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Jesus Christ is Coming Again
When is Jesus Christ coming again?
Christians all over the world are sure that Christ will come a second time because He said so. In John 14.2-3 Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I WILL COME BACK and take you to be with Me that you may also be where I am." These words were spoken 2000 years ago and Christiams are still waiting for that wonderful day. Jesus did not give us a date, but that does not remove the certainty that He will return. He said He would, and that means He will.
What is the difference between the two comings?
There is an amazing difference between the first and second comings of our Lord. The difference in time is great, already about 2000 years, but the difference in character is nothing short of huge and amazing. In His first coming, Jesus came as a babe in weakness, was born in a manger and looked after by earthly parents (Luke 2.51), grew into manhood and was crucified, raised from the dead and ascended to heaven, His present abode (Acts 1.9). In His second coming He will come in majesty, in great power and glory, with authority, and be recognised for His supremacy, Lordship and Sovereignty. Mark 13.26. He will bring with Him millions upon millions of people who in days gone by had worshipped Him and served Him as their Lord and Saviour.1 Thes. 3.13. He is the eternal God who lives for ever and ever. What a great Day that will be!
Where was the Lord between the two comings?
While His Spirit has been alive and active in the hearts of men and women everywhere, His abode is in Heaven where the souls of the earths dead have joined themselves with Him in fellowship and worship. Acts 1.9. I find it very hard to describe such a life where there is no human sin, simply joy, happiness, contentment, peace, and much more besides. Scripture tells us that, “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him,” (1 Cor. 2.9) We will enter what might be called, "A Spirit World" with physical features similar to what we had on earth. What wonders await Christians who pass through the valley of the shadow of death. It will be very wonderful and amazing!
What will we look like in Heaven?
To understand this we must first look at the make up of man. Just as the Divine Trinity is made up of three persons i.e. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, so at creation when God made man, He made him a triunity of spirit, soul and body. When we die there is a separation of these parts of man. The body is buried, cremated or disposed of, while the spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12.7. It is the soul which, for the Christian, goes into the immediate presence of God. 2 Cor. 5.8. As we shall see later, the Second Coming of our Lord results in a resurrection bringing together again the spirit, soul and body. It is interesting to note that the man of evil will emulate the Holy trinity with his unholy triunity consisting of the Devil, the Beast and the False Prophet mentioned in Revelations.
The functions of spirit, soul and body.
Our spirit is that part of man which communes with God. As God is a Spirit (John 4.24) it follows that when we talk with God it is our spirit which talks with His spirit. At the time of our conversion it was our spirit that asked God's Spirit to forgive our sins as we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ's work on the cross to save, pardon, forgive, cleanse and heal. All human beings consist of these three parts but the spirit of the ungodly is not awakened and the sinner continues his life of Sin. Gen. 6.3.
The function of the soul is associated with our emotions,desires, affections, mind and wanting to do good. Sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch are also functions of the soul. The body is the tent or house in which the spirit and soul lives.
Is there any sin in heaven?
From humanity's point of view, there is no sin. We must bear in mind, however, that the Devil and his angels still abide there, and with the man of evil striving with what is good a conflict arises. In Rev. 12. 7 we read, "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." Many Christian scholars think this will take place during the period of "tribulation" on earth
Will we know our family and friends in heaven?
The simple answer to that question is "yes", provided that while they were on earth they loved the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their Saviour. In the scriptures there are at least three occasions where this is demonstrated. The first is in 1 Sam. 28.10-25 where a conversation takes place between King Saul and the dead prophet Samuel. The second incident occurs on the Mount of Transfiguration as recorded in Matt. 17.2-9 where our Lord together with Peter, James and John spoke with the prophets of old, Moses and Elijah. By far the most important occasion associated with this subject is recorded in Luke 16.19-31 in which our Lord tells us of the death of a rich man, and also a poor man called Lazarus. In this incident the rich man, after death in hell could remember Lazarus, he reasoned, he spoke, thought, felt sorry, could hear, look, feel and ask questions. I suggest that you make this a study for yourself. When we are in heaven in our soul state we will also be able to have these attributes.
When will we get our Spiritual Body?
This is an interesting subject and requires our close attention. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth in His 2nd coming and brings His “soul” saints with Him, the scripture clearly gives the order of events set out in 1 Thes. 4. There is much activity in heaven, in the air and on the earth prior to the Lord actually placing His foot on the Mount of Olives, the site of His return. Zech. 14.4
The first things we will know about it are recorded in 1 Thes. 4 16. Three things take place, First, the Lord will come down from heaven with a loud command. Second, we shall all hear the voice of the archangel, and thirdly, we will hear the trumpet call of God. A fourth incident occurs but we will not see it. When Christ leaves heaven He will bring all the Christian souls that were in heaven with Him. This is a great multitude and whilst Christ remains in the air, this multitude continue on their journey to earth to rejoin their physical body which at that time will be resurrected from its resting place. Graves will be opened everywhere in the world of those souls who loved and served the Master. Please note that unbelievers are not resurrected at this time. Their resurrection takes place at the end of the Millennium for their judgment before the Great White Throne. Rev. 20.11-15
Scripture tells us in 1 Thes. 4.17-18 that the saved who are living on the earth at that time will join the resurrected souls to be lifted up and meet the Lord IN THE AIR. Thus will they forever be with the Lord. Scripture does not indicate that this huge number of people will return to earth at this point in time. It is my view as well as many other Christians, who believe that Christ will take all these people to heaven for a period of seven years, while on earth the "Tribulation" takes place. This, of course, means that the Church will not go through the tribulation, a view which I strongly adhere to. In simple terms, the tribulation is a time of judgment. My sins, and the sins of all Christians have been judged by the Lord Jesus Christ by His death on the cross and those sins He will remember no more. Heb. 8.12
Another thing that will happen, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall be CHANGED. This is the time when we do away with our old sinful bodies and be clothed with a new spiritual body 1 Cor. 15.52
The Day Jesus Christ returns to earth
What a momentous day that will be. Scripture records it in Zech. 14.1-9 as follows:
"A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
"Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by My mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah King of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come and all the holy ones with Him.
"On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without day-time or night-time - a day known to the Lord. When evening comes there will be light.
"On that day living water will flow out of Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord and His Name the only Name."
Dear friends, Christians look forward to that day with great anticipation. We will be with Christ and marvel at what He is doing. For the non Christian there will be seven long years of tribulation, war, bloodshed and misery. Turn to the Saviour now, while you can. He will receive you, forgive your sins and draw you closer to Himself.