).  This may be part of item #1, above.


5.      The fifth thing that takes place after Christ returns to earth is the setting up of His (Christ’s) kingdom here on earth for 1,000 years.


We find that in the next verse - Revelation 20:4 NKJV


4       And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.


That is as far as we will carry our review of the chronological order of events.  We have looked at the sequence of prophetic events from the present time up to when Christ established his millennial kingdom on earth.  We will cover that event and subsequent ones as we continue our study of End Times.  I believe the most significant single truth in all the Bible – both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, is the certainty of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  While there may be some disagreement as to when the second coming will happen there exists absolutely no disagreement among fundamental believers that Jesus is coming again.


It matters not whether a person is a Pre-millennialist, A-millennialist, or a Post-millennialist when it comes to the Second Coming.  They all believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to earth some day.


While we do not know precisely when this event will take place, we are given some clues that indicate that it is close.  But it will happen.  And we can never take the chance that we are not ready for when He comes.


Let me ask you a question.  It is a very general question, and I want you to think of your answers in the broadest of contexts.  I want to take several minutes for you to tell me everything you can think of, that the Bible says, relative to this event.




To help, here are several other questions that may prod your memory.








                            WHAT IS THE NATURE OF HIS COMING?


                                     WHAT ARE THE GEOGRAPHICAL SURROUNDINGS?


                                              WHO COMES WITH HIM?


When it comes to understanding biblical prophecy, there are 3 major issues that account for the different positions held by Christians.


                   1.      Method of interpretation – whether literal or figurative.


                   2.      Distinction between the prophecies related to the Jews and the Church.


                   3.      Distinction between the Rapture and the Second Coming.


We are currently studying the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, issue number 3, above, is of vital importance.  If we do NOT make a definite distinction between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming, our interpretation of what the Bible says concerning each of these events will be faulty.


One thing that distinguishes the pre-millennialist from all other millennial views is --- ALL premillennialists take the position that the 2nd Coming of Christ occurs in stages.  And all but the Partial Rapturist believe there are two and only two stages.


Those two stages are called:


         •  Rapture – where the Church rises to meet Christ in the air,


         •  Revelation – where Jesus comes all the way to earth.


When we studied the Rapture, we spent considerable time to ensure we fully understood that there are two separate events or stages, separated by a period of time.


In all five positions held by pre-millennialists, all believe that the “revelation,” that is, the actually return of Christ to this earth, occurs at the end of the Tribulation.  That event brings this horrendous period to a close.  We all agree on this point.  It is the timing of the Rapture where the differences will be found.


Some students of Bible prophecy strongly object to the notion that the rapture of the Church and the Second Coming are distinct events separated by 7 years.  They contend that this is teaching two future comings of Christ, although, in their opinions, the Bible only presents one event.


There is no reason to think it strange that there are two future comings of Christ.  How do I know that for sure?  Look at what Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:10-11. NIV


10     Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,

11     trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.


The prophets tried to understand what they wrote about, especially about the grace that was going to come to them and God’s people.  It says they searched intently and with great care.  Verse 11 says what they were searching intently about.  They were trying to understand the timing and the events that they wrote about.  Especially about the Messiah’s suffering and the glory that would follow.


Did you catch that last phrase?  They were having great difficulty understanding about both the suffering and the glories of the Christ.  The difficulty was that they didn’t realize they were talking about his two comings.  His first would be filled with suffering and dying and His second would follow with glories as the King of Kings.


The best way to resolve this issue is to see what the Bible says about these events side by side to see if they are describing the same occurrence.  His coming “WITHten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all the ungodly (Jude 14-15) could hardly be the same as coming "FOR" His church, when “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:52)  The Rapture is an event in which Christ takes the Church, His Bride, from earth to His Father’s home in heaven.  The Revelation is an event in which He brings the Church from heaven to earth.







His saints


His saints

Most generally

accepted name?

The Rapture

The Second Coming

How Christ is portrayed?

As a Bridegroom going to a Marriage Ceremony

As King of kings

going to a coronation

Rev. 19:16

Why does Christ come?

In love to gather His Bride from the earth

1 Thess. 4:16-17

In wrath to judge the nations

Matthew 25:31-33

What is the Timing

of these events?

Before Daniel’s 70th Week

(The Tribulation)

After Daniel’s 70th Week

(The Tribulation)

Resurrection involved?

A resurrection

occurs here

1 Cor. 15:52

No resurrection

is mentioned here


No angels sent to

gather those raptured

Angels sent forth to gather people for judgment (Matt. 24:31)

What about Satan?

Not mentioned

Bound for

one thousand years

Revelation 20:1-3

Old Testament References?

Rapture is not mentioned in the O.T.

Was a mystery until

1 Corinthians 15:51

Mentioned many

dozens of times

What are its signs?

No signs

Cannot be predicted

Specific time unknown Imminent

Can be predicted as 2,520 days after Antichrist signs treaty.

Many signs point to it.

How quickly will

it occur?

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye

! Cor. 15:52

Slow enough to be visible to everyone on earth –

Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:27

Its location?

In the cloud, in the air – Christ does not touch the earth

1 Thess.4:17

His feet touch the earth at the Mount of Olives

Zech. 14:4;  Acts 1:11

Who comes

with Christ?

No description of saints coming with Christ

All saints already in heaven before the Second Coming

Jude 14; Rev. 19:14

How does Christ come?

In the clouds.

No mention of a horse

1 Thess. 4:17

On the clouds,

On White Horse

Rev. 1:7; 19:11

What emotions are displayed

Comfort for believers

1 Thess. 4:18

All tribes of the earth will see and mourn

Matthew 24:30

What happens to the bodies of earthly believers

Believers resurrected and put on immortality

1 Cor. 15:51-52

Believers who survive Tribulation enter Millennium in natural bodies

Whose hope?

His appearing is the Hope of the Church

Titus 2:13

His appearing is the hope of Israel

The associated Judgment?

No judgment of unbelievers.

BEMA in heaven for raptured saints

Judgment of the antichrist and false prophet and the nations

Rev. 19:15-21

What other terms are used?

The “Translation”

1st Stage of the

Second Coming

Revelation of Christ,

Second Advent,

2nd stage of His return



I think you can see that the differences between the passages describing the Rapture and those describing Jesus’ second coming suggest that they are not the same event.  Each of these two events involve separate participants, as well as different times, purposes, and locations.


The purpose of the Rapture is entirely different from that of the Second Coming.  When He comes to earth, Jesus will come back to judge and reign over the earth.  In the Rapture He will come to take his own Bride out of the world and take them to his Father’s house  These two events have nothing in common except that both are referred to as a “coming.”


The return of Christ makes no sense if viewed only as a one-phased event.  This is because the Scriptures present conflict and confusion, if trying to make the second coming simply as the Lord breaking through the clouds to set up His kingdom.  Some scriptures tell us that no one can know the exact day or hour of Christ’s return.  Others tell that the exact number of days to His return to the Earth can be precisely calculated.  Matthew 25:13 says Jesus will return at an unknown time, while Revelation 12:6 indicates that the Jews will have to wait on the Lord 1,260 days, starting with the Antichrist standing in the temple declaring himself to be god.


His visible coming in power and great glory like lightning streaking across the sky (Matthew 24:27)….when “every eye shall see Him” (Rev. 1:7) hardly seems to be describing the same thing as “I will come again and receive you [His bride] unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.”  These two events are so totally different in their purposes, it is really not possible to put them together.


We know that Christ must return to accomplish two purposes:


1.  To come unannounced to catch His bride, the church, up to meet Him in the air and take her home to His Father’s house of “many mansions”  (John 14:3,  cf. 1 Thess 4:16-17)….and……


2.  To come visibly to earth itself in power and glory to destroy the Antichrist, stop the destruction at Armageddon, rescue Israel’s surviving remnant, and set up the millennial kingdom.  (Matthew 24:30, Revelation 1:7 “He cometh with clouds and every eye shall see Him.”  These two accomplishments are so diverse that logically they would not fit into one single event.




Surely Christ’s coming in power and glory to earth to judge and punish the ungodly is not the same event as His gathering Christians in the air to take them home to receive their rewards.  One is the visible display of His power and glory in judgment upon the world, while the other is the catching away of His bride to a heavenly wedding and honeymoon in a rapture whose timing is purposely hidden from all unbelievers.




Christ’s coming to earth to “stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives” (Zech. 14:4) .is hardly compatible with the promise that we will meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:17)




The purpose of the Rapture is to take the Church, His bride, out of the world and bring them to the Father’s house.  The purpose of the Second Coming is to establish the millennial kingdom, where Jesus will be King of Kings.


According to Rev. 19:14, Christ brings with Him to Armageddon the “armies which were in heaven…..clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”  Since we know that the heavenly marriage occurs earlier in Chapter 19, we are told that it is the Bride of Christ that is “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.” (vs. 8).


And since we also know that once the bride is gathered to be with Christ she will never again be separated from Him then it is the Bride that makes up at least part of the armies coming with Christ at His revelation at Armageddon.  How could this possibly happen if the bride had not been gathered previously.


For the bride to come with Christ when He sets up His kingdom, requires that we be gathered unto Him some time previous to that -- with enough time between the two events to allow for the marriage to be consummated and the marriage supper (feast or banquet) to occur.


I need to emphasize one more issue before moving on.  We already listed 13 things that make the Rapture and the Revelation different events.  This would be number 14.


I have often heard prophecy teachers say, “There are no more prophecies that must be fulfilled for the Rapture to occur.”  While the statement is accurate, it is also misleading and implies an untruth.  It implies that there were, at some time past, signs or prophecies that must be fulfilled before the Rapture can take place but that are now fulfilled, leaving no others to be fulfilled.  That would be untrue.


The Bible teaches that the Rapture is both without sign and is imminent.  That means there will be absolutely no signs to tell us when it will occur, because the Church is to expect Christ at any moment.  For the Church, the Rapture is the next event on their prophetic timetable.


I believe that Christ wanted His bride to understand that He could come for her at any moment.  That is, Christ’s coming should be considered “Imminent,”  and without warning.  You cannot hold any other view than the one we have seen today, and believe Christ could return at any moment.  Rather, you would be looking for other events to occur first.