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The Second Coming

Earlier this year, I did a quick read-through of the New Testament to find the references to Jesus’ Second Coming.

Here’s what I found.

Matthew

“A Governor . . . shall rule my people Israel” (Matthew 2:6), clearly referring to Jesus. We get ‘hegemony’ from the Greek word for “Governor” (leader, guide). This is in process but yet to be completely fulfilled.

Six references to the “Day of judgement” in the Book of Matthew.

Also, Matthew speaks of the “regeneration”, speaking of a final restoration of earth (palingenesia which is palin – ‘repetition or making anew’ + genesis – ‘beginning of something’), as when Jesus sits on the throne of His glory. “. . . in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory” (19:28).

In 24:30.31 all the tribes of the earth “shall see [gaze on] the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory”; “the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of glory” (25:31). And “the son of man . . . coming in the clouds of heaven” 26:64.

In all, at least twenty-one references in Matthew relate to the second coming.

Mark

The Gospel of Mark has three clear references.

“. . . when he [the Son of man] cometh in the glory of his father with the holy angels”. (8:38)

“. . . then shall they see the son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” (13:26)

“. . . ye shall see the son of man . . . coming in the clouds of heaven? (14:62).

Luke

“. . . the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David. (1:33)

“. . . in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (17:30)

“. . . and then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (21:27)

“. . . as the lightning . . . so shall also the Son of man be in his day” (17:24)

“. . . the kingdom of God shall come” (22: 18)

John

John states that “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall live” (i.e., in the resurrection), and “I will raise him up at the last day” (again, the resurrection). Otherwise, there’s not as much in John as in the other gospels.

Acts

The Book of Acts states that Jesus “shall so come in like manner” (1:11) and speaks of “the times of restitution [apokatastasis] of all things” (3:21).

The Epistles

Romans tells us of “the root of Jesse …shall rise to reign [archō] over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust”. (15:12) The Gentiles likely included tribes of Israel scattered outside of the holy land.

I Corinthians, “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come (4:5). And 11:26, “shew the Lord’s death till he come”, and I Corinthians 15:25, “He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet”. It just doesn’t tell us here how that’ll happen.

maranatha” (Aramaic) – “the Lord has come/ the Lord will come / Lord come” – the context appears to refer to a future judgement. (I Corinthians 16:22)

Colossians 3:4 has the next most obvious reference: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear [i.e., make himself manifest]”.

I Thesssalonians is definite: “our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming [parousia]” (i.e., it’s certainly only Jesus who is coming).; “the coming of the Lord”, and “for the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout” (2:19; 4:15,16) and 5 :2, “unto the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ” (just to confirm again, Jesus is personally coming!) and 5:23 “the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ”. And II Thessalonians 1:7, “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed [apokalupsis] from heaven with his mighty angels”.

“. . . until the appearing [epiphaneia – manifestation, advent] of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Timothy 6:14), “them that love his appearing” (II Timothy 4:8) and Titus 2:13 “looking for the glorious appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ”

Hebrews also gives solid hope: “Yet a little while and he that shall come will come [arrive], and will not tarry [linger]” (Hebrews 10:37).

First Peter speaks of a judgement of the “living and the dead” (4:5) and that “his glory shall be revealed [apokalupsis]” and that “the chief Shepherd shall appear” (I Peter 4:13). And I Peter 1:7 “at the appearing [apokalupsis] of Jesus Christ”.

Second Peter reminds us not to question “the promise of his coming [parousia]” (3:4), that it will be like a thief in the night, the “coming [parousia] of the day of God” (3:12).

I John 2:28 speaks of “his coming [parousia]” and that when it happens, “when he shall appear”, we will not be ashamed for “when he shall appear . . . we shall see him as he is” (3:2).

Again, there’s a “day of judgment [krisis – a tribunal]” (I John 4:17). Jude adds “the Lord cometh . . . to execute judgment upon all” (v.14)

The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation has seven unequivocal statements about the second coming. “He cometh with clouds” and “which is to come (1:4,7,8). Apart from His “comings” to the various seven churches of the Book of Revelation there are also three clear statements at the end “I come quickly”, “I come quickly”, “I come quickly” (22:7,12,20).

So that’s around fifty verses found in the New Testament on the second coming. I looked for the most obvious but might have missed some. Then there are Old Testament references too. But that’s another study.

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